This morning was rough for pro-Bernie news junkies. Those who read the headlines were inundated with the mainstream media’s keening adulation of Hillary Clinton and mean-spirited mockery of Bernie Sanders. Having won 7 of the 11 Super Tuesday states, the Clinton machine was crowing in victory…and its sycophants among the punditry were cheering along, hoping to be noticed and rewarded for their displays of loyalty. Yellow journalism returned in force as media outlets demanded that Bernie Sanders withdraw from the race, declaring any path to the nomination dead forever. Sanders and his supporters were ordered to “line up” behind Hillary Clinton.
Not so fast, ye grads of Ivy League J-schools!
Though Hillary Clinton has proven her strength among rank-and-file, card-carrying Democrats, this is not where the general election will be won. November’s election will be won by whichever nominee can win over the independents, moderates, and first-time voters. And who is winning over those indispensable blocs? Bernie Sanders.
Hillary Clinton may be holding strong among minorities and women (or, at least, non-Millenial women), but those groups have already been won by the Democratic Party. Their votes are safe, regardless of whether Clinton or Sanders is the party’s nominee. Instead, the Democratic Party must focus on making inroads with moderates, independents, first-time voters, and white males…and Bernie Sanders is the candidate who can do it.
Sanders is also the candidate who is winning in invaluable swing states. His victories in Vermont, Colorado, and Minnesota are important for the general election, where those states could potentially vote Republican. Hillary Clinton’s primary election victories have been in overwhelmingly Republican states, meaning no votes in the electoral college will be won from them in the general election. Bernie Sanders, not Hillary Clinton, is the Democrat who has a strong chance of turning purple states blue in early November.
And, given Bernie Sanders’ overwhelming popularity among Millenials, he and democratic socialism are the politics of America’s future. This alone should make the Democratic National Committee abandon its controversial allegiance to Hillary Clinton, whose keening fealty to yesterday’s policies of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are outdated and reek of cheap politics. On the campaign trail, Clinton has given up all attempts at debating Sanders on policy and is instead appealing to identity politics and party loyalty, which smacks of Gilded Age cronyism and does little to help her already dim reputation.
I’ll be blunt: Hillary Clinton is an uncompetitive candidate whose lingering popularity among old-school Democrats is more due to misguided loyalty and voter ignorance than affection or policy approval. Though some devout feminists continue to support Clinton in hopes of giving America its first female president, most of Clinton’s backers cling to her milquetoast campaign only because they know little about her rival or have an irrational fear of the unknown. They, and an alarming number of supposedly well-educated pundits, continue to bleat out the false notion that only Hillary Clinton can beat the Republican nominee, who is likely to be Donald Trump.
The only problem with this argument? Bernie Sanders polls better than Hillary Clinton against all Republican candidates. When it comes down to mano-a-mano, Bernie is a better bet against the GOP. There are several reasons for this, but most of them probably boil down to moderate and independent voters (i.e. non-card-carrying Democrats) being tired of Hillary Clinton’s weak campaign, her abject cronyism, and her obnoxious brand of establishment politics. When given the option of Hillary Clinton or a non-establishment Republican, many voters are preferring the non-establishment Republican. But, if offered the choice between a non-establishment Republican and an honest and refreshingly bold progressive, many voters choose the progressive.
Bernie’s got the swing states, the swing voters, the youth vote, and the fundraising advantage. That’s right: Bernie Sanders’ small donors are blowing Hillary Clinton’s super PACs out of the water. He’s now got the cash to out-spend Clinton in the remaining primaries. If he finally does decide to take the gloves off and bring up Clinton’s countless scandals and liabilities, he will have ample funding with which to make sure voters know exactly what type of trouble another Clinton administration could stir up.
Math doesn’t lie, and neither does Bernie Sanders. #FeelTheBern