This post originally appeared on RingofFireRadio.com.
The news just keeps getting better for Senator Bernie Sanders. Just a few weeks ago, the Vermont Senator was polling in the single digits nationwide, with Hillary Clinton enjoying what appeared to be a lead that no candidate could diminish.
Sanders told reporters last week that this is not a fluke, and the largest piece of evidence to support that claim is the support that he is getting at campaign rallies. Bernie is consistently pulling in crowds totaling close to 1,000 people or more wherever he goes, as more and more voters are drawn to his sincerity and anger towards the status quo of American politics.
It is that trait – that combination of anger and sincerity – that is attracting huge swaths of people to Bernie Sanders. The disillusioned Democratic Party base that in 2008 was promised things like “hope” and “change” is the driving force behind Sanders’ surge in the polls. Those people honestly believed that President Obama would deliver on those promises, and although he may have abandoned his principles, these voters haven’t, and that’s why they are flocking to Bernie Sanders.
Sanders is still not the front-runner for the Democrats, but the gains that he has made in national polls in just one month is remarkable.
Now let’s contrast his surge in momentum to the current Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton. Browse through some progressive media websites, and nearly every story you see that mentions Hillary will talk about her sudden shift to the left, or her corporate ties, or her reluctance to answer questions on things like the TPP or the Keystone XL pipeline. This isn’t meant to be an indictment of Hillary Clinton, but you are kidding yourself if you think for a second that she isn’t a corporate Democrat in the same vain as Barack Obama. Like Obama, she’s better than Republicans on social issues, but no different from the GOP when it comes to bowing down to corporate interests.
If you still need more proof, just look at their records. In Nomi Prins’ book “All The President’s Bankers,” there is a chapter that details the cozy relationship between the Clinton family and the banking industry. Larry Summers, Timothy Geithner, and a host of others were all a part of the Clinton-banking revolving door. After leaving the Senate and the State Department, both Hillary and Bill frequently appeared at bank-sponsored events where they would be paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to deliver a speech for about an hour. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and nearly every banking criminal syndicate that you can name have given money to the Clinton family.
When she was a Senator, Hillary’s record is almost worse than what we’ve seen in the last few years. She voted to loosen the rules on warrantless cell phone wiretapping of American citizens; She voted to extend tax cuts on capital gains and stock dividends – tax breaks that benefit a small percentage of Americans, most of whom don’t need another tax break; And in 2002, she voted in favor of invading Iraq, although she does admit now that this was a mistake. In 2014 she told us that the TPP was beneficial to Americans, even though she opposed both CAFTA and NAFTA. Just this week, she finally said that TPP probably isn’t the best thing for American workers.
I fully understand that people can and do change their views on issues as time progresses. New information comes out, new studies emerge, and personal feelings evolve based on personal experiences. But Hillary’s voting record and her positions before she was an elected official present a problem for her campaign.
And then there’s Bernie Sanders, the only candidate that I’ve seen in my lifetime that has the voting record and experience to back up everything that he says on the campaign trail. He was against the Iraq invasion, against the Patriot Act, against tax cuts for millionaires, he wants to repeal subsidies for big oil, he wants to make public college free for all Americans, he wants to protect consumers, he wants to close offshore tax haven loopholes – the list is endless with examples of areas where he has actually kept his promises, and that isn’t something that we should take lightly. How many times during any political discussion have you heard someone make a statement saying that all politicians are liars and that we can’t trust anyone? Don’t deny that you hear something to that effect on a near-constant basis.
So today we have a candidate that throws that trope out the window. He has a multi-decade record to back up what he says on the campaign trail which is an asset that no other candidate that is currently running for president has going for them.
Believe the hype – Bernie Sanders is the real deal.
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