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(31,935 posts)
Tue Mar 8, 2016, 05:23 AM Mar 2016

Why People Around the World are Rooting for Bernie Sanders


What Sanders means to the world

Apart from the economic and political influence that it exercises globally, the US has a strong ideological impact on the world too. American soft power has been especially devastating in terms of its export of neoliberal ideology, wherein corporates are the preferred vehicle for economic activity, even in the social sector, with the role of governments relegated to smaller and smaller niches.

If Bernie Sanders becomes the next president of the United States, free health, education, and a decent minimum wage – and a clear message to big business to rein in its economic greed and political aspirations – can be expected to become strong elements of US national policy. This will hit at the very heart of the neoliberal global establishment. It could significantly weaken this establishment’s ideological strength, which it currently packages so well that it has been able to sell it successfully to a very big part of the global population, especially the middle and aspirational classes.

Now, if a font of such an alternative discourse, as anchored by Sanders’s campaign, erupts from the very epicentre of the global neoliberal order, it could have a strong cascading effect. What Sanders demands may already be standard fare in many European countries but social services there are wilting under the pressure of austerity. For developing countries, making free health and education and decent minimum wages for all the responsibility of the state can become the cornerstone of a new politics.



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(26,060 posts)
1. I read the entire article
Tue Mar 8, 2016, 05:43 AM
Mar 2016

and I see ZERO evidence that people around the world even know who Bernie is.


(4,311 posts)
3. I'm in the UK. No one knows who he is except American expats and US political junkies
Tue Mar 8, 2016, 05:50 AM
Mar 2016

Everyone else knows it's likely to be Hillary vs Trump, and I can tell you the rest of the world, if they had a vote, would happily vote for a ham sandwich over Trump. They remember Bush and how bad he was for the world, and they know Trump is likely to be worse.

When English people engage me to talk about politics, all they want to talk about is Trump. Surely no one would vote for him? Surely this is a joke? Surely no one would subject their own country and the rest of the world to that?


(31,935 posts)
4. That's amusing. ALL of my British and Aussie friends know who Bernie is
Tue Mar 8, 2016, 05:57 AM
Mar 2016

and do my Scandinavian and Greek friends. All think that Americans are bonkers for considering Trump or Hillary.


(4,311 posts)
5. I have not seen that, on the ground here in the UK.
Tue Mar 8, 2016, 05:59 AM
Mar 2016

Of course, as in the US, many people would be hard pressed to name their OWN political leaders much less another country's, but the people who are interested in US politics seem to assume it will be Hillary vs Trump and all they want to ask me about is Trump.

Can only post my experience.


(41,168 posts)
19. Same here...
Tue Mar 8, 2016, 08:33 AM
Mar 2016

I do know who Sanders is, but apart from my interest in American politics generally, his brother and nephew are rather good local politicians in Oxfordshire (yes, really!) so there is a connection here.

I would prefer him as president to any of the other possibilities; indeed I would prefer him as PM of the UK to any of the existing possibilities here, so if American voters don't want him, can we have him?

But yes, most people here would only know about Hillary and Trump - and possibly some would have been aware of Jeb Bush - with regard to this election; and we would all ardently choose Hillary, or indeed anyone including a literal donkey, rather than Trump! Trump seems an absolute idiot, bigot and near-fascist, all at the same time, and as I've said, if he gets elected president, I'll believe there's no intelligent life on Earth, let alone anywhere else.

Almost all English people aware of American politics would oppose Trump, whatever their other political views. Even Nigel Farage criticized him for his extremism, and if you're too right-wing for Nigel Farage, you are seriously too right-wing.

One more view from a foreigner, which you can take or leave: We leftish Brits know quite a lot about having an unacceptably right-wing leader for our natural party, and many of us voted for smaller parties when Blair was leader, or fled into Clegg's arms only to be similarly disillusioned by him. Many of us just plain refused to vote for Blair. But would we have voted for Blair if the alternative was fascism? - YES, most of us would. As many of our neighbours in France were prepared to vote for moderate Conservatives to defeat LePen. I would vote - with a clothes-peg on my nose - for Blair against Trump or Cruz. I would vote for a dead rat against Trump or Cruz. This is coming from an anti-partisan-loyalty type who wouldn't vote Labour for 10 years because of Blair, yet places opposition to fascism above almost anything else. As I say, I can't tell others how to vote, even in my own country, let alone anywhere else, and you can take it or leave it: but in my opinion defeating the Republicans on this occasion trumps (no pun intended!) everything.


(1,439 posts)
9. Many (probably most) of mine do too - I'm in the UK
Tue Mar 8, 2016, 06:51 AM
Mar 2016

Moreover, those who know of him seem to have a reasonable grasp of the main planks of his campaign - and view him positively.


(2,760 posts)
10. Obviously I have had some input,
Tue Mar 8, 2016, 07:23 AM
Mar 2016

but all my European friends are rooting for Bernie. Add to that how overwhelmingly he won the Expat vote. The rest of the world feels the Bern!



(26,060 posts)
15. So where are the newspaper articles
Tue Mar 8, 2016, 08:00 AM
Mar 2016

calling for Sanders to be President? Magazines? International foundation press releases? Anything from the UN? Anything to prove the point of the article other than some of your friends?


(20,453 posts)
13. I sure did when I read the comments...
Tue Mar 8, 2016, 07:52 AM
Mar 2016

In addition to having an international family, people to pay attention (not pol junkies) know him...

