Why Doesn’t the Democratic Party Realize How Easy it is to Just Go With Bernie?

Bernie in Seattle

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.




Calvin Wolf

By day, Calvin Wolf is a high school social studies teacher. By night, he is a freelance writer and novelist, penning political thrillers and commentary on politics, education, economics, foreign policy, and culture. In the past, he's worked as a professional cartoonist and as a backpacking guide. He once stood between a mother bear and her cub and emerged unscathed!

18 thoughts on “Why Doesn’t the Democratic Party Realize How Easy it is to Just Go With Bernie?

  • April 1, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    The powers that be do not want him.

  • April 2, 2016 at 5:12 am

    Zachariah said it concisely, but pardon me if I indulge in some further exposition. Apparently implicit in the article is the notion that the Democratic Party exists as an *oppositional* force vis-a- vis the Republicans. Wrong. They nominally served that function during (roughly) the period between 1945 and the mid ’70s, and even to some extent through the ’80s. Then Bill Clinton came along, who sucked up to corporate interests and prostituted himself by taking corporate financial contributions for his campaigns. Combine his “Third Way” political strategy with the Supreme Court decision in the Buckley vs. Vallejo case (which redefined corporate financial donations as “free speech”) and the result was the end of the Democratic Party’s pretensions to autonomy. What we’re seeing, in other words, is a DP apparatus that’s nothing but an appendage to Wall Street and Corporate America. Frankly, the Dems only exist to create an illusion of difference from their GOP “counterparts,” but, to quote George Carlin (in only a marginally different context), both parties should be viewed collectively as just “one big club.” And because the entire political machine is really just one entity, in which the Dems are only fractionally less right-wing than the Republicans, they don’t really care that much if Hillary loses in the GENERAL election. They DO care (or, more accurately, the money interests that are FUNDING them care) that Hillary wins in the Dem PRIMARIES, because, as Zachariah noted, they don’t want a progressive like Sanders in the White House.

  • April 2, 2016 at 5:56 am

    Great article, Calvin Wolf, it makes perfect sense to me! I hope you will send it to DWS and the DNC so that, best-case scenario, they consider your cogent arguments and begin supporting Bernie, or, worst-case scenario, they will gain a better understanding of how they lost the election by NOT taking your points into account. Well, actually, I’m an optimist and believe Bernie will win with or without DNC help, but they still need the education your essay provides!

  • April 2, 2016 at 6:57 am

    You are missing the most important argument that the Democrat party needs to consider about Bernie. In every poll every taken on the subject since the beginning of time, he beats the Republicans by a far larger margin than Secretary Clinton. That means he can turn states blue that would never vote for her. That means that he would flip the House, the Senate and several Governships and state legislatures. But it seems the Democrat party isn’t interested in getting Democrats elected….

  • April 2, 2016 at 7:09 am

    The answer to the headline is because the Democratic Party is involved in massive election fraud to undermine the Bernie Sanders campaign. Any statistician can point to innumerable data that in election results that support this claim to a scientific certainty. Results in In Yavapai County, AZ don’t require a statistician to under stand the evidence of election fraud. The local paper, the Daily Courier’s exit polls had Sanders winning the county with 63% of the vote to Clinton’s 37%. Mass media reported the vote count in Yavapai County to be a Clinton win, 59% for Clinton to 43% for Sanders. If we do the math, we see that is a 37% flip in the outcome. (A 26% win for Sanders flipped to a 11% win for Clinton add up to a 37% flip). Those results are so mathematically divergence you might think that they would call for journalistic investigation, in the very least, if not for FBI criminal investigation.
    Massive election fraud strikes to the very heart of American Democracy. It is comparable to attacks by foreign invaders. It is comparable to attacks by terrorists. Election fraud is an attack by domestic enemies of American Democracy. on the American People. Arizona is a New Pearl Harbor and Wisconsin looks to be the next 9/11.
    We are battling Domestic Enemies of American Democracy as evil as the militaristic Japanese empire of the last century….as evil as ISIS in this century. When we understand this, we will stand together to face our new enemies. WE WILL STAND TOGETHER AND WE WILL WIN..

  • April 2, 2016 at 7:15 am

    Bernie had me from the very first time I saw him on televison. It has been amazing to me that the liberal news media simply ignored him for so many months. We loyal followers will to everything in or power to keep the revolution going with or without the liberal news media. Your article was a breath of fresh air and thank you for writing it.

  • April 2, 2016 at 9:52 am

    I appreciate your perspective on Senator Sanders run for the nomination and agree wholeheartedly. I’m a retiree boomer and have been quite amazed how many of the same friends who fought with me against the Vietnam War don’t see what I see.

