[ UPDATE (Jan 2016): To be very clear, if I am able to vote for Bernie, I absolutely will. And I’ve given $100 to his campaign so far. He inspires me greatly and I’ll probably do my best to help him get elected. But that unfortunately doesn’t change my opinion of how his presidency would be, i.e., impotent. I think he will likely get shut down by everyone. Disabled. Neutered. But I’ll still vote for him because 1) he is great on domestic policy, and 2) we have to try. ]
The volume is increasing on the idea that Bernie Sanders might be our next president. Well, he can’t. Or, at least from my perspective, he shouldn’t.
Great man, great ideas, great president?
Bernie Sanders has brilliant ideas. I am 1000% behind him on all of his populist messaging. Single-payer healthcare. Fixing the income and wealth gap. Free education. It’s all great stuff.
But that doesn’t make a great president. Not in this horrific world we live in. As I think we’ve learned from Jimmy Carter and Barrack Obama, we need someone with more than good ideas. We need someone who can operate among sharks, and still survive.
I’m no expert on Bernie Sanders, but he doesn’t appear to be that person. He looks to me to be a one-issue candidate. That one issue is broad, and unbelievably important, but it’s still just one issue: improving conditions for regular Americans.
Like I said, it’s phenomenal. I love the guy.
But let me ask you a few things:
- How does Bernie Sanders handle Boehner and the Tea Party types who will sabotage his every move?
- How does he handle North Korea?
Let me help you out: He’ll get steamrolled. Dominated. Manhandled. Destroyed.
The thing about Philosopher Kings is that they can only be effective if they’re in a world full of philosophers. And that’s not the world we live in.
So what are we left with? Clinton.
How bad is that? I don’t know, and neither do you. I can only pray that she does actually care about something, and that those things are good.
My admittedly biased viewpoint is that she is still good somewhere, under all the cloaking shields and armor. I believe that she’s older, that she’s hunting a legacy, and that she’ll try her best to do some good things.
In fact, I think her play in the primaries will be to say:
Bernie has great ideas. I share them. The difference is that I can actually get them done, where he has no chance. The other difference is that I can deal with the evil in this world. I can deal with Iran, North Korea, Putin, and the Republicans.
And it’s a damn good argument. Damn good.
Bernie Sanders, and all his great ideas, are no good to us in a cage on a shelf. And that’s exactly where the world will put him.
They won’t be able to do that to Clinton. She’s a fucking force. Maybe she’s an evil force. Shit, I don’t know. I hope she’s good, and that she’s been waiting to show it, but either way she’s damn sure better than Ted Cruz or some other clown.
So, yes to Bernie. He’s brilliant. Bernie all the way.
But he can’t be president. We have to know this. Make him the head of our internal populist agenda. Make sure his ideas are heard and implemented.
But let’s not walk him into a woodchipper and watch while it does its work. It’d be a waste of a great man, and of a great opportunity.
- If you can help me attack my argument that he wouldn’t be good at fighting these other types of problems, please let me know. I’d be happy to learn that I’m wrong about him being a one-issue candidate, and I’d love to vote for him (and still may even if he can’t win). But I also don’t want to open the door to someone like Ted Cruz.