The Revolution May Not Be Televised, But Bernie Sanders Is Going All The Way

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The Revolution May Not Be Televised, But Bernie Sanders Is Going All The Way

Bernie Sanders at rally in Traverse City, Michigan on March 4, 2016. (Photo: Todd Church/flickr/cc)

First the political powers that be tried to count Bernie Sanders out after Super Tuesday, only to watch him come roaring back with a Michigan miracle that shocked the political world. After being given a 1 in 100 chance by pollsters of winning the Wolverine State, Sanders knocked down the Clinton machine in one of the biggest political upsets in modern American history.

Now they’re trying to count Sanders out again, after Hillary racked up 397 delegates to Bernie’s 294 in the latest round of primaries. The corporate media even went so far as to black out Bernie’s election night speech in Arizona, so viewers could watch an empty podium in anticipation of The Donald’s remarks, as if we were all breathlessly waiting in thrall for a king to address the nation.

No one said launching a political revolution would be easy. It may not even be televised. But because it’s being fueled by nearly two million individual donors – not billionaires – the Sanders revolution is a genuine threat to the political establishment. The ruling elite is desperate for Bernie’s campaign to end, for every day it continues gets him one step closer to occupying the White House.

Establishment candidate Hillary Clinton is still the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. No one denies that she’s ahead on points, but we’re only halfway through a 15-round heavyweight fight. Three months of primaries and caucuses remain, with the majority of the delegates still to be chosen. And now the battle moves into regions of the country where Bernie is the strongest.

Any seasoned political observer will tell you three months is an eternity in a presidential campaign. If we’ve learned anything so far from the 2016 election, it’s that anything can happen.

Hillary may have Wall Street, the media elites and more than 200 members of Congress and governors in her corner, but I’ll take the trainers in Bernie’s corner any day. I’m talking about powerful, truth-telling heavyweights like former Ohio state senator Nina Turner, hip-hop artist Killer Mike and Dr. Cornel West. I’m talking about Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), an Iraq War veteran who resigned as Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to endorse Bernie Sanders for president. A rising star in the Democratic Party, Rep. Gabbard recently  shared what compelled her to join the Sanders revolution:

"As these elections continue across the country, the American people are faced with a very clear choice. We can elect a president who will lead us into more interventionist wars of regime change. Or we can elect a president who will usher in a new era of peace and prosperity. It’s with this clear choice in mind that I’m resigning as Vice Chair of the DNC so that I can strongly support Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee for President of the United States."

Another Democratic Party heavyweight in Bernie’s corner is former DNC Chair Paul Kirk, who sees the unlimited amount of money flowing into politics as a “pernicious internal peril” to representative democracy.

This is precisely why the Sanders campaign doesn’t have a super PAC, and why Bernie has made getting dirty money out of politics the core of his agenda. He knows that unless we accomplish this, we will forever be tinkering around the edges of social change. As critical as it is that Citizens United be overturned, achieving this only gets us back to the corrupt state of political affairs that already existed in 2010. Sanders wants to upend the Washington establishment by moving to public funding of elections. It’s time to clean house.

Instead of pinning their hopes on a Clinton campaign they know could implode at any time, Democratic Party leaders should really be asking themselves why Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is far and away the most popular United States Senator in America. His constituents in Vermont give him a soaring approval rating of 83%. Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike love him.

As Bernie wrote in his autobiography, Outsider in the White House, "If an independent progressive movement could win in America’s most rural state – and until recently, one of America’s most Republican – then it might be possible for progressives to do likewise anywhere in the nation." Since launching his campaign almost 11 months ago, we are seeing this translate nationally. Bernie Sanders is winning the hearts and minds of America because he puts the needs of the people first and is not afraid to speak truth to power.
 
Have you noticed how not just Hillary, but also prominent Republicans are starting to sound a lot like Bernie Sanders? At a recent MSNBC Town Hall, Donald Trump actually mistook a description of Bernie for himself, before acknowledging: "There’s one thing we’re very similar in: He knows our country is being ripped off big league — big league — on trade." It was more revealing still to  watch Republican Senator John McCain tell The Hill:

"I don’t think that many of us understood the depth of anger and frustration that’s out there… so many Americans have not seen any improvement in their lives and their income and they see the wealthiest – I’m beginning to sound like Bernie Sanders now – but they see the wealthiest Americans growing much more wealthy while they are mired down in what seems to them a lack of opportunity to improve their lives."

My point is even Republicans are attracted to Bernie’s populist message. Unlike Hillary, who polarizes, Bernie can appeal to Republican voters in a general election, not to mention the 43% of Americans who consider themselves Independents. This is  why Bernie Sanders is the Democratic Party’s best hope to win the White House in November. Bernie’s honest integrity is America’s strongest antidote to the dangerous demagoguery of Mr. 1%, Donald Trump.

Between now and March 26, voters who are feeling the Bern in Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to prove the pundits wrong by propelling Sanders toward victory in Philadelphia. We need our strongest fighter in the ring this fall. That fighter is Bernie Sanders.

Tom Weis

Tom Weis is the president of Climate Crisis Solutions in Boulder, Colorado.

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