[January 21, 2020] U.S. General George Patton was once heard to say, “Lead me, follow me, or get [the hell] out of my way.” In a nutshell, that sums up Bernie Sanders. Some see him as a bull in a china shop; as a crazy radical out to destroy America. But whatever you think of him, he is authentic. He believes deeply in what he says and never apologizes for it.
For the second time, the politically Independent Bernie Sanders is encroaching upon the Democratic nomination as he pushes aside both radical and centrists in the party. He’s a serious candidate and continues to make unexpected gains as monetary contributions pour into his political war chest. Experts predict that he can never win the presidential race in the U.S., a republic built on capitalism and rugged individualism. They could be wrong.
Bernie Sanders possesses several leadership traits, not that different from famous leaders I’ve profiled before on my leadership website:
- Authentic and Unapologetic
- Strong-willed and Resolute
- Focused and Confident
- Appeals to the heart
- Inspires and motivates
- Seeks to help the poor and oppressed
“No one candidate is capable of taking on Donald Trump and the billionaire class alone. There is only one way we win – and that is together.” – Bernie Sanders, U.S. Presidential candidate1
No one ever said Bernie Sanders was diplomatic and predictably he is described as “cantankerous.”2 His message is an old one – the rich have made their money on the backs of the workers by unfairly exploiting them. Corporations, he says, typically pay no taxes but through higher taxes on corporations, Wall Street, and the rich, and through reducing military spending, we could use that money to pull the poor up and treat them as human beings.
Bernie Sanders has his flaws, and there are many. His socialist values are not aligned with how America has operated throughout its history. People don’t like higher taxes, big government, or big brother. Bernie promises all this in the name of fairness. He does promise to listen to the people and do what he thinks is best for them. Most say he cannot win the Democratic nomination or the presidency,3 but they said the same thing about Donald Trump.