I’ve been following Bernie for a couple of years. When he announced he was running for President in May I was ecstatic since I knew he would bring some attention to major issues, but I admit I didn’t think he would get a huge following. I was right on the first point and wrong on the second.
The Iowa caucuses were just held and Bernie won by far. Technically he lost by .03%, or by one of six coin tosses* that ALL went in favor of Hillary; which there is a 1.56% chance of happening. He won because he proved he is a viable candidate.
So why do I support Bernie? Here are my top five reasons
- He wants to get big money out of politics
In 2012 $609 million were spent by super PACs to back their candidates; this election cycle this will exceed ONE BILLION! If this amount of money has to be spent to get people elected something is wrong. There are SO MANY other way this money could be spent to help others! Bernie is taking money from super PACs to help his campaign and isn’t endorsing any (but technical he can’t stop them either); his is funded by the people, with an average donation of only $27 dollars across over 3 million donations. Historically, 90% of Hillary’s top donors, since 1999, are corporations. Over her career this totals up to $9.3 million from her top 20 contributors or per this article she has gotten $44.1 million from Wall Street and financial firms. Bernie on the other had has gotten 95% of his contributions, since 1989, from unions (as of July 2015); the top 20 come out to $1.2 million. For the current presidential race 73% of Bernie’s funds have come from small individual donations verses 17% for Hillary. As of November, Bernie has gotten outside support of $25,044 vs Hillary’s $20,292,009. Bernie has also stated he will ONLY appoint Supreme Court justices who will make it a priority to overturn Citizens United. He also will fight to pass a constitutional amendment to regulate money in elections and will be fighting in others ways to get big money out of politics. Hillary hasn’t talked about doing any of this, so how hard to you think she will fight for getting big money out of politics when she has made millions speaking to the big money groups?
- He wants to address Incoming and Wealth Inequality
Today the top .1% (1/10 of 1%) has almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. We have more wealth inequality than all other major developed counties, this started in the 80s and ties back to point #1. Bernie is the only candidate who want to break up the big banks, most of which are larger now than they were when we bailed them out, vs Hillary who has been funded by them for her entire political career. Wall Street and the billionaire class have rigged the rules to their benefit. Yes, Bernie is for raising taxes but mainly on those making more than $250,000/year and large corporations; both of whom hide their income and use tax shelters to pay a very small to NEGATIVE (they get rebates) percent of taxes. Hear Bernie talk about this topic here.
- His personal integrity
Bernie has been fighting for the rights of people since he was first elected in 1981 as the mayor of Burlington, VT, and into Congress in 1990. That entire time his views on our rights and his areas of focus have not changed. This includes fighting for equal rights for women, LBGT citizens, income inequality, universal healthcare, campaign finance reform, racial discrimination, mass surveillance, and more. Hillary on the other hand has changed her “views” many times over her career. She didn’t support gay marriage until 2013, she voted for the Patriot Act which allowed for legal violation of our right to privacy, she voted for and supported private prisons until Oct 2015, she was very soft on immigration reform until May 2015, and more. She was corrupted by big money a long time ago and will continue to support them. She has also stated she wanted to be President because it’s her time, but she has since changed her public message on this to almost parrot Bernie’s. She is also under investigations for setting up a personal email server and using it for State Department communications, including 22 classified emails, which is a federal offense and carries up to a ten year sentence. [2/8/2016 Article 1 | Hearing Date to be set 2/9] | Email is what I do for a living, I’ve been designing email systems for 20 years and I’ve worked with the DoD and other classified systems. If this was anyone else, they would have been fired from their job and up on charges already. I challenge anyone to find anything Bernie has been investigated for, beside protesting for our rights, or any shady dealings in his past.
- He wants universal health care or Medicare for all
We are the only “first world country” to not have healthcare for all. The Affordable Care Act/Obamacare was a good first step, but it was supported by private healthcare which should be a sign that it was still very pro-business. Currently the US spends $3 TRILLION a YEAR on health care, or about $9,000 per person, the highest of any country and we have a lower life expectancy then them. Under Bernie’s plan this would be reduced by $6 trillion over a ten-year period and save the typical middle class family about $5,000/year and business would save around $9,400/year per average employee! In addition, over 19 million still do not have health insurance today. We are one of the most prosperous counties in the world so we can all afford to help the sick! We are the 10th most prosperous country, behind almost all European counties who have universal healthcare. Maybe if we cut back a few percent on our military budget we could also fund universal healthcare that way.
