Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders may seem to be fighting a losing a battle against the dame of the Democratic Party establishment, Hillary Clinton as representative of the Party in the general election in November.
However, the fact that Sanders has captured the attention and imagination of a wide cross section of the electorate is one that cannot be taken lightly.
Sanders, a self-proclaimed, avowed democratic socialist, has changed the course of the political debate and proved that he is not only someone to be reckoned with but also one that ought to be taken seriously.
He started out his campaign with little or no name recognition and basically an empty coffer. Today, however, Sanders has garnered enough money, and support to build his brand and forced Hillary from being a Democratic push-in for the nomination to fight and compete for the position.
Sanders campaign has put a number of issues on the table that has never been discussed in any political campaign in the U.S. until now.
His revolutionary message is in sync with a vast number of voters and this is demonstrated by the massive crowd he has been able to attract at his rallies.
Sanders, throughout his campaign has focused on the inequity within the society and argued for a more fair and just one.
Some of the many concerns he has brought to the fore during his campaign include the following:
The fact that the wealthiest Americans can expect to live at least a decade longer than the poorest as well as the significant growth in the gap between the rich and the poor — income inequality is growing ever wider.
The rite of passage given to corporations to buy their own tax rate through lobbyists — in a democratic society, everyone must pay their fair share.
The 62 richest folks in the world own more wealth than the bottom 3.5 billion — a vexed issue.
Free college tuition to enable every American to get an education.
The issue that every working person in the United States having a chance at a decent life through guaranteed paid medical, family, and sick leave.
Frowning on the fact that nearly half of Americans have less than $10,000 in savings and no idea how they will be able to retire with dignity.
The biggest banks spend over $20 million to lobby every year to secure their own interest.
Billionaires are allowed to push policies that make themselves richer and others poorer.
The vortex of the moral challenge the country faces today.
Tax dodging multinational corporations that costs the U.S. approximately $111 billion each year.
Seventy percent of undergraduates who leave college have heavy debts that will burden them for decades.
Sixty-two percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts and unlike big banks they don’t get to go to Congress for a bailout check.
In general, Sanders has focused on economic issues such as income and wealth inequality, raising the minimum wage, universal healthcare, reducing the burden of student debt, making public colleges and universities tuition-free by taxing financial transactions, and expanding Social Security benefits by eliminating the cap on the payroll tax on all incomes above $250,000.
He has become a prominent supporter of laws requiring companies to give their workers parental leave, sick leave, and vacation time, noting that such laws have been adopted by nearly all other developed countries.
He also supports legislation that would make it easier for workers to join or form a union.
The foregoing are issues that the majority of the American electorate can easily identified with and they have a worthy messenger in Bernie Saunders but will he get the chance to realize his vision for the country?
Perhaps not, but the fact that he used his platform to campaign in the interest of the 99 percent he ought to be applauded.
Edited by Jesus Chan
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