Bernie Sanders: A Profile

By CPLA member Zivah Solomon

Bernie Sanders has taken the Democratic party by storm in this (admittedly, quite early) election season. He raised an enormous amount of money in the previous quarter; $26 million, coming $2 million shy of Hillary Clinton’s fundraising accumulation. But there is one difference: Bernie Sanders is taking no donations from SuperPACS or corporations. Small donations only.

Sanders is a United States Senator from Vermont, known for passing amendments in the House of Representatives and later as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Many in the media have made a point of emphasizing that he is a “self-described socialist.” To clarify, many of his beliefs are aligned with Democratic Socialism, but his economic goals are in a capitalist format.

Though he identified as an Independent while serving as a mayor, state representative and senator, Sanders is running as a Democrat for the Democratic presidential nomination. He has gained enormous popularity since his official campaign kick-off for his liberal views, convictions, and bluntness that many around the country identify with.

Sanders wants to improve LGBTQ+ rights, fight gender inequality, reduce institutionalized racism, and reform the criminal justice system. He is pro-choice and demands a more humane immigration policy. Sanders is a proponent of universal healthcare and sees need for huge improvements in veterans’ healthcare.

Sanders would like to set a higher minimum wage and create higher paying jobs in order to tackle the income and wealth inequality gap in the United States. In addition, he plans to champion Wall Street reform and expand Social Security.

Sanders urgently wants to address climate change in a serious, permanent manner and avoiding military conflict as much as possible.

Sanders’ stances largely align with liberal views, but he presses that bipartisanship is key in government. His stance on gun control focuses on compromise in a way that appeases all perspectives, right and left, on the issue. His poll numbers grow every day and though many initially thought otherwise, he is a formidable candidate to be watched and to be reckoned with in the Democratic primary.

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