The Atmosphere is Electric in Bernieland
As the first primaries of this election cycle approach, let's take a visit to Bernie Sanders' workshop. Bernie volunteers are busy at work on the phone lines and scurrying around neighborhoods, thriftily spreading Bernie's inspiring message, while hamsters pay the electric bill by spinning their little wheels, and generally clean up the mess we've made (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIBNQBGtdKI); meanwhile Bernie's cat fanatics carry Bernie placards (https://www.facebook.com/catsforbernie/?fref=ts). Everybody loves Bernie, at least around here. Okay, perhaps I exaggerate a bit, but you get the idea.
There is electricity in the atmosphere, and a sense of great anticipation. That may be the best way to describe it. At the same time, unfortunately, tempers are flaring even among liberals with opposing views. Bernie Sanders now has the lead in most Iowa polls and a large lead in all New Hampshire polls, the first two primary states, but the tension level remains high. After the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, all bets are off, but one thing is clear: Bernie Sanders has all the momentum.
Honestly, the political situation is very much to Bernie Sanders' advantage. He has everything to gain and Hillary Clinton has everything to lose, much as during Barack Obama's insurgent campaign in 2008. But now, voters are even more anxious for real systemic change and more sure that Bernie can deliver it, or at least try to. The role of the populist underdog suits Bernie perfectly, and it suits the times too.
There is one thing that I would like to point out which at first seems ironic, but really is not: Bernie Sanders' popularity with young voters. After all, would be the oldest person ever elected President if he succeeds. However, his popularity with younger voters is well deserved. He is the candidate who most explicitly proposes policies to build a better future for the vast majority of young people. (https://www.facebook.com/moveon/videos/vb.7292655492/10153215105285493/?type=2&theater) The following video by Benjamin O'Keefe gives 4 reasons for Bernie Sanders' popularity with young voters. The first reason is that Bernie Sanders is fighting income inequality unlike other candidates. The second reason given is Sanders' record in fighting for civil rights and social justice. The third reason is Bernie Sanders' commitment to fighting climate change. Bernie Sanders was the only person in a major debate to list climate change as humanity's greatest challenge. Lastly, young people are ready for a political revolution to produce real, systemic change.
As I discussed in my previous post, the key to progressive success is voter turnout, especially young and minority voters. Bernie Sanders, with his populist message and the massive enthusiasm that he has procured, is the candidate who can bring more of this crowd to the polls than any other person running for president. This is in fact an explicit part of Bernie Sanders' strategy.
This is not a knock on Hillary Clinton particularly. She would be much better than the crazy train on the right, in my opinion. However, she does not represent the desires of the American public for true reform that Bernie Sanders does. Disgust with "politics as usual" and the status quo is reason that "outsiders" are doing so well thus far in this election cycle -- and nobody with great experience in Washington politics is more of an "outsider" than is Bernie Sanders.
He may seem like David versus the Goliath of the increasingly corporately fascistic, military worshipping establishment, but the "little people" are behind him, regardless of what the big players are up to. We are truly excited about Bernie Sanders' long overdue candidacy, and busy generating energy on his behalf. As long as we can represent the majority of voters, we will win. As long as we can push politics in America to the left, we will win. Thank God -- and the founders of voting procedures now found throughout most of the world -- for the one person, one vote rule in politics.