Bernie Sanders recently announced his intention to run for the Democratic Party nomination, giving Americans another chance to see a Democratic-Socialist president.
Late February marked his decision to run, and almost immediately after ActBlue launched a campaign donation website to support the prospective nominee. Expensive healthcare with Affordable Care Act rates rising yearly, paired with astronomical student loans, have drawn a large number of young voters to Sanders. His Socialist policies promise to use government funds to grant free healthcare and higher education to all American citizens.
Before the 2016 presidential election, Sanders ran in the Democratic primaries and was not far off from Hillary Clinton’s level of support by the time he dropped out of the race. His supporters were mostly Caucasian men under the age of 40, a group more likely to embrace socialism than most other Americans. He ran a grassroots campaign of donations, protesting the campaign funding system and setting a precedent he will need to follow as he runs again to avoid criticism. Once it became clear Sanders would not win, he encouraged his supporters to vote for Clinton.
The appeal of free services that improve quality of life is plain to see, but the word “free” isn’t exactly accurate. Money for these services must come from somewhere, and the richest of Americans certainly aren’t keen on paying for it. Sanders’ tax plans focus on taking money from rich taxpayers to fund his free education and healthcare, though these plans don’t account for adaptation.
Foreign bank accounts, oversized tax breaks and hiding assets already keep the bourgeoisie’s pocketbooks plump to some extent, but this phenomenon could easily grow as Sanders’ legislation begs for more money. Conceptually, his policies are admirable. Unfortunately, the future of a country isn’t worth gambling on putting pipe dreams into practice.
The senator from Vermont has clung to his ideals fervently for decades, but his crushed hopes for the socialist actions of other nations seems to point to a different narrative than simple political passion- willful ignorance. He praised Cuba for their Socialist accomplishments, ignoring the problems and dissent that the Castro regime incurred without considering that socialism gives the government more power in a world where that power can be abused. He claimed once that the American dream was easier to achieve in Socialist South American countries such as Venezuela, which has since suffered corruption and human rights abuses.
Sanders has also praised countries such Denmark and Sweden for their policies, resulting in a public statement from Denmark’s prime minister claiming that the country is not Socialist, and doesn’t appreciate Sanders’ praise. The country’s government has been trying to wean its citizens off of government services, pushing them farther from socialism. Throughout his political career, Sanders has watched socialism rob people of rights and quality of life, but has stood up for socialism nonetheless.
If Sanders were to somehow possess the magic formula to transform our country into a socialist state without suffering the problems every socialist country has faced, he would still have the problem of representing a party he doesn’t entirely agree with. Sanders is technically an independent, and that does not sit well with all Democrats, nor do his Socialist views. While he may accrue massive support and funding like he did during his last run for the Democratic nomination, he could very well drop out and encourage his supporters to vote for party leadership’s preferred candidate. Sanders dropped out of the last nomination process and seemed to only funnel some extra votes toward Hillary Clinton, a wasted effort.
Unless Americans fall in love with socialism and demand Sanders far more than they did in the last election, his chances are slim. He likely would not only have to win the most public support out of the potential nominees, but have that support by a wide margin to convince the party that’s running him to allow him on the ballot for president. The most probable outcome of the 2020 election will be incumbent Donald Trump running against someone who is not a Democratic-Socialist.