A bearded stranger came to the door this evening, a young man who turned out to be campaigning for Bernie Sanders. Michigan has a primary tomorrow, Tuesday. This is an opportunity for both Republicans and Democrats to choose the person they would most like to be their parties’ nominees for the presidency in the general election, still eight months away.
In a brief conversation on our porch, I asked the campaigner why he was supporting Mr. Sanders. He answered truthfully and I listened. He said there is no hope in the present situation. Millions of young people like him are struggling financially, saddled with enormous student debt but finding it difficult to get a job. Additionally, they are bearing the brunt of Obamacare. Only “democratic socialism” can solve the problem.
I asked him what he meant by “democratic socialism.” He replied that’s where the people control their government. I said that’s what a republic is supposed to be. He responded by saying that the present system (a republic) has led to 1% taking everything, leaving 99% with nothing.
I told him that I do have a certain level of respect for Mr. Sanders but that I cannot vote for him. I respect him because he is fighting to win the Democratic nomination against Hillary Clinton, who has the advantage of great personal wealth (the Clintons’ combined income in 2014 was $30 million, placing her firmly in the 1%) and the financial support of Wall Street. She also has most of the media behind her. Although her husband seems bewildered when she is described as part of the Establishment, she truly is a member of the “ruling class.” The Clintons have done well out of the system and want to preserve the status quo. They do not want change.
Bernie started out with little hope of being nominated but has led a very successful campaign against his opponent. He has a great deal of support from young people, including our young visitor.
But, I added, I could not vote for Mr. Sanders because I’ve been there before.
I’ve experienced the democratic socialism that has been embraced by European countries. High taxation is needed to pay for all the “freebies,” the benefits that most people want. The result is that hard work is often penalized and, now, millions of migrants are attracted by all those benefits, resulting in a veritable invasion of their countries.
He asked me if I would be voting tomorrow. I said I didn’t think so. I’m not happy with any of the candidates, but I find the election fascinating.
What I can say is that I DO understand those who support both Mr. Sanders and Donald Trump. These are both anti-Establishment candidates.
Conservative columnist Monica Crowley said on television, commenting on the primary results coming in on Saturday evening: “a major theme of this whole campaign is rejectionism . . . rejecting decades of the ruling class, the Establishment” — “they have disappointed and betrayed this voting base for decades on end . . . ”
Others have described what is happening this year as a “revolution” without the bullets. Donald Trump may be causing panic among Establishment figures, the “ruling class” that Monica Crowley talked about, but at least his supporters are still willing to aim for change through the ballot box.
If the desire for change is thwarted, then there could be trouble.
Consider the following observed by Sean Hannity on his program on February 29th:
“95 million Americans are out of the labor force
“50 million live in poverty
“46 million are on food stamps” (actually, 47 million is the usual figure quoted).
Additionally, it was revealed the following day that 51% of Americans are now earning less than $30,000 per annum.
These are reasons why people are so frustrated and turning to anti-Establishment figures like Trump and Sanders. Clinton and Rubio are Establishment figures, wanting more of the same. Ted Cruz is somewhere in-between. John Kasich, Governor of Ohio, seems an honest and decent man, often described as “the only adult in the room,” but, again, representing an Establishment that has been in power for fifty years. It’s time for a change.
The problem is that nobody can deliver what people want.
The challenges are daunting –
A falling standard of living;
Government spending out of control;
Uncontrolled immigration that’s threatening the American way of life; (conservative commentator Tucker Carlson described this as the top concern on “Fox and Friends” on Sunday morning);
The same problems afflict other western nations.
These are the end result of five decades of leftist-liberal thinking.
A reaction is coming, either peacefully at the ballot box, or through other means.
It might not be pleasant.
Jesus Christ said that His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). Christians should not be naïve, thinking that any presidential candidate can make all the changes needed. Rather, we should remember the admonition He gave us to pray fervently “Thy Kingdom Come” (Matthew 6:10).