Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clin­ton agree on a majority of is­sues including income in­equality and social justice. But at the Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate broadcasted by NBC News on Jan. 17th, Sanders and Clinton showed us that they too can clash. They “tan­gled repeatedly over who’s tougher on gun control and Wall Street and how to steer the future of healthcare in America,” reported the Associated Press. I believe Bernie Sanders emerged as the clear winner of the debate.

When people are unhappy with the way things are, they are likely to favor someone who represents something different and has the potential to effect change. The type of change Sanders represents is best seen in his stance on the Affordable Healthcare Act. While Clinton kept repeating how she would improve the law, Sanders went even further.

Sanders assured voters he would not just keep universal healthcare in Americans’ hands but establish it as a right by making it a single-payer na­tional health care program—a right that no future congressional efforts can undo. Sanders also reminded Democrats that he helped write the law—proof of his passion for the health of working-class families.

Sanders is also taking advantage of one thing Hillary will never have—a blameless past. He has been a senator for just nine years as he has spent most of his political life outside Washington. Outsiders represent newness and freshness. He doesn’t have to answer questions about possible violations of national security laws nor accepting large speech fees from big companies, which is what the Clintons have done for years since the couple left the White House. And, of course, he has not been a subject of any FBI investi­gations. The future is the only thing Sanders needs to talk about.

As the Associated Press reported on the senator’s popularity among vot­ers, “Sanders, like Obama, has sought to offer a more uplifting message.” Politicians often make promises and break promises and they often pro­mote one idea while practicing an­other. Effort, not tones and sounds, makes Sanders’ message strong enough to win over the hearts of the voters who are tired of seeing a do-nothing Washington. Sanders attacks no other candidates because he only attacks the issues, the issues that are attacking the making of progress in this country.

Almost every candidate attacks the influence that money has in politics while their own campaigns are fed by big companies. Yet, only one of them attacks money in politics by rejecting money in politics and that candidate is Sanders, who refused to accept do­nations from Wall Street!

Hillary may be powerful, but Ber­nie is progressive enough to build a nation where the power of government should help make sure every day brings progress to us and every plan creates the progress that we need. Ber­nie’s message will indeed remind us of the importance and the decency of the progressive spirit that will make America progressive again!

ILLUSTRATION BY ANNA FERN
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