Not a bad lineup to be honest. While Biden is a bit of a conservative/moderate, he is still a left leaning one.
Now, I don't mean to rant, but:
I get a little surprised when I see Andrew Yang criticized as being a right-winger. This is clearly not the case as he is pushing for the most massive boost to low-income/no-income earners of anyone in US history. He's one of my favourites, probably 4th or 5th... I'll say tied for 4th with Castro.
I am a big supporter of Elizabeth Warren's no-more-corporate-bullshit approach - breaking up big tech would be healthy for the Western economy, and if Warren brings in the US Wealth-Tax then I can see EU countries following very shortly after. The big issue with wealth taxation in the past is that it is done in some countries but not others, and wealthy people can simply move their assets or accounts. I think an agreement across developed nations for a 2% Wealth tax would work wonders for public funding.
Bernie Sanders is my #2 pick, his policy positions are almost as good as Elizabeth Warren. What puts him behind her, for me, is that he tends to be very vague in what he is talking about, he lacks the precision of Elizabeth Warren. He's no more a socialist than Ron Paul is a libertarian. Bernie Sanders is a social democrat, just like Elizabeth Warren, which is a capitalist (and Ron Paul is/was a neoliberal). Normally, this wouldn't bother me at all, but people in this forum have actually tried to argue that he is a "market socialist" and have linked the wikipedia article - three problems with calling Bernie Sanders a market socialist: 1. Bernie Sanders has never called himself a market socialist, he has called himself a democratic socialist; 2. The core mechanic of market socialism still abolishes the capitalist stock market, which Bernie Sanders doesn't advocate; 3. Bernie Sanders favours big FDR-style social democratic government programs, which Market Socialism is against.
My third favourite is probably Cory Booker, he put a lot of people off recently with his support of nuclear power; but he was describing Thorium reactor technology (though he didn't use the word Thorium). Fusion reactors are also a potential for the future. But he is the healthiest seeming of all of the candidates, and so I trust his healthcare stance - he advocates local level healthcare improvements (which seems to be something the US is anemic on); healthy food, encouragement for exercise, pedestrian activities, etc... Since people have worried that donors giving to progressives will change their stances, Booker has proven otherwise in how he has voted against the interests of pharmaceutical corporations while also receiving donations from them. I don't think anyone is going to be corrupted by corporate donations, the problem with corporate donations is that they tend to heavily favour pro-corporate politicians, and that is why they should be banned: but playing the game (as Booker has done) and taking their money to work against them is something I support a lot more than the "refusal on principle" approach of Warren and Sanders (which I think is plain foolish).
I'll end my rant here.
What? How could you call him a social democrat and then say that one of the reasons he's not a market socialist is because he's never called himself a market socialist but a democratic socialist? If we're going by what he's called himself then he's a democratic socialist not a social democrat. If we're not going by what he's called himself then I guess some people could call him a market socialist because reasons just as you did when you stated he's a social democrat. I just find that very inconsistent on your part. Nevertheless, for me, I'll just go by what he self-identifies as, which is a democratic socialist.
How is Sanders more vague compared to Warren? I've followed both of them and have looked at both of their policy proposals and they both seem to have about the same amount of detail to me. Could you give me examples because I'm honestly not sure what you mean by that and would like to understand? Here's Sanders' issues page on his website and here's Warren's for quick reference.
I think Jumpin is referring to the different ways that Sanders and Warren tend to talk about the issues and their ideas. At this point, both Warren and Sanders have a wide range of fairly clear policy prescriptions that they're running on (although one of those candidates has led the way in that regard).
Also, let's just settle this matter: no one running for president (at least on a major party ticket anyway), and for that matter no one in the U.S. Congress either, is actually a socialist. There is no candidate running (again, on a major party ticket anyway) who believes that the means of production should be social property in any way, shape, or form. The closest we come to this is support for increased unionization and Elizabeth Warren's proposal for some degree of worker co-ownership of major businesses in the style of how things currently work in Germany (which no one would rationally consider a socialist country).
People like AOC and Bernie Sanders can get away with branding themselves "socialists" and "revolutionaries" today only owing to how far to the right the center of political gravity has become on economic issues since the Reagan era. They are substantively just New Deal type economic reformers, NOT actual revolutionaries who aspire to abolish the profit system and replace production for exchange with production for use like I do. So let's just be clear that what characters like these are doing is called posturing. If they embraced real socialism, they'd be politically marginal (also like me) because the public writ large remains to be convinced of the merits thereof. These are all compromise candidates for me. Warren simply has the audacity to be intellectually honest.
Anyway, I find the progressives (Warren and Sanders) and Yang (who I regard as a kind of Democratic Party libertarian in the spirit of 2008 candidate Mike Gravel) to be easily the most human and least facile characters in this whole campaign. Everyone else is bought and paid for to one extent or another.
