Why is the Democratic party establishment and their corporate news supporters (i.e. MSNBC and CNN) losing their minds over the surge in support for front-running presidential candidate Bernie Sanders? After all, poll after poll suggests that in a straight-up head-to-head contest, Sanders beats Trump. Isn’t that what the Democrats want above all else – to get the worst president in U.S. history out of office asap?
Well, apparently not. To listen to party leaders and the chorus of “liberal” pundits choking the airwaves and social media channels, you would think that Sanders, a self-described “democratic socialist,” is an unspeakable fusion of Stalinist collectivism and Hitlerian fanaticism, and his candidacy that will virtually guarantee Trump’s reelection. Even worse, they’re already floating the idea that four more years of Trump – busily dismantling what’s left of the regulatory structure, shamelessly enriching himself and his cronies, crapping on the Constitution whenever he has a mind to, and driving the U.S. into “great power confrontations” that may well extinguish the human species before the climate crisis gets its chance to – would be better for “democracy” in the long run than a Sanders presidency.
The truth is that Sanders’ version of socialism is nothing more than a return to Rooseveltian New Dealism, an attempt to recover something of the Democratic party’s former commitment to the vast majority of working people before it surrendered to corporate interests and the campaign contributions of the uber-rich, and substituting “cultural issues” and “identity politics” for the bread-and-butter concerns of class.
Compare Sanders’ policy agenda of universal health care, free education, and strengthening the social safety net to President Roosevelt’s proposal to extend the New Deal to include an “Economic Bill of Rights” that would protect the nation from the appeals of both fascism and communism – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EZ5bx9AyI4
The revulsion for Sanders’ mild brand of “socialism” measures nothing so much as how far the Democratic party has moved away from its erstwhile commitment to democracy and the needs of working people.