General Question

gorillapaws's avatar

Bernie Sanders has announced his candidacy. Is he the candidate who is most likely to defeat Trump in a general election?

Asked by gorillapaws (25497points) February 19th, 2019

Here is Bernie Sanders announcement video. Would he have the best chance at beating Trump in a General election? Why or why not?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

112 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Not even close. He’s as much of an unrealistic buffoon in his own way as Trump is in his way.

I’m hoping for a candidate who is pragmatic, not an ideologue.

chyna's avatar

I think he’s too old to carry out the presidency. He’s 77.

hmmmmmm's avatar

He had the best chance of beating Trump in 2016 (as polls consistently showed), and I believe he is still the best candidate to beat Trump in 2020. I have already started contributing to him again. If he wins the primary, I’ll be able to vote Democrat in the general.

Stache's avatar

Yes. He’s already raised $1 million since this morning.

If we are going to say he’s too old then we need to put age limits on the Supreme Court as well. Is RBG too old? I don’t hear anyone complaining about her age.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Stache Also, Biden is 76 and you never hear the same people who complain about Bernie’s age mention him.

Stache's avatar

@gorillapaws Exactly. The establishment doesn’t want Bernie. It’s as simple as that.

chyna's avatar

@stache Well, the question wasn’t about her, but yes, I think there should be age limits on all office holders. We had a Senator in my state that became the longest serving senator in history. It was obvious in his last few years that he wasn’t altogether there. He shouldn’t have been allowed to serve that long.

Aster's avatar

No I don’t think he has a chance. But it’ll be such fun to watch.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Aster “I don’t think he has a chance”

Why do you think he doesn’t have a chance?

Aster's avatar

@gorillapaws Because he didn’t do very well last time. And Trump is being quite vocal against socialism bringing up Venezuela and countries where it has destroyed their economy.
There is no way he’ll win. Zero.

LostInParadise's avatar

I like Sanders and what he stands for, and I am sure he is a fine senator, but I just can’t see him as president. His style is just not presidential. It is a crowded field of declared Democratic candidates. There may be better choices. At the moment I am leaning toward Warren.

ucme's avatar

If the best option they can offer is a decrepit relic who dresses like a hobo who just found $5 then boy, are they in trouble.

gorillapaws's avatar

@LostInParadise So it comes down to style over substance for you? It’s more about optics? (I’m just trying to understand different people’s perspectives)

Zaku's avatar

How about if people try to find a better candidate than Sanders on the actual issues and sincerity and benevolent non-corrupt intentions?

LostInParadise's avatar

Apart from political stances, being president requires certain leadership skills, and my gut reaction is that Sanders may not measure up. There is something about his blustering style that puts me off. He also ran into trouble in his previous campaign over allegations of sexual misconduct by some of the people working for him.

Stache's avatar

I know some 70 and 80 year old people who have more mental and physical agility than some 30 year old people.

gorillapaws's avatar

@LostInParadise “He also ran into trouble in his previous campaign over allegations of sexual misconduct by some of the people working for him.”

That whole manufactured scandal was ridiculous. Basically, some people had complaints that weren’t handled well and Bernie was never aware of it. The fact that his campaign exploded and grew exponentially with his popularity in 2015 meant that with all of the new hires a few bad apples were likely to slip into the bunch at the lower levels. I couldn’t find exact totals for the number of campaign staff at it’s largest point, but it’s in the many thousands. Bernie was never informed of the issues and he did nothing wrong.

Contrast that with Hillary Clinton, who actually WAS AWARE of a senior adviser repeatedly sexually harassing a subordinate and CLINTON PROTECTED HIM. That’s several orders of magintude worse than Bernie and yet you never hear about it.

Or in Kamala Harris’ case one of her SENIOR AIDES had to resign after engaging in disgusting sexual harassment behavior to his assistant. You also probably haven’t heard much about that either.

I would caution everyone to be weary of the motives behind the media pushing certain candidates and smearing others. Pay particular attention to the media applying a standard differently to different candidates: e.g. “Bernie is too old,” but say nothing about Biden; “Bernie harbored sexual harassment” but say nothing of Kamala. Think about why that’s happening and who stands to gain. This is just the beginning.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@elbanditoroso
“I’m hoping for a candidate who is pragmatic, not an ideologue”

Could not have said it any better myself.

janbb's avatar

@gorillapaws Everyone I hear or read is also saying Biden is too old. You don’t really want a discussion; you just want people to agree that Bernie is the best candidate.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I would like Jimmy Carter to go from being a diplomat to running for president for his second term.

gorillapaws's avatar

@janbb “You don’t really want a discussion; you just want people to agree that Bernie is the best candidate.”

