By Mark Kobzik
When I show up to the polls along with thousands of other New Hampshire voters, I will have to choose between three candidates. Unfortunately, in a system where there are only two parties, the picking is not very democratic. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley are all better than the Republican candidates. I base this off the fact that not only do they represent my social and economic values, but also the two big issues facing this country: climate change and campaign finance reform. Among the Democrats, it’s really only Bernie Sanders who shows any seriousness to fight on these issues.
Hillary Clinton—whose campaign machine is a work of branding and propagandistic marketing, just like Barack Obama’s in 2008 and 2012—is based on the fact that she will be the first female president and will continue Obama’s progressivism. Almost everything President Obama promised when it came to serious reform, he completely surrendered the day he entered office. Obama has been a good president on the basis of the post-recession economy, but once again that is only due to the fact that whenever liberals bring up his presidency, it is usually through the critique of: “Well he’s better than a Republican. Better than Bush.” Well, this is true in some cases, but there are extremely cynical and perverse elements in the Obama administration.
What does this have to do with the 2016 election? Everything. We know that Hillary Clinton is the de facto presidential nominee because she has the campaign donations from Wall Street and corporate America that Obama had in his campaigns, and she has the overwhelming support of the Democratic Party, which sold itself to the corporate sector during the Bill Clinton administration. Under Clinton, the prison system was expanded, Wall Street became deregulated beyond absurdity, and the American welfare system was crushed. If Clinton wishes to base her presidency off Obama’s and Clinton’s, then we know we liberals cannot trust her. This is where Bernie Sanders comes in.
For the past two decades, the Democratic Party has become as illegitimate as the Republicans. It is based around serving those it receives campaign donations from and a never ending preoccupation with empire. Sanders, a long time independent and socialist, lost most credibility by standing with the Democratic Party whose only working class soldiers are Senator Warren and few others. Sanders has, in Chris Hedges terms, “given the Democratic Party legitimacy where it deserves none.” This might sound harsh, but there is a reason to it. In just the last few years, Obama has drastically expanded the most draconian and anti-Constitutional laws in history. Obama has used the Espionage Act an incredible six times, when all previous presidents used it only three times. Obama has continued the support of Israel, a state that breaks international law without any backlash, he has murdered American citizens without trial and continued to keep prisoners at Guantanamo Bay after campaigning to end it.
Hillary Clinton, while serving as the Secretary of State, championed the secretive and subversive Trans-Pacific Partnership only to withdraw support after she found out Sanders was deciding to support real liberal causes, can’t be trusted. The Benghazi trials were a sham. Not due to the fact there was no scandal, but because it was a political circus that helped fuel her campaign. The media has done almost no due diligence in reporting Clinton’s hawkish interest groups and her pandering to Netanyahu, but feel free to call Sanders a sexist based on the most ridiculous terms. Clinton also knows that the Democratic establishment will never oppose her, so the very anti-democratic debate schedule, which she never opposed, will help in her mission to evade the media and the people.
Sanders is a democratic socialist running in a Democratic Party that has been long subservient to unfettered capitalism. So this is the issue. Sanders is most likely not going to win the nomination and then will campaign for Hillary because the doctrine, anyone but a Republican, means that American liberals will vote for an Obama or Clinton presidency, even though it is not liberal in any sense of the word. I have listed grievances I have about the party which has no wish to stimulate a passionate constituency. What ever happened to the party that fought against the empire, not just because it was a mistake, but because it was immoral? Where is the party that fought for the middle class, instead of fighting for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the next blow to the American working class? Sanders is raising these issues, but not in an independent party where a real political revolution can happen. His message can change this country, but it can’t within a party and a system that is so dead.
Mark Kobzik is a junior majoring in English/journalism.