Bernie-A Luxury We Cannot Afford

I’ve been mulling this for a long time, and I share it with all due respect to the Bernie supporters out there. People who are principled and whose values I, in very large part, share.

I like what Bernie says and in many, even most ways I agree with his take on what’s wrong in this country. I love the idea of free college education and of universal healthcare. But I do question how he could possibly do what he is proposing. And I still don’t get his stuff on gun control. For someone so outspoken on so many fronts, why not be outspoken about that? (I feel like he is hiding something behind his ‘constituency’ — but I digress …)

My main issue with Bernie is summed up in the title to this post. He’s a luxury. Voting my radical/liberal/feminist conscience and values is a luxury. When the country is so fractured and the likes of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are suddenly making George W. Bush look like a wise and measured statesman, it’s a luxury to risk even the tiniest possibility of their being elected.

Ralph Nader represented the same kind of luxury back 16 years ago. Yes, he offered clear, pure ideas and an alternative to the political system as we know it. AND he was a luxury that gave us the ‘gift’ of Dubya and by extension 9/11, the Iraq War, and all the divisive turmoil that has followed.

What if Al Gore had been elected in 2000? Would fewer people all across the globe have died? Of course we can’t know – but it’s hard to imagine that things could have been worse had Gore won. And I suspect they would have been better.

And I just really, really, really don’t want us to be looking back in 2020 or 2024 and saying, “What if Hillary had been elected in 2016?”

This entry was posted in Civic Life. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Bernie-A Luxury We Cannot Afford

  1. Pingback: So, He’s In, Again | JordanCornblog

  2. alicat5 says:

    I really appreciate the vantage point you offer, Jordy. Many people seem to like to vote for those they identify with. Bernie Sanders is a candidate whom it’s easy to identify with, as I respect his values. But since when does a president have to embody our idealized self-images? Might rushing to champion him constitute the flip side of angry, alienated voters with conservative views rushing to champion Trump, who is so clearly unfit to hold office, simply because they share similar passions? Consumerism, narcissism and focus on voter sentiments rather than practical skills can be distorting lenses. That kind of emotional astigmatism is a self-serving luxury none of us can truly afford. (I speak from painful experience! 🙂 )

    Like you, I feel Hillary can do a workmanlike job at being president. That trumps Trump any day.


    • Thanks for this … I love how you frame it, and agree … and am especially struck by the mirroring of the Trump phenomenon. It just gets weirder and weirder, doesn’t it?


      • alicat5 says:

        Thanks, Jordy. It certainly does get weirder and weirder! Seth Abramson has an article in HuffPost saying that if Bernie wins in NH and continues to challenge Hillary, it will help Hillary develop her skills and be a stronger candidate to oppose Trump. Also, having contenders makes news, which would counter Trump’s ongoing monopolization of press coverage. Those seem viable points to me. At least Bernie isn’t a 3rd party candidate like Nader who’d split the vote – at least not yet! Another year of knuckle-biting…

        Another weird phenomenon… the amount of shouting down and shaming of people who support Hillary, very similar to what’s happening in conservative circles to those who support more moderate candidates. Different side, same mentality. NY Times got a bunch of hate mail for endorsing Hillary Clinton, and very few votes of approval. People like passion, haters gonna hate, and maybe we’re all slouching towards Bethlehem!


  3. Deb Sharp says:

    Jordy, thank you for your thoughtful post. I, too, love Bernie’s ideas and would love to see them bloom. But, I am not sure how he can make it happen. That is a negative way to look at things I know.
    He IS a luxury that we cannot afford. I worry that he does not have the clout to win. I shudder to think what would happen if Cruz, Trump, or Rubio ever get power.


    • I was talking to someone at work yesterday whose husband is a Political Scientist and had commented that @ 20% of Americans identify as Liberal Democrats. That would be Bernie’s constituency in a general election. Not enough to win and, even if he were to win, how would that give him a base to be able to govern effectively?

      It’s not sexy to be practical and measured … and that’s how I see Hillary. Maybe a little too measured sometimes – but I see her as truly being capable of shepherding the kinds of incremental changes that might actually move us toward the kinds of tings Bernie articulates.


  4. I share your fears, but it’s hard for me to not vote for his message. We so badly need exactly the change his vision and passion are so clear about.


    • I hear you … and can certainly understand the pull. But then there’s the whole question of what’s possible on the change front. Supporting his message sends a message – but I can’t see him being able to implement his vision.


So, what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.