2016 US Presidential Election Speculation

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election speculation

Unread postby DreamGoddessLindsey » Fri May 16, 2014 7:49 pm

Oh, okay, cool beans. I really like the UK myself. Haven't been there, but it's on the bucket list.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election speculation

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat May 17, 2014 11:28 am

What chance of that being adopted by other states Liu Yuante?

Sun Fin wrote:Proportional Representation? :P

I think our system is slightly better than America's on this front though. We vote for a party rather than for a President and therefore we're voting for our local MPs who do have a stake in supporting us even in a safe seat. Does that make sense?


Sometimes people vote for a specific MP, sometimes a party leader but there are seats that just vote for same party. MP useless? MP lazy? MP corrupt (but not illegally so)? Well that doesn't matter, as longer as s/he wears the right colour rosettes, relection is a cert. Party leader promises the murder of every first born son? Still not going to lose the seat. The MP doesn't need to bother (though many of them do) and the party leader doesn't have to try to appeal to them at all.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election speculation

Unread postby Jordan » Sun May 25, 2014 3:14 am

There are some states in the U.S. that have adopted a model where different areas of the state can go to different candidates. My original home state, Nebraska, is one of those (the other is Maine). In 2008, the district comprising the city of Omaha went to Obama, while the rest of the state went to McCain. It was the first time an electoral college vote from Nebraska went to a Democrat since the early 60's.


While that's an improvement, if you think about it, this system carries the same problems as the electoral college except on a much smaller scale and with smaller scope.

You're cutting up the pieces of the pie into segments. That's better, but it still doesn't reward the Republican voters of Omaha at all.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election speculation

Unread postby DreamGoddessLindsey » Sun May 25, 2014 5:05 am

F*** the Electoral College.

The only way every vote counts is if the election is decided by popular vote.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election speculation

Unread postby James » Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:24 pm

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:F*** the Electoral College.

The only way every vote counts is if the election is decided by popular vote.

Votes still count, just more in some areas than others and it is possible for the popular vote to fail. For example, SOPA would not have been defeated so soundly if votes didn't matter (though it is a good example of the power the populace has if it can become united behind something).

At this point, though, I think our old voting system is more or less a relic of times with less effective technology. The cynic in my suspects that much of it remains in place because politicians have figured out how to game it to their benefit, though there may be plenty of naïvety to this view. Redistricting, for example, is a complete joke and a disgrace.

And the presidential election, in the least, should be decided by popular vote.

I'll omit some comment about how it would allow our individual votes to become truly equal because they're simply not. Money is the real driver of voting value.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election speculation

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:00 pm

So... bringing this back from the grave... (could we Sticky this, mods?)

Democrats:

Hillary Clinton - Current favourite of the Lower Manhattan set, whom everyone is obligated to treat as the frontrunner because she has been both First Lady and Secretary of State. In short, because she's 'serious'. Run of the mill establishmentarian; fanatically militaristic. Naturally, she's running on 'women's issues', which apparently primarily means the issues of white women in positions of professional and executive status. Recently gave a speech about how she would do everything possible to scare the Iranians and the Russians. In truth, she scares little children.

Bernie Sanders - Not exactly my cuppa, but it's been fun to watch him clamber the ranks with his barn-stomping democratic socialist rhetoric and appeals to the working and lower-middle classes. Makes some very good points about our economic policy; alone among the Democratic candidates he has actually initiated legislation (several times) to break up the big banks and reinstate Glass-Steagall. Man has gumption, no doubt about that. And experience, lots and lots of that. And he's run an incredibly clean campaign. Sadly, his grasp of foreign affairs is somewhat vague.

Jim Webb - A Scots-Irish Marine and Vietnam vet who has served with distinction as Reagan's Secretary of the Navy, who is somehow inexplicably polling next-to-last. I don't agree with him on social issues, where he's something of a garden-variety liberaltarian: he likes guns, gay marriage and legal abortion. On economic issues he tends to lean left of Hillary, but not of Bernie. But it's really his foreign policy which intrigues me; it's some of the most interesting (in a good way) stuff I've seen in quite some while. And of course he has the brass to back it: he's sat on the Committee of Foreign Relations and on several subcommittees related to foreign affairs.

