Bernie Sanders has a fairly decent platform, but it depends too much on what Congress will do. For instance, his immigration plan: He promises to sign an immigration law. But it is Congress that passes such laws and unless he has a Congress he can force to do his will, this is a promise he cannot keep as President.
I find many of his platforms similarly, meaning he has a lot of work he wants Congress to do but as President, he can only cajole and not control Congress . . . as many Presidents have soon discovered. Senator Sanders has yet to say what he can do as President on many fronts. It is almost like he is running to be a kind of Super Congressman who writes laws and then signs them into law. It does not work like that in our Constitutional system.
Bernie claims to be seriously running for President, but 3+ months after running, he has yet to have a national security or foreign policy platform. Nada. Zip. Nothing.
ABC interviewed him on this.
That was the supposition put forward on Sunday morning by This Week’s Martha Raddatz, who pointed out to Sanders that “There are two issues that are entirely missing from your campaign website, and those are issues of national security and foreign policy.”
She asked, “Don’t you feel these are issues a president should be very concerned about?”
“Absolutely, Martha, and in all fairness, we’ve only been in this race for three-and-a-half months, and we’ve been focusing on, quite correctly as you’ve indicated, on the economy, on the collapse of the American middle class, on massive income and wealth inequality,” the candidate explained. “But you’re absolutely right. Foreign policy is a huge issue.”
His main reason? He's only been in the race for 3.5 months. Yet, Bernie Sanders is a man who has spent a good portion of his adult life in Congress. Presumably, he was thinking of being President before announcing his run. He has to have some sense of what it takes to actually be President, having served 25 years in Congress and having thus worked under several Presidents by now.
As Barack Obama discovered, a President cannot merely focus on one thing. Shit happens all at once. You have to multitask. And, yet. 3.5 months into his campaign, Bernie Sanders, US Senator Bernie Sanders, does not have platforms for National Security or Foreign Policy. We live in a global economy and global community. It's the 21st Century. Not having a foreign policy platform is kind of shocking . . . or at least to me it was. I have to admit to being taken aback by the lack and Senator Sanders' excuse.
I understand why economic justice is a pillar of his campaign, but I do not understand him focusing on it to the exclusion of all else. It has to be a pillar of the campaign and not the whole campaign. After all, the economy is fairly stable right now. President Obama and the Democrats stopped a Great Recession and has led the nation's employment rate back to before Dubya took office. President Obama helped dig the auto industry out of its mess. Unemployment is down. Stock market healthier than it has been. In fact, under the President Obama presidency, the US actually leads the world in economic growth. Indeed, as noted:
While the president is not solely responsible for a nation’s economic health, Barack Obama has presided over 65 consecutive months of private sector job growth. 13 million new jobs have been added during his tenure in the White House.
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The bottom line is that while the economies of other developed nations are struggling to grow, the U.S. economy is moving forward at a healthy clip. Under President Obama, America’s economy is doing just fine.
Certainly, there are things that need to be done
to increase the health in the economy, e.g., increase wages, but a lot of Bernie's platform is what he wants a legislature to do.
If Bernie wants to be President, he has to start acting like he knows what the job entails. President Obama is deemed one of the Most Consequential Presidents because of his ability to multitask. He has significant successes internationally and domestically. Indeed, the Vox article lists how diverse President Obama's successes are and have been. And, he's not stopping. He continues to multitask.
No President can focus on one thing or three things. No candidate should expect to focus on one or three things, leaving all else left unaddressed. Obama inherited an economy deeply in the red, wars, a USA that was no longer respected as leader when not in war, our credibility was low.
President Obama will gift his successor with a fairly healthy economy. Obamacare that is helping people be insured and thus healthier. A USA image and reputation restored. President Obama is popular worldwide, in fact,
Half or more in 29 of 40 countries surveyed say they have confidence in President Obama to do the right thing in world affairs
A presidential candidate will have to maintain and grow what has already been built and ignoring foreign policy seems outrageous for any candidate.
Can Bernie do the job of President? So far, he's lacking. He needs to come up to speed. National security and foreign policy is a big part of what a 21st Century President is expected to do. Not, only expected to do, but expected to excel at. I'd be interested in seeing Bernie Sanders' policies on national security and foreign policy. For now, he doesn't have them.
Bernie has platforms for
Income and Wealth Inequality
Getting Big Money Out of Politics
Creating Decent Paying Jobs
Fighting for Women’s Rights
A Fair and Humane Immigration Policy
A Living Wage
Real Family Values
Climate Change & Environment
Reforming Wall Street
Lots of things are missing. Most glaringly, for now, is Foreign Policy. National Security. Initially, Racial Justice was missing and Senator Sanders added that in during August. Perhaps September will see other gaps filled in.
His list is a good start, but it is not near enough if Bernie truly wants to be President. Bernie has to start focusing like a laser on the things he can do as President. Certainly, a President can use his/her office to try to persuade Congress to pass certain laws, but it the job of the US Congress to actually pass the laws.
Granted, we need a working, Democratic Congress and we must all work to get out the vote to ensure that whomever is President has a chance to get laws in place. But that ideal may not happen and a President still has to work within our Constitutional system.