Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ enormous victory in Nevada this past Saturday was a true shot across the bow to the American establishment— one that clearly has them rattled. Liberal MSNBC …
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ enormous victory in Nevada this past Saturday was a true shot across the bow to the American establishment— one that clearly has them rattled.
Liberal MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews compared Sanders’ Nevada victory, and the growing likelihood that Sanders and his army of grassroots supporters will win the Democratic presidential nomination, to the overrunning of the French defenses by the Nazi blitzkrieg.
While Matthews was justifiably panned for his comments, they were emblematic of a Democratic and media establishment that increasingly feels under siege by American political forces they simply don’t understand.
As much as they detest Trump’s venality, corruption, and ignorance, they know that Trump never intended to “drain the swamp” or in any way threaten the power of the establishment. He simply wanted a piece of the action for himself.
The only challenge Trump has posed to the establishment is deciding where they should spend the windfall they’ve received from the Trump tax cuts, which went almost exclusively to big corporations and the wealthiest Americans, while the working classes got stiffed.
While Trump plays a populist for the cameras, most Americans are well aware it’s all an act.
Sanders, on the other hand, has been preaching the same gospel of economic, social, and environmental justice for the past half century. Sanders is a true believer and is the most authentic populist to make such a serious run at the presidency in America in generations. The establishment, particularly within the Democratic Party, is right to be nervous. Sanders has waited a long time to reach this point, but the army of young people who are fueling his movement have lost patience with party big shots they see as far too beholden to powerful, monied interests to enact the kind of fundamental change that many Americans are hungry for. Young people in particular recognize what the late Dr. Martin Luther King described as “the fierce urgency of now.” They recognize that they will be the generation that has to deal with the most severe effects of climate change. They recognize the impact that college debt and unresolved issues surrounding immigration, income inequality, and healthcare access is having on their lives. They remain eager for change and are increasingly tired of an establishment that is focused primarily on maintaining their own power. It seems many within the top media and Democratic ranks would prefer four more years of fundraising off the bogeyman represented by President Trump, than facing the risk a Sanders’ victory could pose to their increasingly wobbly applecart.
Can Sanders build the kind of diverse coalition it will take to knock President Trump out of the White House? Nevada helped answer that question. Sanders has always said that he could bring large numbers of new, young voters to the polls. He did exactly that in Nevada and it’s why he nearly won a majority of the vote in an eight-candidate race, far exceeding his stated support in the polls leading up to last week’s caucuses. The “Sanders Revolution” was on full display in Nevada, and with polls showing him leading handily in California and Texas, which will be among the 14 states to vote next Tuesday, he’s the only Democratic candidate, at this point, with a clear path to the nomination.
Those who complain that Sanders won’t match up well against Trump might want to doublecheck their sources. While that may be the storyline on the editorial page of The New York Times or The Washington Post, or the view most often expressed on MSNBC, someone should start telling that to the voters because they clearly haven’t gotten the message. In recent days, the polls are consistently showing Sanders with the largest lead of any Democrat over Trump in key states like Michigan and Wisconsin. What’s more, the last two polls out of Texas show Sanders down against Trump by just two or three points. If Sanders can mobilize young Latinos in Texas the way he did in Nevada, it could turn that state blue this fall. Sanders, unlike any of the other Democrats in the race, has the potential to rearrange the political map, just like Trump did in 2016. Keep in mind, the people who today are saying Sanders can’t win are very same people who said exactly that about Trump four years ago. They live in their rarified bubbles and think they have their fingers on the pulse of the average American?