I'm feeling the Bern, baby. Watching the Democratic debate cinched it for me too. As much as I would love to see the first woman president take office - a woman from my neck of the woods to boot - Hillary got pushed down the ladder of my consciousness for a man with a fire in his belly named Bernie Sanders.
I'm a bit ticked at the media headlines declaring which democratic candidate won the debate. The entire forum is more of a presentation of ideas and personality than it is a debate, in my opinion. Each of them won for presenting who they are and where they stand on issues. The only candidate that actually got my heart racing though during the two-hour event, emitting a tear or two from my tear ducts and at one point actually causing me to throw my hands up in the air and scream, "Hell yeah!" was Bernie!
Would Hillary continue to try and push back on the Republicans to forward issues from the Obama administration that are aimed at helping the middle class and the poor? Yeah. I think she would do that. But she would also digress into her establishment style politics that is not averse to caving to lobby pressures. She is tough and experienced but she has a bit of that "yes man" quality that I cannot get past.
Bernie and Hillary have a lot of the same goals. And as Hillary said on that stage, they just have a different means to achieve them. Bernie is not an establishment-style politician. He is a reformist. He is calling for a political revolution. Jim Webb came out during the debate challenging Sanders' revolution idealism which is not surprising from a stoic, military man who spent a large portion of his life serving in the armed forces and who fought in Vietnam. But our country does not need boot camp or regimentation right now. We need to shake things up. We need to call out the cancers in our political system for what they are, and we need to aggressively attack those cancers. Bernie is the only guy on that debate stage even acting pissed off. We need to be pissed off right now! We need to shake the tree and shake it hard so that that adversaries hiding on the branches can come tumbling down. We're talking the NRA, Wall Street, racists, obstructionists. Hillary, Webb, Chaffee and O'Malley are not pissed off enough. They are not fired up enough. They play it safe. There is no time any longer for playing it safe.
Bernie wants to shake things up; and, that's why I love him. He doesn't care who he is going to piss off in the process. He is not a "yes man." He's very human and relatable which is just what we need at a time in history when we seem to be going backwards in terms of racial inequality and the lack of political correctness in this vein.
We are not only going broke being the leader in the world pack in war mongering, we are becoming morally bankrupt on the world stage. Being behind a drone strike that takes out an entire wedding celebration somewhere overseas is not something I am proud of as an American. Bernie is demanding the world come together as a coalition to manage the situations in the most unstable parts of the world; and, this is the only foreign policy any American should support. We cannot lose any more American lives on foreign soil or by suicide once they make it home because we are invading countries or going to war. This wasn't mentioned in the debate; but, I also think having a Jewish president who is left-leaning is an advantage for the conflicts plaguing the Middle East. Any U.S. president for the foreseeable future will be staunch supporters of Israel. This does not have to mean the U.S. tax payer takes on the burden of their military budget. It can mean we support peace in the Middle East for all people of all nations there, seeking diplomacy over tyranny. Inspiring renaissance over war. Bernie is the anti-extremist from what can be seen from his political past and his current stances. He could be a key player in calming tensions in this volatile part of the world. We need some idealism right now at a time in history when the sanctity of human life is at an all time low.
Did anyone "win" the democratic debate? I think they all won for presenting their plans. But Bernie won my heart and the hearts of millions of Americans when he stood up there inspiring the working class and minorities and anyone who dared dream the American dream to look the oligarchs in the eyes and say, "Enough is enough. You're fired!"
And on fire is what he is right now. Bern baby Bern!