Ah, yes. Our own 'socialist,' or kind of anyway. More left leaning than the 'leftist' (read as Reagan era conservative) faction currently in power. I have always thought of Obama as the best Republican President we have had in a while.
Bernie is more of a last century liberal, as am I, so I agree with a lot of (but not all) of his stands. Any real liberal would of been against the Patriot Act, Citizens United, etc, as none of us pot smokin', free lovin' hippie types would of wanted expanded government and police powers. It was DOWN WITH THE MAN! back in the day.
Modern 'liberals' are a travesty of the name. Liberal is to embrace new ideas, not new forms of government intrusion. Since both sides here now embrace larger, more intrusive government (in action that is, words are meaningless without corroborating action) and have made no efforts AT ALL to counter the erosion of rights, we have become a single party nation. The main defining difference being the rights heavy handed social conservatism which is why I rarely vote republican.
West Coast republicans are in general, somewhat less socially conservative, the whole 'left coast' thing. But there is so little difference, evidenced by the fact that nobody talks about anything but their differences on social issues. Gay marriage and abortion are larger issue than governing the country or foreign affairs because the parties differ very little on those latter topics.
As far as independents go, most don't impress me because they tend to be 'single topic' candidates who don't seem to see the whole picture, and yes, I believe the main stream candidates do see the whole picture, and that is why they concentrate on social issues that generate a lot of debate to distract us from the real issues. In my opinion, a narrow focus candidate will just be more ineffective than most.
Bernie is probably the closest we will get to a true liberal. And although I agree philosophically with a lot of his views, I am old and pragmatic enough to know that there needs to be restraint as well. We have always done best on the middle road, but the overall politically conservative swing from the 80's on till now hasn't helped. 'Trickle Down' economics only works if you're on top. If you're on the bottom, it smells of urine.
The fact he calls himself socialist, I find amusing. More of a left-leaning centrist, than a true socialist.
I could get behind that.