I almost feel sorry for the Democratic Party establishment and the mainstream media. With varying degrees of subtlety, they have supported and bolstered Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid since its beginning. Perhaps feeling indebted to Clinton after her painful loss in 2008, the Democratic Party elite rallied in lockstep around her this time around, as did the media. When she declared her candidacy last spring, nobody thought that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would face any real primary election opposition. Surely nobody would be foolish enough to stand in the way of Hillary’s rightful throne!
If anything, a few liberal malcontents would be allowed the grouse and rant during the fall before being swept aside as soon as the primaries began. Perhaps a few ambitious Democrats would run “practice” campaigns to develop foundations for real runs later on, after Clinton’s two terms in the White House. These forward-thinking politicians would be polite and deferential to Clinton and not threaten her coronation: They would need her blessing in 2024.
But U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) did not accept this condescending narrative. He knew that America needed bold and comprehensive reform, and that the struggling working and middle classes could not afford to wait out eight more years of the status quo. Real wages are eroding, income inequality and the wealth gap are growing, and the new “gig economy” is doing workers no favors. Of the presidential candidates who cropped up like daisies last spring, only Bernie Sanders was willing to confront these issues.
Bernie was real. He spoke plainly, he pulled no punches, and he was not afraid to confront sacred cows. For months, the media brushed him off. First, he was a kooky curiosity. Then, he was a socialist demagogue, just looking for press. Next, he was a protest candidate for those [misogynists] who had qualms with Hillary Clinton. Eventually, he was a progressive dreamer who was laying out a future path for younger Democrats. Throughout, he remained firmly portrayed as a naive idealist.
Finally, he was begrudgingly accepted as a genuine presidential candidate…and that’s when the establishment began taking the gloves off. Even as he proved himself a winner, coming from behind to win multiple primaries and caucuses against all odds, the media depicted him as an ungrateful, irrational curmudgeon. After Super Tuesday, the mainstream punditry began chorusing for Sanders to drop out of the race.
The mainstream media and the Democratic Party establishment declared Bernie Sanders dead in the water…but he started gaining ground. He surged from double-digit deficits to close gaps with the Clinton political machine and won big upsets. He astounded the punditry in Michigan and shattered expectations by running up huge margins of victory in caucuses out West. When Hillary Clinton won Arizona, Sanders came back to win the next five caucuses…by the outrageous margins needed to overcome Clinton’s pledged delegate and superdelegate advantage.
Bernie Sanders needs to win the remaining contests by an average of 58 percent to overcome Clinton’s pledged delegate advantage, but 70 percent to overcome her superdelegates as well. While the pro-Clinton media laughed, Sanders and his supporters accepted the challenge and won more than 70 percent in Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington. Now, Sanders is on track to win in Wisconsin on April 5 and he’s closing the gap with Hillary Clinton in New York, which votes on April 19. He has shattered fundraising records and is poised to have out-raised Hillary Clinton for the past three months.
While Hillary Clinton has record high negative ratings, as does likely Republican nominee Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders is viewed positively by a majority of voters. He defeats all Republican challengers by larger margins than does Hillary Clinton, and he is the candidate who is winning swing voters and Democratic primaries and caucuses in swing states. Also, he has a clean record and is not on the verge of being felled by scandal. Hillary Clinton, lest anyone forget, might actually be indicted before the Democratic National Convention meets this summer.
Sanders is now out-polling Hillary Clinton in some national polls, and this is downright amazing when you consider all the obstacles the septuagenarian Senator from Vermont has had to overcome. With the mainstream media and the Democratic National Committee pushing against him, Sanders is pulling even with the establishment’s hand-picked champion. Imagine how well Bernie Sanders could do with the establishment accepting him.
If the Democratic establishment wants to guarantee a victory in the general election, why not just give in and support the candidate who has proven himself, beyond a shadow of a doubt, to be an exceptional winner? Bernie Sanders is politically experienced, very popular with swing voters and the leaders of tomorrow (Millenials), and has a clean record. He wants to bring America up to par with the rest of the industrialized world by finally implementing universal health care and a system of higher education that treats college like an investment rather than a consumer transaction. He wants to avoid doubling our national debt by engaging in other ill-advised wars in the Middle East.
You know Bernie Sanders has the best ideas when his opponents don’t even bother trying to argue against them any more. Hillary Clinton has ceded policy arguments to Bernie Sanders and retreated to the position of being president Barack Obama’s faithful lapdog. She has vowed to change nothing and devote herself to protecting his legacy. For the candidate who began her campaign as a hawk who criticized president Obama over Syria, the re-branding of herself as a loyal servant must be humiliating. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, has remained true to his principles and can take pride in his boldness and integrity.
Doesn’t the Democratic Party want a general election candidate who doesn’t have to worry about running a constant defense over flip-flops and scandals? It must be exhausting for the Democratic National Committee to exhaustively plan defenses for Hillary Clinton’s multitude of flip-flops and quasi-scandals, knowing that Donald Trump or Ted Cruz will hone in on them mercilessly. Why not go with a liberal who can focus on moving forward?
DNC, just give in already. Accept that Bernie Sanders is the candidate you need. I promise that life will be so much easier once you finally admit that Bernie Sanders is the best general election option. Never before have I known something with such certainty. And you know what? I know that you know it, too.