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Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Shoring up Sanders’ Left Flank

Based on the issues, it looks like there is some room to the left of Bernie Sanders. He has supported:

Defense spending
Military interventions in at least 10 countries
Build-up to the first Gulf War
Sanctions against Iraq
Bombing of Yugoslavia
Depleted Uranium
F-35’s in Vermont
WMD-maker Sandia
Israeli talking points
Expansion of capital punishment
The War on Drugs
Dumping nuclear waste near Latinos in Sierra Blanca, Texas

I’m a little more hawkish than most Greens, but still, I don’t want any blood on my hands. It’s still early in the campaign. Maybe the Sanders supporters will be able to explain some of his stances. The Ukrainian thing sounds pretty bad, but the other side is Putin, which also sounds pretty bad. 

I was conflicted before both Gulf Wars, so I’m willing to cut Sanders a little slack on that. The first Gulf War, Iraq invaded Kuwait, so most people thought it was ok to roll Iraq back. The second Gulf War, we had misinformation, but Sanders still opposed it. The sanctions killed about 1.5 million Iraqis, maybe the Sanders campaign will attribute that to the misinformation.

To the best of my knowledge, the bombing of Serbia was a good thing, because they were committing genocide against the Bosnians.

Drones are making us a lot of enemies in Pakistan, as a lot of innocent people are part of the collateral damage. I’m not sure if Sanders objects to how the drones are being used. His campaign will need to explain this.

Greens feel strongly about depleted uranium. These armor-piercing weapons leave behind low-level radiation for thousands of years. I’m contending that Sanders supports it because he has not spoken against it.

On the F-35’s and Sandia, it sounds like he’s bringing home the pork to his home state. I’ve heard they all do it, but that’s no excuse. I’m not sure where the F-35’s fit into our defense strategy, in the age of drones. We need to find out if he’s really that bad on this, or just slightly bad.

As I noted above, Israel is oppressing the Palestinians. I haven’t heard Sanders say anything about divestment from Israel, but at least he supports a two-state solution.

Capital punishment is not my top issue. I oppose it mostly because it is more expensive than life imprisonment, and there is a chance you can execute an innocent person. But cases like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, where everybody knows he did it, he’s so stupid, so evil, I don’t think I care whether he lives or dies.

The War on Drugs has failed, but a lot of people were on board at the start. I don’t take any illegal drugs, but I also don’t like the violence that comes from outlawing drugs. Sanders’ position may have evolved on this.

Nuclear energy is bad, nuclear waste is bad, but we have it, nobody wants it, and you’re going to be under criticism no matter where you try to put it. I’m not sure if Sanders was aware who would be affected, or if he figured at least it was in GW Bush’s home state.

I think it’s safe to say that Bernie would attract more Green Individuals than Hillary. I also think it’s safe to say that Bernie is not as good as Jill Stein. If he wants my support, he will need to shore up his left flank.