Could Bernie Sanders make me eat my words? I said there was no way he could win the presidency of these United States. Could I be mistaken?
The old Socialist (photo at right) is living the impossible dream. He is outdrawing every other candidate – Democrat or Republican – by thousands. And his fans are not only showing up at rallies; they’re also sending him their hard-earned cash.
No, he won’t raise more money than Hillary. He won’t raise more money than Jeb. Hillary has amassed about $50 million already,. Jeb and his PACs have raked in more than $100 million. In the last quarterly reports, announced in July, Sanders had raised $10.5 million. More recent estimates put the total above $15 million.
But with Hillary and Jeb, campaign contributions come mainly from a few fat cats with axes to grind. Bernie’s money comes out of the pockets of thousands upon thousands of idealistic supporters, most of whom don’t have much to spare after they buy the groceries and pay the rent.
Doesn’t that tell you something?
It tells me democracy might not be dead in America after all.
Sadly, the mainstream media aren’t getting it. I keep hearing pundits equate the Bernie Sanders surge with the Trump bump. They glibly ascribe both to the same distrust of Washington lurking in the hearts and minds of the American electorate. (And why should we trust Washington after our leaders abetted the blatant theft of billions of our tax dollars by the big banks?)
Trump’s supporters are simply sore at the world. By backing him, they are stickin’ it to the Man, giving Washington and all it stands for the finger.
Bernie’s supporters are a different breed entirely. His movement reminds me of John Kennedy’s Camelot.
In yesterday’s New York Observer, Brent Budowsky describes it as:
…the invasion of Normandy by the young people and liberals and progressives and idealists who are storming the beaches of American politics like tens of millions of little liberal Koch brothers who want to take America back from corruptions of big money and the stench of politics as usual and the arrogance and insiderism of political oligarchs and their mouthpieces and hired help.
Budowsky argues that Sanders “has a strong chance of winning” the Iowa Democratic caucus. He points out that social media are today’s equivalent of Sixties television, and Bernie is dominant on web sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Curiously, Budowsky is not a Bernie-for-President enthusiast. He points to Bernie’s surge as a warning to Hillary, urging her and her team to:
…shed their caution and old media and old politics thinking and be bold and daring and speak to the real aspirations of real people in a real politics.
As for me, I admire Hillary Clinton immensely, and if she gets the Democratic nomination (as I still think is likely) she will certainly get my vote next November. But…
But wouldn’t it be wonderful if this great nation rose up against the traditional power structure and rejected dynasty politics in favor of an unlikely old firebrand with real reform in his heart?