Why I am voting for Bernie Sanders:

My son and I have watched all of the political debates so far for this year’s primaries.  The primary reason that I registered as an Independent many years ago is truer today than ever before:  Hypocrisy.  The blatant hypocrisy on both sides makes it impossible to sign on with either Party.  Neither side represents me, or my beliefs, or my concerns.  I believe that the time for a third Party is long overdue.

With regard to the Right:  I don’t buy their “less government” claims.  It would be more accurate to say they want less government when it comes to taxes and regulations, but more government when it comes to personal social issues.  They want less government interference into how they make money and what they do with the money, but that seems to be about the extent of it.  They don’t want to lose the tax loopholes already in place for the wealthy.  They don’t want to lose the huge subsidies and tax exemptions for the largest corporations.  They certainly don’t want to acknowledge how those things have already decimated the middle class with virtually no accountability.

They do want the government to interfere into the private lives of citizens where it suits their purposes.  They do want the government to step in and deny women the right to decide what happens to their own bodies.  They do want the government to step in and decided who can marry and who cannot marry.  They do want the government to promote Christianity, whether that represents the majority of people or not; whether that is Constitutional or not.  They do want to increase military spending, despite the disastrous impact our ill-advised wars have had on the world.

I have watched the debates and as I’ve listened to these philosophies and demands coming from the Right, I cannot understand why anyone but the wealthiest 1% would ever vote for them.  It can’t be for economic reasons, as the Right is clearly only looking out for the very wealthy.  Is it simply because of religion, abortion, and gay rights?  Evidently so.  Sorry, but I see nothing but hypocrisy there too.  You don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” when you want to cut or eliminate all the programs that help children.  It’s not enough to be “pro-birth” when you abandon the child as soon as it’s born.  Children need food and shelter and education throughout their lives.  It’s not enough to mumble incoherently about how parents need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and work to support those children and not depend on the government to help.  That world no longer exists.  Their jobs have left the country and their benefits were lost to deregulation.  Prices continually go up, wages have not.  One would think that given the opposition on the Right to abortion, and to social programs that help poor families, that they would be huge proponents of birth control.  One would be wrong about that.  Many of them apparently don’t believe in birth control at all, and those who do are vocal about not wanting any of their tax dollars contributing to paying for it for women who can’t afford it.  At best, this is a case of wanting to have your  cake and eat it too.  More likely, it’s a matter of wanting to ensure that a poor and often uneducated population continues to be available for military service and minimum wage jobs.

“Support the troops”.How can you better support the troops than to bring them home?  And yes, I do believe that it’s not much more complex than that.  We need to stop being the world’s policemen and tend to our own domestic affairs.  We need to stop starting wars that we have no business being in.  We need to honor and take care of our Veterans by valuing their lives and the lives of their families.  They sacrifice more than anyone.  If a military person dies in service, their death should have been for a very honorable reason and treated as the ultimate sacrifice that it was.  I feel the same about those who are gravely wounded.  Is the reason they will spend the rest of their lives disabled worthy of the sacrifice they’ve made?  I’m not seeing that comprehension from politicians.  Their kids usually aren’t in harm’s way and they don’t appear to care much about other people’s kids.  I do support the troops.  I deeply appreciate and respect their commitment to serving their loved ones, communities, and country.  I appreciate and respect them enough to want to see them alive and well.  I want not a single one to die or be maimed in vain.  Perpetual war is not the answer.

Same sex marriage is an issue for people on the Right?  I can’t imagine why.  Same sex marriage really only affects gay people.  If you are gay, you probably support it.  If you aren’t gay, it doesn’t concern you and really is none of your business.  As a consenting adult, you get to decide who you will marry, if you marry at all.  You don’t get to decide that for others.  Worry about your own marriage and leave others to theirs.

Christianity in the government?  Read the Constitution.  Seriously.  Read it.  And if you don’t get it, go back and read it again.  The Bill of Rights, First Amendment, spells it out very clearly and concisely.  If you don’t understand that this country was founded as a place where people of all religions, or lack thereof, are free to practice as they see fit, and that none are permitted to rule the government, then go back and read it again.

With regard to the Left:  Ditto.  The Left has done nothing to alleviate the sorry condition of this country, and in fact has in many respects furthered the status quo.  I find the dismantling of vital middle class protections unconscionable.  The Left has allowed this to happen, either by greed or apathy.  They have nothing to brag about either, and are perhaps even worse since they have allowed us to lose some very important legislation that had already been hard won.

Bernie proposes major social revolution.  This country NEEDS major social revolution.  The current status is unsustainable.  Bernie Sanders is the only politician offering an alternative to the appalling mess the past two decades of politicians have left us in.  And that’s why I’m voting for Bernie.

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