The Source Of Bernie Sanders’ Appeal

Bernie Sanders has made it clear from the beginning that he works in tandem with the American people. The hashtag #NotMeUs captured the essence of his campaign — the campaign may be centered on Bernie Sanders but it is not about Bernie Sanders. It is about the American people.

As the South Carolina results were being counted, Bernie was already setting his sights on Super Tuesday. Supporter Susan Sarandon took to Twitter to encourage supporters to stay engaged.

null

Sanders told his followers that his campaign is “only beginning and [he] intends to fight to the Democratic convention in July.”

Poll results circulated on Twitter by Bernie fans show that “after Super Tuesday is when we will start to win.”

null

Reports are now saying that the Democrats need to make Bernie Sanders their nominee, because this is the only way to beat Donald Trump, according to Current Affairs magazine.

“Unless the Democrats run Sanders, A Trump nomination means a Trump presidency.”

The report also points out that Trump looks increasingly likely to be the Republican nominee. CNN Politics reported that Clinton’s people are increasingly aware of this.

“Advisers to Clinton increasingly believe Trump is more likely than not to be the Republican nominee, which injects a considerable dose of uncertainty into any fall contest.”

Current Affairs urges the Democrats to think strategically, and make moves that will allow them to run Bernie as their candidate. The mag stresses that the Democrats simply must do this before it’s too late to beat Trump.

“With Donald Trump looking increasingly likely to actually be the Republican nominee for President, it’s long past time for the Democrats to start working on a pragmatic strategy to defeat him. Months of complacent, wishful insistences that Trump will disappear have proven false, and with a firm commanding lead in polls and several major primary victories, predictions are increasingly favoring Trump to win the nomination. If Democrats honestly believe, as they say they do, that Trump poses a serious threat to the well-being of the country and the lives of minority citizens, that means doing everything possible to keep him out of office. To do that will require them to very quickly unite around a single goal, albeit a counterintuitive one: they must make absolutely sure that Bernie Sanders is the Democratic nominee for President.”

So far, this election has certainly been the election of “anti-politics.” The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the rise of both Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders proves that people are weary of establishment politics, not just in America but around the world.

Author Rosa Prince spoke to the paper about “an anti-establishment, radical energy that has infected Western democracies.”

“There is very much a feeling of anti-politics around, people don’t want a New Labour apparatchik, they want someone fresh and authentic…”

The author spoke about how glorious it feels to support Bernie Sanders.

“To be a Bernie Sanders supporter feels like sticking two fingers up to the establishment, one in the eye for politics as usual.”

The supportive Sydney Morning Herald has also published a report showing four charts that capture “the kernel of Bernie Sanders’ appeal.”

The four charts show how bad things have gotten for Americans, and why they have reason to be angry. They can be summarized as follows:

  1. Hard work is no longer rewarded.

This happens naturally when too much power and wealth is concentrated in the upper echelons of organizations. Corruption, nepotism and slack, free-riding executives and managers become the norm. The workers under them who labor in hope of rewards and benefits are fooling themselves — the game stopped being fair a long time ago.

“[There is] a growing sense that the connection between effort and reward is breaking down in the U.S. economy [and this] gives Sanders’ economic message particular resonance.

2. Student loan burdens are expanding for all age groups with scary rapidity

They are expanding for all age groups, but especially for the young. The growth since 2004 is depicted in the Herald’s frightening chart.

Universities have become just another corporation, raking in enormous fees, and then sending students out into that corrupt work environment where skill, hard work and sophistication are not rewarded. Careers stagnate and jobs are insecure and/or difficult to find, no matter how skilled you are.

“With more than $US1 trillion ($A1.4 trillion) in student debt, the issue is a particular grievance for younger voters…After all, earlier generations started their working life by building their savings rather than being saddled with daunting debt levels.”

3. The middle class is shrinking

The political drift towards free-market deregulation in recent years is a major factor in assuring this.

The middle class is getting a smaller slice of the economic pie, year by year. Some say the middle class no longer exists.

“The decline of the middle class…has also fueled the runaway (some would say out-of-control) success of billionaire-turned-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.”

4. Funding from big oil, big pharma etc. is corrupting politics

The fact that Bernie Sanders has received almost none of this corrupt money is a huge draw for voters.

“The fact Sanders has hardly any [big money] backing supports his anti-establishment appeal.”

[Photo by John Gress/Getty Images]