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Why I Think I’m Feeling the Bern

I want to start this post by stating, without equivocation, I am and have been a registered Republican in the state of California since I’ve been able to vote. Now, that statement, these days, sounds like a confession more than a simple statement of fact. And that’s the real problem. Within the last few years, all I’ve seen from the GOP is a flood of, what I can only guess is, the best the party has to offer. In this primary, it’s Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, who lead the most recent polls with about 45.8% and 29.8% respectively. A dire sign for my party, one that has been stumbling to find some semblance of a rational platform for years now not to mention the travesty that we can now call a wrapped-up New York primary.

Ben_Carson_by_Skidmore_with_lighting_correctionI initially thought, naively, that Ben Carson would provide some glimmer of hope. First, he was a minority candidate, meaning he must understand the struggles of being in the minority. He attended Yale (B.S. Psychology) and University of Michigan (M.D.), which means he is a man of rational thought who has had schooling that goes above and beyond what the average American gets in his or her lifetime. Lastly, he is a doctor meaning that he would value the lives of people above all. You would think all this. You would be wrong. Let’s do the list…

He was against raising the minimum wage and stated famously, “Every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases.” He doesn’t believe in the American education system, of which he was a part of and told the American public he would like to use the Department of Education (DoE) to, “…. monitor our institutions of higher education for extreme political bias and deny federal funding on that basis.” He doesn’t believe in evolution (probably the most widely accepted scientific theory on the planet which has shaped our understanding of every living organism), believes that the Big Bang is the work of the devil, believes that the US is Nazi Germany, and of course, my favorite, using drones to strike caves people use to hide in when they are trying to get to the US from Mexico. No really, he believes all these things. So much for that B.S. he got a Yale (pun intended), one of the highest rated universities on the planet. The last straw for me was his endorsement of Donald Trump, who Brian did a great job of covering previously.

TedCruzWideSo who’s left that’s a viable candidate? Ted Cruz? Really? I encourage anyone to open a new tab and search for some of the craziest things uttered by a man who I can only describe as “bat shit crazy”. Of course, he’s not Ben Carson crazy… or is he? To circumvent the further beating of this dead horse, I’ll just share the bullet points this time:

I wish I could say that was the extent of his shenanigans, but regretfully, I cannot.

Now, as a fiscal conservative, I do not agree with a lot of Bernie’s platform. I am not for increasing individual income tax though I tend to agree that companies should pay more. I am not for making college tuition free mainly because that’s just another item that would add to our spending. I don’t believe in raising the minimum wage, if low skill wage earners want more pay, they should strive for higher paying jobs. The list goes on. However, there are a few items that turn it all around for me.

The first is the issue of campaign finance reform. On this issue alone I would gladly accept any other unfavorable changes we might see if Mr. Sanders becomes president. The reason is simple. Our system is broken and the way that campaigns are financed is the single biggest cause of it. It creates a self-perpetuating system designed to leverage the full power of the government to help those with the deepest pockets. The next issue that speaks to me is one that has been at the forefront of the Democratic debate which would be reforming Wall Street. The idea that we have banks that are “too big to fail” where proof of wrongdoing only triggers the customary hand slap fine is absolutely unacceptable.

There are way too many issues here to discuss in such a short post, but I think the main idea that I am trying to get across is that our country is in dire need of a helping hand. Gone are the days when people could look at issues and make informed decisions about each issue as opposed to wholesale acceptance of a political party’s platform. These days, it’s join a party or die alone. Is that really what our founding fathers wanted? We are a country of immigrants who escaped to the US from all corners of the globe looking for a land of opportunity. We found it. We escaped persecution, censorship, human rights violations… the list goes on and on. And yet, in 2016, we are still talking about preserving the “sanctity” of heterosexual relationships (Laughable considering that current divorce rates are anywhere between 20% to 50% depending on how you calculate it), deporting people who represent a huge class of diligent workers who all want to one day live the American dream and stopping Muslims from entering America. We’ve lost our way… To find it, we need a radical change. For me, it means looking outside my bat-shit-crazy party to find the one candidate that isn’t racist, isn’t a criminal guilty of treason and doesn’t encourage violence where ever he goes. If that means voting for Bernie, I’ll do it gladly. Let’s just hope he doesn’t bow out of the race.

Alex S. Pak
A young professional with a passion for rhetoric. He was born and raised in Southern California where he attended high school and college. Alex focused his studies on the humanities and is a keen observer of the human condition. In is spare time, enjoys reading, watching movies, and partying like a rock star.

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