A progressive take on the Democratic Primary

Over the last few months, the seemingly interminable index of Democratic candidates has been slowly but surely dwindling, allowing their restless electorate to focus on the most relevant and popular voices directing the party. Hopefuls with marginal support like John Hickenlooper, have stepped aside, making way for big names like Warren, Buttigieg, Sanders, Harris, and Biden. Overall, the tone of this election is progressive, largely thanks to Bernie’s 2016 presidential run which brought fringe positions like Medicare For All into the mainstream. 

In some polls 70% of Americans support the implementation of H.R 676, with even a majority of Republicans, 52%, rallying behind the long overdue healthcare bill. We must remember that our current president ran on achieving universal healthcare coverage, ending the wars and outsourcing, draining the establishment swamp, and maintaining social security, a policy that most of his white, working-class base relies on. 

I agree with President Trump on these issues and I wish he would have remained faithful to his innumerable campaign promises. In the first two years of his presidency, Trump has performed a classic bait and switch, attempting to pull the wool over America’s eyes. 

Since Trump took office, over 4 million Americans, mostly Republicans, have lost their healthcare, at least 90,000 jobs have been outsourced (at a higher rate than in previous years), his 2020 budget cuts Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security by 2 trillion dollars over a decade, he has continued Obama’s drone war with a disastrous first mission that resulted in the death of an 8 year old American citizen, and has filled his cabinet with establishment incarnate. 

Despite what he wants you to believe, Trump is overwhelmingly unpopular. He actually lost the popular vote by the largest margin in U.S history and has been polling consistently under 50%. So I guess that means this upcoming election will be a walk in the park for the dems, right? It depends.

If the nominee is Joe Biden, who once again epitomized himself as a stammering anachronism in the third democratic debate, Donald Trump will have a real shot. I am always skeptical when one questions the mental fitness of a candidate, however his awkward, cringe-worthy campaign has put his memory into question. Anyone who invokes using record players at night so kids can hear more words as a response to a debate question on the legacy of slavery needs to reevaluate their decision to run for president in the 21st century. If only he took Obama seriously when he told him “you don’t have to do this, Joe.” His establishment tendencies, Iraq war vote, failure to support Medicare For All, and questionable history regarding race relations further disqualify him in his third presidential bid. 

Elizabeth Warren, founder of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has established herself as a viable progressive option. When not being called ‘Pocahontas’ by our President, she has been fighting hard for free college (supported by 79% of Democrats and 41% of Republicans), ending student loan debt, which is now higher than credit cards and auto loans and second only to mortgages, standing up to the big banks, legalizing marijuana, protecting women’s reproductive rights, and passing a Medicare For All bill. While I remain unconvinced over her eagerness to end the wars and, despite identifying as a progressive, her decision to not endorse the father of the progressive movement, Bernie Sanders, in 2016, I would vote for her with a smile. 

That brings us to the most popular politician in America, Bernie Sanders. Having successfully shifted the Overton window to the left within the past four years, he is the reason we may be catching up to the rest of the industrialized world. To call him an ideologue, an unserious politician, or a useless legislator is about as laughable as the libertarian movement in America. Every significant step forward in American history, be it abolishing slavery, or passing the 1963 Civil Rights Act, was the result of a hard fought battle of ideologies. Even the right’s beloved Ronald Reagan fought for an ideology, but his ended up crashing the economy in 1987 and started the racist war on drugs. 

Senator Sanders has been ahead of his time for his whole career, now America is finally catching up to him. Most of us were born between 1998 and 2001. For almost our entire lives we have been fighting two useless wars, bombing half a dozen countries, and aiding Saudi Arabia in the massacre of innocent Yemenis while our infrastructure and social fabric have been decaying. Bernie Sanders is the only candidate who voted against the Iraq war and has been consistent on nearly every issue throughout his career at the executive and legislative level.

Some may call him a broken record, but I sure do like the tune.

Steven JacobsComment