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This is Paul Hirsch

Paul Hirsch

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Why I’m backing Bernie Over Trump

How on earth do THESE two make someone’s top candidate list when they couldn’t be more opposite? There is a method to this madness; allow me to explain.

The biggest issue we have in politics right now is that instead of being representative of and beholden to the people, our government is held hostage by special interests and bends whichever way the money blows. While changing one person in the system doesn’t solve all of the system’s problems, we have the opportunity to start by cutting the head off the dragon. That is what makes candidates like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump appealing. While they are almost completely opposite of each other, they each possess qualities this nation desperately needs. I’m convinced that electing any “traditional” politician means voting for business-as-usual, and the business of politics is in a very bad state right now.

My friends know I’m a very socially liberal/progressive fellow. So Bernie Sanders seems like a natural choice from that standpoint. But this begs the question: why is Trump on my list, and why I’m not scared as hell at the prospect of a Trump presidency?

The reason is because most of Trumps ideals that I find reprehensible require action from which our constitution and our laws protect us. I hate the political persona Trump has established. But I don’t have to like a politician in order to vote for him or her. I only need to be secure in the knowledge that I’m safe legally from the parts I dislike, which makes them irrelevant to me. Take this out, and I like that he’s free from the influence of special interests and is willing to challenge the establishment on pretty much any and every issue. I may not like what he’s going to do, but sit in standstill traffic long enough, and turning around and driving home will eventually feel just as viable as getting to your destination. With every political action, there’s a real chance for an equal and opposite reaction, and if we have to move backward in order to move forward, I’ll take that over sitting in our current political highway parking lot.

In my mind, the only other candidate who can drive the movement away from establishment politics, free from corporate interests, is Bernie Sanders. In these respects, Trump and Sanders are quite alike. Hence why I give them both serious consideration.

The key difference between them (aside from the difference in agenda ideologies) is their motivations.

Trump is motivated by hate and ego.

Bernie is motivated by anger and stubbornness.

I believe I’m being fair when I characterize Trump’s motivations this way. If you sat Trump down and went through his positions and controversial statements and told him he was expressing hate for certain individuals, groups, rules, etc., I think he would wholeheartedly agree. And if you accused him of having a big ego, he would tell you he’s earned it; he would own it proudly.

While Bernie has a list of things equally long that he hates, his politics are not motivated by his personal antipathy to them nearly as much as they’re motivated by the effect they have on the people of this country, whom he calls his brothers and sisters. This is the difference between hate and anger. The first is an internalized response. The second is an empathetic response. Maybe I don’t have Trump figured out, but after a year of observing him in this process, this is what I’ve taken away from him. It’s my perspective – your mileage may vary.

I can’t get behind hate, but I can get behind anger, so long as it’s focused on the right things.

So today I sent $50 to Bernie’s campaign, not because I think $50 is going to change the world, but because I want to be counted in his numbers. The next time statistics on political contributions come out, I want to add 1 to that number. I could have given $5 and done this. I chose to give a little more. When Bernie’s number sit next to Hillary’s, Cruz’s, Rubio’s, et. al. (Trump was never much part of the numbers discussion here), I want my name to count toward that man’s popularity.

Whomever you support, I encourage you to do the same. I’m officially “feeling the Bern.”