Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Why Bernie Sanders Supporters Should Rejoice


Though Bernie Sanders lost the Democratic nomination(and is now set to endorse Hillary), those who supported him have a lot to celebrate.  It may not look like it now. It is easy to feel despair and disappointment when you've come so close to a dream and then just miss it - And getting a good man like Sanders nominated and then elected President was indeed a good dream. But there is no need to despair.  Once you take an honest account of the number of hurdles that candidate Sanders had to overcome, and take a look at the voter demographics... the future should look bright and shiny to you.

Before getting into the good parts, you must ask yourself: "Why do I support Bernie Sanders?" For most, the answer isn't just "cuz he's a nice guy". It is because he represented your values and views on so many different issues. It's not about Bernie Sanders. Sanders states this often,
I’m the only candidate who says no president, not Bernie Sanders, can do it all. You know what we need? We need a political revolution in this country
If you believe in that revolution, do not despair. It isn't about Bernie Sanders.

But Bernie Lost!

While it is true that Bernie lost, think about how close it was and all the hurdles that had to be overcome to even make it close.

Bernie Sanders was a flawed candidate.  Sanders was not a smooth talker.  He had an odd cadence and a Brooklyn accent that he never lost.  He was from a small state that doesn't have much influence in primary or general elections(like say, Iowa, Hew Hampshire, or Florida).   He was old.  Older than an other successful presidential candidate running for his first term.  I'm not saying that that meant he shouldn't be president, but to a lot of voters that can be detriment.  And of course, he'd spent the last 40 years calling himself a socialist. "Democratic socialist" or not, that is not a great way to get yourself elected in American politics.

And of course, Hillary Clinton.  Hillary and her husband are big names in the democratic party and lined up support for years behind a Hillary run.  That support brought almost the entire democratic establishment behind her.

What is your point already!?

In spite of all that, you almost got him the democratic nomination.  It shouldn't have been close. The establishment and the money was all aligned for Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders made a name for himself by taking on very powerful interests, interests that would want to see him crushed.  And yet, you almost got him nominated.  A flawed candidate, with no powerful friends, against an establishment figure and he damn near won.  That. doesn't. happen.

Now, look at the demographics of who supported Sanders and who supported Clinton.  Sanders had the young crowd.  Clinton had voters over 60, Sanders had voters under 30.  Even among African Americans - where Hillary dominated Sanders - the younger generation was much closer.  What do you think is going to happen in 4, 8, 12 years from now?  That older generation will be smaller and the younger generation will be larger. If this primary contest would play out 8 or even just 4 years from now, it would very likely end up differently.  Based on demographics, it is only going to keep getting better and easier for the next 20 years or so.

Furthermore, imagine a candidate that doesn't have as many disadvantages as the Sanders Campaign. That isn't going up against the entire democratic establishment, is younger, didn't claim to be a socialist, from a larger state, a little smoother, but still took on powerful interests.  Heck, with a candidate like that, (s)he might've beat Hillary in 2016.

I am optimistic about the future.  If you are a Bernie supporter, you should be too.  In 4 or 8 years, another candidate is going to run for president that has all of the same qualities you like about Bernie Sanders. That candidate is going to have better demographics going into the election, and likely have less hurdles than Sanders did in 2016.  And it'll only keep getting easier.  We are looking at a left-wing that can easily get candidates nominated and elected for the next 20 years. That is something to smile about.
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