Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders getting mixed reviews about socialist democratic views

Photo courtesy of

Brandon Zambrano, Staff Writer

With the 2016 elections turning out to be one of the most talked about in quite some time, many potential voters in New Jersey still seem to be unsure and divided on which candidate to support, and since Sanders and Clinton are seemingly neck and neck with constantly fluctuating support throughout the nation, it has become increasingly difficult to analyze the political views of a Socialist Democrat like Bernie Sanders.

Bernie Sanders, being the most recent socialist to bid for the presidency, certainly does not mean he is the first candidate to support socialism, let alone the fact that a few past presidents have even implemented some degree of socialism during their presidencies. Both Democratic and Republican presidents have used socialist policies to thrust the US into times of prosperity such as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway project and Richard Nixon’s Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Sanders himself is supported for his similarly progressive views as many voters feel it might be a time for change from the conventional capitalist politics that have dominated US policies for most of its history. “Here in New Jersey, I believe that the appetite for a new kind of politics is particularly palpable,” said John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) in a statement released on his website.

At the same time, many voters feel that change may not be a good thing at this time considering the current fragile state of the US foreign and domestic policies, and if socialism were to be implemented to a greater degree, it could cause an imbalance in the economy for the first few years.

“The way the government is working right now isn’t working as well as it should, but at the same time giving handouts wouldn’t work either as there is a value in earning your keep. The only truly successful way would be to find a balance between government aid and self-sufficiency,” said History Teacher Mr. Kuhns when asked about his opinion on socialism.

The road to the Whitehouse will be an increasingly difficult challenge for an unconventional candidate like Sanders as many politicians declare their support for the less liberal Hillary Clinton. Currently in New Jersey most of its top Democrats have placed their support in favor of Hillary Clinton, but State Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) has declared his support for Sanders, and due to his status as a national delegate he will get a vote, so there is hope for the democratic socialist.

Within Becton, however, there are some reservations and confusion on exactly what Sanders wants to do with the presidency. Some questions people have are regarding his plans on free college tuition and how he plans to fund the program. Another concern is that if tuition payments come from someone else, some students may not take college as seriously and that it might take away some of the pride in earning a college education by oneself.

“If somebody gave you a phone, you wouldn’t treat it the same if you were to buy it yourself because there is a certain value in earning your keep,” said Mr. Kuhns.

Many people can also agree that while age, gender or race should not play a role in electing a president, one trait that is extremely important to a successful presidency is political experience, and candidates like Sanders and Clinton have between 20-35 years of experience in politics.

For now, the road to the presidency is a difficult one for all candidates from all different ideologies as they battle for majorities at the primaries over the next few months, and with both Becton and New Jersey’s varying political stances, it still is too early to call who will end up winning the state, but for sure this election is going to be one to remember.