2016 Presidential Candidate Profile: Bernie Sanders

Written by Alexander J. Segal on

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Follow this link to read about my 2016 Presidential Candidate Profiles.

Candidate Profile: Bernie Sanders

Current Office: United States Senator from Vermont

Age: 74 (born September 8, 1941)

Party: Democrat

Real Clear Politics Poll Average (as of December 20, 2015): National 30.6% (2nd); Iowa 36.8% (2nd); New Hampshire 51.3% (1st) [note there are only three candidates on the Democratic side]1

Campaign Website: berniesanders.com

Senator Bernie Sanders is seeking the Democratic nomination for President. Senator Sanders is serving in his second term as a United States Senator from Vermont. Prior to that, he served for eight terms as a U.S. Congressman from Vermont. Senator Sanders was Mayor of Burlington, Vermont, from 1981 to 1989. Senator Sanders was a registered independent from 1979 to early 2015, but switched his party registration to Democratic earlier this year to run in the primaries.

Immigration:

Senator Bernie Sanders' campaign website offers detailed points on his immigration proposals. Senator Sanders supported both DACA and DAPA and supports expanding them. He would expand the use of parole-in-place as part of his discretionary authority as President. Senator Sanders pledges to end family detention, and reduce immigration detention in general. He supports a lenient path to citizenship and the DREAM Act. Interestingly, Senator Sanders supports ending the three-year and ten-year-bars of inadmissibility as well as the permanent bar of inadmissibility. He supports modernizing border security while turning back the “militarization” of the border.

Senator Sanders supports increasing the prevailing wage requirements for temporary guest workers and allowing the family members of nonimmigrant workers to work in the United States as well. Senator Sanders opposed a 2007 “comprehensive immigration reform” effort over its expansion of guest worker programs. However, Senator Sanders supported the “gang of eight” effort, he opposes expanding guest worker programs as part of comprehensive immigration reform.

Israel:

Senator Sanders states that he supports Israel's right to defend itself, but criticized Israel for its response to indiscriminate terroristic rocket attacks by Hamas in 2014. He supports a two-state solution where The Palestinians recognize Israel's right to exist and Israel “cease[s] developing settlements on Palestinian land.” Senator Sanders devotes an entire section of his website to his support for the terrible Iran deal. Furthermore, he was one of the Senators to disgracefully boycott Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's eloquent and historic address to the United States Congress regarding the Iran deal in early 2015.

Issue of Interest — “Democratic Socialism”:

While Democrats are often accused of socialism, it is rare to find a Democrat who actually identifies as a “socialist.” But now we have Bernie Sanders, an avowed “Democratic Socialist,” running for President. His left-wing proposals include single-payer healthcare, universal free public college tuition, and some very substantial tax increases. It is debatable whether Senator Sanders is a unique political creature or simply a Democrat who is unafraid of the electoral consequences of unusually left-wing positions.

What is beyond dispute though is that Senator Sanders did find time as Mayor of Burlington in the 1980s to visit many socialist and communist countries. Senator Sanders visited Cuba and the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Furthermore, he spent his honeymoon in Yaroslavl (then part of the Soviet Union) while visiting as part of a sister-city agreement with Burlington.2

Conclusion:

Senator Sanders' positions are catastrophically bad across the board. He is committed to rewarding persons who have broken our immigration laws while dialing back immigration enforcement and border security. Furthermore, he has not been a strong supporter of work-based immigration. Senator Sanders' record on Israel is inferior to that of even Hillary Clinton. This is bad enough without addressing his big-spending and big-government proposals, which are substantial enough to make the likes of Hillary Clinton do a double-take. I find the Senator from Vermont to be an exceptionally poor candidate even after adjusting for my low expectations for Democratic candidates.

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  1. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/2016_democratic_presidential_nomination-3824.html (retrieved on December 20, 2015)
  2. Fund, John, “Bernie Sanders's Soviet Honeymoon,” The Corner at the National Review Online, June 24, 2015, http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/420228/bernie-sanderss-soviet-honeymoon-john-fund

Resources and Materials:

http://www.ontheissues.org/Bernie_Sanders.htm