Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Anand Giridharadas on Sanders' Victory in Nevada: 'A Wake Up Moment for the American Power Establishment'

Giridharadas called out MSNBC and other establishment forces for behaving "like out-of-touch aristocrats in a dying aristocracy."

Jake Johnson

"You have someone talking about, in a way we have not heard, genuine deeper democracy, popular movements, human equality in a meaningful way, and a politics of love in the tradition of Dr. King—and winning elections," said author Anand Giridharadas. (Photo: MSNBC/Screengrab)

In an appearance on MSNBC Sunday morning just hours after Sen. Bernie Sanders' decisive victory in the Nevada Democratic presidential caucus, author and political commentator Anand Giridharadas said the senator's win could represent the dawn of "a new era in American life" and called out establishment forces—including MSNBC—for reacting like "out-of-touch aristocrats in a dying aristocracy."

"You have someone talking about, in a way we have not heard, genuine deeper democracy, popular movements, human equality in a meaningful way, and a politics of love in the tradition of Dr. King—and winning elections."
—Anand Giridharadas

"Last night was a historic win that I think a lot of us are still struggling to understand," said Giridharadas. "Something is happening in America right now that actually does not fit our mental models. It certainly doesn't fit the mental models of a lot of people on TV."

MSNBC's Nicole Wallace admitted as much Saturday evening, lamenting that she has "no idea what voters think about anything anymore" following Sanders' overwhelming caucus victory, powered by the mobilization of a diverse coalition of voters across Nevada. UCLA's Latino Policy and Politics Initiative estimated Sunday morning, with around 60% of precincts officially reporting, that Sanders won over 70% of the Latino vote in the Nevada caucus.

"You have someone talking about, in a way we have not heard, genuine deeper democracy, popular movements, human equality in a meaningful way, and a politics of love in the tradition of Dr. King—and winning elections," Giridharadas said of Sanders. "I think this is a wake-up moment for the American power establishment, from Michael Bloomberg to those of us in the media to the Democratic Party to donors to CEOs."

Giridharadas emphasized that Sanders' win is also a wake-up call for MSNBC, whose anchors and contributors spent much of Saturday evening melting down on live television over the prospect of the Vermont senator winning the Democratic presidential nomination.

"I think about this network, which I love... and I think we have to look within, also," said Giridharadas. "Why is a lobbyist for Uber and Mark Zuckerberg on the air many nights explaining a political revolution to us? Why is Chris Matthews on this air talking about the victory of Bernie Sanders, who had kin murdered in the Holocaust, and analogizing it to the Nazi conquest of France?"

On the subject of Bloomberg—viewed by many establishment figures as the only Democratic candidate with the ability to stop Sanders—Giridharadas said the "attempt to purchase the presidency of the United States may be legal, but it is corruption on a scale that makes a Ukraine deal look actually quite trivial."

"We are living in a plutocracy," Giridharadas added. "You either recognize that or you don't. And if you do recognize that, you think we need to make the plutocrats less powerful—all of them less powerful. If you want justice to flourish in America, you're gonna to have to make those people less powerful. And I do not believe they are going to be the leaders of the change that displaces them."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

After Kids Killed in Texas, Dems Declare 'Pass Gun Safety Legislation Now'

"Congress has a moral responsibility to end gun violence now," said Sen. Ed Markey. "To those who refuse to act, there are no excuses. Only complicity and shame."

Jessica Corbett ·


At Least 19 Children, 2 Adults Killed in Texas Elementary School Shooting

"This has become part of who we are as a country," said Julián Castro. "The free availability of guns has not made us safer in the United States or here in the state of Texas."

Brett Wilkins ·


House Dems to Pelosi: Hold Vote for Bill Expanding Social Security

"It is Congress' responsibility to ensure that Social Security's benefits are protected and improved," says a letter to the speaker. "It's time we deliver."

Jessica Corbett ·


Two Years After George Floyd Murder, Biden to Issue Executive Order on Police Reform

"The entire culture and mentality needs to change to bring these words to life, and to save lives," said one civil liberties advocate.

Julia Conley ·


'Wholesale Fraud' in Michigan Governor Race Could Disqualify GOP Candidates

"It looks like the Republican clown car may be losing a few occupants."

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo