Sanders can win, and America needs him to
To the editor:
I would like to commend reporter Phil Demers for his Jan. 3 article about the rally at UMass for Democratic presidential candidate, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders ("Sanders rallies crowd at UMass"). Phil's interviews with Pittsfield residents who attended capture the admiration and enthusiasm for Bernie among his supporters. It is that enthusiasm which sets him apart from either of his Democratic rivals.
The rallies for Bernie have drawn a preponderance of millennials, but there are also many seniors like myself who are excited by his candidacy. What excites us is that Sanders, like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, has been more than just a consistent sponsor of progressive legislation; he has been as well an outspoken leader of a movement to put people before profits and to create a more equitable society.
Many people who admire Bernie Sanders are hesitant to support him because they worry about his "electability." They fear that his nomination will allow a Republican to waltz into the White House next November. But Democrats and independents who like what Bernie represents should not succumb to defeatism. The truth is that Bernie Sanders' chances of winning against a Republican, given that party's dismal lineup, are very good.
Bernie can win because, like Elizabeth Warren before him, he has been proposing concrete ways to reverse the injustices that three decades of income redistribution upwards have caused. His recent appearances in New York City have shown that he is not afraid to take on Wall Street and the too-big-to-fail banks.
In addition, Bernie Sanders can win because he is the Democratic candidate who most authentically and dependably embodies our hopes and dreams for change. No other Democratic candidate so closely identifies with the aspirations of young people, seniors, minorities, and working families. No wonder that Sanders has inspired an army of volunteers to work indefatigably to elect him.
Ultimately, Bernie is electable because he can bring to the polls those who will not bother to vote unless they feel enthusiastic about a candidate and hopeful that their votes will do more than perpetuate the status quo. It is the lesson that Obama taught us so well.
I'm confident that Bernie Sanders can win next November. I know for sure that he deserves — and America needs him — to win.