Meet the Candidates: Bernie Sanders

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders: The policies he campaigned for in 2016 and championed since have become a springboard for the progressive movement that has fueled Democrats through the Trump administration.

Medicare For All: This now-common Democratic universal healthcare policy has been popular in progressive circles for more than a decade, but Sanders’s full-throated advocacy has taken the universal healthcare plan mainstream. A single-payer system that covers every single American, allows patients to choose and keep their preferred doctors, eliminates premiums, co-pays, and deductibles, provides dental, vision, and nursing home care, covers most prescription drugs, and saves taxpayers $350 billion a year by reducing administrative complexities.

Workers Rights: Sanders has been a leader for the rights of the working and middle class, beginning with pushing for a $15/hour minimum wage before it was popular even among many Democrats. He has also crafted policy for universal childcare, equal pay for women, paid family and medical leave for all workers, and stronger union organizing.

Jobs For All: Looking to FDR for inspiration, Sanders has plans to give a job to every American, via his other progressive initiatives. Millions of jobs required to update our infrastructure and build a 100% sustainable green energy system. And many more to provide free universal childcare and care for seniors.

Free Education: The College For All Act would provide $48 billion annually to support free college attendance, making higher degrees available for students regardless of income level. And, Sanders plans to cancel crippling student debt and cap interest rates for future borrowers, among a ‘wealth’ of other debt-lowering solutions.

Critics say… He’s too idealistic with lofty but expensive, unrealistic goals. He’s been accused of dividing Democrats and criticized for a lack of accomplishments during his 28 years in the House and Senate. After a far stronger than expected showing in 2016, many are pointing to a loss of support three years later.

And finally… Bernie’s profound influence on the Democratic Party is undeniable, and OD Action welcomes the leftward shift and refusal to accept corporate talking points. His populist appeal to many working class swing voters remains strong despite the conventional wisdom that his liberal views are disqualifying. Sanders has already shown that true progressive ideas speak to American families, and Democrats across the country have taken note. Whether his leadership of a movement can translate into electoral success remains to be seen, but you can bet we’ll be watching.

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