As the presidential election heats up and becomes more acrimonious, Bernie Sanders supporters seem more committed than ever to getting their so-called “revolutionary” candidate elected. Many online campaigns have sprung up similar to the #feelthebern trending topic, and they specifically call for Bernie Sanders to be written into the November election ballot as a third-party candidate. Sanders’ supporters claim that their candidate — unlike the Democratic candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the Republican candidate, Donald Trump — is a revolutionary candidate who will make good on his campaign promises, who cannot be bought by special interest groups, and who will be the very “change” that Barack Obama promised nearly eight years ago. But are their claims of Bernie Sanders being a revolutionary actually true?
One of the first things to point out about Bernie Sanders is that, despite his sneering to the New York Times, is indeed a career politician — just like Hillary Clinton. He has been involved in politics, at various levels, for more than 30 years, and no matter how grumpy his demeanor is — or how many strawman arguments he makes opposing that statement — it doesn’t take away from the facts of the matter. He began his political career in 1981, as the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, where he served until 1989. In 1991, he was elected to the House of Representatives, where he remained until 2006, when he was elected to the Senate. In fact, he is currently serving in the Senate, making this year the 34th year that he’s been in some form of public office and living off of taxpayer dollars. To put this in perspective, 34 years ago, Ronald Reagan was President — and this is when Bernie Sanders began his political career.
Bernie Sanders supporters who are willing to admit that their false Messiah is a career politician claim that it’s not his status as a career politician that matters, but rather, his voting record. Furthermore, his supporters claim that his voting record demonstrates that he’s a true revolutionary, because he’s always willing to buck the tide of popular opinion. Mother Jones, however, did extensive research into Sanders’ voting record during his time as a career politician, and they’ve found that Bernie’s supporters claims are simply not true.
You can be a moderate. You can be a progressive. But you cannot be a moderate and a progressive.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 3, 2016
Mother Jones discovered that many of the measures Clinton voted in favor of during her time in the Senate — on matters such as immigration, crime, and foreign policy (specifically, Guantanamo Bay) — got the same vote from the “progressive” Bernie Sanders. So, when Clinton was a colleague — and not an opponent — he thought the same way she did, voted the same way she did, and fought for the same policies that she did — but now that he seeks the highest office in the land, he takes to throwing shade at Clinton on Twitter (much like a high school girl), rather than engaging in rigorous and intelligent debate, the way a true revolutionary would. Donald Trump may be a bloviating, pompous idiot on Twitter, but that’s his whole platform — in fact, he revels in being the court jester on the world’s stage. What’s Bernie Sanders’ excuse?
Finally, but certainly no less importantly, writing Bernie Sanders’ name in as a third-party candidate isn’t going to effect the change his supporters claim that they want. The Huffington Post did an amazing job with explaining why this is so, and simply put: your vote for a third-party candidate is going to have the opposite effect on the overall scheme of things.
“If this Republican National Convention has taught me anything, it is that I’d forever regret not doing everything in my power to prevent the party of Abraham Lincoln from being smothered into oblivion by a Donald Trump presidency,” writes Paul Richardson.
So, Bernie Sanders supporters: please don’t fool yourselves into thinking that you are like the counterculture of the 1960s, trying to change the world with a revolutionary way of thinking. Rather, Bernie Sanders’ supporters are just supporting the same oligarchy that they claim to oppose — and they’re even more dangerous than anyone else, because if they succeed in what they plan to do, Donald Trump will win the presidency.
[Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images]