From Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

From Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

When Bernie Sanders first announced his run for president, the self-proclaimed democratic socialist, white haired man, with a heavy New York accent was considered a major long-shot.  Yet as he gained devoted supporters who are attracted to his honest, practical ideals, he has become the main opponent to fellow democrat Hillary Clinton.  In 1981, he was elected as mayor of Burlington, Vermont and has served Vermont as an Independent Senator since 2006 after serving for 16 years in the House of Representatives.

Background: Bernard “Bernie” Sanders was born on September 8, 1941 in Brooklyn. His father was a Jewish immigrant from Poland whose family died in the Holocaust. In high school, he was captain of the track team and lost the election for student body president. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in political science and was involved with the Young People’s Socialist League and was an civil rights protest organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality.  Sanders is Jewish, but he does not consider himself particularly religious.  He married Jane O’Meara Driscol, who is a Roman Catholic, and has 4 children.

Foreign Policy:

  • Supports the Iran Nuclear Deal to accomplish the main goal of ensuring that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon, as that would destabilize the world.
  • He wants to move away from military power and focus on diplomacy, with war as a last resort.
  • Sanders supports a two-state solution where Israel exists in peace and the Palestinians have the rights to their homeland and their right to control their future.
  • Wants to pass immigration reform that will bring undocumented workers out of the shadows because immigrants have a central role in our economy.

The Economy:

  • One one his main goals is to decrease wealth inequality by taxing the wealthy and large corporations their fair share in taxes.
  • Fight the wage gap by signing the Paycheck Fairness Act into law.
  • Wants to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2020.
  • Break up large financial corporations they are no longer “too big to fail” and propose a tax on the people of wall street who caused many Americans to lose their jobs.
  • Reverse trade policies like NAFTA, PNTR, and CAFTA, with China that have driven down wages and caused the loss of jobs
  • To deal with the large numbers of youth unemployment he will create 1 million jobs for disadvantaged young Americans through a youth jobs program that would invest $5.5 to employ one million young Americans between the ages of 16 and 24, and provide job training to hundreds of thousands of others.

Domestic Issues:

  • Make tuition free at public colleges and universities.
  • Pit 1 trillion dollars towards rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and through that utting 13 million Americans to work.
  • He wants to enact a Medicare for all single-payer healthcare system that will guarantee healthcare as a right of citizenship.
  • Require employers to provide at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave; two weeks of paid vacation; and 7 days of paid sick days.
  • Wants to get money out of politics and overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
  • Thinks the U.S must lead the world when combating climate change and by taking bold steps to tackle the serious issue of climate change.

Social Issues:

  • Wants to fight racial injustice though fighting political, legal and economic issues.
  • Wants to expand funding for Planned Parenthood, the Title X family planning program, and other programs that protect women’s health, access to contraception, and the access to safe and legal abortion.
  • Enact a universal child care and prekindergarten program.
  • Sign the Equality Act, the Every Child deserves a family act prohibits discrimination and  provides  equality for all LGBTQ people.
  • Wants to expand social security so everyone can retire with dignity.
  • Fully fund and expand the VA to help veterans
  • Make it easier for workers to join unions through the Employee Free Choice Act.


  • “Let us wage a moral and political war against the billionaires and corporate leaders, on Wall Street and elsewhere, whose policies and greed are destroying the middle class of America.”
  • “Finally, let understand that when we stand together, we will always win. When men and women stand together for justice, we win. When black, white and Hispanic people stand together for justice, we win.”
  • “You know, I think many people have the mistaken impression that Congress regulates Wall Street. In truth that’s not the case. The real truth is that Wall Street regulates the Congress.”
  • “A guy named Adolf Hitler won an election in 1932 … and 50 million people died as a result … what I learned as a little kid is that politics is, in fact, very important.”

Muppet he most resembles: Waldorf (left). Look at his hair.