This post begins an experiment at Lathropworld, as we inaugurate a blog devoted entirely to politics. In addition, this post begins what I’m sure will prove to be a very popular feature of quick profiles of all of the presidential candidates for 2016. We’ll try to jump on them as they crawl out of the woodwork to help you at least get to know them, if not forming an overly critical opinion of them.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) threw his hat in the Democratic presidential ring last week, positioning himself as a party outsider and independent thinker, both of which may very well be true, especially if you go by his often disheveled hairdo.
The only announced major candidate so far to be a self-professed democratic socialist, Sanders’ campaign is being launched apparently mostly because he’s mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore, as stated in his campaign kick-off speech, he highlighted income disparity and campaign finance reform as being two of his major issues.
However, finding position statements for his presidential campaign is a bit tricky right now as his website is just a landing page with an email form to join the campaign and a date of 5/26/2015 for when the campaign is coming.
That being said, diving into his past positions is relatively easy because the man has not waffled much if at all.
He was part of the civil rights movement in Chicago in the 1960s. He’s one of a very few people to vote against the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He has supported environmental laws for decades, supports a single-payer health care system, is pro-choice, an advocate of LGBT rights and same-sex marriage, and co-wrote a bill with John McCain to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has also proposed a moratorium on the construction of new nuclear power plants after the Fukushima meltdown.
As an independent, he has voted with both parties on issues, but mostly aligns with the Democratic caucus. However, he seems to have friends on both sides of the aisle that he has worked with over the years.
But heading into this campaign, he has stated that campaign finance laws basically allow elections to be bought by big givers, so he has vowed to not accept Super PAC contributions, and will only accept contributions from individuals.
So let’s all welcome Bernie Sanders to the big 2016 presidential election party!