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?”