As it begins to look more and more like “the Bern” might have a chance to score big in at least a couple of states following his win in New Hampshire, just what would a Sanders presidency really entail? Is it a scary prospect? While some liberals now threaten to head for parts (and ports) unknown in the event of a Trump presidency, would conservatives abandon the US of A under Bernie’s “make it all free” policy?
It has been said . . .
Actually, it has been reported — more or less. A satire news site reported that Bill O’Reilly “says he’ll leave U.S. if Sanders wins.” Admittedly, it was not based on fact. And the story goes on to “report” that poll numbers for Sanders soared after the announcement. It’s worth a read, if only for its comic value. But could the sentiment be true?
It has not been since the Vietnam War that large numbers of Americans have threatened seriously to abandon this country if . . .
It is true that, because of philosophy or a sense of adventure, Americans leave to live elsewhere. That’s one of the benefits of being a citizen of a free country. But today? Or on November 9? Or simply because someone becomes a candidate for president? Or because a certain individual actually becomes POTUS?
As the days tick down, and the Sanders candidacy looks more and more viable, especially among young idealists, it becomes increasingly obvious that this election cycle is like no other. Ever.
Sorting it all out is not easy. As Mark Levin said on his radio show, “There are a lot of phonies out there.” Indeed. But Bernie Sanders is, by all indications, not a phony. He honestly believes what he preaches.
The Power of the President
What changes could President Sanders make during a first term?
- Raise the minimum wage?
- Appoint left-leaning Supreme Court Justices — perhaps 2? Or 3?
- Push through punitive measures against corporate job outsourcing and institute limits on foreign investment?
- Change the tax code?
- Address climate issues in a dramatic way?
- Make all higher education free?
- Reform campaign finance laws?
- Institute more federal regulations regarding health care, drug treatment, marijuana legalization, etc.?Certainly, informed voters agree that the Sanders agenda would include the above list, and many more “adjustments” aimed at equalizing wealth.
But, without a sympathetic and supportive congress, does anyone think any of the above could actually happen? Or, would the country simply face another four years of do-nothing gridlock?
Can it be that this 74-year-old man, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, can win the office and change the future of the nation? Would it be that a Sanders presidency would initiate a mass exodus from American shores?
Even liberals and progressives admit that a Sanders presidency is not likely to bring about the kind of European socialist political climate that Bernie Sanders favors; nor are changes likely to be immediate or sweeping. Commenters to a post by Blane Beckwith on Quora make some interesting points about third party candidates, and about realism vs. idealism.
The Conservative Challenge
If the rundown to the presidency weren’t such serious business, this “business” of one-upmanship by both GOP and Democrat candidates would be laughable. An editorial in The Washington Post called Sanders to task for telling progressives “what they want to hear,” rather than being a “brave truth-teller.”
One thing is certain. This is, and will continue to be, a campaign for the history books. You can look to the success of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump as a clear sign that people on both sides of the political spectrum are fed up.
As in past elections, there will no doubt be voters who are dissatisfied no matter who wins the November election. If, however, more than just a handful of Americans head out to unknown lands, it will be a sure signal that the system is broken.
Right now, it can probably be mended. Let’s hope we don’t have to find out what a Bernie Sanders presidency would really look like.