Bernie Sanders, The 74-year-old American Jewish Socialist has rocketed to the top of the pecking list among all US presidential contenders aspiring for the job of Commander in Chief and Leader of the Free World. Emerging from obscurity, he was able to inspire the young generation, the economically deprived, women, minorities, and more. His rise to the top was as astonishing as it has been worrisome. His seeming honesty, unhappiness with the status quo, calls for a social and political revolution and idealism have captured the imagination of many potential voters and propelled him to mind-blowing approval ratings. He could become the next president of the US, and once he does, the hot-air balloon behind his rhetoric will pop, and the dream will shatter as reality will strike. “Philosopher” Mike Tyson, former world-boxing champion, put it best: “Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the face…”. And Sanders and his supporters will undoubtedly experience that exact fate. Their grandiose plans will be crashed by the reality of a badly divided country with a potentially GOP-controlled Congress and many GOP-controlled state governments.
One of Sanders’s “strong” points, when comparing himself to Hillary Clinton, is his objection to the Iraq War before it was launched. (Sanders, incorrectly, pronounces it I Raq—an indication of ignorance when it comes to world geography and culture, since the proper name is pronounced: Ee-Raq). Although, in hindsight, the Iraq war turned out a mistake, it was not because Sanders was right to object to it in face the available intelligence. The evidence-based intelligence for going to war was convincingly presented to the world by the respectable Secretary of State, Colin Powell; it was backed by the British intelligence, by the Israeli intelligence, by the American intelligence and by Saddam Hussein’s demeanor that reinforced it.
The Iraq War was launched not because of bad judgment by the Bush Administration, but rather due to faulty intelligence. Had the intelligence been proven genuine, the Iraq War would have been fully justified. And President Bush (as well as Hillary Clinton) support for the war would have been the correct decision, while Sanders would have been wrong to vote against it. In justifying his decision, Sanders claims that he did not believe Bush and Cheney. I guess he would not have believed any other intelligence source, had the intelligence been in conflict with his wishful but flawed view of reality.
Bernie’s decision to vote against going to war with Iraq is worrisome because he is consistent. He would probably vote against using all means, including the military option, to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions, should the Ayatollah violate the recent agreement he signed with the P5+1, and resume his charge toward the bomb.
In a recent Democratic debate, Sanders mocked Hillary Clinton for taking advice from former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. He blamed Kissinger for the current economic difficulties, where jobs have been leaving the US on route to China. In other words, In Sanders’s view, the normalization of relationships with China was a mistake. And Kissinger is at fault; his judgment is flawed; and he, Sanders, unlike Hillary, would not take unsound advice from a shoddy source…
Sanders’s logic is “impressive”. His criticism of Kissinger’s opening of China amounts to condemning scientific achievements like the internet because some people use it to sell porn, denouncing the use of airplanes because they brought about hijacking, disapproving of cars because of some bad or drunken drivers.
Sanders’s war on Wall Street is another key ingredient in his agenda. Once he becomes president, he would impose high taxes on speculations. The question remains, how does one define speculations? Do Mutual fund managers speculate when manipulating their portfolios? And if they do, then how would taxing those transactions benefit the working Middle-Class who depend on their 401K investment for their retirement? How does it benefit the working Middle-Class who move between investments inside their 401K. Are they considered part of Wall Street manipulators? Are they going to be taxed by Bernie?
But the most objectionable piece to Sanders’s agenda is his promises for free college education, Medicare for all, and several other socialistic ideas. It all sounds great, and other countries proved that these ideas are implementable— -- --in their countries. Problem is, the US is different. These great goodies cannot be realized in a country where the president powers are constrained by Congress, especially when Congress is under the majority control of the opposition. A US president assumes much more freedom of operations when it comes to foreign policy, but when it comes to domestic policy (Sanders’s core appeal), his/her hands are tied when Congress, and many state governors refuse to cooperate. And resistance may not be rooted in ideology alone. It may score Sanders’s budgetary math a failing grade, simply because the numbers he proposes do not add up.
It’s no wonder so many young people find Sanders exciting, refreshing and fascinating. For these naïve and inexperienced individuals he is like a gorgeous lady with a shiny tank top and purplish high heels, walking slowly in a demonstrative mode, while guys driving by crash their cars into things. Or, in other words, Bernie is like a man who tells a woman she's beautiful so she'd overlook most of his other lies. And since most people in this world are as sophisticated as Sara Palin or one of her fans, it is only a matter of time before the American people will elect another unfit politician to lead the free world into one more misfortune, as it has already come to pass time and again.