Hand-wringing, teeth-gnashing, and Bernie Sanders
So much worry, probably over nothing more than a little nudge to the left.
I’m astonished at the power of the forces at work trying to stop Bernie Sanders. I’m also astonished at the way the primary candidates had their knives out for Sanders at the last debate. So many people who want to stop Bernie Sanders, and just one guy name Sanders. He really means it when he says, “Not me. Us.”
When I see two billionaires on stage, one of them a former Republican dressed in drag as a Democrat, I see real fear. When I see two voters in Florida suing to keep Bernie Sanders off of the primary ballot in Florida just because “he’s not a real Democrat”, I see yet more fear. When I see posts on Twitter about how hard it is for independent voters to vote for Bernie Sanders in California, I see fear. When I see the former head of Goldman Sachs talk about what a socialist Sanders is, I see still more fear. Fear of what?
Fear of the choice of the people. God forbid that Sanders should run a phenomenal ground game across the country, and win primary after primary to win the nomination. God forbid that a man should rise to the nomination without taking dosh from a few billionaires that presume to know better than us how to run the country. God forbid that a once disheveled and elderly man, figure out how to win the nomination without Hillary Clinton’s blessing! Yes, he combs his hair!
You know, part of the reason this country was founded was for the right of self-determination. Amen! That means that when a majority of people vote for someone to be elected as their nominee, they expect him to be elected. We saw so many problems in 2016, that now all eyes are watching the way the elections are being run. I’m not hearing the stories of the long lines for voters this time like before. Maybe they’re not being reported. I got to vote by mail. It was cool. They didn’t make it hard to vote here in Utah. But I know my vote will be counted without any horseplay.
Day after day, I see the same headlines about how Democrats are in a panic over Bernie’s recent victories. Which Democrats are in a panic? And why? I’m a registered Democrat. I’m not in a panic. So I look to Real Clear Politics for the latest polling averages:
Sanders has flipped the cart from just a few weeks ago. He’s on the top of every polling average (save one), and look at that lead in the national average! Don’t worry about South Carolina, though. That’s home to Senator Lindsay Graham, a man who has no problem unloading his rage in front of cameras during televised Senate hearings. Wait. How did Clinton get on the betting odds table? Is she still around?
Sanders, like every other Democratic primary candidate, beats Trump in current polling, too. All of them are too close to the margin of error for comfort, but they are all still leading Trump. I expect that once the field narrows in the coming months, we will start to see a more pronounced lead for the remaining candidates. It does trouble me though, that two billionaires who lack improvisation skills could potentially go head to head with Trump.
When it comes to debates, Trump has great improvisation skills on stage. I’ve seen him debate Hillary and Trump was right there, dancing away, interjecting “liar!” and “wrong!” whenever he deemed it appropriate on a hot mic. He’s not afraid to say what he wants when he wants. All of the candidates seem far too polite to deal with Trump, save one. Sanders.
Trump and Sanders are both from New York. They both know how to be rude, how to be polite. They both know how to deal with rude people. Sanders is not afraid to interject or even interrupt Trump in a debate. Sanders knows how to improvise on stage, too. So I believe he’s beyond the other candidates in terms of improvisation skills.
What really matters here though, is turnout. If you want to win this election, you need turnout. Democrats fare better when the turnout is bigger. Much bigger. Why do you think Republicans have been so focused on voter purges, gerrymandering and gutting the Voting Rights Act? Turnout. This time, I’d expect to see Democrats get their IDs if the GOP insists on it. I’d expect to see more supervision at the polls to report on intimidation tactics that Republicans like to use against people of color. I’d expect to see more “get the vote out”, door to door action.
With the current field of candidates, we have two billionaires, a gaffe-machine former VP, a former mayor, and two current female Senators running against Sanders. All of those people, powerful people, are running against Sanders and they still cannot surmount his lead on them. And in less than a week I suspect, Sanders will build on that lead, on Super Tuesday. That would be a clear indication of turnout.
For those who would fear Sanders, there will be a check on his power if he were in fact, elected. He has some really big ideas and I agree with most of them. I think he’d make a great president, too. With President Trump, there has been a check on his power. Not so much from the lapdog Senate, but the House has been on fire with the president. If Sanders were elected, I don’t expect the Senate to move much. And even if the Democrats retain the House majority come November, many of those Democrats are still pining away for Clinton, still smarting over Sanders.
There is a lot of room to move between here and a democratic socialist president. So take a deep breath and wait to see what happens. Set aside the worst possible scenario. The world didn’t collapse under the enormous weight of President Trump. There will still be room to negotiate our future together even if Sanders should win.