If someone told you they had a plan, you would – assuming the other person to be a responsible adult – expect to hear about at least three things from them: a goal, a method, and a plan of action. Some of those goals and methods need justification as well, explaining why the goal is a good one, or how the general concept will work; others are fairly obvious.
Let’s take a look at what some of Senator Bernie Sanders’ supporters decided to pass around as Sanders’ “plan”:
Now, going off my categories above, we see that this is not actually coherent plan at all. Points 5, 7, and 9 are clearly goals. Points 1-4, 6, 8, 10, and 11 are probably methods – though attempting to discover the goal associated with the various methods is a difficult proposition. Points 1, 6, and likely 11 might be associated with a goal stated as, “Create and keep jobs for Americans”. Points 3, 4, and 10 might fall under a heading, “Reduce Income Inequality”. Point 2 stands by itself but the associated goal is probably something like, “Stop Global Warming”. Point 8 – well, that might be a goal (although it would need a justification), or it might be a method (for one of the goals I suggested), or it might just be pandering to a base inclined to distrust large businesses with no serious intention behind it at all.
Of course, I could likely do this with most of the candidates’ electioneering so far; but this popped up on my facebook and theirs have not, so Sanders ended up being the one I picked on. On the other hand he can’t complain too much – any publicity is good publicity, right?