Lincoln Chafee - Former governor of my home state, as a Republican. Now running as a Democrat on an anti-war platform. Actually, that might be quite admirable if he wasn't in practically all other respects little more than an unreconstructed libertarian. I do like the anti-surveillance bit and the opposition to the USA PATRIOT Act. But. Support for TPP, support for NCLB, support for regressive 'tax reforms', support for amnesty, support for legal cannabis, support for SSM, support for abortion. Yeah, I have pretty much all the same objections to him as I do to any other libertarian.

Martin O'Malley - Trying rather hard to compete with Bernie for left-wing populist turf on some issues, seeing as he also supports bringing back Glass-Steagall and opposes the TPP. On the other hand, on his home turf, he seems hard-pressed to defend himself as a pro-business candidate. In truth he's rather a dull candidate who is predictably centre-left on practically every issue put to him, but where he seems to be trying to build a sleek-and-sexy brand for himself is as a green technocrat (odd though that may sound).

Joe Biden - Last but certainly not least, Vice-President Joseph Robinette Biden appears to have thrown his hat and gloves in the old ring at last. He'll be riding on his accomplishments in the Obama Administration, just as Clinton would be. Probably not as hawkish as Clinton, but certainly enough to dampen my enthusiasm for the bloke, and his former spewing of some rather Hitlerite Slawenhass back in the '90's does not endear him to me in the slightest - or, more recently, his anti-Semitic language in 2014. Being Czech and Jewish, I'm rather sensitive to these sort of things, but one must admit the man has a damnable penchant for running his mouth. We'll see if he stands a chance, but I'm not exactly pulling for him.


Republicans:
(These descriptions are shorter because there are far more of them running)

Jeb Bush - Also a current favourite on account of his being related to two former Presidents. And probably just as crazy as his older brother. Running as a neoconservative hawk and establishment candidate. Clearly in with the big dogs, given that his economic proposals clearly benefit the 1%.

Donald Trump - The man with the Teflon toupée. Misogynist and anti-immigrant. The commentariat love to hate him; can't say I blame them. He has some interesting economic views (not as extreme as other Republicans), but it really grinds my gears that a New York real-estate baron from a wealthy family gets called a 'populist'.

Ben Carson - Okay, here's an interesting bloke. Pretty much standard Republican in most of the places that count, but to his credit he doesn't dismiss the idea that police brutality is a problem for black Americans. Surprisingly protectionist on trade issues as well.

John Kasich - Another interesting chap. Swings leftward on campaign finance and healthcare issues, funnily enough. Problem is, he's a buster of unions and a menace to the environment, and a right-wing hawk on foreign policy, so he won't be getting my vote. He's pro-establishment, in other words - but probably not pro-establishment enough to win the nomination.

Ted Cruz - The most anti-Christian of the Christian conservatives, and a Tea Partier to boot. Funny he should be so extremely anti-immigrant when he was not, in fact, born within the borders of these United States.

Mike Huckabee - If you were to ask me at gunpoint which Republican candidate I'd be most likely to vote for, I'd probably go for Mike. A real economic populist in some ways. Against the TPP and against big corporate money in elections, not anti-unions, not anti-pensions, not anti-welfare. Strikes me as a decent, stand-up guy - one who's willing to debate with Jon Stewart on mostly-friendly terms. Only problem is, like Biden, he's a foreign-policy hawk who occasionally makes tasteless, thoughtless comments about Jews.

Rand Paul - The inconsistent libertarian. The good: he's against surveillance-state measures and Gitmo. The bad: he's against campaign finance reform, against net neutrality, against living wages, and wants to take pensions from old people... But he's perfectly happy to use drone strikes against civilians in foreign countries.

Rick Santorum - Like Huckabee, he's a religious conservative. Unlike Huckabee, he's more of an unlikeable corporatist. Anti-CFR and anti-net neutrality. Is Catholic but criticises the Pope over Laudato Si', which not even a Southern Baptist like Huckabee was willing to do.

