This blog is a follow up to More Than Two Ways (https://www.blindowlblogs.com/post/more-than-two-ways) by Blind Owl.
Of late I’ve been considering the state of our nation's political well-being. While my disdain for both political parties is fairly obvious, what bothers me even more is that things didn’t have to end up like this. We actually had a candidate running for president in 2020 with more mass appeal than most people realize. However you may feel about Donald Trump, he was a fundamentally flawed candidate in many ways, true conservatives had to grapple with his infidelity and impropriety. Joe Biden had different but equally major concerns, his mental acuity of course , the inexperience of his vice president is a concern, and his willingness to capitulate to the mob regardless of how unreasonable their demands may be, is alarming.
Amid all the turmoil that was the 2020 election, we lost our sense that as a country we deserve better, and we could’ve had better. For there was a man running for president that could have united traditionally opposing segments of our country that you never thought would even have issues on which to unite. I am referring, of course, to the junior senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders.
Based on polling data at least 50% of you just stopped reading, but for those of you still here, hear me out. Sanders is on the “right side“ of more issues than you might think. He was a candidate with more mass appeal and “aisle” crossing capability than any other person running. I firmly believe that if he had made his campaign slogan Sanders 2020, weed, healthcare, and guns… We would all be drinking a toast to President Sanders.
Yes of course I acknowledge there are other fairly major policy positions that are controversial, however it seems that our current Congress has figured out a way to make sure that no laws ever get passed by either side so for the sake of staying positive I’m going to focus on the issues that would unite us, not those that would divide us.
A common argument used against most left-leaning candidates is that they are staunchly anti-gun, and will be at your house later to take yours away. Bernie Sanders actually has a pretty strong track record on the 2nd amendment, in truth he has dialed back his position in recent years under increasing pressure from the mob. The reality is up to the 2016 election Sanders had received strong criticism for not supporting many of his adopted parties positions on firearms.
Probably my biggest criticism of Sanders (Clinton emails notwithstanding) Is that he softened his position on guns to appeal more to his base, the smarter move would’ve been to appeal to voters on the other side with his stance on guns.
Anecdotally, the state that Sanders represents has some of the least restrictive gun laws in the entire country. If you could find a bazooka that fires fewer than 10 rounds you could theoretically carry one in Vermont… Without a permit.
As former president Donald Trump can tell you, “healthcare is very complicated”. So I won’t pretend that any of the Medicare for all policy implementations would have been easy. Their ultimate success is something we met yet come to see, as may be their ultimate failure if that’s where it’s headed. But the reality of the matter is that in the last Gallup poll a single-payer system is now north of a 50% approval rating, and working its way towards 60% amongst the general public. I believe Bernie had a missed opportunity with this, if Sanders went on television and just started talking about how miserable it is dealing with healthcare billing; I think a not insignificant amount of people would’ve been willing to give it a try because it can’t be any worse than the current system.
This ironically is very much a middle class issue, (those people our elected “leaders” say are so important to support) the very poor are eligible for Medicaid, the very rich don’t need to worry about it, those of us in the middle that have just good enough insurance to make sure we don’t die and stop paying premiums have to deal with this more than anyone.
Finally marijuana, I’ve suffered from asthma for all of my life so the idea of smoking anything is very foreign to me. In my younger years I did dabble in some edibles. But I don’t claim to be a “Pot guy“, I have frequently said and firmly believe that if weed people could commit that energy to anything else.. “oh the places you’ll go” (oooh Dr. Seuss not good don’t want to get cancelled)
Oddly, despite data suggesting that there is as much marijuana use amongst conservatives as liberals, it’s pretty frequent that those are the same people you hear using the Nancy Reagan fear tactics with marijuana because of all of the negative stigma she (and people like her) attached to it. This is one I genuinely don’t understand, conservative lawmakers frequently lobby for smaller government, fewer restrictions, and personal freedom. Those are almost always the same people that are pushing the hardest on drug laws; more enforcement, draconian sentences etc.. I can see some of those drug laws have purpose, there is no question that even something like marijuana could result in addiction issues. But remember it’s those “big brother” type laws that conservatives are supposed to oppose.
For myself where I diverge with my more liberal leaning friends, I’m a big believer in personal responsibility. I don’t believe the government has any role in telling me what I should or shouldn’t put into my body.
Amongst voters for more liberal candidates the mood is obviously pretty heavily in favor of legalization. Terminology of which I don’t actually approve. It’s not a question of something being made legal, it's a question of undoing the politically motivated action of making it illegal in the first place. The point is whether you like weed, or you just like freedom, you really should support removing the politically motivated illegal label from marijuana.
Admittedly it is unlikely that all of you have the same three issues on your agenda, but consider this, no matter who was elected in 2020 there was going to be something that you wanted that you weren’t going to get. If we elected Sanders, and you want at least 1 of these 3 things, hey 1 out of 3 ain’t bad. I want all 3 things in my “ideal society”.
Bernie Sanders will be 82 by the time we are electing another president (I used that verbiage just for you conservatives because I also think Kamala Harris will be president before 2024), and other party influencers like “the squad” don’t seem to have the wisdom to accompany their zeal (politest way I could put it), but hopefully we can find a candidate that supports these issues, that more importantly the majority of us ALSO support.
Oh the heavy burden of what might have been.