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The Vast Difference Between Sanders and Biden

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    I wanted to get a discussion going. It's all ramping up for the 2020 Democratic candidates, and two particular out of the 20 seem to be talked about the most in the media. Former Vice President Joe Biden is a solid favorite for the classic Democrats, and Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders is more popular with the progressive/liberal Democrats. They may be on the same side, but they are far from being cut from the same cloth. They want the same thing for the most part. They want to change the country from what it is today, and they both want Trump out of the White House. So what is the key difference?

    Biden has been in the White House before. His style is very much what I'd call a status quo type of policy. Kind of like the Clinton days. Keep the country as happy as possible with incremental changes along the way. Some Democrats have argued that while he was vice president, changes were too incremental. Biden said:

    "I helped make this government work before. And I can make it work again. To me, our principles must never be compromised. But compromise itself is not a dirty word. Consensus is not a weakness — it's a necessity. It's how this government was designed to work."

    Essentially, Biden wants to hit rewind to the years before Trump became president. I'd say the jury is out on if that can ever be accomplished.

    Sanders', however, is a radical shift from that of Biden. He doesn't want to bring the country back to "normalcy". He said in an interview with Meet The Press that while beating President Trump was "Number 1", it was "not enough." Another thing he said which I think encapsulates my point is:

    "I understand that our campaign is unique in the sense that we're going to try to win the Democratic primary, that we are going to try to beat Trump, but you know what else we're going to try to do? We're going to try to transform the United States of America. ... So our campaign has a different goal. It's to transform this country, and we're taking on the entire establishment when we do that."

    It's easy to see why more progressives favor him over Biden. If they were poker players, Biden would be a close-to-the-chest sort of player, and Bernie would be the aggressive bettor.

    What other key differences are there do you think? Probably too many to list in one post, but could there be something more obvious that I missed?

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    I think that's definitely the broad stroke differences between the two - Bernie is a progressive liberal and Biden is what you might call a moderate, centrist Democrat.

    Really depends on what issues you look at as well. On social issues I would say they are very aligned in message. Biden in my view has a good history of always leaning toward inclusion and social justice. I credit him as being the catalyst for forcing Obama's hand to eventually get gay marriage legalized. And Bernie seems to share the same liberal views on the same social issues.

    But when it comes to the economy, like with most Dems that's where the paths have a much clearer split. Biden is far more conservative and center-left than Bernie here. Biden you could say is much more in line with Obama.

    Bernie is perhaps the most liberal candidate of the whole party when it comes to redistributing wealth, fixing healthcare and public education, and reworking the tax code in favor of taxing the wealthy (both individuals and corps) to help the middle class.

    The candidate I would most compare Bernie to on taxes, education and healthcare changes is Elizabeth Warren.

    You can credit Bernie Sanders for example with the idea of 'Medicare-for-all'. And though Biden hasn't been super clear on his plans to fix healthcare for the country, he does NOT appear to be on the side of Bernie at all here. That link is a good read.


    I don't have as much of a handle on Bernie v Biden on foreign policy. That would be the 3rd rail of this conversation. Lemme know if anyone here has a good take on that.

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    J.K.Logic Wrote:

    I don't have as much of a handle on Bernie v Biden on foreign policy. That would be the 3rd rail of this conversation. Lemme know if anyone here has a good take on that.

    That's a good question. Did some reading around. They are polar opposites when it comes to foreign policy. Like you said, Biden is left-center on pretty much everything and Bernie is definitely more progressive. Biden does have extensive foreign policy experience. That's one difference, but the major difference Bernie is definitely an anti-interventionist, where as Biden not.

    Biden would be considered a liberal interventionist. He's shown this many times in the past where he's been willing to wage war in the name of human rights and or national security. He drummed up support to bomb the Balkans, supported Afghanistan, and voted for the 2003 Iraq war. On top of that, he publicly supported the bombing of Libya and was all for intensifying drone strikes in Pakistan and Somalia.

    Bernie, however, definitely runs an anti-military intervention platform. He's often criticized the U.S war-making system, and wants to see a sizable reduction in military spending in favor of social spending.