Marco Rubio - The pretty-boy Cubano candidate, who is (if it can be believed) even more neoconservative than Jeb, particularly in his refusal to admit to any lessons learned from past foreign misadventures. Interventionist basically everywhere. Pro-NSA, pro-Gitmo and pro-drone strikes, in addition to all the pro-corporate BS that the other Republicans stand on.

Chris Christie - Slightly more pro-environment than other GOP candidates running, but then, he's from New Jersey and can't afford for the air to get any dirtier. And by 'slightly', I mean 'slightly' - he's not a big fan of EPA protections. On pretty much everything else, he's kind of run-of-the-mill corporate Republican.

George Pataki - In the 'why bother' category, the token pro-LGBT and pro-abort Republican in the race. Ugh. Veteran statesman and all that, but he's made some pretty costly political gambles on opposing ObamaCare. And he's done his level best as Governor (but failed) to gimp the SUNY and CUNY systems the way Corbett and Walker have gimped their states' uni systems.

Jim Gilmore - ... Huh?

Lindsay Graham - The man who says that we'll have another 9/11 if we don't put boots on the ground in Syria, right now. Ugh.

Scott Walker - The man who says that fighting unions is like fighting ISIS. Ugh.

Carly Fiorina - The woman who pretty much single-handedly wrecked Hewlett-Packard. Uggh.

Rick Perry - Uh... Well... Um... The fact is, if you will... Uhhh... I would suggest to you, uhhm. Ugggggh.

Piyush 'Bobby' Jindal - The Louisiana governor who took money from the federal government, gave it all away in the form of corporate subsidies, slashed teachers and nurses from the state staff, still has a massive budget deficit, and used his record to brag about his state's economic success. UGGGGGH.


Suffice it to say, I'm probably going to be voting third-party this time around, if indeed I vote at all. Unless Jim Webb pulls off a miracle, that is. Anyhow, any other thoughts from the floor?
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election speculation

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:11 am

So after two primaries, what are people's thoughts? Who do you think will be the GOP's candidate to stop Trump?
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election speculation

Unread postby James » Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:07 am

Dong Zhou wrote:So after two primaries, what are people's thoughts? Who do you think will be the GOP's candidate to stop Trump?

The Republicans who happen to be horrified by Donald Trump and Ted Cruz seem to be attempting to rally behind Marco Rubio. Thing is, it's looking a whole heck of a lot like there may not be room for any sort of traditional Republican in this primary—far too much of the voter base seems to be leaning in favor of the extremism and hostility central to these candidates.

We're probably looking at a Donald Trump nomination.

I'd personally be much happier to see John Kasich as their candidate. Not that I'm necessary a fan of his, but I'd much rather see someone who isn't entirely given to extremism holding sway with voters. I've got a fair number of friends who are old-school Republicans and they're all horrified by Trump and Cruz. The GOP itself also seems to be quite unhappy with this turn of events.

On the side of Democrats, I pretty much view Hillary Clinton to be a standard career politician Democrat and doubt she'll live up to Barack Obama's standard (wherever someone might set that bar). She very much plays to the odds and is loaded down with all manner of special interest ties. Unfortunately, it's looking very much as though she's going to win the nomination. Any extent to which she's started leaning left (instead of carving out a thoughtful centrist view based on balancing special interests and voter appeal) is because Bernie Sanders has finally come onto her radar as a potential threat.

Bernie is ramping up support at a rate few people in politics, including the DNC, anticipated. And there's actually potential for something to come of it if word continues to spread among the right audiences. But it's a long shot. Hillary's just recently started to attack him from whatever angle she can manage which includes trying to reassure Americans that the mountains of money she's received from Wall Street would certainly never have an impact on her actions (that we're silly to believe money in politics sways votes) or that Bernie's ignorant on foreign policy, which is a stretch. It's an angle she can play, though, because she's got a strong foreign policy team going into this due to her job history and connections.

Michael Bloomberg could actually matter if he runs as an independent. Not that he'll win. He won't. But he's going to soak votes from both parties and if he soaks too much from one party he could swing the election (wherein Donald Trump or Ted Cruz would be effectively guaranteed a loss—unless their opponent produced an sufficiently epic blunder). That's first past the post for ya.

