I must admit. The appeal of Bernie Sanders is hard to ignore. On issue after issue after issue - climate change, campaign finance, healthcare, education – Bernie’s position represents a vast improvement on the status quo. Then, of course, there's the truth to power he speaks regarding income inequality and wealth disparity. In those respects, Vermont's independent senator is light years ahead of his opponents.
Also, I couldn't help but notice that Senator Sanders has attracted the encouragement of several people for whom I have the utmost respect. Angela Davis, Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, my comrade Jesse, my mother, my father all #FeelTheBern to one degree or another. Which inspires me to give him a second thought.
For presenting a most formidable challenge to Hillary Clinton, I applaud the Bernie Sanders campaign. Reminds me of 2008 when that heathen thought she had the nomination sewn up, until Obama happened. Even though Hillary continues to evade the prison cell that she's most certainly earned, her taking up residence in the White House is far from inevitable. I thank Bernie for that. His mere presence in the Democratic primary (along with Trump's in the Republican primary) threatens to destroy both wings of the one-party system; which would be nothing short of a beautifulsituation™.
Though I think the real value of Bernie's presidential bid is symbolic. Turning populist rhetoric into public policy is all but impossible given an increasingly divided, Republican-led Congress. Notwithstanding Sanders' call for a political revolution, he and his supporters must be aware of the enormous odds against his policy platform becoming a reality. The symbolism, however, is glaring. Who would've guessed that a self-described democratic socialist would have such national success? Or that in these United States, young people would view socialism more and more favorably? Are these the fruits of Occupy changing the conversation from debt ceilings to student loans? Are we witnessing the beginning of the end of Wall Street hegemony? Or are the masses suffering from capitalism so much that they're finally considering some solutions to this madness?
All of the above seem to be culminating in, if not directly benefiting, the Bernie Sanders campaign. And while voting for people remains problematic, to say the least, I welcome Bernie's presence in the electoral process. For reasons of substance, he still doesn't get my vote. But for reasons of symbolism, he does get my appreciation. Peace to Bernie Sanders.