By: David Hatami
With the 2016 presidential elections looming in November of next year and with the primary elections stirring just around the corner, candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties are scattering to gain headway in both national and state polls. Candidates from all over are campaigning to gain as much support as possible from their respective parties, such as Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley on the Democratic side, and Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and (of course) Donald Trump on the Republican side. Yet there is an independent candidate running as a Democrat, whose radical, yet fresh ideas are gaining attention from every corner of America: Bernie Sanders.
Sanders, the junior senator for Vermont and the longest serving independent in Congress, is a self-proclaimed “socialist”. Bernie is in favor of “small-socialism”, essentially meaning that he wants to reform government programs in a way similar to that of Denmark and Finland. Sanders is a strong supporter of gay marriage and gun control legislation, and is adamantly anti-war. Sanders is in favor of major educational reform that would make four year tuition to state universities totally free, mandatory maternal and paternal leave, and a raise in the minimum wage to $15. Not only this, but Sanders has recently proposed to remove marijuana from federal list of dangerous drugs and is in strong favor of national legalization. But perhaps most importantly, Bernie has repeatedly expressed his belief that healthcare in the United States should be free and universal. All of these seemingly “radical” ideas have played an integral role to his success in the polls. Bernie placed higher in the polls than Clinton in New Hampshire with 39.2% compared to Clinton’s 36.8%, and is quickly catching up nationally. Bernie Sanders has created a national movement, and his fresh ideas are rallying the youth, with a majority of his supporters being comprised of young adults and college students. It seems that America is finally “feeling the Bern”.