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Bernie Sanders Is a Once in a Lifetime Presidential Candidate. The Time Is Now.

01/29/2016 09:55 am ET
  • H. A. Goodman Columnist published in The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Baltimore Sun, The Hill, Salon, The Jerusalem Post www.hagoodman.com
The Washington Post via Getty Images

In a world of American media displaying never-ending coverage of ISIS beheadings, how many politicians say "I'll be damned" if Americans lead the fight against ISIS?

Bernie Sanders is the only presidential candidate to win the Congressional Award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

While Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump compete to sound more hawkish, only Bernie Sanders says, "I'll be damned if kids in the state of Vermont -- or taxpayers in the state of Vermont -- have to defend the royal Saudi family, which is worth hundreds of billions of dollars."

When people like Paul Krugman evaluate Bernie Sanders and Clinton, the feasibility of a single-payer program is scrutinized, but money spent funding perpetual wars never seems to be evaluated. In terms of interest alone for both Iraq and Afghanistan, Brown University's Cost of War states, "By 2054, interest costs will themselves be at least $7.9 trillion unless the US changes the way that it pays for the wars."

Remember the war tax you paid to fund Iraq? Of course not.

Many of today's threats to U.S. national security stem from the Bush Administration, and the Democrats who sided with these neocons. Unlike Clinton, who views her Iraq Vote as simply a "mistake," Bernie Sanders possessed enough wisdom to evaluate the same intelligence Clinton now blames for her mistake.

One look at what Bernie Sanders warned in 2002 illustrates his unique status among American politicians. Here's his speech opposing the Iraq War, and ask yourself how much of today's world Sanders was able to foresee:

Mr. Speaker, in the brief time I have, let me give five reasons why I am opposed to giving the President a blank check to launch a unilateral invasion and occupation of Iraq and why I will vote against this resolution.

One, I have not heard any estimates of how many young American men and women might die in such a war or how many tens of thousands of women and children in Iraq might also be killed...

Fifth, I am concerned about the problems of so-called unintended consequences.

Who will govern Iraq when Saddam Hussein is removed and what role will the U.S. play in ensuing a civil war that could develop in that country?

Will moderate governments in the region who have large Islamic fundamentalist populations be overthrown and replaced by extremists?

Did Hillary Clinton possess the wisdom of Bernie Sanders, at a time America needed a leading Democrat to counter the neocons in Bush's administration?

Clinton might be "wicked smart," like President Obama states, but Bernie Sanders possesses wisdom. Wisdom and intelligence are different, and if you confuse the two, you're stuck with an endless stream of politicians like Hillary Clinton. With Bernie Sanders, America will get someone who makes decisions based upon principle and value system, not political expediency and evolution.

There's a reason The Economist ran a cover with the words, "What does Hillary stand for?"

If you've been in the spotlight for decades, yet people don't know what you stand for, then you might be "wicked smart," but your intelligence doesn't correlate to wisdom.

Furthermore, if you call an Iraq Vote a mistake, then repeat the mistake by advocating the bombing of Libya, the phrase "smart power" is meaningless. As stated in The New Republic, "Benghazi Won't Stick to Hillary Clinton, But the Disastrous Libyan Intervention Should."

Also, if Hillary Clinton has been around forever, yet 59% of voters find her "not honest and trustworthy," then her experience hasn't correlated to effective leadership. It's never good to read a Washington Post headline titled Hillary Clinton's historical problem with honesty. What's most disturbing is Clinton's Bosnia sniper story; it never happened.

In contrast, Bernie Sanders is the only presidential candidate in 2016 with positive favorability ratings.

While Paul Krugman and some others feel that Hillary Clinton is "ready" to govern, they fail to mention whether or not she'd govern wisely, or at all, if the FBI declares she jeopardized national security with her private server. In addition, while pundits earnestly debate the feasibility of social programs presented by Bernie Sanders, from free college tuition to single-payer healthcare, very few observers ask how Americans would pay for Hillary Clinton's "neocon" foreign policy.

Has Clinton learned from her Iraq War vote? With all the tragic consequences of Iraq, Libya, and other failed policies, Clinton will still have a "neocon" foreign policy according to one leading historian quoted in The New York Times:

"I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy," Mr. Kagan said, adding that the next step after Mr. Obama's more realist approach "could theoretically be whatever Hillary brings to the table" if elected president. "If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue," he added, "it's something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that; they are going to call it something else."

Remember, Hillary Clinton is supposed to be a Democrat, not a remnant of the Bush administration.

Another New York Times article titled The Next Act of the Neocons explains the type of people who'd advise a future Clinton White House:

Even as they castigate Mr. Obama, the neocons may be preparing a more brazen feat: aligning themselves with Hillary Rodham Clinton and her nascent presidential campaign, in a bid to return to the driver's seat of American foreign policy...

And the thing is, these neocons have a point. Mrs. Clinton voted for the Iraq war; supported sending arms to Syrian rebels; likened Russia's president, Vladimir V. Putin, to Adolf Hitler;

It's easy to imagine Mrs. Clinton's making room for the neocons in her administration...

If you're a Democrat, and "it's easy to imagine" neoconservatives advising your choice for president, then you're not truly a Democrat. You're a Republican on foreign policy, but enjoy spreading disparaging memes on Facebook representing your viewpoint of socially backwards conservatives.

Finally, how many American politicians do you know who would drive a busload of people in need of affordable medication, into Canada? The following is a C-Span transcript of Bernie Sanders describing his trip across the border in search of medication for his constituents:

Mr. SANDERS. Mr. President, there is not much I can add to the brilliant remarks made by Senator Dorgan. I think he, in a very comprehensive manner, made clear why the Senate and this country should move to prescription drug reimportation. I think he very ably answered the objections that we know are sure to come and made the case as well as could be made.

My State borders Canada. Some years ago, I put together what, in fact, turns out to be the very first bus trip to take constituents over the Canadian border to buy low-cost prescription drugs.

All of us have days which are transformative where something happens we will never forget, and that is the day I will never forget. On that day we took a busload of Vermonters, mostly women, many of the women struggling with breast cancer. We went from St. Albans, VT, to Montreal, Canada.

I will never forget the look on the faces of those women who were struggling for their lives when they bought breast cancer medicine at 10 percent of the cost they were paying in the State of Vermont.

The question is a very simple question: How do you have a drug manufactured by a company, manufactured in the same factory, put in the same bottles, sold in Canada, in some cases for one-tenth the price that same medicine is sold in the United States of America? How possibly can that happen?

Could you possibly imagine Clinton or Trump driving cancer patients across the border, in search of more affordable medication?

The time is now. Today, not tomorrow.

Save the cynicism for never-ending wars, not single-payer healthcare.

Will you ever see another statesman like Bernie Sanders in your lifetime?

Bernie Sanders is a once in a lifetime presidential candidate and I explain why I'm only voting for Sanders in this YouTube segment. I explain why Bernie Sanders will achieve a dominant victory to become president in my recent appearance on The David Pakman Show. There's a reason Donald Trump donated money to Hillary Clinton and other Democrats, and it's the same reason I'm only voting for Bernie Sanders in 2016.

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