Bernie Sanders Needs to Take the Gloves Off.

The next round of debates are coming up, and it’s time for Bernie to fight.

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Photo via Bernie Sanders on Instagram

Since early 2015, Bernie Sanders has been at the forefront of the national discourse, igniting a grass roots movement that has been responsible for changing the way we address the problems that face average Americans. He is a leader in every sense of the word, and I don’t think that it’s any secret he’s my candidate of choice for a wide variety of reasons.

That being said, of course — like any other candidate — he does have flaws. Perhaps the greatest of which is his unwillingness to raise too much of a challenge to those in the primary race along with him. He seems to have a clear and persistent fear of bringing up the problematic records of his candidates, probably because he is afraid of it potentially being used against them should they make it to the general. But I’m worried we may have reached a point where being too much of a nice guy could be evolving in to a detriment to his campaign.

The next debate is quickly approaching, and I think it’s growing increasingly apparent that if Bernie wants to win this nomination he’s going to have to change the strategy. Of course, I don’t want Bernie to resort to personal attacks. He doesn’t even have to.

I want him to do what Kamala Harris did.

Kamala Harris almost singlehandedly took down Joe Biden’s campaign, and in all honesty I’m not sure it will be able to recover. She pointed out a flaw, and got him to use his own voice to expose the ugliness of his view when it comes to segregation, and his record in that regard. She did it with such stunning grace it was almost like watching an artist at work.

It’s time for Bernie to emulate that strategy. Clearly, it has worked in her favor, and Bernie has got decades of service to his constituents and being on the right side of the issues that affect us. He could do it just as well if he tried. It’s time for Bernie to get on that debate stage, and take the gloves off. I want Bernie to get on the debate stage, look Joe Biden in the eye, and ask him politely and respectfully to explain to the American people why he worked to make the Bush tax cuts permanent. I want him to look Kamala Harris in the eye, and ask her to explain the clear problems with her prosecutorial record. I want him to look her in the eye, and ask her politely and respectfully to tell the American people once and for all of she is for Medicare for All. I don’t want him to be afraid of these attacks coming back to bite them, because NONE of his opponents are worried about their attacks coming back to haunt Bernie. This is the primary process, and we need to know who is here for the American people.

We have the chance to elect the next FDR.

We have the chance to elect a man who actually seems slightly annoyed at the prospect of having to run for President, but is only doing so because he wants the American people to know that we deserve better. We have a chance to change the future of this country, and hand the torch to a man who has ignited the young people and grass roots effort of the left.

I’m terrified that we’re missing it, and in order to avoid that we need Bernie to understand it is ok to come on strong. It is ok for him to critique the records of his colleagues on stage. It might not be his style, and that’s commendable, but he has to play to win, and that’s going to require naming your opponents and what they have done. It’s going to require holding them accountable.

Bernie has a fight ahead of him, and I’m desperately hoping that he’s up for it.

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Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

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