If Bernie Sanders Is Unelectable, Then What The Hell Are The Rest Of You?

Photograph Source: Phil Roeder – CC BY 2.0

The New York Times complained in a recent column that Bernie Sanders has not expanded the democratic party in the primaries so far. Apparently the paper wanted him to reach more voters, likely only of the Republican variety. They blasted him as a hypocrite. The press is increasingly hysterical and ridiculous. Ever since the Sanders campaign gained serious momentum, the mainstream liberal press has gotten just as comical as Fox News and the tabloids. It is now clearer than ever that these publications are just here to entertain, never to inform.

But I do think the article points to something not often mentioned by anyone: despite Mr. Sanders being the best Presidential candidate to gain serious steam in modern history, participation in the electoral sham isn’t necessarily gaining steam. Some of this certainly is because independents and people of color are blocked from participating in primaries, but this is actually part of the point. While we could assume Sanders’ numbers and the to a lesser extent the number of total voters would rise if the primary was more democratic, the corruption of the process itself likely contributes to the lack of expansion in the turnout for all of us. In other words, not only does the process prevent us from participating, it also makes us not want to participate.

The article also forgets the historic fundraising by Sanders. What he is accomplishing in terms of volunteers and devoted contributors is unprecedented. The devotion to Mr. Sanders, by quite a large group of people, far exceeds the lackluster neoliberal brand that can only buy votes, not sincere commitment. Despite constant propaganda, shady counting of votes and a completely unfair campaign finance system, Bernie keeps on winning the Democrat’s own base.

It is very convenient for the corporate media to point to Sanders not increasing turnout outside of the party, but one should point to the obvious: what does this say about the rest of the Democratic field? Sanders is the first person of either corporate party to win the first three primaries. He now is estimated a 69% chance to win the primary. This is despite him not increasing turnout.

The corporate press likes to conclude that this means Sanders is unelectable. But what the hell is everyone else then? The irony of this piece is that in trying to run a hit piece on Sanders they point out a couple of things never acknowledged in the mainstream. The first thing is that there simply is no place for the neoliberal candidate anymore. Sanders is not winning the radical vote of this country. He is winning the Democrat vote. This is because Sanders is the only person who actually speaks to the moderate politics of the Democrat voter. He is the only candidate who is more in touch with the party’s base than with Goldman Sachs and the Republican Party.

The second point one could make is that the majority of the country still gets it: American politics are bullshit. While I certainly always argue for some form of politics, we are seeing, to the corporate media’s horror that the Sanders campaign isn’t even tapping into the radical left who sits out every electoral sham. This is 50% of the country, by the way. More than that in non-Presidential years. Yes, half the country is radical enough to say no thank you to this crap.

This non-voting bloc may or may not identify as left, but they certainly oppose the power, corruption and violence that American society runs on. What Bernie Sanders offers is not that radical. He simply says the obvious: health care, child care and college should be guaranteed. Billionaires should pay taxes. People who live here actually deserve rights, not to be sent away to somewhere they had to flee from. Workers should be able to afford rent. We should actually address the climate change that is making this planet literally uninhabitable. The force that will make it impossible to live. The force that one day will just kill us all. Very soon. Basically, he just says he doesn’t want us all to die and suffer and work all day and go broke. I mean sounds nice, but not really my wildest dream.

The corporate press does not know what to do. Even its own disciples have turned on it. Bernie will beat the living daylight out of Trump because he does inspire by far the most diverse and devoted coalition of voters. But this Bernie vs. Trump race is a freak show for the corporate press. They don’t care who wins this one, well as long as it isn’t Bernie. What concerns them is that the math doesn’t add up. Their radical has all their moderates.

The only people left for the corporate press are the openly racist, sexist, rich and bloodthirsty Trump supporters. It is no surprise that the same article laments that Bernie can’t compete well in the well-educated white suburbs that go to Trump. The open savageness of Mr. Trump and the soulless corporate media who says they expose him never had much difference between them, despite their play fights. Now with the same goal of beating down the moderate base of the Democratic Party, the difference is none.

The Democratic Party’s liberal moderate base share many of Bernie Sander’s strengths and limitations. The leadership of said party is simply a cheap corporate joke—they represent nothing and nobody outside of the ruling class. Let’s hope that the rigging of the election against the moderate Bernie Sanders helps push millions of well-meaning centrists to a ruthless hatred of the ruling class.

Yes, Bernie’s last ditch attempt to save this wretched carcass of a Party may not be a guarantee against the bona fide fascist Donald Trump. But the rest of you people just have no idea what the hell is going on. Nominating anyone else, no matter how much prison slave labor they use to get out the wholesome blue vote, is a sure path to defeat. At this point, defeat is the thing this dead on arrival party is cheering for.

Nick Pemberton writes and works from Saint Paul, Minnesota. He loves to receive feedback at pemberton.nick@gmail.com