Because he’s a die-hard socialist, for one. The media, a powerful capitalist entity, isn’t really much interested in bottom-up ownership of the “means of production.”
Bernie’s power-to-the-people “political revolution,” they fear, could well sweep the prerogatives of the mainstream media into the “dustbin of history.”
No, the potentates at the 4th Estate aren’t having that.
Sure, they’ll pat Bernie on the head, even stroke him some.
It’s helpful to have a left-wing foil to allow corporate liberals like Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke seem “progressive” — but somehow still “safe.”
Unlike Bernie, and much like Obama, they’re all show. They like to keep the policy ideas vague and have the audience focus on their image. Harris is immensely photogenic, to say the least. O’Rourke projects a Bobby Kennedy-esque drive.
Sanders? He’s constantly disheveled and looks even older than his years. And he’s so angry. Like an old grouch who’s pissed his wife forgot to bring him his slippers after he plopped himself down in front of the telly after a hard day punching board at the Buick factory.
Still, Sanders is as close to the real deal in American politics – especially the Senate – as you can get. He’s Rand Paul honest and forthright. The truth is, I like him.
In 2016, when so many were hoping that Joe Biden would run, the former VP appeared at a fundraising event and openly gushed about Bernie. Bernie, it seems, sent a little electricity up his leg – one of the reasons – unspoken — he decided not to run four years ago.
The polls are unmistakable. In the last two weeks, Sanders has overtaken Biden in New Hampshire, the critical first primary state. And just a few days ago, he and Elizabeth Warren tied for first in the nationwide polling, at 20 percent, with Biden, for the first time ever, trailing.
But Sanders, unlike Warren, is also giving Trump a run for his money in head to head polling. On paper at least, much of America is prepared to elect him president and to deprive Donald Trump of a second term in office.
This is hardly new, in fact. In 2016, Sanders was beating Trump soundly in head-to-head polling. I wrote about it for the Daily Caller and broke down the numbers. It was no fluke. After the election, one of Trump’s top advisers even conceded that Sanders might have beaten The Donald.
Farfetched you say? Yeah, about as far-fetched as Obama winning in 2008 – and Trump in 2016.
Personally, I think the media has it all wrong about today’s national election drama. It is too wedded to the two-party system, to the world of Democrats and Republicans that so many voters would love to leave behind.
Consult any of the Gallup polls in recent years and you will see a steady rise in support for third-party candidacies. In fact, a full 60% of the country wants to see one.
And here’s the rub: In my view, they already have. While Trump ran as a Republican and Sanders as a Democrat, neither fits the mold.
Each simply sized up the political system and realized that it was virtually impossible to run and win as an independent. H. Ross Perot tried in 1992 and even had much of the country on his side – until the media acting as stooges for the two parties, coalesced to destroy him.
They scared Perot out of the race until his base demanded that he return – and he did, but now bloodied, he’d lost much of his mojo.
Sanders and Trump were smart enough to realize that the two parties are dying but not quite dead. The parties’ favorability ratings – especially those of the Democrats – are at a historic low, and their bases while strong, have little organic connection to the party elites anymore.
In 2016, the two most dynamic forces in the presidential race weren’t the ones everyone thought would square off – Clinton and Bush – but Sanders and Trump.
They were the ones getting the huge crowds at rallies. Sanders especially had a favorability rating through the roof. The party base clearly preferred him to Clinton.
So what about 2020?
If anything Bernie has consolidated his bases of support. The Bernie Bros. are as strong as ever. Youth are still crazy about him (free college!). African-Americans aren’t but young Black and Latinos are, and so are lots of women in fact.
I’m not staying I support Sanders. His tax and spend economics won’t generate new growth, and I think his foreign and defense policy could be disastrous – even emboldening our enemies to start a war.
But he does care about people, and not all of his ideas are nutty. He supports veterans more strongly than most. He has intelligent things to say about immigration, which he supports overall but not uncritically.
And he’s not a big supporter of identity politics, either. He has the audacity to suggest that economic class differences may be the biggest fault line in American politics, not race. (I suspect a lot of the country agrees).
What a sin, especially in the eyes of liberals.
I might even have voted for the guy in 2016 had he stood against Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz. Out of spite mainly.
But thank God I didn’t have to – and still don’t The Donald is my kind of independent populist firebrand.
He still wants to make America great again. His vision is exemplified by his desire to build a Trump Tower everywhere – especially in a Trump-owned Greenland!
Bernie, I fear, still wants us all to live in Potemkin villages.