Bernard, or Bernie, Sanders was born on September 8th, 1941, making him 77 years old today. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Sanders was raised by his Jewish parents who immigrated from Poland, but he describes himself as “not particularly religious.” While this may be a problem for him, considering the majority of America is Christian, he respects all religions and stays true to his beliefs.
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His parents were not the most financially stable and often struggled to make ends meet. That would make sense as to why income inequality is one of his main focusing points. Sanders even told the Guardian, “That was the major inspiration in my politics.” As you can tell by his pronouns, Bernie is, in fact, a male. The fact that he is a male is an obvious advantage in his presidential race. Sanders received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in political science in 1964. During his time in Chicago, he became active in the civil rights movement by joining the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and even went to the March on Washington. There are even photos from the 1960s of Sanders being arrested during a pro black protest. While some may say that his age is an issue, I think it makes him wiser, especially considering the fact that he first handedly saw America during these times of extreme inequality. After graduating from UofC, he lived in Israel for a while before coming back to the states and moving to Vermont. While still new to Vermont, Sanders worked a number of different jobs outside of the political realm.
In 1981, Bernie Sanders won the election for mayor’s office in Burlington, Vermont, the state’s biggest city, after multiple failed attempts at obtaining any public office. Sanders was reelected three more times and served as mayor of Burlington until 1989. At this point, Sanders had described himself as a “democratic socialist” and declared his political party to be Independent, even though he caucuses with the Democratic Party . In 1990, Sanders ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives hoping to represent the state of Vermont. Despite the odds against him running as Independent, Sanders served as a representative from 1991 to 2007. However, during the year 2006, he announced his campaign for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Once again, he beat the odds against his advantaged opponent, and won quite easily, considering many Vermonters love him. Sanders has served in the Senate continuously since 2007, and even ran for President of the United States in 2016, however, he lost to Hillary Clinton. Now, Bernie Sanders is back and is in the running for the 2020 presidential election once again. His experience in public office will surely help him because the majority of presidents in the past had served in one of the houses of Congress. Sanders is a very experienced and likeable politician who has been openly very progressive throughout his years in public office.
I think that the most important issues in the upcoming presidential race will be: immigration, climate change, health care as always, education, and income inequality. I think that climate change will be Bernie Sanders biggest advantage because our Earth is dying and he has a strong stance on climate change. However, I think that the other issues may actually put him at a disadvantage because he has very liberal stances on almost all of these issues. I think that the public would possibly have a problem with his stances because not too many people in our capitalist economy are keen to the ideas of free education and free healthcare, although I adore his stances on these issues. According to Sanders’ official website, Bernie “has held steadfast to the opinion that climate change rates are a global crisis and must be immediately and vigorously combated.” Bernie is also a very big advocate for renewable, clean energy sources. With the Earth’s temperatures rising more and more every year, I hope that his stance isn’t seen as “too liberal” for the American public because I think he is the most reliable candidate to actually make significant changes, which is something that the majority of young Americans really want to see happen. One of Sanders’ biggest points is income inequality. Bernie wants to create a lot more well-paying jobs and welfare programs to help the less fortunate, and in turn tax the extremely wealthy and multinational corporations a lot more. Bernie has stated that “the middle class of this country, over the last forty years, has been disappearing,” and he would like to help it grow. Sanders also would like to reform the systems that help maintain inequality like our justice system. Universal healthcare is something that Bernie Sanders stresses a lot because he believes all human deserve the same treatment regardless of money. As seen with the Obama administration, this might be a problem for him because many Americans do not support the idea of universal healthcare because it would mean higher taxes. Sanders is a supporter of immigration reform and has described America as a “nation of immigrants.” He wants to address the legal statuses of all undocumented immigrants in the United States, make the immigration process much easier and inviting, and also secure the border. I think that his stance on immigration won’t affect him too negatively because many Americans acknowledge that there is a problem with our system, and many Americans also want to secure the border. I’m not sure that the American public will agree with him so much on these issues, but he is a really good representation of what many Democrats want to see.
According to Real Clear Politics, Bernie Sanders has remained fairly consistent in the polls since the beginning of the semester. Since January, Sanders has been in second place in the polls behind Joe Biden. His percentages have altered between about 13% to 27%, but they remain in that range. He is comfortably above the other candidates who average around 9%. Going into May, Sanders is still in second place behind Joe Biden with about 19.6% in between them. I believe his biggest electoral challenges will be appealing to the more moderate Democrats and Republicans given that his stances are very far left.
From the last report from OpenSecrects, Bernie Sanders has raised 21.1 million dollars so far. About 15 million of that is from small, individual donations, each donating less than $200. Almost 3 million is from large, individual donations, and about 2.5 million dollars is labeled as “other.” Bernie Sanders is a grassroots lobbyist, so he does not take money from any Super PACs or large corporations and relies mostly on the general public for fundraising.. Looking at the last report, which excludes Joe Biden, Sanders has raised the most money out of all Democratic candidates, the second being John K Delaney.
I personally believe that my candidate has a very honest fundraising technique because he doesn’t accept money from Super PACs. However, more money means more power, so that may end up being one of his weaknesses. In the 2016 election, Sanders raised almost $230 million total compared to Clinton’s $770 million. So far, Sanders is nowhere near what he raised in 2016, but his very dedicated fan base is very likely to do it again.
If Bernie Sanders were to win the nomination, I think that a younger and also progressive person would be a good choice for Vice President due to the fact that Sanders will be 79 in the year 2020. Sanders has a fond relationship with Senator Tulsi Gabbard, who was very involved in his 2016 campaign. Gabbard would bring younger voices and diversity to the table and, therefore, would attract a broad range of voters. She is an Iraq War Veteran and has experience with international policy and relations. If Sanders were to not win the nomination, I think that he would be a good Vice President pick for Joe Biden because they have slightly contrasting views on a range of topics, but there’s not too many that it would become counteractive. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are for the most part on the same page about most issues.
For the 2020 presidential election, I think that Bernie Sanders has an okay chance at being nominated as the Democratic nominee. I think it is only an okay chance and not a great one because he is very far left, and the American people tend to like candidates more towards the middle. Now that Joe Biden is in the race, I think Sanders’ chance has gone down somewhat. However in the 2016 election, according to the New York Times, Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary by more than 22%, which is a really good sign historically. Although Sanders lost to Clinton in the Iowa caucus, Clinton only won by .3%, so it may as well have been a tie. Looking at these two states’ results, it is pretty promising that he may win these states in 2020. If Bernie Sanders is nominated, I don’t really think that he will be able to defeat Trump in the general election because many electors take money from the large corporations, PACs, and Super PACs that Sanders is against. At this point, I think that Joe Biden will win the Democratic nomination because he has already received so much support and money. I also think that he will be the nominee because while he is still on the left, he’s a lot more towards the middle than Sanders, and that is what will be needed to defeat Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
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