Opinion

Sanders’ criticisms of wealth inequality gain him supporters

Illustration by Silvana Arguello

Illustration by Silvana Arguello

People are pissed off. The middle class has been shrinking ever since the 1980s, Wall Street has purchased Congress, the environment is on the verge of collapse, African Americans cannot walk their own streets without fear of police repression and students like us are drowning in debt while the rich have seen their wealth skyrocket to levels that have never been seen before.

Calling for a “nationwide political revolution,” Senator Bernie Sanders has managed to make the upcoming Democratic primary a real competition. Before he made waves with his strong middle class message, 2016 was supposed to be the year of Queen Hillary Clinton’s coronation. But the narrative has shifted.

In early August, 27,000 people showed up in Los Angeles to hear him hammer out his message, a gathering five times as large as any Hillary Clinton rally to date.

With his popularity jumping from 12 percent in July to 30 percent in August according to FOX and CNN polling, Sanders is now being called a “threat” and a “contender” by the media rather than a “long shot.”  All over the country, Sanders has campaigned for free college tuition, a ban on private prisons, a $15 minimum wage, healthcare for all and – wait for it – a constitutional ban on big money in politics.

Unlike some other 2016 candidates, Sanders hasn’t taken a dime from what he calls “the billionaire class,” and he refuses to collaborate with super political action committees (PACs). Instead, he raised over $15 million from mostly small donors, according to the Federal Election Commission’s 2015 second-quarter reportings.

Refusing to fraternize with the wealthy and powerful is an extension of Sanders’ general contempt for wealth inequality, which, as he frequently mentions, is at its highest since the Great Depression. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Sanders called out the nation on its  “grotesque level of income and wealth inequality where the top one-tenth of one percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.”

To bring Bernie’s message to the U, the University of Miami Young Democrats should hold a public Democratic primary debate or discussion where students can exchange their feelings on the 2016 election.

The more people who hear about Bernie’s message, the more people will support him, evidenced by his strong momentum in the polls. Students identify with his views because we know that this is not a joke. It’s our future.

#FeelTheBern.

Lucas Baker is a sophomore majoring in economics, international studies and political science.

Correction 5:30 p.m., Sept. 3, 2015: The story originally stated that Bernie Sanders raised “over $13 billion from mostly small donors,” which is incorrect. The correct amount is $15 million.

September 2, 2015

Reporters

Lucas Baker


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Here is some impressive news for the University of Miami football program: All but one of the remain ...

Lonnie Walker IV stood out on and off the court at the NBA Draft Combine, which ended on Sunday in C ...

University of Miami incoming prep star Will Mallory, the other half of the soon-to-be No. 1 freshman ...

View photos as Miami Hurricanes Coach Jim Morris ends 41-year career on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at M ...

The sullen, charcoal sky opened with a vengeance Saturday afternoon at Mark Light Field in Coral Gab ...

A snapshot guide to the start of summer in and around UM. ...

Former investment banker Charmel Maynard leads UM’s investments and treasury functions. ...

Over his more than two decades at the U, the dean of students from 1976-1989 always put students fir ...

The final Sea Secrets lecture at the Rosenstiel School examines the biofluorescence of marine organi ...

Maintenance mechanic Milton Davis has kept UM housing humming for decades. ...

Sinead Lohan and Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team earned ITA Southeast R ...

Sophomore righthander Evan McKendry and freshman Freddy Zamora were among those recognized by the At ...

Senior Jeb Bargfeldt was recognized as ACC Pitcher of the Week following a dominating performance ag ...

No. 7 seed Miami opens its run at the 2018 ACC Baseball Championship Tuesday, May 22 against No. 11 ...

Although 17th-year head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews has made Sweet 16 appearances commonplace the jour ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.