Sen. Bernie Sanders held a press conference today to discuss the some of the big issues facing the U.S. and his ideas to address them as a presidential candidate. It was a short conference- about ten minutes- but within that time, Sen. Sanders impressed me once more with his passion and his stances on the issues. Here’s a quick rundown–
The economy: I really like how he described the current problem of income inequality as immoral. He also called our current economic trajectory “unsustainable.”
Campaign finance: Billionaires should not be able to buy elections and/or candidates. I hope that he will live up to the point that his campaign will make its money from small individual contributions via his website. According to the National Institute on Money in State Politics, in 2012, Sen. Sanders had $4.1 million in unitemized donations (i.e. donations in the amount of less than $200). That’s an impressive grassroots fundraising effort.
Climate change: Big goal of the U.S. leading the world away from fossil fuels, and towards energy efficiency and sustainability.
Infrastructure: To help fight unemployment in the U.S., he has a plan that would create and maintain (that’s the key) 13 million jobs. I highly recommend looking at the 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure from the American Society of Civil Engineers for more information on the current status of our crumbling infrastructure.
College affordability: Students are graduating college with staggering amounts of debt. Sen. Sanders would like to make public universities tuition-free, similar to Germany. As a result of rising tuition costs, university education has become more of a privilege than a right. Here in Wisconsin, four years at the flagship public university, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will cost students almost $100,000.
Campaigns: I agree with him that we need serious debates over serious issues. I also appreciate that he does not go negative in his campaigns. He also emphasized that disagreement is part of democracy and that he runs “vigorous campaigns.” After his press conference ended, Hillary Clinton’s campaign sent out a tweet welcoming Sen. Sanders to the race; he gave an excellent reply–
Based on this press conference, and other speeches and articles, I can confidently declare that I support Sen. Sanders in his run for the presidency.
Thanks for reading.
**Thanks to J.T. Stepleton for the information on unitemized donations.