Bernie, like Corbyn, offered hope that another world was possible. Hes exactly the kind of nominee the Democrat must rally behind in the future
Had he been the Democratic party nominee, Bernie Sanders could have won the presidency. Ive been waiting more than half a year to say this aloud, and todays as good a day as any to get it off my chest.
Im not saying this just because Jeremy Corbyns amazing candidacy, inspiring perhaps more than 70 % of 18-24 year-old British people to vote, skewered Theresa Mays junk austerity politics and imperiled her prime ministership.
Im saying this because its a good moment to reflect upon how, if the so-called left( especially the Labour party in the UK and the Democratic party in the US) rallied around candidates who supported actual leftist politics a commitment to strong labor protections, a confidence in creating a robust safety net, an aversion to working for Wall street, a dislike for fighting to get centrist referendums, and an unwavering commitment not to back down to intimidation from the right their candidates could win.
Yes, I know that May, who tweeted that if she were to lose only six seats I will lose such elections and Jeremy Corbyn will be sitting down to negotiate Brexit, is slithering her style back into another government, even as her party has lost 12 seats. But “shes been” been severely weakened.
The number of voters who desire conservatism is dying off faster than Theresa Mays credibility. Voters who want centrism are kicking the pail more quickly than Hillary Clinton can make excuses for why she lost. Young people and non-white voters are the future of electoral politics.
A candidate who can appeal to the majority of young people who largely reject capitalism, who reject racism, who dont want to be in debt for life just for get an education, and who dont want their societys resources hoarded by a greedy few is the kind of candidate who will be on the upswing in the coming years and who can win.
In the UK, that candidate was Jeremy Corbyn. In the US, it was Bernie Sanders.
It doesnt look like Corbyn is heading to 10 Downing Street right now. And, of course, Bernie didnt win the Democratic nomination. But I have to wonder: could Corbyn have become prime minister if his own party had actually fully supported him over the past few weeks rather than railing against him? And could Bernie have won the nomination( and then gone on to spare us the lunacy of Trump) if the DNC hadnt stacked the deck in Clintons favor?
Regardless, Bernie always polled better head-to-head against Trump than Clinton did. Like Corbyn, Bernie clearly had the youth exuberance, winning more young elections than Trump and Clinton combined. Like Corbyn( and Trump ), Bernies rallies had an electric energy Clintons rarely, if ever, did.
Unlike Clinton, Bernie actually won primaries across the upper midwest, in places like Wisconsin. And unlike Clinton, he probably would have actually campaigned in Wisconsin, and may have been able to hold on to Pennsylvania and Florida and gone on to win the White House.
Of course, Bernie could have lost, too. He never got right with black with voters. When Killer Mike, the rapper, was getting dragged on Twitter for defending Bill Maher earlier the coming week, I remembered how he supposed Killer Mike was the smartest option to outsource about 90% of his African American outreach to, along with Nina Turner.( Then again, at least Bernie didnt use enslaved captives to operate his mansion or if he did, he didnt blithely explain it as a longstanding tradition, which maintained down expenses in a book which utilized the possibly African proverb It takes a village for its title .)
But Bernie, like Corbyn, roused a sense of hope that another world was possible, especially among young people. When dour Clinton railed that universal healthcare will never, ever come to pass, he pushed Medicare for all and young voters embraced it. While Clinton espoused Henry Kissinger and Wall street, Bernie repudiated that such pragmatism and cynical centrism was moral or even electorally helpful. He was right.
There was a similar beauty in the Corbyns campaign: he didnt give in to fear, and he courageously embraced the left. I was so happy to see that, even after the two recent assaults in Britain and Mays attempt to scare people into voting for her, voters contracted instead of expanded her power. The fearmongering failed. Hope was embraced instead.
Politics has changed, Corbyn said last night. Politics isnt going back into the box where it was before. Whats happened is, people have said theyve had quite enough of austerity politics, theyve had quite enough of cuts in public expenditure, under-funding our health service, under-funding our schools, our education service, and not giving our young person the chance they deserve in our society. These are the same sentiments that brought Bernie, a lifelong Democratic socialist, within striking distance of the Democratic presidential nomination.
Since the Brexit referendum, weve had a sense of dread that the world is floating unavoidably and unstoppably to the far right. Macrons victory set the brakes on that a bit, as did Corbyns strong describe last night. But so, too, did the strength of Bernies campaign last year. He showed that young people and working-class people dont want Democratic politicians to be in the pocket of, or actually be former executives of, Goldman Sachs.
The Democrats would do well to look at Corbyns success last night, and Bernies success last year, and to look for someone with such hopeful and broadly popular principles to rally behind in the future. Because they could win bigly.
Read more: www.theguardian.com