Bernie Sanders was on Bill Maher recently. While I agree with most every issue for which Bernie fights; the need for universal healthcare, a way to bring more jobs/income to the working class– I suppose I agree with free tuition for higher education, although I’d rather address primary school education first. All that said, I found myself thinking “I really hope he doesn’t run for president again.”
There are several reasons that I don’t think Bernie should run for President.
1. Bernie Sanders is an activist. A brilliant and compassionate activist. He is best served in that role. A president though, isn’t just an activist. Isn’t really an activist at all. At least, that’s not the kind of president we need right now. We need someone who will unite us. Someone who will heal us. Right now there are activists working for and against justice. People from every walk of life staking their claims, shouting their opinions. We are on fire with controversy. We need someone that can better control that fire. I don’t believe Bernie Sanders is that person.
2. There have been enough white male Presidents. It’s time to think about a different kind of person in the highest office. It’s why Trump won. Because “he is different” because he is “not a politician”. Maybe we need someone that is not a career politician. Maybe someone who was a farmer or a school teacher. Maybe someone younger. Maybe female. Maybe someone of Hispanic decent or someone who is black or gay. Gender and race don’t matter as much as character to me, though. Bernie has exceptional character, true, but he’s still considered an “insider.” Whoever runs, if they are already working in Washington, they need to be new to the scene. Maybe with less media coverage. Someone that can think outside the box, convince others in Washington to do so and convince the American people to do so.
3. The pendulum always swings. Donald Trump has pulled the pendulum pretty far to the right. Bernie Sanders is an equal and opposite reaction to the right swing. So maybe it’s inevitable. But swinging very far to the left in the next election won’t help mend our increasingly tribal country. It will exacerbate the division. It will accelerate the swinging pendulum. Swinging so far to the right has delegitimized our democracy. Swinging too far to the left will have the same effect. I do not see Bernie Sanders reconciling with republican colleagues. I do not see him mending fractured relationships in government. I see his presidency as another cause for republicans to dig their heels in and fight dirty against every single piece of legislation. We need someone less indoctrinated into the leftist tribe.
4. Honestly, he’s not dynamic enough. I don’t mean outspoken or opinionated or intelligent because he is certainly all those things. I mean, he’s not interesting enough. Not intriguing enough. The Trump administration has been nothing if not captivating. I’m not saying that’s been a good thing, but it’s certainly been effective. Trump uses sucker punches and negativity as his tactic for keeping things interesting. I’m not saying that democrats should do that. They go low, we go high, right? There are ways to be intriguing and not sacrifice ethics, rhetoric, truth or goodness. Being an asshole isn’t the only way to get attention, although it is probably the quickest. I just don’t see Bernie Sanders capturing the minds of the majority. We already know what to expect from him. We’re familiar with his brand. It’s not interesting and for that reason, I don’t think he can win.
5. There, I said it. I don’t think Bernie Sanders can win. That is the final reason I don’t want him to run. And in truth, if he did win, I don’t think he’d be able to accomplish much. Mid-terms would swing the house and senate back to red (I am assuming a “blue wave” this fall) and the whole system would stall out again, just as it did during Obama’s 2nd term. Then we’re back where we started with a large majority of Americans left behind and pissed because the government can’t accomplish anything for them.
I don’t know who the right person is to take up the democratic torch. I’m reluctant even to throw out ideas. My hope is that whoever it is, I’ve not heard of them or only heard a little about them. My hope is that all the people in Washington respect them. My hope is that they can put some broken parts of our democracy back together. That they can right some wrongs. Wrongs that have been afflicted on the American people by BOTH SIDES, not just republicans. Whoever runs on the democratic ticket, I hope they are admirable, respectable and ultimately, I hope that they can win.