I believe he’s the only announced candidate that can beat Trump (assuming he’s not cheated again). I am interested in hearing the honest opinions of people though. I apologize if I’ve said stuff that offended anyone or lead anyone to believe I wasn’t interested in their opinion. It’s just hard to hear debunked smears being repeated and not point out the double standards.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, he got the kids fired up, for sure. I wonder what would have happened if he’d won the DNC instead of Hillary.

janbb's avatar

@gorillapaws Thanks. I really have no idea who can beat Trump at this point. I have my preferences but I know I need to support whomever ultimately gets the nomination. Last time I didn’t go crazy for Bernie or Hillary for the same reason. We have to defeat a fascist is the way I see it.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

“I wonder what would have happened if he’d won the DNC instead of Hillary.”
He would have won.

“I believe he’s the only announced candidate that can beat Trump”
Trump will easily be beaten this go around, even a good number on the right want him gone.

JLeslie's avatar

The Republicans are singing the socialist song, and remember to many of their followers socialism is communism is atheism is God won’t be pleased with America anymore, fire and brimstone. Bernie is not a Democrat, so that is rather tricky in my opinion. There are independents and unaffiliated who really liked him, and they were important for the final vote, but I think a more moderate Democrat will give us a better chance in the end. Klobuchar is looking good to me right now, but it’s so early it’s pointless to speculate. I think Republican women might be willing to vote for a woman Democrat who sounds moderate on fiscal issues. I don’t know where she stands or how solid her knowledge is on international issues, which is pretty important, so again, I’m sort of going on nothing right.

gorillapaws's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me “Trump will easily be beaten this go around, even a good number on the right want him gone.”

I recall a lot of Hillary supporters saying the same thing about Trump 2016 (everyone laughed at me when I warned that Clinton would lose the South and the Rust Belt—and thus the election). It would be a big mistake to underestimate Trump again.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t feel like Trump will easily be beaten. I have many friends who love him. They have parades here for Trump.

gorillapaws's avatar

@JLeslie “I think a more moderate Democrat will give us a better chance in the end.”

Who do you think is the more critical voter pool: the Whole-Foods Republican mom that’s willing to vote for a Democratic moderate, or the working poor (particularly in the Rust Belt and states like WV) that largely flipped from Democrats to vote for Trump because the Democratic party has largely ignored them for decades?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@gorillapaws Quite possibly, especially if Hillary is the candidate again. Anecdotally roughly a third of the people I know who voted Trump are displeased with him. If the DNC runs a moderate and not an ideologue they’ll garner my vote as well. Probably the whole-foods yuppie moms as well as the desperate people in the rust belt too. At this point My vote is going to whoever can demonstrate the ability to compromise, and as @elbanditoroso said the most pragmatic.

gorillapaws's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me “Probably the whole-foods yuppie moms as well as the desperate people in the rust belt too.”

In my opinion this is an either/or situation. The candidate that appeals to the Whole-Foods Republican mom is not going to bring out the former blue union vote in the huge numbers required to take the Rust Belt. I think most of those guys and gals will either stay home or vote Trump instead of a candidate like Klobuchar. What kind of message could a moderate Democrat bring that excites and impassions the working poor and make them willing to put in the effort to overcome those impediments to voting such as long lines and not being able to get off from work?

JLeslie's avatar

@gorillapaws I’m with you that trying to woo a Republican should be on the bottom of our list as Democrats. Motivating Democrats, Independents, and new voters, to vote, is what is important.

Last time it seems many of the the Hillary haters who were Democrats didn’t fall in line and vote for her in the end, which still is so unbelievable to me. WTH?! So maybe pleasing them is the most important, unless they have learned some sort of lesson.

