On April 29, via an Associated Press interview, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has announced he is in the running for the U.S Presidency. With all the hype surrounding the 2016 election you would swear it’s tomorrow. Already we have seen right-wing politicians go after Hillary Clinton on a variety of issues, from her stances on social inequality to where her funding comes from. Cruz, Rubio, and Bush seem to beat around the same conservative bush, bounding along the Republican campaign trail we all know too well. All the prospective candidates seem to play the age-old multi-million dollar popularity contest we’ve seen in previous elections. Of all the presidential hopefuls, Ted Cruz is quite a fright. Cruz is a bombastic and radical republican that is nothing less than the distilled detritus of what is wrong with right-wing American politics. His filibuster was a contributing cause of the government shutdown of 2013. Of course let’s not forget probably love to do away with NASA and abolish the IRS. His backing by billionaire hedge fund owner Robert Mercer makes him even more attractive to the average American, right?
We’ll leave the others alone for now. Enter a man quite opposite to our friend Cruz, Bernie Sanders. He is the longest serving independent Senator. He has shown to hold his views close, and not be swayed by the cutthroat game of Republican versus Democrat. In fact, the only reason he has declared to run as a Democrat is for the reason that it’s the only way to appear in the televised debates. Yet another reason to love our two party system. The man himself says America needs a “Political Revolution.” He has also raised 1.5 million dollars in the 24 hours after his announcement, more than Bush, Rubio, or Cruz in the same amount of time. He offers himself as a champion of the average American, stating, “I think I’m the only candidate who’s prepared to take on the billionaire class.” Indeed in his consistent running of grassroots campaigns, he offers a view of a campaign not bought by hedge fund owners and gargantuan corporations. Sanders is an excellent representation of the views of many Americans, who feel they’ve been cheated out of democracy and beyond. Others have their views. And of course many others are simply swayed by the rhetoric and backing media institutions of the other candidates.
His introduction of the Corporate Tax Dodging Prevention Act of 2015 strikes quite a different note than that of his conservative counterparts. The bill’s goal was to prevent Corporations from weaseling their way out of paying all their taxes. But we can’t hurt those big corporations right? Remember trickle down economics? But here in America the bottom 60% of folks own only 2.3% of the wealth, while the top 1% owns 35% of the wealth. This is a stark reminder of wealth distribution in America. Once again quoting Sanders “It’s not only morality and fairness, it is about politics.” “The big corporations that are enjoying record-breaking profits – the wealthiest people – are doing phenomenally well. They’re not sitting on their money. They’re putting huge amounts of money into the political process so they get even more tax breaks, and more ability to outsource jobs, more ability to put their money in tax havens in the Cayman Islands.” If anything Sanders offers an alternative to Hillary Clinton. Sanders is strongly against the Trans Pacific Partnership, whereas Clinton is all for it. In a statement regarding the trade agreement Sanders said, “The TPP is a treaty that has been written behind closed doors by the corporate world. Incredibly, while Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry and major media companies have full knowledge as to what is in this treaty, the American people and members of Congress do not. They have been locked out of the process. It is part of a global race to the bottom to boost the profits of large corporations and Wall Street by outsourcing jobs; undercutting worker rights; dismantling labor, environmental, health, food safety and financial laws; and allowing corporations to challenge our laws in international tribunals rather than our own court system.” According to Sanders it’s going to help those big corporations in such a dire need of money, who’s CEO’s can’t make their mortgage payments on their 10 homes. Or perhaps it’s designed to help the middle class and the poor, oh yes that’s it.
No doubt both Cruz and Sanders aim to appeal to the populares. They wish to represent the average American, as it would make sense to do so. However who is a better representation of most Americans? Cruz wants to stop what he calls “crony capitalism.” Giving favors and breaks to Wall Street. Do you prefer Ted Cruz who loves to talk up a storm, or Bernie Sanders who introduced a bill to do something about this “crony capitalism”? The vote is up to you.
This article was written by Carson Bolter, a writer for dusk magazine.