  • April 2, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Here’s what has happened in Arizona… Hillary didn’t win Arizona she cheated… Maricopa County… 4 million people 60 polling places… people standing in lines for hours to vote… polling emergency assistance centers closed down for an extended time because of a false bomb scare… extended voting hours until around midnight… yet with less than 1% of the vote counted and people still standing in line to vote the election was called for Hillary… ALL OF THESE INDEPEDENT INCIDENTS ARE JUST TO SUSPICIOUS TO BE INCONSEQUENTIAL… something is definitely wrong… a new primary election was called for, overseen by independent observers, yet Michelle Regan, secretary of state, certified the election results on 3/30/16 without the counting of provisional ballets given to voters… too many people who wanted to vote were disenfranchised; working families, single parents, minorities to name a few… there is also the fact of voter fraud in the changing of registered voters party affiliation so that when they arrived at the pole they could not vote or could vote for the opposite party they had registered for… now there is evidence that this has happened in other states and is a current factor in eastern states such as New York… one thing to be remembered is that the head of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz was Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager when she ran against Obama in 2008… the corporate media and the establishment are afraid of Bernie Sanders and give him very little recognition… on the other hand Hillary Clinton is bought and paid for… she is one of them and will change with the wind saying and doing anything to gain power… Clintons do not play by the rules they cheat, lie and use every dirty trick in the book to gain power… just look at what has happened in other primary states so far…THEY ARE NOT TO BE TRUSTED… Hillary works for the interests of big money and Wall Street…

  • April 2, 2016 at 11:39 am

    The reason is he says himself he is NOT a democrat and just uses the party for his own agenda of money and media attention.. Democrats want a democrat not a socialist democrat , not a Green or independant.. So that is ONE of the reasons but there are many more..

  • April 2, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Hillary would be better off getting out of the way or she will be embarrassingly swept away by the wave of change surging right now! A tsunami is on the horizon! As the sun of consciousness reaches the zenith even the people in bottomless pits will see it. There go the roaches!

  • April 2, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Bernie = peace and harmony in the land. Hillary = strife and chaos, world without end amen.

  • April 2, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Well said. How can the Democratic Party move into the future with Hillary Clinton as the leader? She has no message, no vision, she’s barely distinguishable from Republicans. The Democrats would be crazy to give up on the enthusiasm and vision for the future that comes with a President Sanders. The Bernie Democrats would be unstoppable and have the moral high ground.

  • April 2, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Well written article, a joy to read. Concise and engaging. The only point you might have expanded upon is the YOOGE amount of money this election brings to corporate media, and that our corporations are as much our opponents as any member of the GOP. Citizens United must be abolished, job ONE, and corporations return to being servants rather than Overlords, as our founding fathers intended.
    Not that you don’t know that. I never tire of pointing it out!
    My love for Bernie springs from the pure joy of voting for a politician I can REALLY BELIEVE is forwarding my best interests as a member of the working class.
    For your help in creating that reality, I offer my thanks.

  • April 2, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    The American public should be “the powers that be,” not the corporate-bought Washington elite. It’s well past time that ALL American citizens lead financially secure, fulfilling lives, not just a few families that take and take and take. I’ll NEVER vote for Clinton…. she not only represents the worst of the status quo, but has been wrapped up in scandal after scandal (and is facing yet another due to her use of a private server). Even if Bernie Sanders isn’t the nominee, I will write in his name in November, and I won’t be told that “if you don’t vote blue no matter who, it’s your fault if a Republican is elected.” NO…. it WON’T be my fault; it will be the fault of those in the DNC who expect me to reward corruption with my vote.

  • April 3, 2016 at 1:22 am

    Great article.

    Fivethirtyeight.com (the most consistently accurate political analyst) now gives Sanders about a 70% chance of winning Wisconsin based upon the latest polls, after Clinton had about a 70% chance just a few days ago.

    What is odd for me personally, was that the DNC had become the home for what were called Hippies in the 1960s and 70s. Those Hippies are older now and never got the chance to vote for one of their contemporaries. That chance is here now and yet it is those very
    Hippies that are voting against Bernie the Hippy in favor of what they would have called an establishment candidate in the 70s.

    It is their grandchildren who are resurrecting their dreams and they either don’t realize it yet because they watch TV instead of learning online, or worse, they have themselves become what they despised in their youth–the establishment.

    Those same Hippies are voting for someone who was a republican when they were fighting for social justice. Someone who is supported by Superpacs in oil and gas, Wallstreet, and the War Machine, and who is even denying those verified facts and calling it a lie. Wake up hippies before its too late.

  • April 3, 2016 at 4:25 am

    Excelente arguments For Senator Sanders. He does have a proven track récord of firmness and good judgement. Senator Sanders is the One we have been waiting for. He is the real change we can believe in, not just a slogan. He is beholden to no one, but the people who want to elect him President and he got that undefinable and ineluctable quality defined as “Electability”. Feel the Bern. Yes, We Can. Si se puedes. Amen.

  • April 3, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Please don’t forget there are a lot of people who do not believe Bernie Sanders and have found thing in his background that we do not agree with. You can search for yourself.I find him to be untruthful in his real goal and he is not supporting any cause but his own, He is not a Democratic at all –he should have run as he has been all his life Socialist.. The Democratic do not want the Government to run industry and that is the basis of Socialism–You just can’t redefine a word for your purpose.. He is just an antisocial person and it has nothing to do about the betterment of Society that is just in his DNA.. He is a 75 year old man on his last stand saying and doing anything to win. If he could have made any effective change at all he would have done it 30 years ago, Bernie Sanders did not defend this country he is a draft dodger-so why should we defend him and make him Commander in Chief??

  • April 4, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Highly energetic post, I loved that bit. Will there become
    a part 2?

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