Although, putting in someone who calls himself a socialist will just exacerbate the divide and antagonism among the citizenry. That might not matter at this point. Maybe we are too far gone.

hmmmmmm's avatar

There’s much here that I take issue with, but my hope is that I can avoid having the same discussions that we’ve been having since 2015. The same myths that got us Trump persist. I just want to address one, however…

@JLeslie: “Although, putting in someone who calls himself a socialist will just exacerbate the divide and antagonism among the citizenry. ”

First, we know that the “S” word has been used as a weapon against progress for decades. Recall that Obama was referred to as a socialist all the time (forget the fact that he was literally the complete opposite). The need for Democrats to inoculate themselves from this smear means that they need to own it. If socialism means not redistributing all wealth towards the top 1% or if it means that people don’t drop dead from not having health insurance or if it means that people can afford to go to college or not live under a bridge, then socialism is amazing. Own that shit.

Since Bernie Sanders refers to himself as a Democratic Socialist, there is no “but he’s a secret socialist” smear that can be used. Additionally – and here’s the best part – the “S” word no longer has the effect it once had. It might be the combination of calling capitalists like Obama a socialist along with Bernie Sanders associating his popular social democratic policy proposals with “Democratic Socialism” that has changed this word from being a curse to a positive. Polls from last year reveal that Democrats have a more positive view of socialism than capitalism.

The “kids” (as some people describe) are the ones facing the fallout from the failure of capitalism, so they are also the least likely to embrace it. Bernie got more votes than Clinton and Trump combined during the 2016 primaries from those under 30. These same people are still here, struggling, and are hopefully ready to vote for Bernie again. And we have a whole bunch of new young people who have reached voting age that will likely have no issue with the term “socialism”.

I suppose my point is – you can’t run from right-wing smears of “socialism”. The best way to address such nonsense is to embrace and own the term. Bernie is best positioned to do that.

aubreysanders8's avatar

I personally feel that the Democrats need to throw themselves behind a moderate candidate if they want to win the presidency in 2020. Trump, love or hate him, has a very strong and unwavering following. There’s a soft spot in my heart for Bernie Sanders, but he is not a moderate candidate. The Democrats need someone who can rally the liberals, moderates, and the conservatives who oppose Trump. They cannot afford to ignore large groups of people like they did this last election, and I think a moderate would get the most number of votes. None of this speaks to my personal preferences, just what I think the Democrats should do to win. I don’t think Bernie is their man.

hmmmmmm's avatar

It’s almost like 2016 didn’t happen.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@hmmmmmm

By that same token, if Bernie wants to run as a Democrat then he needs to own that shit. Make that commitment, be a Democrat.

As it is he treats the Democratic party like a girl he’ll sleep with, but won’t be seen in public with.

rockfan's avatar

Really shocked by some of these answers here.

Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in the United States and 70% of Americans support universal healthcare. Plus, more than 50% support many of his other policies. A progressive democrat is what Democrats need to defeat Trump, not a centrist. A centrist defeating a fake populist is a ridiculous idea.

rockfan's avatar

@LostInParadise

“His style is just not presidential.”

You’re basically acting like 2016 never happened…

Stache's avatar

Bernie has raised over $4 million and counting in a little over 12 hours. Who else can do that?

rockfan's avatar

@elbanditoroso

What’s unrealistic about Bernie’s policies?

In the grand scheme of things, Bernie is an international moderate. In history books, the U.S. will be known as the last modern country to adopt something as reasonable as universal healthcare.

mazingerz88's avatar

A plastic bottle would defeat trump.

Are Democratic voters and indies really that stupid not to vote for whoever gets the nomination? After all the idiocy, cruelty and treasonous acts trump has committed?

AlaskaTundrea's avatar

I liked much of what Sanders had to say when he first appeared as a viable candidate last go round but that optimism soon faded. Even while many of his ideas seemed great on the surface, he never, at least in my opinion, articulated how we could get there, so to speak. For instance, free college? Great. How do we pay for it? I never heard an articulate, meaningful answer. Other issues had the same fuzzy, idealistic feel in my mind. Great ideas but not feasible in this day and age without great cost and, I’m sure, huge, nasty political battles to get there even if we could pay for it. That aside, many of his followers put me off. Bernie or Bust seemed to be the mantra and that surely lead many to stay at home rather than vote for any candidate that didn’t meet their idealistic dream candidate criteria. Someone said above that they wanted a pragmatic candidate. I’m inclined to say the same. I came thru the idealistic, it should be simple, love is all you need generation and, sigh, that didn’t work. I’ve since become far more pragmatic, understanding that no candidate is perfect and that I’ll like some ideas from some, some from others, but have to choose the one who best encapsulates my ideas of doing the right thing. Raising money isn’t that much of a biggie in my mind. Heck, the current resident of the White House raises money, lots of money, and fast. In my mind, we can’t focus on our often isolated ideals. We need to look at the full candidate, all of them, not just Sanders, and decide who can best do the job and help “do the right thing,” whatever that is in our own mind. I was never crazy about Clinton as a candidate, either, I might add, finding much to dislike….and like…. but wasn’t about to cut off my nose to spite my face and not vote for her, if that makes sense, given the only potentially electable alternative….you know, the one that one. Sigh.

