Which politicians are like Bernie Sanders
Sanders wins in New Hampshire : Can someone like that become a US president? Yes, absolutely!
He had a heart attack in October, now he's filling the halls again. Young people in particular adore him. Should he win against Donald Trump, he would be the oldest president in American history at the age of 79: Bernie Sanders is non-party, comes from the bottom, rejects donations from large corporations.
His supporters are strongly represented in social networks, where they spread his speeches against the power of the super-rich and the ever-widening gap between rich and poor.
Sanders wants a social system like the one in Germany
Sanders, a Senator in Vermont, is the winner of the US Democratic primary for the presidential run in New Hampshire. The moderate applicant, Pete Buttigieg, did well again, just behind Sanders. Buttigieg and Sanders own the momentum.
Why Sanders? A more atypical type of politician is hard to imagine in the USA, especially among the Democrats. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama - something shone, there was a new beginning and glamor. Sanders, on the other hand, impresses above all with the rigor of his program. It can be summed up in one word: justice.
Sanders wants a social system like the one in Germany, general health insurance, free studies, and minimum leave entitlement. To finance that, he wants to ask the wealthy to pay. That doesn't sound very radical to European ears, but in the US, Sanders' positions are characterized as extreme left. A strong, caring state smacks of presumption, intervention and collectivism there.
[More about the primaries in the USA: Pete Buttigieg becomes a beacon of hope]
That doesn't concern Sanders. Similar to Donald Trump, the Outsider railed against an aloof social elite. This includes both the representatives of their respective parties. Trump despised Republicans before he became president. Sanders and the Democratic establishment are also suspicious of each other. To this day, they accuse him of standing too long against Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Anti-party politicians like Sanders are trendy
Again, why Sanders? From a global perspective, the new political dividing lines run between national and socialist and between control and justice. Because most parties have not yet adapted to this, anti-party politicians are in vogue.
Donald Trump and Boris Johnson want to return to the nation state and control its borders more closely. The Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz had won his election against his own party. Emmanuel Macron even founded a new party, the "La République en Marche", past conservatives, socialists and Le Pen.
And who are the Germans talking about? About Friedrich Merz, Hans-Georg Maaßen, Greta Thunberg. The Swedish climate activist is outside the parties, Merz and Maaßen quarrel with their party. What used to be a party is now a movement.
Some parties have recognized the signs of the times and developed a correspondingly clear profile, such as the Danish Social Democrats, the British Tories, Fidesz in Hungary or the PiS in Poland. Their policy is also directed against the influx of foreigners and refugees as well as against the EU.
That must be emphatically criticized from a humanitarian perspective. But if you don't see that these issues hit a nerve, you shouldn't be surprised how easily populist slogans get caught.
Sanders' impressive constancy and integrity
Sanders forms the opposite pole to a rhetoric that extols the advantages of a nation-state gain in control. His theme is justice, balance. Sanders is anti-militarist, anti-elitist, anti-capitalist. Because he has always been all that, he exudes an impressive constancy and integrity. He looks authentic.
Many voters long for a guy like that, someone who speaks plain language and does what he says. They want something to happen. Just don't go on like this, no compromise, no kowtowing in front of corporations. A will to change is breaking through, the force of which can hardly be overestimated.
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