Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Talking about Bernie Sanders

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie added his name to the long list of contenders for the Republican Party nomination for the 2016 US Presidential Election today, adding more confusion to a party that is spoiled for choice at this stage. With this mad deluge in the Republican Party, it might be forgivable for someone to forget that there is actually an entire party other than the Republicans - the Democrats! Indeed, as compared to the energy in the Republican camp, one might think the Democrats do not even intend to seriously fight this election.

Or, more likely, they're all running scared of the Clinton machine. For all her talk of leaving the White House in poverty after her husband and former President Bill Clinton finished his last term, Hillary Clinton has nothing short of a war chest, both in monetary terms as well as in terms of political influence. She enjoys a massive approval rating among Democratic voters, despite her sordid term as Secretary of State and has clearly amassed a fortune in speaking tours, where she is known to charge about a quarter of a million dollars for each session! In front of such a well-oiled political machine, it is hard to imagine anyone standing a chance. But then, that was the case in 2008 when Barack Obama eventually defeated her for the nomination and went on to win the White House. So despite her power, she is beatable.

And that's what Bernie Sanders hopes. Formerly an Independent Senator from Vermont, he is now the only one challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic ticket. He is a unique political creature in that he is honest and direct (extremely rare in a politician). Instead of falling for the usual conservative booby traps - socialism! - he simply brushes them off and speaks some plain truth. While this could endear him to voters, it is dangerous because all he needs is one shortcoming and the opposition can destroy him. The very reasons politicians have to be like they are is to preserve themselves from the inevitable failures and shortcomings that they have.

I'm very sure Sanders will lose to Clinton. He is no Obama, and Clinton is now much wiser (i.e., experienced in lying). But despite disagreeing with him, I will feel sad - he is a rare creature indeed. 

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