While the entire country wonders about Donald and women or Hilary and e-mails, flying under the radar is a candidate both Republicans and Democrats should be wary of, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. The last time this country got this excited about a Sanders, people were learning what Finger Lickin Good meant.
Over the past 3 days in Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles Sanders has drawn over 70,000 people, including over 27,000 in Los Angeles alone. Why is that number a big deal? Well to date, the largest crowd Hilary Clinton has had at a rally is just over 5,000 and that’s according to her camp, which may be a little bias.
Of course, Howard Dean had those kinds of frenzied crowds in 2003 too, only to collapse with his screaming faux pas in Iowa. So let’s not pronounce Sanders the man yet, but he is off to one hell of a good start.
It’s not just Joe Lunch-pail following him too, as comedian Sarah Silverman introduced Sanders to the throngs of fans in Los Angeles. I am sure it didn’t hurt that she tweeted about the event beforehand to her over six million followers. But still, Silverman is a firm believer in Sanders and has been for quite some time saying “Bernie always seems to be on the right side of history. He was a civil rights activist in the 1960s, supported gay rights in the 1980s and strongly opposed the Iraq war before most other Americans.”
So what is it about Sanders that resonates so well with the people? How is he drawing so many and apparently garnering more and more support as each day goes on? Remember this is a man whose campaign spent little to no money to get the word out about these rallies. Instead Sanders team has expertly used Facebook and other social media to let everyone know Bernie is coming to town.
But it is where he stands on certain key issues that have the people excited about him. According to his website, berniesanders.com, this is his key selling point:
“The American people must make a fundamental decision. Do we continue the 40-year decline of our middle class and the growing gap between the very rich and everyone else, or do we fight for a progressive economic agenda that creates jobs, raises wages, protects the environment and provides health care for all?
Are we prepared to take on the enormous economic and political power of the billionaire class, or do we continue to slide into economic and political oligarchy? These are the most important questions of our time, and how we answer them will determine the future of our country.”
His ideals of free college tuition for all Americans, stopping all institutional racial violence at any cost, breaking up some of the Fat Cats on Wall Street and making sure the USA leads the world in tackling climate change have gotten a major ground swell of support of late. So much so that right now he is gaining on Clinton at an unprecedented rate.
According to the latest Gallup Polls, Sanders favorability rating has more than doubled, while Clinton’s has dropped by 9%. According to Gallup website writer Lydia Saad, “Sanders’ increased favorability reflects the broader increase in the public’s familiarity with him. The only reason Sanders still trails Clinton is because he is still an unknown to a majority of Americans, with just 44% able to rate him compared with Clinton’s 89%.”
It really shows that the American public at large is sick of “politics as usual” and they see Clinton as just “another politician” while Sanders has a fresh, exciting and genuine platform that people can get behind.
People are tired of the US losing our servicemen and women overseas fighting in wars whose only real winner is Big Oil and weapons manufacturers. People are sick of losing over half of their tax dollars to take care of foreign interests, while those of us here at home are suffering so much. To be quite honest, people are tired of the Clintons, and Bushes and other political dynasties carrying on with business as usual, and nothing ever seem to be changing for the better for the average American.
People want the government out of their bedrooms, out of their bodies and out of their choices. They want to know they have health care if they need it. Most importantly, they want to know that this country is no longer going to be sold to the highest bidder.
I know the conservatives think Sanders is a socialist nut, and will even go as far as Nazi Germany to point out what happens to a socialist government, but that is just a sign they are running scared and using whatever scare tactics they can to stop the support for Sanders.
For over the past 25 years, the people of Vermont have been sending Sanders to Washington DC and he has started to win some supporters on both sides of the political aisle. As his popularity grows, the chance of him putting a real scare into BOTH parties becomes more and more real. Maybe that’s what it will take to have the people of this country feeling like it is still the best place on earth to live.