Bernie Sanders, the Candidate of Aspirations, not Actions

Let me be upfront — whoever is the Democratic nominee in November will have my vote. Pennsylvania will certainly be critical in November, and I cannot in good conscience cast a vote that could possibly lead to a Trump or Cruz presidency. Some men, like Cruz, want to watch the world burn, while other men, like Trump, know a sucker was born every minute.

I Side With” placed me more in line with Bernie Sanders than with Hillary Clinton — I match with Sanders at something like 96% or 97% — and, on an issue-by-issue basis, I’d say that’s accurate. I have no problems with anything he stands for. I’m skeptical of his ability to achieve any of his ideas, and I have sometimes used the words “naive” and “unserious” to describe his candidacy, such as here. I feel he would be a failed president that would set back progressive ideals a generation thanks to the disillusionment of his supporters. Yet, if he clinches the Democratic nomination, he will have my vote.

That said, today’s Michael Tomasky column in The Daily Beast is about the fundamental difference between Clinton and Sanders — and it expresses why I favor Clinton (and before her, Martin O’Malley) over Sanders: “There are two kinds of political people in this world. First, there are those who see injustice and who hunger chiefly to see the malefactors punished. And second, there are those who hunger mainly to see the injustice corrected.” Clinton is the latter, Sanders is the former.

More: “Sanders doesn’t care much about solutions. His prescriptions for Flint, based on his public pronouncements on the matter, more or less amount to: The governor must resign, and then, well, something will happen. [SNIP] What Sanders does is that he stakes out moral positions that are laudable abstract goals. But I’ve been shocked sometimes by how little thought he seems to have given to how to get to these goals.”

As I was writing this post, I received a fundraising e-mail from Sanders with this paragraph:

“I want you to imagine a world eight years from now where nobody who works 40 hours a week lives in poverty, health care is a right for all Americans, kids of all backgrounds can go to college without crushing debt, there is no bank too big to fail, no banker too powerful to jail, and we’ve reclaimed our democracy from the billionaire class.”

I’d tell Sanders that I absolutely can imagine that world, but I need him to tell me how we’re going to get there. I don’t think he can. These are all, to use Tomasky’s words, “laudable abstract goals.” But Sanders says nothing about how he intends to achieve them. I don’t think he knows how.

Like John Lennon sang in “Revolution, “You say you got a real solution, well you know we’d all love to see the plan.” That’s why my head isn’t with Bernie Sanders. He wants to save the world, and I want to see the plan. His aspirational ideals appeal to my heart, but I need him to tell me how we’re going to get there, without the words “political revolution.” Otherwise, he’s just the guy carrying pictures of Chairman Mao.

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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