Why I Am Not a Bernie Bro

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Democratic nominee for President Sen. Bernie Sanders and Jane Sanders are joined by Elena Letona, Executive of NPAC, to announce their endorsement of Sen. Sanders in Boston, MA on Monday, February 22, 2016. Photo: Christopher Dilts / Bernie 2016

 

I try to keep the things I write affirmative not negative. However, as we get closer to choosing a democratic rival to Donald Trump, I thought I might weigh in on my feelings about Bernie Sanders. Here are a few of the reasons why I do not support the candidacy of Mr. Sanders. 

I think he relies on bumper sticker slogans more than actual, detailed plans. I am sympathetic to those who are ready for major change. However, free college tuition, forgiving $1.6 trillion in student debt, and free healthcare for all, are all extremely complicated ideas that are going to require huge structural changes with great complexity. 

I think his approach is logically flawed. One of the reasons college debt is so high is because the cost of college has risen so much over the last 30 years, beyond inflation. How does giving everyone free tuition address the systemic problems that caused the increase costs of education? We all know there is nothing actually free, it is all taxpayer funded. Even if we tax the wealthy more, which I am in favor of, Mr. Sanders is not clear on how he will pay for these massive, expansive and expensive programs.  

In regards to health care, roughly 20% of United States workforce is employed in the healthcare field. You cannot just radically change that system without causing a serious displacement in employment, and disruption to the economy. 

I completely agree that healthcare and education need major overall reform, but it will require many more details and much more incremental planning.

All of his plans will require bipartisan cooperation. I’m certainly in favor of greater unity and cooperation. However, major changes like Mr. Sanders proposes will be met with fierce opposition. How can you compromise, and gain bipartisan cooperation, when your fundamental premise is that everything has to radically change?

He’s too old. I understand this is also a critique of Mr. Biden. I think there is great wisdom in choosing seasoned leaders. However, the demands of the President of the United States are so singular and intense, I worry about placing that large of a burden on someone of that age.

How electable is a democratic socialist? Don’t get me wrong, I’m super bugged by those who compare democratic socialism to Venezuela, the former Soviet Union, Cuba, or other communist/socialist countries. It shows their ignorance of modern political parties around the world. Democratic socialism is nothing like Venezuela, the Soviet Union, Cuba etc. Mr. Sanders is not proposing a government takeover of private property in the means of production. I do believe the electorate is smart enough to understand the distinction. But, I can imagine having to constantly push back on the attacks from conservatives that we’re moving towards some kind of scary communist regime. That prospect is daunting and will distract from talking about more important issues.

Would I vote for Bernie Sanders over Donald Trump? Of course I would. He just isn’t my first choice. I like the idea that his campaign has been funded by small contributions. He deserves credit for creating a movement that feels less candidate centric and more like a collective group. I just do not think he is the best suited for our time. Here is website:  You should check it out, and see what you think about him as a candidate for yourself.