Bernie Sanders released a folk album in 1987 that even the record producer thought was terrible – but musical taste hasn’t stopped the 74-year-old Senator from Vermont from appealing to Democratic voters across our country.
Sanders ran for president to ensure politicians addressed issues such as single-payer healthcare and free education during Democratic primaries, but his ideas touched a nerve with voters. Now the long-serving politician is tied with Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee.
In the second of our series on presidential hopefuls, Talkspace therapists assess Sanders’ psychological profile and how well it fits him for the job of president.
Here’s a quick chart that shows how Sanders scored with our therapists. Keep reading for more details!
Who is Bernie Sanders?
Sanders is consistent and makes his decisions based on logical analysis.
“His decisions are based on thinking rather than feeling,” said therapist Sue DeVall. “Although he empathizes with the common man, he still relays his message as a thinker. He chooses to talk about the issues, like Wall Street, rather than tell stories about people that will make you cry.”
In spite of his advanced years, Sanders is a man of action. He likes to get things done rather than delay decisions to gain more information.
“I think he’s more judging than perceiving,” DeVall said. “He’s got his mind made up about his position, and he’s uncompromising in that way.”
Although his political beliefs are set, he’s open-minded enough to take input from others on his campaign strategy.
“He’s used ideas from younger people for social media, and so on,” DeVall said.
Is Sanders Dependable?
During his time in the House and Senate, Sanders has voted consistently on the issues put before him. Our therapists think voters can depend on him to maintain his ideas if elected to the presidency.
“He hasn’t changed his position as a Socialist for the many years he has been in Congress, despite it being an unpopular position in both Houses,” DeVall said. “He has shown consistency in defending the poor and the middle class, and not sided with special interests.”
Is Sanders Professional?
Although some animosity seems to have crept into the Democratic campaigns during its later stages, Sanders and Hillary Clinton have generally avoided personal criticisms in favor of discussing policy issues. Our therapists feel this shows professionalism and competence.
“In his rebuttals, he is always honest and works hard not to talk down or badly about the other candidates,” said therapist Beth Lafontaine.
Is Sanders Cooperative?
While most of our therapists admire Sanders for resolutely sticking to his beliefs, some wondered if this might cause problems when faced with a political system that needs co-operation when in office. Will he be able to make the compromises necessary to work with Republican majorities in the House and Senate?
“He is pretty much set in his ways, and I don’t feel that he would be open-minded to the opinions of others,” said therapist Amanda Graham.
Is Sanders Determined?
Our therapists pointed out that all presidential hopefuls need to be determined to undertake such a lengthy and expensive campaign. Sanders’ ability to stick to his Socialist beliefs under fire won him good scores.
“He has strong beliefs he doesn’t compromise, beliefs based on the desire for a fair playing field, economically speaking, for the rich and the poor,” DeVall said.
Is Sanders Forward-looking?
Our therapists felt Sanders had a strong vision of America’s future, even if some felt he would not be able to carry out his plans in office.
“He seeks more dramatic changes than any other presidential candidate because he seeks a different future for American citizens,” said therapist Lauren McDonald.
Is Sanders Independent?
Sanders has made much of a campaign that has an average $27 contribution from donors. A main policy aim is to change the campaign finance system to stop big businesses influencing the actions of politicians.
“This shows self-reliance and self-sufficiency,” McDonald said.
Is Sanders Inspiring?
Our therapists generally agree Sanders has inspired a new political movement.
“He attracts young people and is able to uplift them and inspire them to have faith in our democracy,” DeVall said.
“He has a vision for change, and inspires others to think outside the political box,” McDonald added.
Overall, Is Sanders Fit to Be President?
Our therapists feel Sanders is genuine in his beliefs and would attempt to uphold them in the White House. They believe he genuinely cares about the poor and the underprivileged.
The fact he is prone to shouting disturbed some respondents, who noted aggressive behavior inhibits the capability to process information. Others said his uncompromising nature would make it difficult for him to negotiate with a Republican-controlled House and Senate.