As of right now, none of the presidential candidates have even come close to supporting Edward Snowden. In fact, candidates have called him a traitor, a spy, and stated that he’s committed treason. The facts are Snowden broke the law, but in turn, exposed illegal government activity to the American people. So did Snowden actually do something illegal or commit treason? That’s where the ‘which came first, the chicken or egg’ argument comes into play, but it seems as if all of the presidential candidates have stated the chicken clearly committed treason.
Maybe I’m not surprised that none of the candidates have spoken in favor of Snowden, but I just thought that if there was someone who would stand up for him, it would be Bernie Sanders. When asked about the issue, Sanders has stated “I think Snowden played a very important role in educating the American public … he did break the law, and I think there should be a penalty to that.” But Sanders also has stated that he would shut down the NSA and was one of the very few who voted against the Patriot Act. And just recently, Sanders tweeted out: ‘In my view, the NSA is out of control and operating in an unconstitutional manner.’
It just doesn’t make sense to me. Sanders supports the outcome of what Snowden brought to light, but doesn’t agree with the methods of how the information was made public. Maybe if Sanders supported Snowden, it would hurt him in the election, so maybe this isn’t a huge issue for him right now. Maybe his campaign views Snowden as a can of worms, as he is only one person. But Sanders doesn’t have a history of sitting down when issues are not politically expedient. In fact, Bernie Sanders’ stance on Snowden is with the majority of Americans who would prosecute Snowden, according to recent polls. And Sanders is already better than most candidates when it comes to the issue of government surveillance, the NSA, and privacy.
However, if Sanders continues on his path of standing up for ideas when it’s in the infancy of popular opinion, he would come out in support of Snowden. There aren’t many issues on which I disagree with Bernie Sanders, but to use his own words, his stance on Snowden is just not good enough.
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