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Trump versus Sanders is the election America needs

by Jeff Sykes

It’s very possible that Hillary Clinton—with all the power, connections and pant suits money can buy—will still win the Democratic Party’s nomination for president this year. Florida’s junior senator, Marco Rubio, who to my knowledge has done nothing to distinguish himself as fit for the Oval Office, may very well rally enough of the fractured Republican Party to carry the banner this fall.

That would be an exciting election, to be sure. There would be compelling arguments and riveting debates across the country in such a scenario. But it’s not the face off America needs.

I’m writing this at my desk at YES! Weekly world headquarters in Adams Farm while staring at a picture of the 15th President of the United States of America. Go ahead. Look him up. I’ll wait. James Buchanan was a “doughface,” the so-called nickname for northern Democrats with southern sympathies in the run-up to the great split of 1860. He battled with political powerbroker Stephen A. Douglas for control of the Democratic Party throughout the 1850s. His primary failure was in not taking a stand. Buchanan attempted to hold the party together as Yankee common sense increasingly found itself at odds with southern Fire Eaters. He deferred to the courts on the question of slavery’s expansion into the territories, especially Kansas, where the Civil War was in full bloom three years before the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter.

To take a stand. That’s what this country needs. Make a decision and stick to it. Do you believe in science or not? Is “liberty and justice for all” a mantra or merely a mellifluous phrase with no meaning? Do you believe in the supremacy of the constitution over religious faith when it comes to deciding matters of law? Yes? No? One of the other, please, because there is no in-between in these matters.

That’s why Trump versus Sanders is the election this country needs in 2016.

I think Obama has been a decent president. I declined to vote for him. I can rarely cast a vote for a Democrat in good conscience. As the Republican Party of my youth left its mooring in the harbor of political rationality in recent years, I’ve found myself without a political home. I’m attracted to the Libertarian Green Party, but alas, no one’s created it yet. So I watch the national political debate without a dog in the fight.

It’s been entertaining to watch Democrats attempt to find solutions to national challenges in health care, education, infrastructure and other major issues while Republicans debate the legitimacy of science. I thought we’d reached the nadir of stupidity when the guy took the snowball into the house last year and said it was proof that global warming was a hoax. How naive I was.

Over the summer I was filled with certainty that the campaign of one Donald Trump was one big joke that would fade by Labor Day when things took a serious turn. All fall I kept waiting for the moment when the GOP establishment candidate would emerge and brush Trump aside so the grown-ups could have a political discussion.

But the Trump machine keeps on, aided by endless free press on the 24-hour news cycle when he says something stupid or one of his security detail roughs up a coed protesting at one of his hotels in Manhattan. As of Monday, Trump sat atop the polls in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Texas Senator Ted Cruz has tightened in Iowa, but Trump maintains commanding leads in the second and third primary states.

It’s incredible, really.

But on the other side something is brewing. I’ve been certain that lukewarm Clinton support would peel off as the election nears and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders gets his organization moving in the right direction. Clinton maintains decent leads in Iowa and South Carolina, with Sanders holding ground in the Granite State next to Vermont.

But Sanders is scoring major debate points each time he faces off with the former First Lady and recent Secretary of State. This past Sunday night Sanders teed off on Clinton for taking in millions in speaking fees from major banks and financial institutions. Sanders noted that Clinton received $600,000 alone last year from Goldman Sachs.

Sanders noted that major financial institutions paid out billions in fines for breaking laws in the run-up to the 2008 global economic meltdown. But not one has been prosecuted or jailed. Goldman Sachs was forced to pay a $5 billion fine recently for selling faulty mortgages.

“I find it very strange that a major financial institution that pays $5 billion in fines for breaking the law — not one of their executives is prosecuted, while kids who smoke marijuana, they get a jail sentence,” Sanders said, according to an article in Politico.

The man speaks direct truth. I’m not saying he’s the man for the job, or that his policy solutions are the answer to all our ills. But there is something refreshing about a white-haired white man in a blue suit speaking truth to power.

A contest between the guy who wants to build a wall across the Mexican border, round up the Muslims and force Apple Computers to make their products in America and the guy willing to speak the truths we all feel in our hearts regarding the economic inequality killing the spirit of the masses, now that’s the contest we need in 2016 for the future of America. !

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