Sanding It Clean
- Sanders is at the helm of a campaign to raise the minimum wage for workers to $15
- He co-sponsored the Freedom of Choice Act in 1993 to fight for reproductive rights for women
- Sanders also wants to decriminalise substance abuse and see it treated as a public heath issue
Bernie Sanders is not afraid to wear his political conscience on his sleeve. The 74-year-old Vermont Senator, a self-declared democratic socialist, has been a crusader against the rising wealth gap in the US for decades. Yet, Sanders has so far remained mostly on the fringes of American politics, despite being a seven-time Congressman and two-term Senator. So what explains his sudden rise to the national political stage in the US where talks of his winnability for the Democrat presidential nomination poses a serious challenge to an established act like Hillary Clinton?
By all accounts, Sanders does not come across as the most attractive candidate for White House. Unlike most politicians, he does not have a personal story that people can relate to. His website says he was into carpentry and documentary filmmaking before joining politics, besides giving the curt details of his wife’s name and the number of children. At 74, he is even older than Ronald Reagan, who at age 70 had become US president. Nor does he have the best oratory skills or an appearance to attract most people. He is gruff, didactic and speaks in a thick Brooklyn accent, more like a professor in a lecture room than an engaging politician. He is also totally indifferent to his appearance (most of his profiles suggest he hates shopping and did not own a suit till he was 39) and always looks endearingly dishevelled. He hates small talk and rarely engages...