Why voting for Grandpa Bernie might make sense

Who has ever heard of of Bernie Sanders?

Up until about 2 months ago, the answer for most people would have been something like 'Nobody' or 'Bernie who?'

Since then the right honorable Senator Bernie Sanders has garnered significant support. He is suddenly looking like a viable candidate and there are some reasons voting for him might make sense.

He is not a Democrat. Yes that's right.  Apparently there is a quirk in DNC rules that permits somebody who is not a registered democrat to run in Democratic presidential primaries. Yes, it is definitely weird and if he is successful he might make history. The only independent politician to win the presidency on a democratic ticket. Then there is the question of vice-president. How about Elizabeth Warren?  Wouldn't that be something - the first female vice-president. Many might find the idea intriguing.

He tells it like it is.  He doesn't pull punches punches:
  • We are an oligarchy (he even hast the chutzpah to say so on the floor of the Senate
  • Our bridges are falling down - lets fix them
  • Climate change is real - we need to act now
  • Education is important - lets fund it
  • Everyone deserves access to affordable health care
  • Everyone deserves access to respectable work.
He is not a Republican. He has solid progressive credentials.  Bernie never severed as a chapter president of the Young Republicans. In college he campaigned for civil rights.

Now here's some things that Grandpa Bernie needs to do to make voting for him make even more sense.

Conduct an out of the box campaign.  As he has noted, it is going to take a revolution to address the problems that face us in the 21st Century.  Actually, it will take a number of revolutions; social and economic as well as political.  If he runs a traditional campaign he will lose, it's is that simple.  He needs to run a campaign that retains the good aspects of the traditional campaign approach and discards the bad aspects. It is great that he has eschewed the traditional big money approach.  What he needs to do, is make a firm commitment to only accept individual contributions totaling $2000 or less per contributor.

More then eschewing the traditional big money sources he needs to distance himself from other traditional interests.  Cozy up to close to the traditional Union or the Democratic machines and he will at least be perceived as being beholden to them.

By all means do the traditional campaign appearances, voter registration drives, block canvassing, etc but use 21st Century approaches to enhance these traditional activities. His supporters should be more then a source of funds, They are resources, creative resources. Out there are people who are capable of writing speeches, shooting video spots, providing insight to his positions. Bernie needs to engage them closely. While his campaign has set up a web site, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, this is not enough. He needs to set up a mechanism where people can contribute easily, in a digital fashion and collaborate with the campaign. Have ongoing discussions with his supporters regarding things like strategy, his position etc. Be open about this - let anyone read these discussions, personally contribute to these discussions. Enlist people to write speeches, produce videos, join in public discussions.

Bernie purports to be a man of the people.  He needs to engage people as people and be seen doing so. Have a camera crew follow him around capturing him shaking hands, kissing babies but more importantly talking to people one on one and in small groups. Clips of this should be on his YouTube channel.

Embrace his age,  Bernie is 79 years old. This is not a handicap, its an advantage. With the advances currently being made in the medical labs Grandpa Bernie has a good chance of living to be a productive 100 or more. With age, comes experience. With experience comes wisdom.  When challenged on this, he should respond with something like:

"I'm glad I'm 79. It means that I have been a carpenter, a freelance journalist, a political organizer and activist, a salesman and oh yeah, I also found time to become a politician. I bring a wealth of experience; political, social, governance and real world to the issues and I'm proud of that."

Bernie has been referenced as 'Grandpa Bernie'. This is not meant to be facetious but rather more of the form of a suggestion. He should consider adopting it as a campaign moniker. It's folksy. Everyone has a grandpa (actually 2) that they identify with (usually positively).

One last piece of gratuitous advice:

Run Grandpa Bernie. RUN! 

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