Written off as quixotic when he announced, Sanders’s meteoric rise stunned everyone. The avowed Socialistfrom Vermont did not rely on the usual coterie of Democratic insiders on corporate and foundation retainers for advice on policy and the economy. In sharp contrast to the Clintons, Sanders had long supported labor unions, not simply by talking with (some of) their leaders, but actually showing up on picket lines to support campaigns to organize workers. Unlike Clinton, who claimed that she went to Iowa to “listen” to voters andexcelled in spelling out the wonkish details of particular programs, Sanders forthrightly addressed the central problems that the dual economy creates for ordinary Americans. Unionization was part of his answer to low pay. Increasing aggregate demand by taking aggressive action to guarantee full employment and fund major public projects was another. In front of millions of people who probably had never heard anyone press such issues before, Sanders argued for implementing single-payer health care and getting big money out of politics. He also tackled the college debt problem head on, saying that the first two years of college should be free and proposed a plan to forgive student debt.



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