rockfan's avatar

Sanders has explained numerous time on how he plans to pay for free college. Google is your friend.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Stache

I don’t recall exact figures, but Ron Paul also raised impressive sums of money in very short amounts of time.

rockfan's avatar

@aubreysanders8

Every single thing we’ve learned about the 2016 election shows us that nominating a moderate democrat is a horrendous idea. If Kamala Harris gets the nomination, it’ll be hilarious to see the establishment democrats lose their minds and wonder why she lost. I think they’ll finally wake up the second time it happens.

AlaskaTundrea's avatar

rockfan, let me save you some time and energy. Being snarky and telling me that Google is my friend like I’m some unintelligent soul is NOT the way to convince me or anyone that Sanders is popular and should get my vote. I like Sanders but, well, as I said, it’s early. If anything, you’ve managed all in this short exchange to push me away from even giving him a second look. I’m outta this discussion for awhile. Hammer on me all you want. You just prove my point. Later…. maybe.

gorillapaws's avatar

@mazingerz88 “Are Democratic voters and indies really that stupid not to vote for whoever gets the nomination?”

I will only vote for a candidate that the Political Establishment opposes because they are the biggest problem with this country and I will never support their candidates again. So for me, based on the current candidates, I’ll vote for Sanders, Warren and Gabbard (in that order). Depending on where they settle out on Medicare for All, even some of them may not make the cut (don’t be fooled, “Medicare Extra for All” is not “Medicare for All” it’s a hot turd). If it’s someone else on the ticket I’m voting for Jill Stein…again. I will not allow the establishment to force me into a lesser of 2 evils vote every single fucking election (especially when they cheat, lose and then try to blame me for it)—to me that’s an even bigger evil than Trump (and believe me I fucking hate that guy). I’m done playing that game, and as soon as other people stop playing it too, our country will finally start to see the changes it desperately needs.

@rockfan ” It’s going to be hilarious to see if Kamala Harris gets the nomination, loses, and the establishment democrats wonder why she lost.”

They’ll blame Russia instead of themselves… again.

rockfan's avatar

I didn’t insinuate that you’re unintelligent at all. But you mentioned that you’ve never heard him explain how he wants to pay for free college or universal healthcare, and I think that’s ridiculous, especially in this day and age of information at our finger tips.

rockfan's avatar

For example, did you know that universal healthcare saves us 2–5 trillion?

If the plans for his ideas seem fuzzy to you, then it seems to me you didn’t listen to him very carefully in the first place.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@rockfan

Or you could, say, provide a link where Bernie’s plains are laid out in detail. That would go a lot further in winning folks over than simply acting like a pushy evangelist for Bernie. Just a thought.

rockfan's avatar

On the contrary, it seems to me that people are acting like pushy evangelists for centrism here. Every comment I’ve made here, I think, is far from evangelism. I’m just responding to comments that I think are completely unfair to Sanders.

rockfan's avatar

And honestly, how hard is it to google Bernie’s policies on his official campaign website?

Sorry if I seem like a jerk.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Darth_Algar I agree. To be fair, it’s easy to see why people are confused about how these proposals are paid for. The corporate media has tried hard to mislead people into believing there is no plan. Bernie has proposed that tuition free college at public universities could be paid for by a transaction tax on Wall Street.

JLeslie's avatar

@hmmmmmm I’m a Democrat and I don’t like using the term socialist, and I don’t want a socialist country. I want a country with some social systems and some controls on capitalism. America is not, and should not, be a socialist country in my opinion.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@JLeslie: ”’I’m a Democrat and I don’t like using the term socialist, and I don’t want a socialist country. I want a country with some social systems and some controls on capitalism. America is not, and should not, be a socialist country in my opinion.”

