GUEST ARTICLE BY MATT MCDONALD
UNDERCOVER PORCUPINE NOTE: These views are the sole opinion of Matt, who is a good friend in liberty. This is not an endorsement or memo of support for a candidate by me or on my behalf. He has guest written a few times previously and asked that he submit an article about Bernie Sanders. While not personally a supporter of Senator Sanders, I am a supporter of open discussion and believe that as we prepare for the election, these discussions must occur about all candidates. I have a great respect for Matt and his opinion, even in the times we disagree. Enjoy
In 2008 and 2012 I did my best to get Ron Paul elected to the office of the President of the United States of America. I gave hundreds of hours to volunteering, I donated financially to his campaign almost every pay period, and I even did the work necessary to be elected as a both a local and national delegate to Republican conventions.
The end result for me, like many of my friends, was political burnout.
I had actually reached a point where I said to myself “not one candidate in 2016 is going to get a nickel of my money, a minute of my time or even my vote!”
And then around the end of April of this year some thing happened, some thing that lit a small spark in me.
Bernie Sanders announced he was going to run for President in 2016.
Yes, that Bernie Sanders.
Yes, that United States Senator from Vermont who self-identifies as a “democratic socialist” and is known among the citizens of the Green Mountain State as “Grumpy Uncle Bernie” stood on the US Capitol lawn and made it official that he was running for President in 2016.
Something stirred in my mind.
“There is just something about this guy,” I said to myself, “I am not sure what it is, but I am pretty sure I like it.”
And that small thought planted a seed.
Over the last four weeks I have spent a considerable amount of time looking at the politics of Bernie Sanders and my observation of his over thirty years of politics has shown me three things;
One, Bernie Sanders is authentic. Through the years Bernie has not allowed the whims of those in the political class to defy who he is. He is strongly rooted in what he believes and there are decades of media articles and hundreds of hours of video to show this to be true.
Two, Bernie Sanders is anti-establishment. He has stood against the popular ideas of the day for near fifty years. He has a strong record of opposing American military involvement overseas, most notably protesting the wars in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. In the 1960s he was active in the Civil Rights movement. His solidarity with the African American community allowed him to witness Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. give his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. Since the mid-1990s he has been a champion for the rights of those in the LGBT community, and he has even recently opposed President Obama on the matter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as he believes it will hurt the American worker.
Three, Bernie Sanders and Ron Paul have a good amount of common ground. Like the former Congressman from Texas, Sanders has a strong record on the issues of civil liberties, he opposes the NSA spying program, he voted against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he believes the big banks need to be held publicly accountable for their involvement in the economic recession, he supports the decriminalization of marijuana, he supports marriage equality and he believes that the bailout of Wall Street was a huge mistake and a primary cause of the decline of the Middle Class in our nation.
If you are like me and believe that America deserves better than political dynasties and a federal government that is manipulated by a billionaire class, then please consider supporting Bernie Sanders in 2016.
Matt McDonald is a loving father, is politically independent, loves to travel, and is in the early process of practicing non-violent religion. Follow Matt on Twitter @Matt_McDonald_