Portland For Bernie
We don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that Portland is a very liberal city. So to see a surge in Bernie Sanders yard signs, bumper stickers, and Bernie fans filling the Moda Center should also not be that surprising. Yeah, you’ve got Hillary, and soon to be Joe Biden, but a lot of Liberals feel that Bernie is bringing something a little more refreshing to the political table.
But Just Who Is Bernie Sanders?
His Wikipedia page says that he’s the longest-serving independent in Congressional history. It also mentions that he’s a self-avowed “democratic-socialist”.
A recent Wall Street Journal article on his recent popularity:
Life inside the Bernie bubble is a bit bewildering even for the 73-year-old Mr. Sanders. A self-described democratic socialist, he has long been on the fringes of mainstream politics, often observed eating alone in the Senate cafeteria while representing the nation’s second-smallest state by population.
According to his website, Bernie lives in Vermont with his wife Jane, born in Brooklyn, was a “Congress of Racial Equality” member in the 60s, won the Burlington, Vermont mayoral race as an Independent in 1981, voted against Bill Clinton’s “Defense of Marriage Act” in 1996, elected to the US Senate in 2006, worked with Ron Paul on an Audit the Fed measure in 2010, became ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee in 2013, and announced his Presidential run in May of 2015.
Is Bernie Sanders A Socialist?
Bernie has said that Eugene Debs, The 5 time Socialist Party of America candidate in the early 1900s, is his hero.
But as mentioned here in Politico, Bernie isn’t necessarily saying that he’s for what the traditional US view of “socialism” is:
“Socialism has a lot of different messages to different people. I think the issue of socialist ideology and what that meant or means is not terribly important. I think the positive of it is that it indicates to people that I am not a conventional politician. If they are not happy with the status quo, then that is a positive thing. The negative of it obviously is that there are people who equate it with totalitarianism and the Soviet Union.”
But not all are buying that. Many conservatives are saying he’s just trying to put a “pretty face” on the true outcome of even this “lighter” version of socialism that Bernie calls, “Democratic Socialism”. Cuba and Venezuela are examples frequently brought up as disastrous socialist economic systems. Many of his critics also say that his plan to tax the rich to pay for his plans is a classic example of traditional socialism.
It’s not just Republicans who are criticizing him though. True Socialists are beginning to speak up about the fact that Bernie is still running as a Democrat, and has stated that he would support whoever wins the Democratic nomination:
In contrast, Sanders is running as a Democrat; he has chosen to hitch his wagon to the overlords in the saddle. He has promised to support whoever wins the Democratic primary. In Congress, he votes with the Democrats 98 percent of the time, and he consistently supports their presidential candidates.
Bernie Sanders & The 90 Percent Tax On The Rich
Bernie has stated that he’s all for a 90% marginal tax rate on the rich in this country. But Bernie and others point out that this isn’t unheard of. It’s been done before. And he says that it’s important to realize that this is “marginal”. But as Policy.Mic points out, he hasn’t stated when the 90% marginal tax would kick in.
Still though, conservatives aren’t happy to hear this, and are questioning if Bernie is just too “fringe” to even be considered as a true Presidential candidate:
Think about that for a moment. Even the worst tax and spenders in the mainstream of the Democrat Party would never say that aloud, but Bernie Sanders at least can boast of the virtue of honesty.
But Can He Win Oregon?
Looking at the 2012 election results can give you a pretty good idea of how it works in Oregon. Most counties in Oregon are actually more conservative and tend to vote Republican. The kicker is that the few counties that are significantly more Liberal/Democrat contain the majority of the Oregon population, so Oregon hasn’t voted Republican for President since 1984. We think Bernie has a very good chance to win Oregon, but that doesn’t mean he’ll get the Democratic nomination. Even with Hilary Clinton having a lot of difficulty with her email investigation and losing her top place in polls, Bernie still has a long way to go to catch up to her in other parts of the country. With many Democrats not being “left enough” to back him, and socialists stating he himself isn’t “left enough”, he’s got his work cut out for him.
What’s your thoughts Oregon? Is he too “fringe” for the masses? Or is the country ready for someone like Bernie? Let us know in the comments below!
(Featured image source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/bernie-sanders-adapts-to-his-sudden-popularity-in-democratic-race-1440188472)