That’s fine. But my point is that “socialist” doesn’t carry as much baggage as it has since the cold war propaganda. Your fellow Democrats (and independents) – especially younger ones – are no longer burdened with the myth. They are they the ones who face a bleak future under capitalism, so the “c” word (or neoliberal) can be just as damaging.

JLeslie's avatar

@hmmmmmm But, the religious right does see socialism as a terrifying proposition. Above I talked about the division in the country, and @gorillapaws brought up the point that we shouldn’t be trying to get republicans to flip sides, which I agree with.

Many of the younger people have forgotten some of history or never learned it. I think we need to be very careful. We need to be fiscally and economically sound as a country and as individuals, we need to make sure everyone can live a safe life, and a life that they can pursue happiness.

Imagine if our government had more power over our careers, over industry, over what job you could have? You might point to Denmark where people can actually pursue a job that makes them happy and still make a living wage, it’s very nice from what I’ve learned about their system, but right now, in America, you have Trump as president, and we just went through republicans being in charge of congress, and do you want to trust them to be in control of your life and your job and a company you might want to own to such an extreme that you lose you’re autonomy? Giving the government tremendous power is five as long as you are sure you can trust your government to treat all citizens fairly. Do you trust that with who is elected right now in America?

Bernie talked about free college education. I’m pretty sure in Germany there is free college education, but Germany also tracks you in education, so you better shape up young enough in school to be tracked for college. I think the UK tracks kids also, I’m not sure about the other Western European countries. I’m pretty sure a much smaller percentage of people go to college in Germany than Americans in America. Nothing is ever presented apples to apples, we never get the whole story from the politicians it the media unless we really dig in. I want reasonable tuition, or even free in some cases for our young people, my dad went to city college and graduate school for free (thank goodness it was available) but he was able to go to that school for free because he applied and was in the top percentages of applicants. It wasn’t a free for all (double entendres intended).

hmmmmmm's avatar

@JLeslie: “But, the religious right does see socialism as a terrifying proposition.”

Correct. And Democrats will never win them over – and should never even try. Remember, Obama was a “socialist” according to these people. That’s like calling an apple a “banana”. And yes, I get it – you also dislike whatever it is you think socialism is. We’re not just talking about you. You are a conservative. But for many others, the “s” word is good.

I’m not getting into a discussion of what is and isn’t socialism. This question is about Bernie Sanders (not technically a socialist) and about perceptions and about winning an election.

rockfan's avatar

@elbanditoroso

And honestly, saying that he has no chance of getting the nomination is almost delusional in my opinion. He’s raised the most amount of small donations in one day.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Getting ready to leave so I didn’t read all the comments.

@AlaskaTundrea, it’s obvious how Bernie would get “there” with free college and universal health care, etc. He’d get there the same way other developed nations would…by increasing taxes. I knew that was the plan, and I’m prepared to pay more in taxes to help people out. Plus I wouldn’t have any more insurance premiums or deductibles.
I’m ready for it…but he never mentioned it, did he? That’s because that would have been a freak out! right there!

hmmmmmm's avatar

@Dutchess_III: “I’m ready for it…but he never mentioned it, did he?”

The entire primary went like this…

Bernie: Here is my proposal, and here is how we intend to pay for it, we will [and there would be a detailed explanation]. See the website for details [and it would contain details].

corporate media: Bernie Sanders has some wild proposals. Let’s bring on a few fools to discuss….

fool #1: He never says how he is going to pay for this.

fool #2: Right! All of these ideas sound fine, but they are unrealistic. We need pragmatism.

JLeslie's avatar

@hmmmmmm I’m not a conservative, I’m moderately conservative on some fiscal issues. There is no way to generalize me as a conservative. My whole life I have been pro-choice, pro gay marriage, for social systems like SS, Medicare, and I am for socialized medicine. I want controls on capitalism, I even am open to the idea of UBI, although I think there could be pitfalls not yet realized with it. I find Singapore’s housing for all policy instituted by PM Lee Kuan Yew very interesting. I have always voted for Democrats for president, and over 90% of my votes on local levels have been for Democrats.

