How about his platform? Looked at item by item, there is nothing very special about Bernie Sanders’ platform. It is made up of common-sense solutions to problems. It is almost a no-brainer. His position on every issue that he has addressed is eminently sensible and unimpeachably moral. Any progressive person (meaning any moral person) would likely propose any of his positions. So, what then is special about Bernie Sanders? Here are my answers:
- He has maintained an unwavering moral/philosophic stance for the entirety of his political career, and before that.
- His platform is internally consistent and complete, overlooking no issue that counts to the electorate.
- In particular, he has addressed the issue of climate change with the necessary degree of urgency. Clearly, he “gets it”.
- In particular, he has made economic inequality the center piece of his campaign.
- He is entirely credible. No one questions his sincerity or honesty.
- He is extremely likable, and has, quite remarkably, succeeded in getting his message across via social media.
- He inspires optimism and enthusiasm to a degree not seen before.
For these reasons (at least), he has been embraced by those thinking voters who have the most to lose if this country does not change course, i.e. the young. Young people especially are very aware of, and alamed by, two threats to their future – growing economic inequality and climate change. That Bernie Sanders should emerge now, when a candidacy such as his is so critically needed, is nothing short of a miracle. If and when he wins, it will represent a radical shift away from the political paradigm that has held sway since the Reagan era (under administrations both Republican and Democrat). In this respect, Bernie Sanders’ candidacy is a radical departure from politics as usual.