Hi everyone, I came across a Medium post titled 46 Reasons to Not Vote for Bernie Sanders. This digs up a lot of weird, rare stuff. It's mostly all easily debunkable but I want to save everyone time by compiling all the resources into one place, so here's the original piece I'm replying to. A number of these claims came up in 2015 and you can believe that they'll come up again this time. Don't let gullible friends fall for it! I'll copy the original points, but not the URLs in the original points from the Medium post. (archived, in case this disingenuous person decides to take it down)
1) He’s not the most progressive — Kamala, Warren, Booker, and Gillibrand are all more progressive than him on crucial votes.
What on earth is this page the guy links? Sherrod Brown is more progressive than Bernie, but leans Republican? Look, Bernie's campaign shifted the overton window towards the left when it has been on full retreat towards the right for decades with his last presidential campaign. Universal single-payer healthcare was not even a talking point until he pushed it forward. Beto O'Rourke adopted Sanders' model of not taking PAC money because Sanders proved he could rake in donations this way and fund a real, viable campaign. It worked for Beto, too.
Sanders champions working class issues, hasn't fallen for the total BS line that "politics is downstream from culture," understands that too big to fail means too big to exist, helped push Amazon to a $15 min wage, supports the Fight for 15 more broadly, wants to end money bail, and doesn't take corporate money. Quick summary of Sanders' positions: https://twitter.com/JStein_WaPo/status/1097831093959577601
And I know Sanders won't retreat on these issues, he won't dilute Medicare for All with "access to healthcare" or some other cheap qualifier, he won't compromise Green New Deal, and he certainly won't promise something if he cannot fight for it.
He's not like Kamala Harris whose aides have to go backpedal on her Medicare for All stance (https://nypost.com/2019/02/01/what-kamala-harris-backtrack-means-for-medicare-for-all/)
He's not like Cory Booker who worked with none other than Betsy DeVos on eliminting public school and promoting school choice, a favorite right-wing point (https://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/02/booker_and_devos_served_together_now_he_voted_agai.html)
He's not like Amy Klobuchar who just thinks GND and M4A are "unrealistic" and offers up nothing in return. "Pragmatic" is not a policy.
He's not like Joe Biden who was paid $200k to give a speech on the behalf of a Republican, who then went on to win (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/23/us/politics/biden-speech-fred-upton.html)
He's the Bernie Sanders who is rightfully proud that he's not friends with that ghoul Henry Kissinger (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCjQbTEuoDU).
2) He’s not a guaranteed win against Trump — Kamala and Booker are far more likely to take NV, FL, and NC than Bernie. And Klobuchar is more likely to take the Midwest.
Is anybody guaranteed to win an election two years before it takes place? These are amazingly bold predictions for someone who didn't bother citing even a single poll, and it's so premature, so why even bother making the claim?
3) Bernie is the second richest person running (google candidate names followed by “net worth”)
No. Straight lie. Do in fact as the original Medium author says and google the term to find nothing like he suggests. Consider: https://www.rollcall.com/wealth-of-congress
4) He’s the only one who won’t release his taxes (well and Trump).
No. https://www.politico.com/story/2016/04/bernie-sanders-tax-return-222041 (note the time stamp on the Politifact check and the time stamp on the Politico article. It's a completely dishonest claim to make in retrospect in 2019)
5) He’s the establishment — he’s been a politician for 39 years (longer than anyone else running). A vote for Bernie is emphasizing that we shouldn’t ever have “new blood” or term limits.
The independent senator from Vermont is the establishment? Also why does his time as an independent tiny town mayor in Vermont count against him being a political insider?
6) He’s not accomplished. In 29 years (the house and senate) Bernie has only gotten 220 bills/amendments passed into law and most weren’t big deals — like renaming a post office. Whereas Elizabeth Warren has passed 45 bills/amendments into law in 6 years, Gillibrand has passed 92 in 12 years, and Klobuchar 125 in 12 years. So, he’s the least accomplished running.
