Universidad del Pacífico

Looks who’s talking! Bernie Sanders

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Juan Carlos Ladines Azalia

Looks who’s talking! Bernie Sanders

Juan Carlos Ladines Azalia

The appearance of Ted Cruz, the claims about fraud by Donald Trump, and the slight emergence of Marco Rubio has diverted the attention on the other side of the arena. What is really happening in the democrat side? The long awaited Iowa caucus has generated a lot of expectations among media and voters.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are now on a very thin margin (Clinton taking the advantage with 0.2%), which shows that democrats voter are too polarised in who should be their leader for the next running elections.

Hillary Clinton can forge a speech aimed at international audience, however Sanders is talking to an audience in the shadow who want to hear about reform in the financial system, public access to education, widen the scope of social security. As he summarises a “Democrat Socialism[1]”. Can the American voters be convinced by this type of speech? Polls are telling us “yes”.

The findings of this results are explained by poverty indicators which since 2000[2] have been rising, and by 2008 they spiked. Since the Obama Administration took over in 2009, they have been trying their best (and with the blessing of the Congress) to contain an even more dramatic increase of individuals living in poverty.

Bernie Sanders is taking advantage of articulating a discourse in favour of reforms, the question is: Is he on his way to propose a Re-“New Deal”? The expectation of the voters are high – big changes in the political and economic system- he is appealing to middle-poor class families that have been on the backyard of the political debate for a long time, and it’s demanding its way back.

We need to pay more attention to his speech, and follow his programmatic thinking, on how can this reflect on other countries, especially in Latin America. Socialism in this region has an important political role, however right now is on severe decline as Venezuela and Brazil stumble into deep economic problems. So the clash of ideas could show how distant are these regions in terms of intellectual discussion.

Bernie Sanders may be ready to talk to Americans, but is he ready to talk to the rest of the Latin America?

[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/04/29/bernie-sanders-is-an-avowed-socialist-and-democrats-are-actually-pretty-ok-with-that/

[2] Although the poverty rate has not increase dramatically, the numbers of people in poverty has done the contrary and been on a persistent growth. U.S. Census Bureau (2014) Income and Poverty in the United States: 2014. Accessed through: https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2015/demo/p60-252.pdf

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