Monday, February 22, 2016

Where Is Bernie Sanders' Massive Political Revolution ?

(This caricature of Bernie Sanders is by DonkeyHotey.)

Bernie Sanders has told us that he will win, both the presidency and the general election, with a massive political revolution -- a revolution that will bring huge numbers of new people into the political process. And these people will turn out in such large numbers that they will not only win him the presidency, but will cause Republicans to have a "come to Jesus" moment and support his leftist programs.

So, where is this massive political revolution. It certainly hasn't shown itself yet. If it was really happening, shouldn't massive numbers of people be turning out for Democratic caucuses and primaries? That is just not happening. In Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, the turnout of those participating in the process for Democrats was substantially down from the numbers in 2008 -- and there is no reason to think the same won't be true of South Carolina next Saturday.

Bernie does seem to have won over Millennial voters, and is doing well among Gen X and Boomer progressives -- but those don't even make up a majority of the Democratic Party, and certainly won't make up a majority of general election voters (although many Hillary Clinton supporters will grudgingly support him if he wins the nomination).

Progressives seem to believe that Americans want change, and if they just explain Bernie's radical left agenda properly, then voters will flock to his cause. As a progressive myself, I wish that was true -- but it's not.  The United States is a moderate country. While Americans do want change, most want that change to be a well-thought-out and moderate change. They don't want the apple cart upset by radical ideas from either the left or the right. And even if Bernie was somehow able to win the Democratic nomination, we should not forget that the election for president will be decided by Independents (most of whom are moderates (since there are not enough Democrats or Republicans to win on their own).

Finally, let us assume that this massive political revolution does finally show up, and not only gives Bernie the nomination, but elects him president by an overwhelming vote. That would make no difference at all to a Republican-dominated House of Representatives. Most of those GOP representatives sit in safe gerrymandered districts -- districts that would punish them for accepting even a tiny bit of Bernie's programs. They would still be just as obstructionist as ever.

As I said, Bernie has won over many Millennials and progressives, but their numbers are not nearly enough to be called a massive political revolution. They do make up a significant portion of the Democratic Party, and that will allow him to run a good race for the nomination. But a truly massive political revolution will require many more people -- and so far, that has just not happened. And I don't think it will.


  1. "if they just explain Bernie's radical left agenda properly” - Seriously? Radical left? Line up his issues, they are all supported by a majority of Americans - by definition they are not radical. The Bernie bashing has gotten so bad on this site I can’t read it anymore. I’ll check back in after the primaries are over.

  2. I just think it's time for Clinton supporters to fight back against all the Clinton-bashing coming from the Sanders camp.

    1. It's a 2 way street, Clinton is using the same dirty tricks she used against Obama.

    2. This type of smearing has been common by Clinton supporters over the past few months. The Bernie Bros narrative, an attempt to stereotype Mr. Sanders’ supporters as sexist white men, was also used against Mr. Obama in calling his supporters Obama Boys. Both accusations had very little evidence despite the attention garnered in the media and from Clinton supporters, while feminism and issues relating to the promotion of gender equality fell to the wayside in favor of policing alleged widespread sexism.
      Similar tactics were used by Clinton supporters and by a Clinton supporting-journalist to warp a response from civil rights hero and Congressmen John Lewis, who said he never saw Mr. Sanders during the civil rights movement. The comment was manipulated to suggest Mr. Lewis questioned Mr. Sanders’ involvement in the civil rights movement—which was false and was clarified a few days later by Mr. Lewis. Shortly after, another journalist took a quote from Sanders supporter rapper Killer Mike, and manipulated it to appear as though Killer Mike was making a sexist remark. The rapper was actually just quoting a conversation he had with feminist activist Jane Elliot.
      This type of propagated manipulation in favor of Ms. Clinton at the expense of Mr. Sanders is not beneficial to the Democratic Party. Ms. Clinton will eventually need Mr. Sanders’ supporters and the many independent voters he attracts if she wins the nomination and wants to win the presidency—especially as recent polls predict current GOP frontrunner Donald Trump defeating Ms. Clinton in the general election. Disenfranchising those voters with smear campaigns to stereotype them for political gain may help Ms. Clinton win the Democratic nomination, but it will hurt her and the Democratic Party in the long run as even Republican presidential candidates are not stooping to such levels against one another’s supporters.

    3. "Bernie the nomination, but elects him president by an overwhelming vote. That would make no difference at all to a Republican-dominated House of Representatives."
      Yes it would Sanders has not stuttered one bit about his proposals and the long shot nature of his candidacy will multiply the power of the bully pulpit.

    4. I respect your right to support Bernie -- but there have been far more lies and smearing from Bernie's supporters than from Clinton's.


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