Not only could Bernie Sanders bring the Democratic party back to the left, he could win
President Bernie Sanders. Even to some progressives, that idea may sound farfetched. While the notion of a self-proclaimed socialist winning the Presidency of the United States would leave progressives in ecstasy and give conservatives nightmares, in most people’s minds, it’s an unlikely scenario.
If the United States is to get back on the right track (or should I say the left track?), win or lose, Bernie Sanders needs to run. There are only a handful of progressive politicians in Washington and so far no one other than Sanders have shown a desire to run.
The need for a progressive candidate
Liberals and/or progressives are doing themselves a disservice by continuously jumping onto the Elizabeth Warren bandwagon. While she would no doubt be a great choice for us likeminded individuals, Warren has repeatedly stated, almost on a weekly basis, that she is not running.
By clinging to the hope that Warren will change her mind, not only are we setting ourselves up for disappointment down the road, we are taking attention, time and potential money away from progressive candidates who have not ruled a run out.
The only potential candidate left to counter established Democratic favorite Hilary Clinton’s pro-Wall Street record is Bernie Sanders. It is important for Sanders to run for one simple reason; to push Clinton to the left.
If Clinton runs virtually unopposed, her presidency will look a lot like Obama’s. Progressive on social issues, center or right on economic issues. In this age of growing inequality, middle-class wage stagnation and ever growing corporate power, economic issues are of the greatest importance and Clinton, like Obama will not institute any change unless properly challenged.
Experience is necessary
No one really knew what we were getting when Obama first came into office. He was new to the game, an unspoiled politician so to speak. He seemed to be the progressive we were looking for in the wake of the financial crisis. To our disappointment, he decided to lead from the center on economic issues and no real lasting change was made.
With Bernie Sanders, we know exactly what we are getting. A man who has carried a constant message through eight terms in the House and now his second term in the Senate: that the deck is stacked against the people in this country.
Sanders has been involved in politics a long time, but unlike Clinton and other Democrats, he can hardly be considered to be part of the Washington establishment. He sits as an independent Senator from Vermont and while he might caucus with Democrats, he has never shied away from criticizing both parties.
The decades of experience has made Bernie Sanders a great debater. He is very passionate about the poor and middle class and is equally passionate about getting the wealthy to pay their fair share. He’s also particularly eager to get corporate money out of Washington. He has always been very upfront on his policies, there will be far fewer guessing games if he were elected.
It would be difficult, but he could win
Following the great crash of 1929 and the onset of the Great Depression, Americans elected the most progressive president in history to fix the country from the ground up; Franklin D. Roosevelt. Following 2008 and the beginning of the great recession, Americans thought they were going down the same road with Obama, they were wrong. Perhaps they’ll give the hope and change thing another shot.
The United States is a progressive country. If you polled Americans on policy issues, you’d find it’s even a socialist country. The problem is, there hasn’t really been a president that properly represents them since FDR.
It would be an uphill battle for Sanders to be sure, but he could win. After thirty plus years of Reaganomics, socialism isn’t the most hated/feared word in America anymore.
In fact, among millennials, socialism is viewed in a more positive light than capitalism. Obviously Bernie will need to get the youth out to vote in high numbers. Another poll found that 26% of Tea Partiers have a positive view of socialism, go figure that one out.
If Bernie Sanders ran for president strictly based on policy, he would win in a landslide. Unfortunately that isn’t how America works. He would likely spend most of his time explaining why his brand of socialism isn’t the same as Soviet style socialism.
Sanders would also face extremely well-funded opponents in both the Democratic Primary and Presidential race should he win the nomination. He would get little, if any help from corporate America and Wall Street. He would also need to find a way around a corporate media that would try and ignore him, not to mention the Fox propaganda machine.
These are all huge obstacles, but to someone as passionate as Sanders, who has a way of making people see through the bullshit (like he does on a weekly basis on the Thom Hartmann Show) anything is possible.
On policy, the American people are technically behind him already, they just don’t realize it yet. At the very least, challenging Hilary (if he decides to run as a Democrat) will shake up the party and force them to take a greater stance on the more important economic issues of our time.
Bernie Sanders recently said that he’ll decide on presidential run by March.
“You know, I think many people have the mistaken impression that Congress regulates Wall Street. In truth that’s not the case. The real truth is that Wall Street regulates the Congress.” – Bernie Sanders