Give Sanders a chance

Let’s be honest, our democratic hearts were set on Hillary and our first female president. Clinton, a long-time role model for women when it comes to not being afraid to achieve, seemed like to obvious choice for democratic voters…then Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders joined the race and was too good to be true.

Sanders has a platform that liberals are falling hard over. According to his platform, he is prepared to fight hard for the middle class against income inequality. He has made headlines for refusing super PACs to fund his campaign. “I do not believe that billionaires should be able to buy politicians,” Sanders has said in support of his decision.

He has a few issues working against him in the eyes of voters. For one, he isn’t as popular as Clinton, but media attention is picking up in his favor. Another thing voters might find issue with is the fact that he self identifies as a “democratic socialist.”

Socialist is a term that scares Americans, since few of them know the definition of the term. If voters take the time to research his policies and platform, there is a good chance they will cast their vote in his direction.

The differences between Sanders and Clinton are not numerous or extreme, but to some voters they might make a difference.

Sanders voted against the war in Iraq, while Clinton voted in favor of it. He has spoken up about environmental issues that Clinton has remained silent on. One example would be in leading an effort against the Keystone pipeline.

Clinton has made a point to aim her campaign at the “working people,” but Sanders may have an even stronger appeal to the middle class. He advocates for taxing the rich more heavily and pushing more programs serving the middle class and poor. He advocates for equal pay for women and raising the minimum wage.

Foreign policy is the big area where Clinton and Sanders differ. He advocates a much more hands-off approach when it comes to interference abroad. He supports use of air strikes and limited Special Forces to fight with Islamic State militants rather than sending troops into the region.

Where Sanders might win over liberal voters is with his views on social issues. He is a supporter of same-sex marriage and has been since the mid-1990s when he voted against the Defense of Marriage Act. He favors abortion rights, opposes the death penalty, and is a strong advocate for vaccines. He also has a strong environmental stance. He refers to climate change as one of his key issues he wants to address.

So, as much as we all love Hillary and want a female president. The fact is, Sanders might be a candidate more aligned with the policies and issues we want to see change. Either one would be a good vote, but the closeness of their views will warrant that voters look a little closer at their respective platforms before reaching a decision at the polls.

Jocelyn Gibson can be contacted at [email protected]