I’ve been seeing a remarkably large number of people making the argument that because Bernie Sanders is a millionaire, he is somehow a hypocrite. This is a very strange claim. Here’s why.
Tonight I found myself looking over and old post–“Who is the Most Qualified Presidential Candidate Ever?“, from September 2016. It was shortly before the presidential election, and Americans were arguing about whether Hillary Clinton was the “most qualified” candidate in history, in the sense of “most experienced”. To answer that question, I devised a formula I thought was cute. So tonight I’ll score the 2020 Democratic nominees.
Once upon a time, Karl Marx and Mahatma Gandhi were driving a car through a spooky forest. It was spooky, in the sense that it was dark and mysterious and full of who knows what. Marx was behind the wheel, and Gandhi was in the passenger’s seat. Gandhi was looking nervous.
Every time I find a way to say that there is no one like Bernie Sanders, there are people who don’t believe me. Aren’t there other candidates who support the same policies he supports now? Some of them are younger. Some of them aren’t old white guys. Why can’t it be one of them, why can’t it be someone new? Over and over, I have tried to find ways to explain that there is a real difference between Bernie Sanders and everyone else. Today, as Sanders announces his candidacy for the presidency, I’m going to try one more time.
I see a lot of people making claims about how left wing or progressive various Democratic candidates or potential candidates are. Most of the time, I think these claims are flimsy. Commentators like to judge candidates on three core metrics:
I want to argue that these metrics are largely useless. Instead, I want to give you a much better toolkit for assessing candidates–one that most journalists don’t know how to use.