I would never call Obama a socialist. Bernie calls himself a Democratic socialist.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@hmmmmmm OK, what did he say as far as paying for it?

hmmmmmm's avatar

@Dutchess_III – Off topic. Additionally, he just relaunched his campaign yesterday, so none of the old links are there. Here’s something. But keep in mind that people would literally hear details on the funding and follow it up with “there are no details on funding”. This “how are we going to pay for it” nonsense is a way for people to position themselves as pragmatic and reasonable, while maintaining the status quo. Never is the question asked about military budgets or tax cuts.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Your link just brings me back to this page…

jca2's avatar

I think there are a lot of people that, no matter what Trump does or says, they just think he’s the best and will vote for him no matter what. After the “grab ‘em by the p___y” comment and he still got elected, I see anything goes.

Bernie raised over 3m in just 24 hours of campaigning. Whether he gets the Democratic nod will remain to be seen but can he beat Trump?

This is from today’s NY Times (cut and pasted):

The case for Sanders

He’s consistently underrated for a reason: His agenda is more popular than many American elites understand. Most Americans favor a higher minimum wage, higher taxes on the rich and corporations and expanded versions of Medicare and Social Security. The Sanders approach — progressive on economic issues, without much focus on social and cultural issues — is in many ways the sweet spot of American politics.

Sanders is a natural politician. Too many Democrats campaign on a laundry list of smart, technocratic proposals that, in the minds of voters, add up to less than the sum of their parts. Sanders understands the importance of clear, bold messages: greedy billionaires, $15 minimum wage, free college, Medicare for all, Green New Deal. If he were elected president along with Democratic majorities in Congress, he would have a mandate for Reagan-like change — in the opposite direction.

Sanders has prepared for this moment. He has stayed in the public eye, built a political organization and, as Vox’s Matthew Yglesias has noted, toned down some of his fights with the Democratic establishment. Plus, the establishment is closer to him now on economic issues than it was a few years ago.

Sanders is ahead of every other declared candidate in the polls. He trails only Joe Biden, who, even if he does run, has a weaker history as a presidential candidate than Sanders does. Yes, early primary polls can be misleading. But they can also matter, as Donald Trump showed.

The case against Sanders

The Sanders agenda doesn’t look as good up close as it does from afar. In 2016, his proposals didn’t receive much scrutiny, because few people expected him to win. This year will be different. And as Americans look more closely, they will decide they don’t favor eliminating private health insurance or making college free for affluent families. Most Americans are not socialists.

Sanders doesn’t have a realistic theory for governing. When asked how he will pass his agenda, he talks in grand terms about a grass-roots movement that will overwhelm Republican opposition. But there is little reason to believe Sanders could actually win over congressional Republicans. If he failed, what would he then do?

Hillary Clinton’s weaknesses exaggerated Sanders’s strengths. Almost every other Democrat skipped the 2016 race because they saw Clinton as unbeatable. But she ended up being a flawed candidate. Democratic voters with reservations about her had only one place to go in 2016: to Sanders. In 2020, the field is huge.

Today’s Democratic voters are probably looking for a candidate with a different profile. He is a 77-year-old who has apologized for the sexism that existed in his 2016 campaign. He famously struggled to win over black voters four years ago. It’s no surprise Sanders keeps winning in Vermont, which has one of the nation’s oldest and whitest populations. But the Democratic primary electorate is not Vermont.

The bottom line

I don’t think Sanders is the ideal nominee. But I do think he has had a positive influence on the country’s politics. And he certainly adds an element to the 2020 campaign that no one else does. As I’ve said before, I’m in favor of a big, diverse Democratic field, from which the strongest candidate can emerge.

Elsewhere: CNN’s Harry Enten points out that Sanders will need to do better with liberal Democrats than he did in 2016: “The best he could do was fight Clinton to a tie among self-identified very liberal voters in 2016.” This may seem surprising, I realize, but liberalism and populism are not the same thing.

In Jacobin, Meagan Day writes: “There’s a class war raging, and Sanders is the only one running who sees it, and who wants to build working-class forces to fight back.”

In The Weekly Standard (late last year, before its demise), David Byler wrote: “Sanders is in a significantly worse position now than he was two years ago … If Sanders [were] in a one-on-one matchup with, well, anyone in the field, I think he’d be polling better than he is now. But he’s getting squeezed from a couple of different directions.”

hmmmmmm's avatar

@jca2: “Bernie raised over 3m in just 24 hours of campaigning.”

