Many of us had high hopes when Barack Obama was first elected. We thought he would be different. In a few small ways, I suppose he was. His name, after all, sounded unusual. And, of course, his skin pigmentation was not what we were used to in our presidents. There were plenty of signs he wasn’t your average WASP.
Right from the beginning, conservatives worked themselves into a lather. They argued—most of the time with a straight face—that Obama was the anti-Christ. He was on a secret mission to destroy the nation from within and was allied with Muslims and/or Communists in carrying out his evil plan. Now, nearly eight years later, we find that he didn’t actually take America’s guns away. He didn’t create a One-World Government and invite in the “Black Helicopter” bunch. Nor did he introduce Sharia law. I wonder what happened.
Now that the Obama lease is about to expire, we find ourselves in the beginning phases of finding a new tenant for the White House. As we go forward, I have one wish for the nation: That we continue to expand our thinking about what makes a good American president.
Open-mindedness and innovative thinking should come natural for a country as large and diverse as the United States. Even the nation’s symbols suggest a need for this. The American flag, after all, has fifty stars, suggesting multiplicity. It’s downright un-American to engage in groupthink or to close the door on certain ideas or to certain types of presidential candidates.
All this brings me to Bernie Sanders, a fellow hailing from a small state but who thinks really BIG. I’ll cut right to the chase and tell you he’s the guy I’ll be voting for. Actually, I’ll go even further than that. He’s the guy I’m going to tell others about.
I don’t normally watch shows like “Face the Nation” because they mostly invite very mainstream, unimaginative guests who offer us the same old tried (and failed) solutions to the nation’s problems. Still, having said that, I’ve included a clip because it features Sanders.
We all know that Bernie’s opponents are going to try to discredit him. They’ll call him “weird,” “effete,” and probably “soft”—on all sorts of things. They’ll call him “liberal” and very “European.” The list of terms they’ll use to describe him will undoubtedly be a very long one. On top of all that, they’ll even try convince people that he’s “scary.” But, honestly, were you frightened by anything you just heard?
Here’s what you should be scared of, especially if you belong to America’s middle and working classes. You should be terrified by the status quo—more “trickle down.” That’s been tried again and again. And we know how it turns out. The roots get starved and the whole plant withers.