As the 2020 US election heats up, the Democrat candidates have dropped their friendly demeanour towards each other. And as the facade of civility and friendship dissolves, we see the real essence of the primaries. Establishment candidates are coordinating with the media to cut the political momentum of an outsider off at the knees, and it’s not working too well. Sound familiar?
Before I continue, like any political hack covering a candidate on the opposite side of politics favourably, I’m going to premise that I am not a Bernie supporter myself. I’m going to say socialism is terrible, and in so doing save myself from the scorn of partisans like myself. It’s just the way that it’s done. Now that this embarrassing premising is over let’s get to the egregious treatment of Bernie Sanders.
In 2016, the Clinton campaign colluded with the DNC to deny Bernie the Democratic party nomination. Wikileaks emails uncovered a plan that included going after Sanders’ credibility and questioning his adherence to Judaism. But in the end, securing nearly every super delegate for Hillary Clinton did the trick. In the current election cycle, Bernie Sanders seems once again to be in the crosshairs of a hostile corporate media and establishment DNC-prefered candidates.
Recently CNN hosted an attempted political assassination in a debate format just hours after publishing accusations leaked by the Warren campaign. This leak claimed that Bernie said a woman could not be elected president. During the debate, Sanders denied the allegations after being asked about them by one of the moderators, only to have the very same moderator dismiss his denial completely seconds later. Slimy, yes, but not quite as slimy as leaking audio recordings of Warren accusing Sanders of calling her a liar after the debate was over.
To call the attempted smear of Bernie Sanders by CNN and the Warren campaign a failure is an understatement. American left-wingers are excoriating Warren as a hypocrite and a liar, and have similar contempt for CNN. At the same time, Bernie’s campaign received over one million dollars in donations from over one hundred thousand individual donors, and Sanders took a 5-point lead over Biden in New Hampshire.
To many observers, this apparent influx of support is a reaction to Sanders’ slander by an unlikeable opponent. Others may take away that it was CNN’s embarrassing debate performance that led to the influx of support. Many conclude that Sanders’ increasing support is due to a growing affinity for socialism within the democrat party. But to attribute any of these with Sanders’ recent upticks is taking a narrow view of a far broader phenomenon. A narrow view similar to that of many left-wingers in 2016 as they saw the surge of Donald Trump. Bernie’s success is not due to a new-found love for socialism or a backlash against Elizabeth Warren. It is the frustration of Americans who recognise that political elites, the corporate media, and large corporations are not acting in the best interests of the population. The very same sentiment put the current president in office.
However much you may disagree with Bernie Sanders on policy, it’s hard to knock him on a few key points. For example, even his most vigorous opponents cannot deny Bernie’s consistency and authenticity. He has had roughly the same political ideology for the last 30 years, and few would claim that Sanders is some practised political operator. But more critical is his diagnosis of the ills facing America. Understanding the disease does not mean knowing the cure, but he has accurately observed many of the issues in America that the establishment refuses to address. Corporatism and crony capitalism, a failing healthcare sector, and a political elite that is only concerned with its own power are not issues to be taken lightly. They weren’t taken lightly by Trump, and much like Sanders, the mere acknowledgement of the problem make the attacks levelled against them slide off like butter on hot Teflon.
Tucker Carlson once said, “a happy nation does not elect Donald Trump.” Similarly, a happy nation does not warm up to Bernie Sanders. But America is not in a happy place. American life expectancy statistics are dragged down every year by overdoses and suicides, putting American Life expectancy on a downward trend. Excluding these two factors, America has the highest life expectancy in the world. But as Americans kill themselves with prescription medications, millions find themselves having to declare bankruptcy due to medical expenses. A recent study projected that by 2030 half of the American population will be obese. These are not signs of a healthy and happy nation. Yet establishment political players claim that because inflation is steady, unemployment is low, and products cost less last year than the year before, that these issues are of low priority. But Trump didn’t look at it that way, and neither does Bernie.
In 2016, an unlikely outsider won the election. The entire time, ignorance, racism, financial anxiety, and misinformation were cited as culprits for his support. The more important message of his campaign and the driving motivation behind his supporters was all but ignored. Bernie may not win the election; heck, he may not even be the democratic nominee. But regardless of our political persuasion, we can look at Bernie Sanders and his supporters honestly, and not repeat the mistakes made in 2016.