These comments are taken from the actual reader's -

The USA is a country with unrivalled potential, and it is currently a country that works very well for the very rich (who seem to actually own your government, including Hilary Clinton) but it is not a country that works well for the poor (or even many of the middle class). For the 'American Dream' to remain alive, working class people need some sort of basic standard of living as a platform to build on.

With the support we're seeing for Sanders (and even the support for Trump, although I think this is misguided) it is clear that large portions of the American people have had enough with the current state of affairs. For those who don't think a change is needed, I would implore you to have a look at the rights (be they financial, employment-related or social) that other people in other countries around the world benefit from and what a bad deal Americans get by comparison. Then remember that you are the richest country in the world and it is well within your means to have the greatest society in the world also.


(40,416 posts)
2. I will be driving about 15 miles to vote today.
Tue Mar 8, 2016, 05:47 AM
Mar 2016

As the crow flies, it is a far more shorter trip. However there is a national forest and a rather severe lack of paved roads to consider. So yup, driving to the other side of my township is about 15 miles unless one has a four wheel drive to cut through the forest between me and the township hall.

In November I will vote absentee. My age, and the age of my car, qualifies me. I could have done this years ago -- the age requirement here is 62. But I really love going to that old dusty wooden building to cast my ballot every election even though it can be the drive from Hell during winter months.

But this will be the last time. Me and my car may not make it next time. So I am going to ask for absentee ballot from now on. That preserves my voting rights the best way I know how.

I am going to miss the pretty drive, though.


(31,153 posts)
6. My polling place is close, but I will be absentee from the GE onward too
Tue Mar 8, 2016, 06:03 AM
Mar 2016

I just can never tell how bad I'll feel, and don't want to miss out on voting.

Safe travels today!


(40,416 posts)
7. Thank you! I'll miss that old wooden township hall.
Tue Mar 8, 2016, 06:19 AM
Mar 2016

And the old ladies tending the polls, who have been doing such for decades. They are always polite and their smiles attest to their enjoying their rather mundane task of enabling democracy. One could undoubtedly write many stories behind these rural voting posts. I envision a daytime soap opera, "The Township Wives of Rural Michigan". At least they'd get the recognition for their dedication that they deserve.

But it is becoming a real burden to get there. I will miss it. But from now on, I will be voting by mail.

Thank you very much for your kind response.


(1,439 posts)
8. Quite a few, probably most, of my friends, family and aquaintances
Tue Mar 8, 2016, 06:38 AM
Mar 2016

Last edited Tue Mar 8, 2016, 07:33 AM - Edit history (1)

are aware of Bernie and the basics of his platform - especially the younger ones.

The US elections do get a fair bit of coverage in the UK media.

Issues like income inequality & pay to play politics catch people's eye because we suffer those too.

And it goes without saying that people are well aware of the influence of US 'soft politics'

ETA: Hillary has huge name recognition of course but seems to be perceived as old guard and part of the problem.


(1,364 posts)
11. I belong to a "secret" group of gay men on fb.
Tue Mar 8, 2016, 07:44 AM
Mar 2016

We are all English-speakers and include folks from around the world. OZ, New Zealand, Canada, the UK and the US. They are ALL aware of Bernie and often post anti-Trump stuff. They are well aware of our candidates and especially like Bernie. Hillary, they think little of and wonder why any sane GLBT person would support her.


(2,461 posts)
12. A Canadian for Bernie!
Tue Mar 8, 2016, 07:46 AM
Mar 2016

I'm not surprised the UK press is keeping Bernie shuttered in the papers. Their media also underestimated Jeremy Corbyn's win as head of the Labour Party and were positively shocked by his landslide win are so not amused that a full out attack on the unity of the labour party is underway. Likewise in Canada, we had a surprising election, where our traditionally progressive party went right of the centrist Liberal party and were punished by progressives for doing so. And then you have the Greek elections - to be continued.

There is an unstoppable groundswell movement to take back power from elites who have rigged the system around the world.

I've been watching the Democratic primaries with great interest. What you guys do south of the border is VERY important for our own progressive movement. Without a strong voice for the environment, the pressure on industry to continue Fracking, destroying our fresh water, the ocean's water, the arctic - I could go on but have to get on a boat.

And then there is the global peace and food equality thing. Probably my biggest incentive for being here on this forum.

Sending best wishes for a Sanders win your way


(1,701 posts)
17. Thank you!
Tue Mar 8, 2016, 08:06 AM
Mar 2016

It is in your best interests as a Canadian for Bernie to win. Otherwise you may need to build a wall to keep out the desperate American refugees who will flee a Trump presidency.

By the way, I like your new Prime Minister. He gives me hope that we, too, may change our politics for the better. God knows, they have been going downhill for decades.

There are many important issues in this election, but I think the most important one is the environment. If we--both nationally and globally--don't change our ways, and soon, I fear that all other problems will become insignificant by comparison.


(8,231 posts)
14. Today is the last day
Tue Mar 8, 2016, 07:57 AM
Mar 2016

to vote for Democrats Abroad for Switzerland. My spouse and I both voted for Bernie via email.

You'd be surprised how much coverage the US elections get here. Come on! We have better media news than the US and in your language of choice. German, Swiss German, Italian, French, Russian, Arabic, just to name a few...on our 500 cable channels. We have the BBC, RT, Euronews etc in English. All of them cover politics and Bernie gets more coverage here than in the states. We also have a much better idea of what is going on in the world because they cover so much that the states ignore. When we lived in the states, it was nothing but mug shots and the latest crime report.

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