Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders stands out for his laser sharp focus on the real issues that face the American people, and is defined by his stalwart refusal to be dragged into petty catfights with his rivals or be distracted by the circus of infotainment cable news. He reaffirmed this on Sunday when he condemned the attention that Ben Carson has gotten for his fabricated biography, dismissing it as frivolous in the face of his abhorrent policy positions.
“You know what’s more important to me about Ben Carson, and I think what’s more important to the American people? Ben Carson, as I understand it, wants to abolish Medicare. How’s that? … So you’ve got millions of old people whose entire health-care existence rests on Medicare. He wants to get rid of it. That’s of some significance to me…If I have the opportunity to run against Dr. Carson, those are some of the issues that I will be raising, and I think we will win that election hands down. Now, I know the media is very concerned about what happened in people’s lives 30, 40, 50 years ago. But frankly for the American people, what is more important is to understand what his absurd views are on the major issues facing our country.”
While the spectacle of Carson’s downfall is very amusing, Sanders is absolutely right – it takes our attention away from the fact that his policy proposals would be catastrophic for our nation. Carson, if you don’t remember, proposes replacing our tax system with a flat tax based on religious tithing that would blow a trillion dollar hole in our budget, would abolish Medicare and Social Security, and enshrine anti-LGBT discrimination into law. It would be very difficult to find a more unqualified candidate than Carson, who is drawing fire even from the conservative establishment. We need to keep Bernie’s message in mind throughout this election – we must focus on the real issues facing this country and not get distracted by foolish sideshows like Carson’s insanity.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.