Bernie Sanders: Radical or Practical?

Isabella Briseño, Staff Writer

As the Democratic presidential primary race continues and the debate stage grows more intense, I notice the following phrase being said a lot: “I can appeal to moderate Republicans.”

Now, why would young, progressive, working class people like myself want that? If this were what we wanted, we would simply vote Republican. This isn’t the only place we hear this rhetoric. The statement is not too different from complaints that Senator Bernie Sanders is not “electable enough” to stand behind in the primary. Both of these sentiments come from places of fear, which drives voters to support centrist candidates like Biden or Bloomberg.

This is illogical for a number of reasons. Firstly, Sanders is the frontrunner. He has won the popular vote in the first three states of the primary, something no Democratic candidate has done before. Additionally, the Senator has been beating President Trump in polls for months, and until recently, he was the only candidate that could do this. If people with policies like Bernie’s are so unelectable, then why is he winning, and why does he have the largest grassroots campaign of any candidate ever? When faced with the numbers, the electability argument can no longer masquerade as a fear that Bernie won’t beat Trump. Rather, it is becoming clear that this argument and attachment to centrism come from a fear of the status quo being altered.

This intense grassroots support can be accounted for by one fact: While Bernie is certainly no centrist, his policies are not as radical as many would like to paint them. What is radical about people getting the care they need when they are sick? What is radical about ensuring every American has the opportunity to access higher education in a society where doing so is increasingly necessary? Even if reaching these ends seems unreasonable, the very first thing on the Senator’s issues page is “How Does Bernie Pay for His Major Plans?” His supposedly radical platform is beneficial, obtainable and wanted by a majority of the working class of the Democratic party. The only reason voters are intimidated by Bernie’s policies is because the electability argument is being fed to us by centrists who would rather win the nomination by playing it safe than pushing for a better tomorrow. Sorry, but politics with people in mind are not radical.