Sen. Bernie Sanders announced today that he will run for president of the U.S. in 2016.
Sanders, the Independent U.S. senator from Vermont, will run as a Democrat. He calls himself a democratic socialist. Remember those two words: democratic socialist.
I could support Bernie Sanders for president. Let me think about it.
For video of the Sanders announcement, see Politico.
I’ve been a participant-observer in Democratic Party politics for a long time. Usually, I think long and hard when two or more Democrats are competing for the same office.
Thinking back to 1968, I was a Democratic college student during the Vietnam War. Like many students, I supported Sen. Eugene McCarthy, the peace candidate, for president, My memory is unreliable, but after Bobbie Kennedy entered the battle for the Democratic nomination, I was torn between McCarthy and Kennedy. It was a tough decision, and I don’t remember which way I came down. I also respected Vice President Hubert Humphrey, the more traditional candidate that year. Bobbie Kennedy, of course, was assassinated after the Democratic primary in California. Humphrey won the nomination in Chicago, while the Chicago Police Department ran riot amidst protesters on the streets. Humphrey lost to Republican Richard Nixon in November.
OK, I’ve thought about it. I believe I’ll support Sen. Bernie Sanders for president of the U.S. in 2016. Things can change. I might change my mind. But I doubt it.
The times were right for Gene McCarthy or Bobbie Kennedy in 1968. The times are right for Bernie Sanders in 2016. In 1968, the issues were war and peace and civil rights. In 2016, the issues are economic equality and civil rights. Not since 1968 has the line been so clearly drawn between the elites and the people.
I believe Bernie Sanders could win a Democratic primary election in my state, Maryland. A U.S. Senator named Barack Obama upset the establishment candidate, Hillary Clinton, here in 2008. It has happened before; it could happen again.
A quote for Democrats to think about from The Washington Post blog, The Fix:
“Sanders will be the beating heart of the party while Clinton will, always, be its head.”
May you live in interesting times. More later. Anyone else ready and willing to commit to a candidate?
— John Hayden
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