Wednesday, January 08, 2020

The Case for Bernie Sanders

In his latest piece at Current Affairs, Nathan J. Robinson makes a compelling case for Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) to be the Democratic nominee for president. Following is an excerpt.

Bernie Sanders has just pulled even with Joe Biden in Iowa and is beating him in New Hampshire, giving Sanders a reasonable claim to being either the frontrunner or the co-frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic nomination. Bernie has struck fear into the heart of the establishment, and even more moderate commentators like Chris Cillizza have noticed that Sanders is in a very good position now: Not only does he top the polls, but his fundraising blows every other candidate out of the water, he has a powerful organization of committed supporters, he is the most liked of all the candidates, he is rated “the best” on critical issues, he has the most enthusiasm, and he has a strong message that distinguishes him from the other candidates. Despite being constantly shunned or attacked by the media and bitterly opposed by the Democratic establishment, Bernie has managed to pull even with the former Vice President.

Bernie Sanders also has a strong case to make that he is the most “electable” candidate in a race against Donald Trump. As Matt Yglesias of Vox has noted, Sanders “has good ideas on the topics in which the choice between Democrats matters most, he has a plausible electability case, he’s been a pragmatic and reasonably effective legislator, and his nomination is, by far, the best way to put toxic infighting to rest and bring the rising cohort of left-wing young people into the tent – for both the 2020 campaign and the long-term future.” . . . Sanders can neutralize Trump’s “anti-establishment” message by offering a far more persuasive, authentic, and compelling left populism, and Trump will find it hard to attack Sanders as a hypocrite and fraud the way he can attack Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, or Pete Buttigieg. Bernie has a very clear pitch to apolitical and disaffected people, and he is fantastic at going after some of Trump’s own voters in a way that none of the other candidates can. Ryan Grim of The Intercept, in a recent report on Sanders’ powerful organizing operation, noted that there is now a “well-resourced and complex organizing apparatus that has been five years in the making, the most ambitious effort yet to link face-to-face movement-style organizing with technology not available to previous campaigns.”

. . . Bernie Sanders’ candidacy is something special. It has the possibility of truly transforming the United States – possibly even the world – into a more humane place. Other candidates are having to run on ideas that Bernie Sanders has been pushing for decades, because they know the power of his message.

. . . [Bernie's] democratic socialist vision is one that is worth fighting for. People who hear about it, come to understand it, and see it in action feel like they have been touched by something special. Why do you think Bernie supporters are passionate like no other candidate’s are? Why do you think they cried so much when he lost in 2016? It is not because they are part of a cult, or because they just love Bernie so much as a person. (He’s not actually that lovable of a person.) It’s because they had come to believe that old leftist slogan, A Better World Is Possible, and seeing that better world snuffed out before their eyes was crushing. We are for Bernie not because we love Bernie, but because we love humanity and we have confidence in what it could be.

– Nathan J. Robinson
Excerpted from "Everyone Is Getting On the Bernie Train"
Current Affairs
January 8, 2020

Related Off-site Links:
Why You Should Take a Chance on the Socialist – Paul Waters-Smith (Current Affairs, November 24, 2019).
Bernie Sanders Can Unify Democrats and Beat Trump in 2020 – Matthew Yglesias (Vox, January 7, 2020).
Against All Odds, It Looks Like Bernie Sanders Might Be the Democratic Nominee After All – Max Berns (Independent, January 8, 2020).
Bernie Sanders Has Leaped to the Top of 2020 Democratic Polls Over the Past Month – Benjamin Fearnow (Newsweek, January 7, 2020).
CBS News Poll: Bernie Sanders Holds Narrow Lead in New HampshireCBS News (January 7, 2019).
Are Establishment Democrats Running Out of Ways to Sabotage Bernie Sanders? – Ilana Novick (Common Dreams, January 7, 2020).
Bernie Sanders Stands Out in Anti-War Messaging After Assassination of Soleimani – Nicole Goodkind (Fortune, January 3, 2020).
How Bernie Sanders Hangs In – Keith Burris (The Blade, January 4, 2020).

UPDATES: The Highly Anticipated Iowa Poll Reveals a Narrow Frontrunner in Iowa: Bernie Sanders – Lauren Frias (Business Insider, January 10, 2020).
“He Could Win the Caucuses,” Pollster Says as Bernie Sanders Leads Gold-Standard Iowa Survey for First Time – Jessica Corbett (Common Dreams, January 10, 2020).
Bernie Sanders Enjoys Newly Found Frontrunner Status in Iowa – Emma Kinery (Bloomberg, January 11, 2020).
Yes, Bernie Sanders Can Pull It Off – Harry Enten (CNN, January 12, 2020).
It's Official, Bernie Sanders in Position to Win – Krystal Ball (The Hill, January 13, 2020).

For more coverage at The Wild Reed of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, see:
Marianne Williamson: Quote of the Day – November 5, 2018
Jacob Weindling: Quote of the Day – November 19, 2018
Something to Think About – February 19, 2019
Quotes(s) of the Day – February 26, 2019
Bernie Sanders: Quote of the Day – March 2, 2019
Talkin’ ’Bout An Evolution: Marianne Williamson’s Presidential Bid
Why Marianne Williamson Is a Serious and Credible Presidential Candidate
Steven Paulikas: Quote of the Day – April 17, 2019
Marianne Williamson: Quote of the Day – April 24, 2019
Progressive Perspectives on Joe Biden's Presidential Run
Beto, Biden and Buttigieg: “Empty Suits and Poll-Tested Brands”
Pete Buttigieg, White Privilege, and Identity Politics
“A Lefty With Soul”: Why Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson Deserves Some Serious Attention
Bernie Sanders: Quote of the Day – June 12, 2019
Marianne Williamson Plans on Sharing Some “Big Truths” on Tonight's Debate Stage
Pete Buttigieg: Quote of the Day – June 27, 2019
Friar André Maria: Quote of the Day – June 28, 2019
Brian Geving: Quote of the Day – July 20, 2019
Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson: “We’re Living at a Critical Moment in Our Democracy”
Caitlin Johnstone: “Status Quo Politicians Are Infinitely ‘Weirder’ Than Marianne Williamson”
Marianne Williamson on What It Will Take to Defeat Donald Trump
“This Woman Is Going to Win the Nomination”: Matt Taibbi on Marianne Williamson in Iowa
The Relevance and Vitality of Marianne Williamson’s 2020 Presidential Campaign
John Atcheson: Quote of the Day – October 19, 2019
Sarah Jones: Quote of the Day – October 30, 2019
Marianne Williamson: “Anything That Will Help People Thrive, I’m Interested In”
David A. Love: Quote of the Day – November 27, 2019
Marianne Williamson and the Power of Politicized Love
Marianne Williamson: “I Am Not Suspending My Candidacy”

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Quote of the Day – September 7, 2017
Quote of the Day – January 21, 2017
Quote of the Day – November 9, 2016
Progressive Perspectives on the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
Progressive Perspectives on the Election of Donald Trump
Carrying It On
Hope, History, and Bernie Sanders

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