Surely, I have gone mad to even suggest Bernie Sanders become president. With the socialist of Jewish descent rising in the polls against Hillary, the odds have increased a bit. He has even come within shouting distance of her in the key opening primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire. If he wins Iowa, he probably would win New Hampshire. And suddenly he would prove a formidable opponent to Hillary. Not bad for the former small-town mayor.
In any case, let us presume he does indeed get elected president. Millions of ignoramuses nationwide would be overjoyed. MUH SCANDINAVIAN HEALTHCARE!!!!111!!one There is a slight problem with this: the odds of a landslide wave election with him are extremely slim. His victory would be very narrow, which means Republicans would retain Congress. This is a reelection year for Senators elected in 2010, which Republicans won 24-13. This time the GOP is defending 24 seats to the Democrats 10. The Republicans have a 54 seat majority. They can afford to lose a few and still retain control. With the prospect of President Socialist, voters will probably be more inclined to keep government divided.
Of the sixteen races that are considered competitive, four are tossups: three are currently held by Republicans and one by a Democrat. Marco Rubio (R-FL) stated that he would be running for President and not Senator. His polling is dismal in early states except his own Florida. He will likely drop out, but is considering the veep slot. If not, he could still jump back into the Senate race and would likely win. If not, its a possible Dem pickup.
In Illinois, incumbent Mark Kirk (R) picked up Obamas old seat in 2010 after a string of controversies. This should be an easy Dem pickup, but with a GOP win at the governors office last year, he may hold on. Current polling from obscure pollsters has him tied or down badly. With Harry Reid (D-NV) retiring, a seat opens up for the GOP to gain or mitigate a loss elsewhere. Polling is limited, making this a tossup. And finally, Wisconsin has Ron Johnson (R) facing his former opponent and ostensible Jewish libertarian Russ Feingold again. Feingold was the only Senator to vote against the PATRIOT Act in 2001. With governor Scott Walker likely at the top of the ticket, Johnson would have some great coattails. Walker and Johnson also have proven that Republicans can win Wisconsin. Feingold is currently polling ahead, but that may change. I would probably have to support Feingold if he ran on a civil liberties platform, and it would be really interesting to see him work with Rand Paul.
The fate of the Senate is in the air, but I think its safe to say it will likely remain Republican at least narrowly. On top of that, the House would definitely not switch. This means our Red President would have some serious roadblocks to his economic agenda. On top of that, he aint so keen on establishment-internationalist policies like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Along with civil liberties issues, he may find that his only allies in Congress are on the far left and far right. The GOP leadership would likely have to tacitly support it all or face deadlock.
Under President Sanders, with a revolt led by Rand Paul, recent surveillance laws and the TSA insanity stand a chance to be repealed. The NSA would likely have its schemes curtailed. The drone campaigns could come to an end. While he did say that ISIS must be defeated (as any sane person would agree), he does not seem keen to committing American troops to that cause. In fact, he is probably more likely to oppose the use of force than our own favorite, Rand Paul.
While Congress might not be ready to legalize marijuana, Sanders would probably reprioritize enforcement to the bottom. Indeed, there is a concern about all these vested interests losing power and conspiring to oppose his candidacy in the same way Ron Paul was disrupted. Fortunately, the Democrats primary system is more open to insurgents. Bernie would at least consider standing down a lot of the police state apparati, and have some support from Congress.
Concern has been raised by far left groups and libertarians about his positions and inconsistency. Of course, no one is perfect and I doubt any of those naysayers would be so principled in a position of “power”. There is a concern that he may say one thing now like Obama did, and enact other things once in office. Nevertheless, Bernie is on record for many, many years with more or less the same positions. He is held up as a model of consistency, the socialists version of Ron Paul. He even has his own newsletters to worry about, despite his supporters ironic attempt to dismiss them as a nonissue.
While he has expressed a more moderate view on gun control (Vermont is an open carry state), and this irks many, he has also stated that he wants to bring gunophobes more in line with a moderate view. This can only be good for us if he can help city dwelling tyrants that a gun is at least useful in some places. Any opportunity to move the debate should be welcomed. If he is pro-gun as a senator (something Obama was not), its reasonable to assume he would move a bit more towards rights as president.
Mass immigration proponent Rep. Luis Gutierrez has raised concerns that Sanders is not aligned with his views that we need to allow millions of Hispanic immigrants. Perhaps the Senator realizes as Cesar Chavez did, that welcoming millions of immigrants when we have extensive welfare programs, massive unemployment, and low wages for workers, is not a good idea. Libertarians seem to be split on how to deal with immigration. I once posed a question on the page about this: five or six were for open borders, but eight realized that might not be a good idea. For Republicans, Sanders may present an opportunity to finally seal the southern border.
This should not be taken as an endorsement of Bernie Sanders, except within the Democratic primary to some extent. For the advancement of liberty, he is the best candidate on that side. Overall, the Republicans have better options. There is a chance that he could win the White House, and we should be prepared for it. It will not be armageddon (sorry, commies) and we might actually finally get some good bipartisanship for once. There are a lot of mights, but nothing is certain until it actually happens. If Sanders is the Democratic candidate and Walker or Paul (or maybe Trump) is the Republican, many issues we care about will be agreed on before a single debate. That would be a real sign of the times.