I suppose it could happen to you or me too, but it’s sad to see Bernie Sanders get so intoxicated by the cheers of the doting crowds.
The 74-year-old also-ran seems to see himself as some kind of prophet called to transform America. He is on a crusade to remake the Democratic Party and launch a grassroots “movement” that will end economic injustice and purge corruption from politics.
Good luck with that, Bernie.
What he might end up doing is torpedoing the Democratic Party’s chances of winning the White House.
All because he got dazzled by the footlights.
He points out that his followers are mostly young people, and he calls them the future of the Democratic Party. But, according to the polls, more than half of them refuse to support the Democratic nominee. So I don’t know what political party they’ll be the “future” of.
Sanders is urging them to run for office themselves. But he doesn’t tell them how they can do this effectively without the support of a major party.
You and I know these kids aren’t going to run for anything. They don’t have that kind of temperament. They flocked to the Occupy Wall Street “movement,” remember? And that didn’t get anywhere. The occupiers got tired of the game, folded their tents and went home.
Sure, they gathered by the thousands to cheer Bernie on. Sure, they mailed in their pennies to finance his run for the presidency. But I will be surprised if they show up at the polls in November. They don’t have that long an attention span.
Like the youth movement of the Sixties, Bernie’s “revolution” will probably fade away. Like the “hippies” who morphed into stockbrokers, the young “revolutionaries” will get a haircut and a job, and melt into the gray-flannel-suit crowd.
They should hope Hillary wins despite their defection. That’s the only chance they have of getting student debt relief, reasonable college tuition fees, affordable health care and a decent career.
They should hope their Bernie pipe dream isn’t so damaging a distraction that Donald Trump and the Republicans gain control of America. If that happens, they will find out just how really bad things can get.
And Bernie won’t be able to help them then. He will be just another faded star, railing futilely in the Senate while the looters plunder the Treasury and subject Americans to an unprecedented era of tyranny and oppression.