If Bernie Sanders is the nominee, I will be 100% on board in the general election. In general, I think he’s incredibly smart and his integrity is unquestionable. You know where Bernie stands on any issue – and if he’s changed his position over time, it’s because he has learned something new, considered something differently, and genuinely thinks about something in a different way.
Based on his track record, I think Bernie Sanders, while very far to the left, is also pragmatic and willing to compromise to get things accomplished.
In the 2016 primary, I was Team Bernie for all of the above reasons. In 2016, we needed a leader who would focus on taking the economic recovery that had begun under Obama and push it out to impact the average US citizen. We needed a leader who could engage in the climate change leadership that the US had already undertaken. We needed a leader who could bridge the divide in Congress and work across the aisle, compromising on policy without compromising on American values.
What’s changed since 2016?
Virtually everything. Instead of the leader that we needed in 2016, what we got was a leader whose pushed an agenda to increase income inequality, destroyed the institutions that worked to uphold American values, pulled the US out of any climate change action let alone global leadership on solutions, and divided individual identity groups such that racial violence and domestic terrorism are higher than any time in recent memory.
Now for 2020, we need an inspirational leader to pull us back from the toxicity that has brewed under the current administration. Bernie Sanders has high aspirations for the country and I have no doubt that he has faith in our ability to reach those high standards — but he communicates from a place of frustration and annoyance. He has a “get off my lawn” quality that is quirky, funny, and seemed to work in 2016 after 8 years of Obama’s measured calm. Sanders speaks the language of a protest marcher rebelling against “the establishment”, instead of someone who understands that he is the establishment, and he has to make change from the inside.
In 2020, I want someone who recognizes that being a part of “the establishment” isn’t inherently a bad thing–that the real work of the Executive Branch is to set the course of the establishment and fix the systems that uphold it.