The candidate who wins a presidential nomination in our current money-driven two-party system is the one who is most adept at manipulating that system, even if s/he has historically low favorability ratings, not the one whose principles play themselves out best with organizations who share the concerns of American middle-class voters.
If you wanted Bernie Sanders to be our next president, you are likely feeling more than a little hopeless right now.
He packed stadiums and arenas to over capacity everywhere he went. His opponent had trouble filling gymnasiums, on several occasions. However, despite revitalizing the Democratic Party with truly progressive ideas that would have provided a much needed infusion of wealth and non-financial benefits — not to mention a welcome shot of dignity — to a middle class desperately in need of all of it, despite being the only candidate in our lifetimes to present a platform that would raise the quality of life index instead of compromising it, Sanders lost the nomination.
That’s one reason for his supporters to feel despair, but that alone wouldn’t be enough. Sanders supporters knew going in that he might not win.
No, it’s not that Sanders lost that is so disheartening. It’s the way the whole thing went down.
If you’re a Sanders supporter, you have been called a dreamer, an idealist, for even championing his policies. Never mind the fact that leading economists actually claimed that his policies would spark an unprecedented economic resurgence in the United States if implemented. You’re also apparently a sexist, just like your candidate. Never mind the fact that leading feminists repeatedly and wholeheartedly endorsed Sanders while finding Clinton’s record on women’s issues deeply troubling. If you’re a Sanders supporter, you’ve likely also had to endure being labeled an impetuous millennial who doesn’t really understand politics. By the same token, only people of privilege would refuse to vote for Hillary Clinton should their candidate of conscience lose. Never mind the fact that Hillary Clinton is the candidate who would best maintain the status quo, a set of conditions that requires privilege to succeed. And despite the appearance of election fraud in several key states where Clinton won, if you’re a Sanders supporter who so much as mentions it, you’re nothing more than a sore loser (even though it may be justified).
Fear not, Sanders dreamers, Hillary has been pushed further left than ever before on her Democratic platform, so the pundits have told us today. And even this notion is an insult; it implicitly — and at long last — acknowledges what Clinton and her supporters would never admit during primary season: that she is really a neoliberal, right leaning centrist, not progressive in the least. Since Sanders didn’t really push her that far left after all, how progressive could she actually be? Besides, it doesn’t really matter. She’s under no obligation to carry out that platform, if she’s elected.
In the meantime you idealists can either keep dreaming or do what Clinton and her pragmatic supporters have been telling you to do all along; abandon hope.
We here at Today’s Noise hope you’re doing the former, not the latter.