Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has been running a historic campaign the likes of which our nation hasn’t seen in years, powered by donations from the people, not from big corporations and Super-PACs. He has raised a record-shattering $96 million from small donors across all demographics – but has a special relationship with members of the armed forces.
But some of his biggest contributors come from the Armed Forces, who have donated some $80,000 from three branches to his campaign – a huge amount of money for a campaign whose average donation is $27. It’s a clear sign that America’s military trusts Bernie to keep them out of unnessessary wars, and to properly care for our veterans once they return home. The very first bill that Sanders ever proposed in the Senate was to reimburse Gulf War National Guard veterans for the income they lost from their normal jobs while they were deployed. Since then, Sanders has sponsored more bills fighting for the well-being of our veterans than any other legislator in the last thirty years, including the blockbuster bipartisan Veterans’ Affairs reform bill written with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
Sanders earns the trust of our active servicemembers and our veterans because they know he alone of all the candidates has a long history of fighting for our veterans – not because it was politically profitable, but because he truly cares for them and values the sacrifices they make for our nation.
Our veterans are tired of being used as a political pawn by members of the Republican Party, who raise them on a pedestal for a couple of cheap patriotic sound bytes but then claim we can’t afford to spend more on their healthcare – and that we really should just privatize the whole thing and let Wall Street play casino capitalism with their money.
Our military forces also know that they can trust Bernie Sanders to not send them blindly into unnessessary wars of aggression. The Republican candidates have been competing amongst each other to see who can out-hawk each other, pledging to commit troops to battle “Islamic terrorism” across the world, refusing to accept that our past interventions have achieved nothing but making more veterans and more terrorists. We’ve been pouring billions of dollars and thousands of lives into the black hole of Afghanistan for fifteen years, and have nothing to show for it. Beyond that, the armed forces are absolutely appalled at Trump’s racist rhetoric and many commanders have pledged to resign before they might have to carry out Trump’s orders. It is clear that the men and women of the Pentagon know that Trump and his ilk know care no more for our soldiers than they do for the civilians on the other end of their “carpet bombs”- or else they would treat the discussion of war with the quiet and reasoned deliberation that the subject deserves.
A new approach to foreign policy and care for our veterans is what our country needs – and our armed forces know which candidate they can trust to deliver it.