In any case, I very much like Bernie. He's sincere, honest, funded largely by small-time voters and not a product of special interest groups. He's got a proven track record and is an all-around stand-up guy. I'd worry that some of his goals simply aren't viable with the Republican Party, or of partisanship, but I expect it doesn't matter if we have Bernie or Hillary, the Republican Party is going to demonize either and continue the same form of opposition that has marked Barack Obama's presidency.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election speculation

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:37 pm

James wrote:
Dong Zhou wrote:So after two primaries, what are people's thoughts? Who do you think will be the GOP's candidate to stop Trump?

The Republicans who happen to be horrified by Donald Trump and Ted Cruz seem to be attempting to rally behind Marco Rubio. Thing is, it's looking a whole heck of a lot like there may not be room for any sort of traditional Republican in this primary—far too much of the voter base seems to be leaning in favor of the extremism and hostility central to these candidates.

We're probably looking at a Donald Trump nomination.

I'd personally be much happier to see John Kasich as their candidate. Not that I'm necessary a fan of his, but I'd much rather see someone who isn't entirely given to extremism holding sway with voters. I've got a fair number of friends who are old-school Republicans and they're all horrified by Trump and Cruz. The GOP itself also seems to be quite unhappy with this turn of events.


I'm not surprised at this at all, though of course I disagree somewhat with their interpretation of events and people.

Having watched John Kasich's performance at the debates, I've had to revise my previously-ambivalent opinion of him downwards. He is certainly an extremist, and his extreme opinions on foreign policy would be a huge detriment to our nation's standing and possibly survival. The problem is that these extreme opinions are expected and endorsed within the Beltway by a broad swathe of both parties.

In point of fact, Donald Trump is actually far less extreme on foreign policy than the Republican establishment, even though he still maintains some rather ugly opinions about the Middle East. The same goes for economic policy, on which Trump seems to be a straightforward moderate who would be more at home tinkering with existing tax rates than advocating for extreme solutions like a flat tax. Trump's 'extremism' seems to be localised in only a few areas of policy, which happen to include immigration. Trump's real sin that the Republican establishment can't forgive - and, for that matter, the Democratic establishment - is that he's anti-institutional. He refuses to abide by the unwritten and unspoken gentlemen's agreements - such as they are - that our entire two-party system (along with its attending evils, like lobbyists and soft money) relies on. This, and not his 'extremism', is what has the Republican establishment so worried about his candidacy.

James wrote:On the side of Democrats, I pretty much view Hillary Clinton to be a standard career politician Democrat and doubt she'll live up to Barack Obama's standard (wherever someone might set that bar). She very much plays to the odds and is loaded down with all manner of special interest ties. Unfortunately, it's looking very much as though she's going to win the nomination. Any extent to which she's started leaning left (instead of carving out a thoughtful centrist view based on balancing special interests and voter appeal) is because Bernie Sanders has finally come onto her radar as a potential threat.

Bernie is ramping up support at a rate few people in politics, including the DNC, anticipated. And there's actually potential for something to come of it if word continues to spread among the right audiences. But it's a long shot. Hillary's just recently started to attack him from whatever angle she can manage which includes trying to reassure Americans that the mountains of money she's received from Wall Street would certainly never have an impact on her actions (that we're silly to believe money in politics sways votes) or that Bernie's ignorant on foreign policy, which is a stretch. It's an angle she can play, though, because she's got a strong foreign policy team going into this due to her job history and connections.


I think you've got an accurate read on Clinton. She's the candidate with the connexions and the Wall Street dough, and moreover the support of the superdelegates for the DNC primaries. If it's a really close race (as it portends to be), the DNC machine will assuredly swing the results in Clinton's favour.

As to the last part about foreign policy, that's true, but again, for people like me who wanted a peace candidate, Clinton's foreign policy experience is an ironclad reason to vote against her in favour of somebody else. And now she's getting all these horrible old war criminals out of mothball to campaign for her - people like Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger. Their approval should fill her with shame - that is, if she's even capable of that emotion in the first place. After Jim Webb dropped out of the race, we were kind of left without a peace candidate in either of the two major parties, which means we'll probably have to turn to Jill Stein.

