Why Bernie Sanders is Not a Viable Candidate for President

“Join the Political Revolution.” That sounds pretty exciting, huh? The Bern has been, and is currently being felt by most college kids and by a lot of registered democrats too, apparently. Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire by 27 percentage points, and is behind Hillary Clinton by 9 points in Iowa. That’s pretty good for a guy with $60 million less to spend than Hillary. 

He is running with the excitement of the youth and taking advantage of the decreasing quality of American life. Running on the platform of being “different” and capable of making change happen, I respect Bernie and what he sets out to do.

However, I feel about Bernie the same way I feel about all liberals: they are all great people with solid moral grounding, but they are blinded by their idealism. What causes this idealism? Why do liberals and Bernie have this childlike blind optimism? I don’t know if they are just out of touch with reality or are just the greatest kind of naïve.

Bernie wants to do so much so fast that it gets everyone a little aroused. I just finished reading his entire platform, and yeah, I got swampy. I mean guys, if he gets elected, life would be so great, like for everyone! I can even still own a gun! What a legend.

Now here comes the inevitable reality check that can be avoided appropriately if one is to maintain their life in a commune or continue on a path in academia (because no matter where you are, college is just not real life). Perhaps you could maintain this blindness and operate in society if you decide to live your entire life in a city where everyone is just like you, like, I don’t know, Burlington, Vermont? I don’t mean in regards to race, gender identity, religion, and so on. I mean where everyone holds the same values and political perspective. When everyone who is around you is just like you, it’s possible to have a tainted perspective on reality. Ergo, the reason small college campuses and cities that have been and are liberal strongholds create a bubble of Eden. The population of said cities and campuses can then be shaken to rubble when a thumbtack of the actual state of the country pops the bubble in which we live (i.e. racism and poverty and radicalism).

How is that relevant to Bernie? I think he did a great job in Vermont, but by what means was he able to maintain the lowest unemployment in the union and enact same-sex marriage before anyone else? Well, it is the second whitest state in the union, and nearly 95 percent of his state identify as non-Hispanic, making it relatively homogenous. Having a democratic state senate that outnumbers republicans 2 to 1 makes it pretty easy to make change happen. Also, when your whole state supports you, knows you, and trusts you, there isn’t much getting in the way of creating the archetypal progressive state.

Frankly, as a voter, I think the lack of resistance that he has had to deal with is definitely a little unsettling. I digressed and will no longer dissuade you from voting for the Bern Man, but simply expose the cracks in our political system that will prohibit great progress.

On his site he lists all the radical changes that he will execute in order to make us a larger, greater version of Sweden. As much as I want to be like Sweden (trust me, I do), it’s just not possible. The unfortunate truth is that we have a system with such a foundation in checks and balances that it inhibits the presidency from making any radical changes. In Trump’s case we are thankful for these measures, but in the case of Sanders it’s kind of a shame that he wouldn’t be able to fulfill his promises.

National minimum wage will not reach $15, not just because it is impractical and will simply raise the poverty level (increased influx of cash raises all prices and then we are right back where we started), but because Congress will not let it pass. Investing almost a third of the federal budget into infrastructure is not only a short term resolution that would only put all of the country to work while he is in office (and then result in high unemployment the day he leaves office), but Congress will never approve of that proposed budget. Mandating three months of paid leave in addition to two months of paid vacation is not only unconstitutional and reduces us to European imitators, but it would simply not survive in the private sector that drives 86 percent of our GDP.

His social solutions include legalizing marijuana to decrease the prison population and stopping prisons for profit, mitigating climate change, and making Election Day a national holiday to increase participation; I think he’s a noble man with good ideas.

With a heavy heart I return to the fact that the system won’t allow it. The system won’t allow his noble social improvement, nor his rash economic change.

So, as we are young and lively, I encourage participation in the wasted effort that is The Bernie Sanders Political Revolution, just be aware of the outcome and do not be surprised. Perhaps consider the reality that will be Clinton versus Bush and prepare yourself for what will be one of the worst elections in history, but while we’re being hopeful: Vote Kasich!

Jared Bell

Jared Bell

Jared began writing for The Catalyst in the Fall of 2015 as a sophomore. He started writing in the Sports Section, and then made his way to the Op-Ed Section. He became the Editor of the Op-Ed Section in the Winter of 2016. He is from Cleveland, Ohio and loves all opinions, all the time.

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