Ideally, a presidential candidate should present rational solutions for pressing national problems. He or she should have a long-standing, consistent record advocating those solutions. And he or she should provide a platform and personality that can inspire.
Bernie Sanders embodies these qualities. All his adult life, he has championed equal rights for women and minorities. Today, his campaign encourages us to believe that a country as rich as ours can afford health insurance for all its citizens; that it can make postsecondary education affordable for everybody; and that it can rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and generate millions of jobs in the process.
Bernie points out that a major obstacle to these and other reforms is the overbearing influence of money in politics. Instead of just complaining about that corruption, Sanders is funding his campaign without super PACs, relying instead on more than 1 million donors whose average contribution is $27. The resulting independence from big-money allows Sanders to advocate breaking up the big banks and raising taxes on the rich.
Unlike all the other candidates, Bernie questions our country’s over-reliance on military muscle in international affairs. He understands that we need a military strong enough to defend our country and our allies, but he also sees how often our foreign interventions have led to failure. Recognizing that we cannot remake the whole planet to suit ourselves, Sanders is the only candidate who has learned that lesson from the string of disasters stretching from Vietnam to Iraq.