By Trevor Law
So as I have stated in my previous post about the democratic party, I don’t think Bernie Sander will win the democratic nomination, but honestly I am more interested in exploring what he represents, and what is behind his rise. He is actually polling neck and neck with Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire. He is also closing the gap in the national polls, and while his fundraising hasn’t even been half as good as hers, his donations under 200 dollars have been staggering and are a good indication of a strong base of support. Not bad for a guy who isn’t even a Democrat right?
I bet you didn’t realize that. He is an independent and a self identified socialist. He is a great admirer of the socialist states of Sweden and Norway and wants to replicate those models here. He also has been a fierce advocate for the minimum wage being 15 dollars an hour nationwide. Generally if you can think of an economic issue he has been on the most liberal side of it. He is farther to the left than much of the Democratic party and isn’t supported by the establishment at all.
Something else though, he has been on the receiving end of #blacklivesmatter protests and they have been aggressively targeting him trying to get him to come out strongly in favor of their movement and positions. What hasn’t really been talked about is that this has been an old rift within the left for a long, long time. You see, many economic liberals believe that if you could just get issues like income inequality fixed, then this would fix racism in America. While minorities would agree that income inequality is a huge problem, many of them feel that the issues of white liberals are too academic and don’t focus on their issues. Mainly issues like “We keep getting shot by the police.” or “My family is in a detention center … again.” For many minorities they feel under siege by established political forces and a history of racism in America. Also keep in mind I am not commenting on any policy issues, only I am pointing out how these groups in America feel.
So two major factions in the Democratic party seem to have a big split, minorities, vs. white liberals. White liberals don’t seem to know what to do yet. Bernie Sanders responses to #blacklivesmatter have been measured and frankly pretty weak. I have yet to see a single poll with him doing better than 10% of the black vote. For advice on how to win the Democratic nomination without the black vote, don’t ask Hillary Clinton. That is one of the biggest reasons why she lost in 2008.
Another reason why Bernie Sanders is having so much trouble on this issue is he has little to zero experience with issues important to the black community. He is from the state of Vermont and that is one of the whitest states in the country. This is also one of the reasons I think he will ultimately lose. He has zero experience dealing with groups other than liberal and rural whites. This is not a man used to putting together diverse coalitions and he is not used to what it takes to run a large campaign. Bernie is a symptom of a much larger problem within the American Left. They do not know how to win. They are so focused on their own little pet issues that they don’t do the needed groundwork to launch such campaigns. Imagine if a socialist got elected to governor of New York, and had a successful two term run there? Instead every single liberal sounds like a college professor out to trip you up on policy, instead of someone who could actually get something done.
Here is another issue with the American left, how many of them could actually work with moderate Republicans? Seriously could you see President Bernie Sanders working with Republicans on … anything? And before you say well Obama can’t either! That is an issue of the the right pulling the party too far to the right. I’m talking about Bernie Sanders just trying to find ANYTHING in common with ANY Republican. While his rhetoric isn’t as aggressive as the tea party it is certainly as extreme and trans-formative. If liberals like Bernie Sanders want to change America, they have to learn the basics of both governance and campaigning and right now that doesn’t appear to be the case.
BUT TREVOR! HE AS SUCH LARGE CROWDS FOLLOWING HIM! You know who else has crowds just as big, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson. Those guys have as much of a chance as being President as Sanders does. Besides, Hillary Clinton has been campaigning like that. Do you honestly think she couldn’t get crowds just as big, if not bigger? The left is a at a crossroads, and if they want to be taken seriously, then they need to focus on State Legislatures and Governorships, instead of always putting all their hopes on the White House.