Bernie Sanders announced his White House candidacy almost exactly a year ago, on 4.30.15. He didn’t make it but oh, did he change the conversation. For the first time since the 1930s, it’s now completely legitimate and accepted to openly question the validity of balls-out Darwinian capitalism, which until recently was seen as being a hallowed, God-given system that has worked hand-in-hand with American democracy. The Sanders message has basically been that democracy is vital but not so much rapacious, blood-in-the-water Wall Street game-playing, which over the last ten years has led to many getting the shaft while favoring the very few. Who today would argue that analysis with a straight face?
European socialist democracies, Sanders has said time and again, deliver more fairness, more compassion and a better quality of life for a broader spectrum of people. It’s all there, chapter and verse, in Michael Moore’s Where To Invade Next?. The U.S. of A. is not #1 — we’re down in the middle of the list, at best. Which is entirely due to unbridled, unregulated market forces, which have been manifesting since the ’80s in the form of elite corporate gangsterism, plain and simple.
And it took a Jay Bulworth figure, a white-haired guy whose candidacy was initially regarded as eccentric and boutique-y, a guy whom the pundits said had almost no chance of even competing strongly against Hillary Clinton, to slip that message into the mainstream conversation.
Last June I observed that Warren Beatty‘s suicidal politician “didn’t give a damn back then and neither does Bernie right now. What Sanders is doing is as close to a Bulworth scenario as we’re ever likely to see in a real-deal political campaign — a guy speaking truth to power in a realm that has always been rank with smoke and obfuscation.”
Yes, Clinton will be nominated and, despite her huge negatives, will almost certainly win because Trump’s negatives are even worse, but the Sanders theme will continue to build and expand and gain traction everywhere.
In a 4.26 Washington Post op-ed piece called “Before Unity, Sanders Must Stay in the Fight”, Katrina vanden Huevel concluded with the following: “In the end, history will not judge the Sanders campaign by the number of votes he won, though he has won many, but rather by how it has shaped this remarkable moment and continues to shape future debates. As Sanders said recently, ‘When people respond by the millions to your message, then that message is now mainstream. That changes political reality.’
“While Sanders has already changed our political reality, he can still aim higher — if not toward the Oval Office, then toward a Democratic Party that is more progressive and therefore more likely to continue the political revolution that he started.”