James wrote:Michael Bloomberg could actually matter if he runs as an independent. Not that he'll win. He won't. But he's going to soak votes from both parties and if he soaks too much from one party he could swing the election (wherein Donald Trump or Ted Cruz would be effectively guaranteed a loss—unless their opponent produced an sufficiently epic blunder). That's first past the post for ya.


I'm not a fan of FPTP either, and Lord knows I would love to see PR become a thing in this country. (It would certainly help marginalised voices like mine on the far left end of the political spectrum be heard... although the same could be said for the far right.) But the truly funny thing about our system is that at the national level, third-party votes really don't count or decide things for one of the two main parties. It really only matters once you get down to the state level, and even then only in states which are heavily contested between the two major parties.

James wrote:In any case, I very much like Bernie. He's sincere, honest, funded largely by small-time voters and not a product of special interest groups. He's got a proven track record and is an all-around stand-up guy. I'd worry that some of his goals simply aren't viable with the Republican Party, or of partisanship, but I expect it doesn't matter if we have Bernie or Hillary, the Republican Party is going to demonize either and continue the same form of opposition that has marked Barack Obama's presidency.


Agreed. I don't like Bernie Sanders' foreign policy, and his social and domestic parties are way too extreme-liberal for my tastes. As an Orthodox, his abortion stance alone constitutes grounds for not voting for him. But I do have to respect the man. He's a gentleman, he's honest, he sticks to his message and he's basically solid all around.

And you're certainly right that his agenda, such as it is, would never make it past the current Congress, and he would face the exact same obstructions (if not more) than Obama has, if he were elected. But the truly interesting and unexpected thing about Bernie is that he's starting to attract support from the Republican base.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election speculation

Unread postby James » Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:36 pm

WeiWenDi wrote:I'm not surprised at this at all, though of course I disagree somewhat with their interpretation of events and people.

Having watched John Kasich's performance at the debates, I've had to revise my previously-ambivalent opinion of him downwards. He is certainly an extremist, and his extreme opinions on foreign policy would be a huge detriment to our nation's standing and possibly survival. The problem is that these extreme opinions are expected and endorsed within the Beltway by a broad swathe of both parties.

In point of fact, Donald Trump is actually far less extreme on foreign policy than the Republican establishment, even though he still maintains some rather ugly opinions about the Middle East. The same goes for economic policy, on which Trump seems to be a straightforward moderate who would be more at home tinkering with existing tax rates than advocating for extreme solutions like a flat tax. Trump's 'extremism' seems to be localised in only a few areas of policy, which happen to include immigration. Trump's real sin that the Republican establishment can't forgive - and, for that matter, the Democratic establishment - is that he's anti-institutional. He refuses to abide by the unwritten and unspoken gentlemen's agreements - such as they are - that our entire two-party system (along with its attending evils, like lobbyists and soft money) relies on. This, and not his 'extremism', is what has the Republican establishment so worried about his candidacy.

How is Donald Trump less extreme? Almost everything he's said on foreign policy has been backed by absolutely no substance and extremism is the cornerstone of his positions, whether building walls and forcing other countries to pay for them, bombing oil fields or 'bombing the shit' out of this or that, one-upping Ted Cruz' position that waterboarding should be returned by lulzing in the notion that we should bring it back and much worse alternatives along with it. Never mind layers of racism and repeatedly lying about data, opponent views, or heck, even his own views.

In any case, it doesn't really matter, because nothing he's saying on these topics is backed by any sort of intelligent plan or consistency. He's like a machine which spouts off whatever extremist claims he can dream up that might appeal to the anger and disappointment of his voter base.

No defense on Kasich's position here. I'm not trying to prop him up but rather single out one of the best options among the Republican candidates. I don't like Marco Rubio because he's very much a rehearsed and crafted political creature, and extremely anti-science. I'd also point out that foreign policy is much bigger than Russia (one area where Trump seems to be very well regarded, including by Putin).

He's also got terrible views on the economy—they're not moderate. You can pick out some moderate positions from what he's said here and there—especially prior to his run for the presidency—but they're drowned out by a pool of perspectives which will only further the wealth divide in America. But sure, we can say he's less extreme than some others like Cruz.

