People have asked me recently who I would want to be the Democratic candidate for U.S. President. When I discussed the question with a good friend of mine with whom I often agree on political matters, I said, “Bernie Sanders is for most of the things I’m for.”
“He’ll never win,” my friend answered.
“That’s not a reason not to vote for him,” I shot back.
She agreed that it wasn’t.
My friend’s initial response is the same as the mainstream American media’s since the race for the nomination began. “He’ll never win,” as though that settles any question. It has been the media’s way to dismiss Sanders’s candidacy and absolve itself from having to consider his ideas on the important issues that confront America— election reform to curtail the role of money in election campaigns, single payer health insurance, free state education for all college students. Down the list, Sanders is the only candidate, Mrs. Clinton included, who has good ideas on these important issues. His position on election reform alone would be enough to get my vote. The gross inequality of American life cannot and will not end unless the way America elects its leaders is changed, and Sanders is the only candidate in either party who wants to change it. It is a matter of removing the influence of money from American political life. Sanders wants to do that, and that’s why I’m for him.
Can he win? Well, we’ll see. Now that his poll numbers are rising and are closing the gap between him and Mrs. Clinton, the media do not ask that question but take a different line. Now they ask, “Is Sanders ruthless enough to be president?”
Oh, please. Is that a new way of disqualifying him? To that, the inevitable answer must be, “Why go through these mental contortions? Why not just elect the candidate you believe in? My choice is Bernie Sanders.”