Bernie Sanders: The New Democratic Frontrunner

Six months ago, making a claim that Bernie Sanders was the Democratic frontrunner would have made your political opinion irrelevant, and rightfully so. Fast forward to now, and Bernie Sanders’ status as the frontrunner has become a reality. And his rise isn’t solely indicated by his standing in the polls – rather, big name endorsements from both unions and celebrities are branding Sanders as a true contender. What’s more, the media is – reluctantly at times – being forced to cover the Sanders’ surge. Now, the coverage is clearly not balanced even though it has increased: CNN gently fed Hillary Clinton ice cream questions in the last town hall, while Bernie was forced to consume garlic that has been sitting out for 15 minutes questions. However, other networks, like MSNBC, have broadcast slightly more balanced coverage. For example, Mika Brzezinski from Morning Joe had some choice words for the mainstream media when she essentially called them naïve for not affording any legitimacy to the Sanders campaign. For months the mainstream media was busy shining Hillary’s crown for the grand coronation.
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Ardent Clinton supporters will point to her national poll numbers as a stopgap measure to her rapid decline, which isn’t a bad statistic to rely on. Still, Clinton’s trustworthiness is what’s going to be her ultimate demise. While she mopped the floor with Republicans over the Benghazi non-scandal, her latest email debacle is only contributing to the notion that she is a corrupt politician who is being protected by Washington insiders. The facts are still playing out in regards to her email issue, but the 22 emails that were released contained top secret material – and from what I’ve read, the emails weren’t retroactively deemed classified according to federal regulations. The emails were always classified. My question is: is she going to apologize again? How many times are we going to accept her apology before we start to think that she’s a pathological liar? Whether it’s sniper fire, or emails, Clinton has corrupt and untrustworthy tattooed all over her forehead.

Republicans are salivating with the prospect of facing a candidate who is under investigation for transferring classified emails over an unsecure server. Predictably, Hillary supporters will counter with “but Bernie isn’t electable because of his political affiliation with democratic socialism.” There’s no doubt that Republicans will pounce on a socialist candidate, but when you hear statements from clinton-emailsRepublicans calling Clinton “unqualified” and “untrustworthy,” it should be assumed that the general election attacks will be brutal. You see, Sanders has an out with his perceived weakness – rebranding democratic socialism to fit FDR and Eisenhower’s economic policies will Americanize the ostensibly foreign concept of democratic socialism. One thing I would suggest is for his talking points to highlight American innovation and entrepreneurship. Moreover, discussing America’s mixed economy would be beneficial as well. Demonizing the rich is fine as public opinion favors this populist talking point, but Bernie’s refusal to praise smaller firms or corporations that favor his cause – like those in Silicon Valley – may paint him as completely anti-free market. I hope his campaign makes the proper adjustments before the more grueling primaries.

It’s as if Clinton supporters are clinging to her sinking campaign akin to a battered spouse – the abuser will say anything to please the battered spouse, even if the statements lack merit. This can be validated with her political flip-flopping and newly adopted platforms. Clinton just waits in the brush while Bernie exposes himself to the lions. Sanders was first to advocate paid maternity leave and free tuition. The more Sanders veers to the left by propagating progressive measures, the more Clinton plays the copycat game. Is it just me or does her campaign seem to lack originality? Where is the excitement surrounding her campaign? Well, to answer my own question, it just isn’t there.

As the primaries continue, the Clinton camp appears to be getting more desperate, especially when one factors in Sanders’ monumental victory in New Hampshire. Months ago, tumblr_nu0l2zBfaw1uczvafo1_1280Clinton refused to denigrate Sanders, but this hugs and kisses relationship is over – the Democratic kumbaya has vanished. You know, maybe Sanders and the Democratic base want to hear about Clinton’s damn emails. Incidentally, Chelsea Clinton found it necessary to jump into the fray and criticize Sanders’ single-payer plan claiming that it would fundamentally dismantle Obamacare. This lie was quickly refuted as Sanders wants to expand coverage, which can still be achieved within the parameters of Obamacare. Expanding Medicaid or Medicare won’t topple Obamacare. Even offering government insurance won’t topple Obamacare as providers will still receive payment, just through a different means.

Can you sense it? Clinton is becoming incredibly desperate. She sees this primary as a repeat of 2008. The ghost of Barack Obama is coming back to haunt her. Clinton clearly hasn’t learned a lesson: name recognition and political entrenchment doesn’t guarantee victory against an inspiring and idealistic candidate, and voters are sick of bending over to the establishment. We want change. We want to dream. We want a revolution (through legal mechanisms of course for our Republican friends). And Bernie Sanders gives us a chance to achieve real change – not insincere rhetorical change.

Jason Newell

Jason is 28-years-old, a dual citizen (of both the U.S. and Peru), and he currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. He received his B.A. from the University of Oregon, where he majored in Political Science. (At Oregon, he was a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society.) After graduating, Jason completed one year of law school at Whittier and then successfully transferred into Lewis & Clark Law School. (At Whittier, he received a CALI Award [Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction] in Legal Writing [i.e. top of the class] and finished on the dean’s list and honor roll.) However, his interests changed and he transferred to George Washington University in order to receive a graduate degree in political management. Recently, Jason opened an educational company with a good friend from college. His company creates course curriculum, tutors students, and will eventually provide a global marketplace where students can bid on educational assistance.

3 thoughts on “Bernie Sanders: The New Democratic Frontrunner

  • January 29, 2016 at 10:02 pm
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    Loved this. On your talking points, I would add that it might behoove him to emphasize that socialism does NOT replace capitalism in this plan. It co-exists and THRIVES in this plan.

  • February 5, 2016 at 2:38 pm
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    Excellent article. Very well written. Good strategic suggestions for the Sanders campaign. I’m still on the fence though about which of the two, Hillary or Bernie, has the better chance in the general election.

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