Who Is Bernie Sanders?


Alice Hanson, Reporter

This article is a part of an on-going series on the 2016 presidential election and a larger series about politics as well. If any student would like to write an article about another candidate, please email article to: kthibeau@ waterfordschools.org

2016 is the closing of Barack Obama’s time as president, and that means it is time for someone new to take over the highly prestigious job of being President of the United States. One of the democratic contenders is an American politician and junior United States senator from Vermont, Bernard “Bernie” Sanders.

Sanders, according to his website, “is serving his second term in the U.S. Senate after winning re-election in 2012 with 71 percent of the vote.” He also previously served as mayor of Burlington,Vermont eight years before becoming “the sole congressperson for [Vermont] in the U.S. House of Representatives.”

Everyone was predicting what would happen if Bernie Sanders won the Iowa Caucus. News website FiveThirtyEight  hypothesized, “suppose Sanders does win Iowa. The next step is relatively easy: He’ll probably also win New Hampshire, where the demographics are even better for him, he has a geographic advantage as a Vermont senator.”

He did not win because the results were so close that the winner was decided by the of a flip of a coin. The Iowa Caucus results were Hillary Clinton with 49.9% of the votes with 23 delegates and Bernie Sanders with 49.6% of the votes with 21 delegates.

According to Associated Press,  the New Hampshire win was huge for Sanders. He won 15 delegates out of 24 and 60.4% of the votes over Hillary Clinton (AP). CNN comments that, “In doing so, he became the first Jewish candidate and first self-described “democratic socialist” to win a major-party presidential nominating contest.”

So back to the original question, “Who is Bernie Sanders?”. According to CNN political analysts, Sanders is an “ “unexpected ascent” who was “the least likely challenger [as he] seemed to be an aging socialist activist from Vermont.” Now, CNN political analysts say that Bernie Sanders is “a cult figure among liberals to the standard-bearer of the left wing of the Democratic Party.”

Sanders plans to reduce income tax and wealth inequality by, according to his website, “Demanding that the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share in taxes.”

He continues stating that as president, he will stop corporations from shifting their profits and jobs overseas to avoid paying U.S. income taxes. He will create a progressive estate tax on the top 0.3 percent of Americans who inherit more than $3.5 million. He will also enact a tax on Wall Street speculators who caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs, homes, and life savings.

Another stance of Sanders is to fight for women’s rights. Sanders states on his website, “We are not going back to the days when women had to risk their lives to end an unwanted pregnancy. The decision about abortion must remain a decision for the woman and her doctor to make, not the government.”

Aside from those issues, he also has an opinion on fighting for disability rights whether it be for veterans, people born with it, or even some who got into a terrible accident. His official website quotes him saying, “The Americans with Disabilities Act established a clear national mandate that we as a nation have a moral responsibility to ensure that all Americans have access to the programs and the support needed to contribute to society, live with dignity, and achieve a high quality of life.”

If you are interested in learning more about Bernie Sanders, visit his website at https://berniesanders.com/?nosplash=true/  

Remember to “Feel the Bern!”

NOTE: On Feb. 20, Clinton won the Nevada caucus with 52.6% to Sanders’ 47.3%. The next Democratic caucus is Feb, 27 in South Carolina, and Super Tuesday is March 1 where Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia, and the American Samoa territory will hold their Democratic caucuses.