Bernie Sanders has already won: He's not only gaining on Hillary, he's pushing her the right direction

Sanders has won the Democratic debate because on Keystone and TPP, he has finally made Clinton a Democrat

Published October 13, 2015 2:10PM (EDT)

Bernie Sanders  (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)
Bernie Sanders (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

Tuesday's debate is the Democratic Super Bowl. We know the home team. We know the visitors. The issues have always been political footballs and only one candidate hasn't turned them over to the Republicans. This election will also see the emergence of additional players like the FBI and other intelligence agencies (investigating Clinton's emails, not Hillary Clinton), so the playing field is full of participants, but only one true leader.

It's difficult to say "trust me" when the FBI and other intelligence agencies don't trust your ability to type an email.

There's a reason CBS News writes that within the Democratic Party, "Fourteen percent would not support her in a general election." There's also a reason that according to a recent Reuters article titled Clinton's support slides ahead of first Democratic debate, polls have changed dramatically in a matter of days:

Clinton's support among Democratic voters fell 10 points within less than a week.

From October 4 to October 9, Clinton saw her support tumble from 51 percent of Democratic support to just 41 percent.

Support for Sanders jumped from just over 24 percent to 28 percent...

 Polling trajectory (combined with Clinton's negative trustworthiness and favorability ratings ) as well Bernie's increased name recognition from the debates, will eventually enable Sanders to overtake Clinton in a number of polls.

Also, when marriage is a "fundamental bedrock" principle between a man and women, and you miraculously change your viewpoint, public opinion is the reason for this evolution. Mocking Kentucky's Kim Davis on Facebook, while forgetting that Clinton had similar views up until recently, is a bizarre form of democracy.

Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, was always on the right side of history, from Iraq and gay marriage to Keystone and the TPP.

Sanders has already won the debates because he's always been a progressive. With Clinton, the opposite is true, especially on issues like foreign policy.

On the topic of war, Hillary Clinton has a neoconservative foreign policy, and those aren't simply my words, this is also the viewpoint of renowned conservative historian Robert Kagan quoted in The New York Times:

"I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy," Mr. Kagan said, adding that the next step after Mr. Obama's more realist approach "could theoretically be whatever Hillary brings to the table" if elected president. "If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue," he added, "it's something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that; they are going to call it something else."

 Remember that article on Rand Paul I wrote? Of course I never wanted to vote for a Republican, but I didn't want another president willing to engage in perpetual wars. Clinton's review of a book by Henry Kissinger as well as articles in The New York Times, Vox, and other publications illustrate she might be willing to continue Bush's quagmires. In 2014, even I thought that Clinton's nomination was an eventuality, therefore I searched for an alternative to a hawkish Democrat.

I always believed progressives should oppose Republicans on matters of war and national security, not simply claim a devastating Iraq vote was a "mistake."

I've been a registered Democrat all my life (voting for Gore, Kerry, and Obama twice), but when President Obama was sending Americans back to Iraq in 2014, I searched desperately for an alternative to Clinton's "neocon" foreign policy. I'm not a Facebook Liberal and when I'm on Ring of Fire correlating Dick Cheney to the chaos in the Middle East, I also know that Hillary Clinton could have offered a powerful voice of protest.

Had she championed a progressive stance on Iraq when the nation and the world needed her the most, I'd be writing constantly about why Americans should vote for Hillary Clinton. Instead, she chose to side with the Bush administration on Iraq.

Luckily, Democrats today have a candidate who provides voters a clear choice on Keystone XL, the TPP, and the future of American foreign policy.

With Bernie Sanders, I'll be voting for a Democratic candidate who says "I'll be damned" if more Americans are sent overseas to fight in never-ending wars. Bernie Sanders recently won the prestigious Congressional Award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars because he puts America's warriors ahead of the images of ISIS beheadings on the nightly news. Unlike Donald Trump, who has the audacity to insult a Vietnam War hero once tortured in a North Vietnamese prison (the reality star owes McCain an apology), Bernie Sanders asks regional powers in the Middle East to confront ISIS.

Yes, Clinton was once inclined to greenlight Keystone XL and pushed for the TPP 45 separate times, but the biggest issue with President Hillary Clinton would be her Iraq War vote. This vote correlates to her ongoing views on foreign policy, and many others agree with me.

An article published in 2014 by Bob and Barbara Dreyfuss in The Nation titled The Hillary Clinton Juggernaut Courts Wall Street and Neocons explains Clinton's conservative views on war and Wall Street:

But, as a series of recent articles underscores, Clinton is the quintessential über-establishment candidate, with close ties to Wall Street, the military-industrial complex, and a passel of neoconservatives.

Though her rhetoric might veer back and forth, she's almost certain to run as one more hawkish than Obama on world affairs and as a candidate who won't challenge Wall Street's egregious record of criminality, reckless speculation and staunch defense of the privileges of the 1 percent.

In its important July 5 piece by Jacob Heilbrunn--called "The Next Act of the Neocons: Are Neocons Getting Ready to Ally with Hillary Clinton?"--The New York Times described how an important faction of the neoconservative movement, led by Robert Kagan and Max Boot, and including Michael McFaul, are edging their way into Clinton's camp, where they're likely to get a cautious welcome.

Therefore, if many progressives throughout the nation view Clinton's foreign policy as being hawkish, then how on Earth can Democrats differentiate themselves from Republicans on the issues of war and foreign policy?

When half to two-thirds of all the Americans killed or wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan were the victims of IED blasts, America doesn't need further quagmires.

When the surge in Iraq and later Afghanistan (Sanders voted against Iraq and opposed the Iraq and Afghanistan surges) was composed in large part of Americans facing prolonged tours of duty because of our nation's "Stop-Loss" program, Democrats should question the validity of a hawkish foreign policy.

Since a horrendous suicide epidemic among soldiers and veterans is directly linked to the surges and an overstretched U.S. military, it makes little sense for Democrats to elect a nominee linked to neoconservative views.

Bernie Sanders, unlike Clinton, passed the test of history on Iraq. Before Tuesday's debate, watch Sanders protest the Iraq War in Congress and foreshadow all its dire consequences:

Fifth, I am concerned about the problems of so-called unintended consequences. Who will govern Iraq when Saddam Hussein is removed and what role will the U.S. play in ensuing a civil war that could develop in that country? Will moderate governments in the region who have large Islamic fundamentalist populations be overthrown and replaced by extremists?

Again, if Hillary Clinton had spoken those words, you'd never find a bigger Clinton supporter, and I'd champion a Clinton presidency with all my heart and soul.

However, it was Bernie Sanders, using the same intelligence as Clinton and Bush, who opposed the Iraq War. His opposition to the Iraq War, in addition to other reasons, is why he's already won the Democratic debates.

Originally published by The Huffington Post

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Aol_on Bernie Sanders Democratic Debate Elections 2016 Foreign Policy Hillary Clinton Iraq Keystone