I guess they call him the roll call amendment king for nothing. Let's pretend that "bills/amendments passed" without any consideration of their content is a good metric of anything. Let's do some math. First of all, Bernie's been in the House and Senate for 28 years, not 29, so that's already misleading (I'll take the other numbers as given).
Sanders: 220/28 = 7.86 Bills&Amendments per year Warren: 45/6 = 7.5 Gillibrand 92/12 = 7.66 Klobuchar 125/12 = 10.41
What does this information tell us? Well the author sets up Warren and Gillibrand as if they do so much more than Bernie, which they don't. But the real answer to this question is it tells us absolutely nothing, other than these Congresspeople do work. So again, this is a complete non-point.
7) He doesn’t have a progressive voting history on the most important issues such as voting against the brady bill and other anti gun legislation multiple times.
He literally does have a progressive voting history. To focus on a single aspect where he's more ambivalent than on other issues (guns) and to then take that and make it out like he's not progressive is just false. The NRA has often rated Bernie as an F on guns (a ringing endorsement!) But as I mentioned, Sanders has shifted the overton window back toward the left. We owe him for a renewed national dialogue!
8) He voted for the Commodity Futures Modernization Act in 2000 (easing regulations on Wall Street) which caused the Great Recession.
Super disingenuous to bring that up but not bring up his vote against Gramm–Leach–Bliley, which repealed Glass Steagall and deregulated investment vs commercial banking. Bernie voted against TARP, and he is against banks as institutions that can become too big to fail. http://fortune.com/2018/10/03/bernie-sanders-bill-big-banks/
9) He voted to end the 3–10 year ban on immigrants who overstayed their Visa by supporting the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.
Look at this 750 page omnibus bill. Anyway, following the house vote link from here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegal_Immigration_Reform_and_Immigrant_Responsibility_Act_of_1996 it actually says he voted against it, so...
10) He’s a war hawk: Sanders supported the war on Serbia in the 90’s, and voted for the 2001 Authorization Unilateral Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF), allowing Bush to wage war wherever he wanted.
Yes, Bernie Sanders the war hawk who voted against the Iraq War. More recently he was a sponsor of a bill to end US support for war in Yemen, which passed the Senate. I am not in full support of Bernie's foreign policy stances, but the term "war hawk" has meaning, and it does not apply to Bernie Sanders in the least. Also, good point, when literally everyone else voted in reaction to Sept. 11 to go to endless war, Rep. Barbara Lee did the most courageous thing to do in that immediate fury reaction and voted NO. So to blame Bernie specifically for something that literally any of the other leading Dems would've done is to not indict Bernie, but to indict the whole country. Bless Barbara Lee, though.
11) He voted in favor of the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998. The bill stated: “It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.”
Good criticism, finally. This one is new to me, and I find this vote regrettable. Though it's time to take note that all these things from the 90s were mostly signed in by Bill Clinton and supported by Dems broadly.
12) “Later that same year, he backed a resolution that stated: ‘Congress reaffirms that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic. government to replace that regime.’ These measures gave congressional backing for the CIA’s covert plan to overthrow the Hussein regime in Baghdad, as well as the tightening of an economic sanctions regime that may have killed as many as 500,000 Iraqi children. The resolution also gave the green light to Operation Desert Fox, a four-day long bombing campaign striking 100 targets throughout Iraq.”
This guy really has to pad out points, 10, 11, and 12 should go together under one point. FP was a weak point for Bernie overall, I agree. BTW, Sanders didn't vote to authorize the Iraq War. Then-senator Clinton did, though!
13) He voted for the crime bill in the 90’s he blamed Hillary for — even though she wasn’t a senator.
Very misleading. Sanders was not for the tough-on-crime parts of the bill, but he said "I have a number of serious problems with the crime bill, but one part of it that I vigorously support is the Violence Against Women Act. We urgently need the $1.8 billion in this bill to combat the epidemic of violence against women on the streets and in the homes of America." Read this for much more. https://www.vox.com/2016/2/26/11116412/bernie-sanders-mass-incarceration. Also, gotta love that the Clintons used prison labor in the Arkansas governor's mansion, and she casually just talks about it in her book and sees no problem with that. But I digress.