Bernie names Eugene Debs as a personal hero, calls for 100% public ownership of energy utilities, and also wants mandated co-ownership of corporations. He is a reformist socialist. Once he accomplishes what he's pushing for now, he'll push for more. Warren will push for reforms, and then declare her work finished, because she's a proud capitalist. Bernie will push for more and more, because he's a reformist socialist. He agrees with you that if he embraced an immediate, revolutionary abolishment of capitalism, he would be politically marginalized. That's why he campaigns the way he does, talks the way he does. Some socialists seem to be savvy enough to this that they support him, understanding that he means it when he says he's a democratic socialist even as he pushes for social democrat policies.
Once we're a social democracy, it'll be easier to campaign to transition further to true democratic socialism. You can't have democratic socialism unless you have the right culture for it, otherwise, being democratic, it could easily be reverted to capitalism again. Bernie is doing the hard work of shifting not just the political dialogue, but the cultural dialogue. Healthcare is beginning to be seen by Americans as a human right that the government must guarantee if it wants to claim to protect human rights. That was an extremely uncommon view in America before 2015. Bernie introduced that idea back into the American political discourse after a good generation or more of hibernation.
Really, almost every major issue in the current race has been defined by Sanders' 2016 run, including his 2020 run. Once he moved the discourse sharply to the left, he moved sharply to the left with it. Biden is the only major candidate left still running to the right of Hillary Clinton, but Bernie is bolder than ever before with his ideas. As for his rhetoric being a bit lacking on details, that's because he's trying to get the common folk to rally behind him, and losing them in details is not the way to do that. That's why Warren (on the whole, according to the data, I recognize there are exceptions like yourself) attracts a more wealthy and educated base than Sanders, because her procapitalist rhetoric doesn't scare away the wealthy, while by including the details in her rhetoric she may lose some less educated voters but an educated voter that doesn't have the time to parse through the candidates websites and only watches the debates and a rally speech or interview here and there is probably going to find those details appealing.
I don't get why so many socialists balk over Sanders for not being socialist enough. They complain that they're politically marginalized and can't get any traction, then blame right wing propagandists for that lack of traction, rather than trying to be pragmatic and recognize where the American people are now and try to engage with them there. Instead they'd rather all be cynical and either stay out of the political process altogether, leaving the levers of power even less contested with the far right, or they do vote but not with any socialist strategy because they're convinced they've already lost. Then they complain when candidates disappoint them. It's just self-fulfilling prophecy at its worst.
The best choice, really the only choice, for class-conscious individuals that want to see an end to the profit motive dominating all of our society, and the normalizing of socialist ideas, is Bernie Sanders. He has a strategy to move the United States towards democratic socialism, Warren doesn't. Both he and Warren will probably accomplish about the same amount of stuff with their administrations, but Sander's strategy will move things further, and set up the American left going forward. I see a lot of plans with Warren, but not one to engage the American people to support her agenda on a consistent basis after she's elected. She'll probably be remembered as the second coming of Teddy Roosevelt, except female and much better informed and aligned with female issues and non-white issues. And that's great, he's my favorite president, and were she to become president, she'd probably be my new favorite president. But with Bernie, I see an opportunity to find out what would have happened if Occupy Wall Street hadn't been protesting against the president and his policies, but with him. If the Women March wasn't protesting against the president, but with him. If the March for Science wasn't protesting against...well you get it. The protest would be in his support, possibly even led or encouraged by him, to force congress to act. I see his not getting along with the establishment to be a plus, not a minus.
If you want the private sector out of prisons, health insurance, electricity production, charter schools, and whatever else he believes he can garner the support for, support Sanders, if you're satisfied with just getting rid of private prisons and health insurance, Warren is fine, as that's where she'll stop. If you want a Meidner-esque plan to gradually transfer ownership of all large corporations to workers, vote for Bernie, the democratic socialist, if you're fine with workers just being able to elect a few board members to the corporate board, Warren the social democrat is fine. If you want a society where civil life is more than just voting once every 4 years if you feel like it, where instead there are always opportunities to participate to advocate for your rights, all led by the guy in charge so that together we can force Washington to work, vote Bernie, because his slogan is "Not Me, Us". If you'd rather stay home and trust Washington to work with her, maybe make a few online comments on an internet forum if you're feeling fiesty, just sit back and let Warren do all the work, that'll probably be fine, if she really thinks she can do it without our help. I don't think she can though, and I don't think she's going to change her strategy. Maybe if she has Bernie as VP that'll be enough.
Here are a few sources for my claims:
Regarding Bernie wanting 100% public ownership of power:
Regarding the plan to transfer ownership of corporations to their workers (admittedly Sander's plan isn't explicit in this, but there are signs it's what he's leaning towards, and at the very least will likely result in some ownership of companies, if not full control):
And all that stuff I was saying about protests and civic participation in support of Bernie being encouraged by Bernie, that is discussed in this article: