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6 Awesome Things About Bernie Sanders You Might Not Know

May 20, 2015 in Blogs

By Evan McMurry, AlterNet

Sanders should not be underestimated.

Three weeks ago, a slightly disheveled U.S. senator wandered out to the front lawn of the Capitol Building and declared his campaign for president. Bernie Sanders, an avowed democratic socialist from the small state of Vermont, was in. 

The simplicity and directness of the setting signaled that Sanders wasn’t just another candidate in a crowded race, but a whole different kind of challenger. As Sanders was quick to warn, “People should not underestimate me.” He’s not kidding. As Sanders’ career has demonstrated, he doesn’t just hold policy positions, he acts on them.

1. He’s an Open Socialist

That Sanders is in the Senate at all is somewhat amazing. Sanders is the first Socialist elected in Senate history, no mean feat in the days when neoliberal economic policy rules.

But where it would have been the easiest thing in the world to change the (I) after his name to a (D), Sanders stuck with the affiliation. “I wouldn't deny it,” he said. “Not for one second. I'm a democratic socialist.” (note the “democratic” part; Sanders is quick to distance himself from the autocratic iterations of his philosophy.)

Not only does he not deny it, he flaunts it. New York Times political profilist Mark Leibovich paid the then just-elected socialist a visit in brand new office and noticed the socialist accents were a bit heavy:

But he does little to airbrush the red “S” from his political profile. On the wall of his Congressional office hangs a portrait of Eugene V. Debs, the Socialist Party presidential candidate of the early 20th century. A poster in a conference room marks Burlington’s sister-city relationship with Puerto Cabeza, Nicaragua — one of a few such alliances he forged with cities in Marxist states during his 10-year stint as mayor of Vermont’s biggest city in the 1980s.

And where Reagan-inflected patriotism is the standard campaign rhetoric, Sanders openly praises Scandinavian socialism. “What's wrong with that?” he asked ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “What's wrong when you have more income and wealth equality? …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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