The Bernie Sanders Revolution, the movement, must go on
It happened right after the South Carolina Primary. I always liked then-Senator Barack Obama. I just thought he did not stand a chance. After all, America was not sufficiently ‘mature’ to elect a black man as its President. When Obama won South Carolina, I was still a Hillary Clinton supporter. But then Bill Clinton opened his mouth. It wasn’t what he said. But how he said it. It is that feeling most people in America understand very well. It is the dismissal of an accomplishment that was if worn by someone with white skin would have been exceptional. I knew then, that effective immediately, I would be a supporter of Barack Hussein Obama. I hoped he would win, but I was ready for the loss.
The election of President Obama proved that the majority of Americans were willing to look past their prejudices and vote their intellect. I remember going to house party after house party in many middle-class and upper-middle-class mostly white neighborhoods. I remember the discomfort I felt because these were Obama-bots throughout these Houston suburbs. Their expectations were simply too high for the Obama presidency. These were all good people who were basking in their liberal tolerance. Of course, as a black man, I am well versed in the blow-back that would occur. The latent carnal prejudice of many of these same supporters would color the presidency which would ultimately degrade the efficacy of the administration.
The Obama campaign taught us a lot. Obama seeded the communities that he would likely be problematic to his campaign. Obama went to universities throughout Texas. He ensured kids had access to his inspirational book, and these children had their parents reading his book.
I was on board the Bernie Sanders campaign from the beginning. The Obama campaign taught me that the candidate anointed overwhelmingly by the establishment was not a shoo-in. I never bought into the fallacy that the ‘socialist’ moniker was a bigger boat anchor than race. After all, we embrace our socialist Europeans much more than we do our black Democrats. Yes. Socialist Democrat Bernie Sanders can win.
Bernie Sanders while not as poetic as Senator Obama, was much more inspirational to me. Why? Because Sanders got it.
Obama compromised to win his election. He also made concessions that took us on a path to Universal health care. He made the necessary pack with the plutocracy to move forward.
Bernie Sanders’ model completely removes the plutocracy from his fundraising. He became a fundraising juggernaut. This stance gives him the freedom to create policies that put the interests of the average American citizen finally on par with the plutocracy.
Those that understand American politics or, at least, take the time to listen to, and fact checks Bernie Sanders more often than not support him.
There is a problem, however. Bernie Sanders did not pre-engage enough of the Democratic base to make him immediately viable to many as Obama did. It has cost him dearly in the Southern states.
The chances are slim for Bernie Sanders to become the nominee. Hillary Clinton would have to go into a free fall which is unlikely. So, should Bernie Sanders quit because his chances are slim? Absolutely not.
Bernie Sanders must continue to hold his rallies. He must continue to build the movement that must carry on whether he wins or loses the Democratic primary. He must keep reminding followers that the purpose of seeking the presidency is to execute the informed will of the people.
Obama could have turned the Obama coalition into a movement. I never understood why he did not turn it into the force it could have been.In fact, a movement is much bigger than the presidency. The president is subject to the movement.
Two distinct populist movements are occurring in America today. The Bernie Sanders Revolution and the Donald Trump nativist movement. The Bernie Sanders Revolution, the real populist movement was hamstrung from its inception, yet continues to grow. The Donald Trump movement was left unabated. It is a fallacy to believe that the Republican establishment was caught flat-footed. The problem is that It lost control of the message.
Make no mistake, Donald Trump’s message is resonating with many including Democrats who feel abandoned by the Democratic Establishment. Hate and anger sell. Nativism during distress sells. But it solves nothing.
Those who support Bernie Sanders will have to make a choice if he is unable to win the nomination. They will have to listen to his words profoundly. It is not about him. It is about a movement. A movement that has the presidency is the best of all outcomes depending on who is the president. A movement without the presidency can be effective as well.
President Trump would have a movement. President Sanders would have a movement. Trump would be a disaster for most. Sanders with his movement would eventually get a more progressive America.
So far this cycle, it is Hillary Clinton who has amassed the popular vote and delegates thus far. That is the reality. If she is to become the nominee of the Democratic Party, it is imperative that the Bernie Sanders movement continue. It is imperative that Hillary Clinton gets the Bernie Sanders vote with the understanding that the movement will keep her true to her populist transformation. Bernie Sanders supporters must remain the functional alter ego of the Democratic Party.