- He is starting a major politic revolution
The current political system is mostly controlled by big business, they pay lobbyist to lobby for their client’s best interests, in many cases even write the laws that Congress then votes on, and mass media further supports pro big money politics. This ties back to point #1 of course, but when Bernie wins the Democratic nomination he will bring a MUCH higher percent of younger votes out to vote in November. If Hillary gets it, many of these same people will be further disenchanted by “establishment” politics and won’t show up to vote. The more people who show up to vote the better Democrats do historically, so Bernie will be a stronger candidate against the Republicans. In Iowa Bernie got 84% of the vote of those 17-29, Hillary got 14% of them. But the main reason this is important is that we have got to change Congress to vote for the interest of the 99% not the 1%. The only way to do this is to vote many of them out. With Bernie’s election this process will start with the large liberal voter turn-out, but it will take many years to change Congress and probably more than one President. So by Bernie getting elected he will show that Americas want real change and will be blazing a path for other progressive candidates to follow
There are many other reasons I support Bernie, but these are the key ones. I am showing my support by volunteering as a Data Captain for Colorado House District 11 and a Caucus Captain for HD11 precinct number 625 in Longmont. I am also helping to run our local Bernie supporters group and I have donated to his campaign many times. I am using my blog, social media, and wear a Bernie button everywhere to start conversations whenever I’m out and about.
Bernie is the only candidate who is 100% trustworthy, hadn’t flip-flopped on issues over and over, believes in the separation of church and state, and mostly importantly is truly fighting for the 99%.
You can get involved by going to http://map.berniesanders.com and finding a local meeting to get connected to local Bernie supporters. To see where Bernie stands on the issues goto: http://berniesanders.com/issues
A fellow Exchange MVP has also endorsed Bernie on his blog, read his post here: http://paulrobichaux.com/2016/01/30/why-i-donated-to-the-sanders-campaign
Now with all of that said, Hillary is still a FAR better choice than any of the currently leading Republican Candidates. If Bernie doesn’t get the nomination Democrats still need to win this election!
Fellow Geeks check out https://www.facebook.com/groups/geeksforbernie/, just found it a bit after posting this article.
Great site for checking where each Democratic candidate stands on issues: http://bernievshillary.org. Pick the issues that are important to you and it will then ask you were you stand on questions related to those issues. It will then show you where the candidates stand today AND in the past.
Or summarized in a single graphic:
2/8: Judge Sets Hearing Date in Hillary Clinton E-mail Case
2/8: FBI formally confirms its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server
2/8: Great site for checking where each Democratic candidate stands on issues.
Pick the issues that are important to you and it will then ask you were you stand on questions related to those issues. It will then show you where the candidates stand today AND in the past. http://bernievshillary.org
2/4: Added link about PACs being setup for Bernie, even though he is against him. Besides denouncing them he can’t really prevent them. But so far the ones that have been setup are by Unions not billionaires.
2/4: Adding link after the “six coin tosses” comment to an article by NRP that there was more than six, but it didn’t include too much details or proof about their being more than six. So in trying to keep this post has truthful as possible here is the link with more details.
2/4: Added reference to statement Hillary made last night in the Democratic Town Hall and the totals that the Washington Post came up with.
- “In all, donors from Wall Street and other financial-services firms have given $44.1 million to support Hillary Clinton’s campaigns and allied super PACs, compared with $39.7 million in backing that former president Bill Clinton received from the industry.”
- “Only about $75,000 of the $75 million Sanders has raised for his 2016 campaign has come from donors in the finance sector.”
- “With the $21.4 million that Wall Street has given for her current White House bid, Clinton is on track to quickly exceed the nearly $23 million that she raised in her three previous campaigns combined from the PACs and employees of banks, hedge funds, securities firms and insurance companies.”