Wednesday, June 10, 2015

President Sanders?

In the past ten days columns have been appearing at some of the large circulation Left leaning blogs predicting that Bernie Sanders will win the 2016 presidential election.

Some make the case that his policy positions, like breaking up the big banks, spending on infrastructure, strengthening not whittling down Social Security and taxing the rich, are popular with most Americans and that no other candidate will be taking these positions. Others make the case the all other candidates have too much ideological baggage or are simply not taken seriously. They generally think Clinton's high negative ratings combined with Sanders' policies will propel him past her in the primaries and that considering the Republican field, winning the general election will be easier for him than getting the nomination.

Progressives and leftists have long made the case that both parties are to the right, ideologically, of where the general population is, and indeed, whenever a poll is taken that asks people specific, individual questions, and not general questions, it shows that the general public favors the kinds of policies Bernie is campaigning on. A column in Daily Kos points out that Bernie is running a smart campaign, focusing on a few basic points that could fit onto bumper stickers -- the kind of campaigning Republicans have been successful at. One makes the case that the primary schedule favors Sanders, and that were he to win the nomination it would be such big news that he would have momentum coming out of the convention. It would certainly cause some excitement in the country to think that someone different, who might be on the peoples' side, might become president.

I, myself, think Hillary Clinton will be unable to assemble the coalition Barak Obama did to win twice -- young people, women and African Americans. Obama relied on massive African American turnout and got over 90 percent of that vote and Clinton can't duplicate that, nor does she seem able to inspire much enthusiasm in general. It's just not in her.

Also, she and all the Republicans are wedded to the corporate elite and to Neoliberalism or even more right wing economic ideologies, which the public is well fed up with, and Bernie has none of that. He's basically an unknown and if he can successfully define himself and not let himself be defined he has a chance, I say. The mainstream media will try to prevent it but they might not have enough relevance left to deny him.

These aren't big time, well known known columnists but they are at least people who can get published and they do have substantial followings. You can read what they have to say here, here, here and here.


  1. What a nice idea....Prez Sanders. Good ring to it. I read all the articles and remain unconvinced though. I do wish Clinton was more.....something. I think she just is not engaging enough to win the election. Her supporters are going to be waging a 'she's better than the alternative' campaign, and that rarely motivates people. Frankly I'm not wild about her either, but again, it's the alternative, the old 'lesser of two weevils' joke.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Mike.

      I don't blame you for being unconvinced, not at all. I'm only starting to consider the possibility myself, and thoughts of him being successfully painted as a kook and as a result conservatives sweeping all kinds of offices in a landslide Republican victory can be very sobering, and I don't doubt the Democratic Party establishment and its wealthy corporatist base would gladly allow that the happen. Their portfolios would be fine just the same.