Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Not Feeling the Bern


It took me a long time to come to this conclusion as it was hiding in plain sight the whole time: Bernie Sanders is dangerous.

He thinks of his positions as self-evident, when they are anything but. They often fly in the face of science on issues from GMOs to nuclear energy. He shows contempt towards those from the academic community who point out the lack of evidence on his positions from free trade to fracking. His tolerance of gun ownership is as frightening as his calls for a political revolution. And He shows little understanding outside of his issues beyond basic talking points.

He spent 30 years in the Senate, yet not a single one of his colleagues has endorsed him. Those who have worked closest with him say that he alienates his natural allies because he views any policy disagreement as a sign of a lack of moral purity. He believes that people only change their mind only due to personal gain, ruling out the possibility of dynamic information situations, evolving scientific consensus, and/or increasing social will. He sees pragmatism as a flaw instead of a strength.

This is not to say that Hillary Clinton is without her flaws, either. Her inability to inspire, her lack of transparency, and her coldness to those who she doesn't personally know are all worrisome personal traits. She has made mistakes and she will make more. And all this may prove to be her undoing in time. But at this point, they pale in comparison.

She has a deep respect and belief in the nation's institutions, instead of wanting to topple them. She has built deep personal relationships with everyone who she has worked alongside. She believes in science and is willing to change her mind with new information. She is a bureaucrat at heart, someone who believes in pushing the ball forward instead of throwing Hail Marys.

Bernie Sanders is to the Democratic Party as Donald Trump is to the Republican Party. A  populist outsider who truly believes in his own self-righteousness. And that's why my vote is with Hillary - not because I love her, I don't - but because she isn't a danger to our democracy.

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