Bernie Sanders is out campaigning for 2020 and that has a lot of his followers excited. The problem is that his 2020 campaign sounds an awful lot like his 2016 campaign which means he's not going to be the nominee again:
He advocated for the policies that are familiar to anyone who followed the 2016 campaign: raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, expanding Medicare to cover everyone, raising taxes on the wealthy, expanding Social Security, switching to clean energy, ending mass incarceration (which he pointed out disproportionately affects people of color), closing the gender pay gap, and standing with immigrants.
That's good and all but Hillary Clinton did the same thing. The difference is that Hillary managed to reach more than just white people, something Sanders had trouble with and judging by his current focus, will continue to be an uphill struggle for the senator from Vermont. One of the main reasons Hillary Clinton walloped Sanders in the primary is that Sanders performed poorly with black voters and in the Democratic primaries, you do not become the nominee without them. Period.
Sanders has to know this as well as I do so it struck me as curious that instead of immersing himself in Black Lives Matter rallies to really understand what they want and why, he's out stumping to appeal to Trump voters, those recklessly angry whites that voted for the single worst president in American history. Sanders' reasoning for doing this is...unconvincing:
"The reason [Trump] won Ohio and many other states in this country... [is that] there are millions of people who are hurting," Sanders told the crowd, before emphasizing that Trump campaigned on bald-faced lies—but, hey, we've all been tricked before. In my interview with him the next day, he elaborated on why it's so important to him to address Trump voters with compassion."
It is clear that there is an element of Trump supporters who are racists, sexists, homophobes, and there’s nothing I’m going to say that’s going to appeal to them," he said. "But I think that the vast majority of Trump supporters are people who are in pain, who are struggling economically, who are worried to death that their kids are going to be in even worse shape economically than they are, and they turned to Trump because Trump said things that made sense. He said he was going to take on the establishment, and he was going to provide healthcare to everybody. You know what, it’s pretty much what I said."
In other words, Trump voters will vote for him next time because Trump didn't deliver on his promises?
That's a nice story but one only a white male with money could possibly believe. Trump has been delivering on the only promise his voters ever really cared about: The one where he makes America "great" again by inflicting pain and suffering on Those People. Everything else was fluff and window dressing.
One only needs to look at Trump's approval rating to understand this. Despite being the most corrupt, dishonest, literally treasonous, incompetent buffoon to ever sully the Oval Office and despite his repeated attempts to take healthcare away from millions of his own supporters, they still adore him. He's ready to sign a bill into law that will raise their taxes, make their healthcare more expensive, strip their Medicare benefits, and much more, all to give billionaires a tax cut and his approval rating will never dip below 35%.
These are not people who care one tiny bit about Trump's economic policies.
They do, however, care very much about his wall. And his Muslim ban. And his tweets about how black football players are "sons of bitches". And his retweeting of anti-Muslim videos from racists. And how his Department of Justice is going after Black Lives Matter. And how his Immigration agency is terrorizing the Latino community. And how his military is killing more Muslim civilians than ever before. And how he openly supports white nationalism.
These are the people that Bernie Sanders thinks he can talk to?
Good luck with that.
The bottom line is that Bernie can campaign however he wants to. My only request is that when he loses to Elizabeth Warren, his followers get the fuck over it. None of this scorched earth bullshit again. No "Bernie or Bust" whining. No "Demexit" temper tantrum. No "I won't vote for the lesser of two evils" garbage. We've all seen where purity politics gets us and it doesn't work.
We have tens of millions of horrible people that voted for Trump because he promised them he would make America suffer. They're little more than political arsonists setting the world on fire because America had the nerve to elect a black man as president and that scared them to death. Better to destroy it all than share power. Bernie can waste his time reaching out to them but don't make that our problem when he fails.
There are 334 days left to the 2018 elections.
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