WeiWenDi wrote:I think you've got an accurate read on Clinton. She's the candidate with the connexions and the Wall Street dough, and moreover the support of the superdelegates for the DNC primaries. If it's a really close race (as it portends to be), the DNC machine will assuredly swing the results in Clinton's favour.

As to the last part about foreign policy, that's true, but again, for people like me who wanted a peace candidate, Clinton's foreign policy experience is an ironclad reason to vote against her in favour of somebody else. And now she's getting all these horrible old war criminals out of mothball to campaign for her - people like Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger. Their approval should fill her with shame - that is, if she's even capable of that emotion in the first place. After Jim Webb dropped out of the race, we were kind of left without a peace candidate in either of the two major parties, which means we'll probably have to turn to Jill Stein.

If you're looking for a peaceful candidate Bernie Sanders is a good choice.

The odds are not looking good for Bernie even before you factor in bias on the part of the DNC and establishment Democratic Party organizations. Such as the role played by superdelgates.

Sad thing is that I'll have to vote for Hillary no matter how much I dislike her. As long as the Tea Party holds so much sway in the Republican Party her damage will almost certainly be far less, and there are other critical concerns such as upcoming appointments to the Supreme Court to take into consideration. And the kind of Republicans I respect—say, John Huntsman—are more or less derided as 'liberal' by the same voter base propping up Trump and Cruz.

WeiWenDi wrote:I'm not a fan of FPTP either, and Lord knows I would love to see PR become a thing in this country. (It would certainly help marginalised voices like mine on the far left end of the political spectrum be heard... although the same could be said for the far right.) But the truly funny thing about our system is that at the national level, third-party votes really don't count or decide things for one of the two main parties. It really only matters once you get down to the state level, and even then only in states which are heavily contested between the two major parties.

Not sure I follow? It matters on the national level precisely because it matters at the state level. Say, if Trump were to run as an independent he would leech heavily from the Republican Party vote while the Democratic Party vote largely concentrated around it's sole candidate, which could easily turn battleground states blue—and that's enough to have a dramatic impact on the presidential election.

WeiWenDi wrote:Agreed. I don't like Bernie Sanders' foreign policy, and his social and domestic parties are way too extreme-liberal for my tastes. As an Orthodox, his abortion stance alone constitutes grounds for not voting for him. But I do have to respect the man. He's a gentleman, he's honest, he sticks to his message and he's basically solid all around.

And you're certainly right that his agenda, such as it is, would never make it past the current Congress, and he would face the exact same obstructions (if not more) than Obama has, if he were elected. But the truly interesting and unexpected thing about Bernie is that he's starting to attract support from the Republican base.

Yeah, he's certainly not compatible with a view that wants to see Christian values enforced through the state (e.g. gay marriage, abortion). I noticed you had positive words to say for Huckabee who pretty much as devoted his role in government to the opposed effort. But our disagreement on this aside, it's incompatible with the United States constitution. Or at least it should be—since the Republican Party has started to cater votes from the more fundamentalist brand of Republican Christian it has decided otherwise.

I listened to some interviews in New Hampshire where quite a few Republicans were interested in Bernie, including a number that were trying to decide between Trump and Bernie. It kind of boggles the mind; though I wonder if perhaps a big part of this is people who just want someone to stand up against the political establishment and norms.

I'm not quite sure why people are too quick to criticize Bernie on foreign policy, though. He definitely doesn't have a team of professionals lined up behind him as Hillary has done, but he's campaigning (not the norm), and has a pretty respectable record of forging his own path on foreign policy issues as a member of Congress. One of the greatest examples is likely the War on Iraq and responding to the Middle East in general. In any case, should he become president he would then have a team of foreign policy advisors and professionals and I think his hesitancy to jump in with military force and established experience would serve us well.

As a guy, though, yeah—he's golden. I would love to meet him. And no matter what his policies, I've got nothing but respect for his adherence to his values, his willingness to answer questions honestly (basically a dead art here in the United States), and that he'd maintain these values even while running for the presidency.
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