He raised $5.9 million in the first 24 hours from 225,000 donors.

jca2's avatar

@hmmmmmm: I stand corrected.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I wouldn’t make the mistake of presuming that money raised necessarily equates to electability among the American people in general.

Stache's avatar

Establishment Democrats like to demonize Bernie. What they fail to realize is that the youth of this country is fairly progressive. By continuing to demonize Bernie they are doing exactly what they shouldnt be doing. Of all the Democrats running which one connects with the youth like he does? If the democratic party wants to continue to minimize progressive values and voters then they have only to look in the mirror when they lose to Trump again.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Stache I believe it’s the opposite of what you think. The far left candidates scare those closer to the middle who are the majority of the voting block. They’ll divide up between more traditional democrats and far left progressives, split the vote and we’ll have four more years of Trump. The path forward for the left to win is with a moderate.

hmmmmmm's avatar

It’s almost like 2016 didn’t happen.

gorillapaws's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me “The far left candidates scare those closer to the middle who are the majority of the voting block.”

What is your basis for making the statement that the middle is the majority? It is my understanding that “far left” issues poll well over 50% with the voters such as Medicare for All. That would indicate to me that on many issues centrists/moderates are in the minority. Perhaps I’m misinformed.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@hmmmmmm it is kind of eerie, isn’t it. Once again we’re hearing, “No way can trump win!” in 2016 I was sure that was true. Now I’m not sure of anything any more.

Zaku's avatar

With enough money, ownership of the mainstream media, and all-electronic voting machines, any outcome is possible.

rockfan's avatar

What does a moderate democratic candidate look like?

Are they against universal healthcare? Against legalization of marijuana? Are they for tax cuts for the rich? Don’t believe in man made climate change? A war hawk? Takes corporate pac money?

If a moderate democratic candidate ticks all those boxes, then they’re bound to lose.

rockfan's avatar

If a moderate democrat gets the nomination in the same way Hillary did, and loses, I can’t wait to revisit this question.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@gorillapaws The general population is clustered in the middle but you don’t hear from them, you hear from the other ends. Most people don’t go for extremes. Most people are not ideological.

rockfan's avatar

You think favoring a social safety net (like most modern countries have) legalizing marijuana (a drug less harmful than alcohol), being against corrupting money in politics, and againsy bombing foreign countries that don’t attack us, is extreme?

Perhaps it’s the ideas among moderates that are extreme.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@rockfan – There are people here who don’t trust polling, so when you can consistently show that progressive policies and ideas are objectively popular, that doesn’t fly with them. I’ve had conversations here where people have said that polling means nothing to them, and they prefer to go with their gut when making their assertions.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@rockfan You just described the moderate stance.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@hmmmmmm Polling in 2016 showed Hillary as the clear victor. Most polls are not scientific but are just thrown together, sometimes (usually) with bias, I trust the scientific polls.

rockfan's avatar

Ok so then, by your definition, Bernie Sanders is moderate. And I agree that Bernie Sanders is rather moderate internationally.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@rockfan Bernie goes off a little more left in regard to things like taxation, opposition to nuclear energy and blatantly stating that corporations should be state owned. Those things scare off a good bit of moderates. I lean republican, I’m A-OK with legal weed, ending corporate personhood, keeping reasonable social safety nets like medicare and ending needless foreign conflict. I don’t agree that we can ignore nuclear power, should ban guns, increase taxes, leave borders unguarded (Not a wall) etc… I’m an atheist and think creationism does not belong in our schools. Most people have overlap all over the place and thus…we have a big center leaning cluster. A moderate candidate is just going to hit more checkboxes and little if any “oh hell no” boxes.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Yeah, it’s all fine and well to talk about how popular Bernie is with young folk, but how many of them actually vote compared to older demographics? In my anecdotal experience (been voting since 1995) very few indeed.

gorillapaws's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me “The general population is clustered in the middle but you don’t hear from them, you hear from the other ends.”

Are you basing this belief on data? or your experience and anecdotes?

Stache's avatar

My anecdotal experience is one full of informed young voters who exercise their right to vote.

Operation Divide The Left Is Already Underway

Darth_Algar's avatar

Cool. Yet Bernie’s still going to have to appeal to more than just young folks in order to win the presidency.

Stache's avatar

IF he wins the primary that should be no problem. The self-righteous Hillary supporters made sure to let the rest of us know the right thing to do is vote for the Democratic nominee. They will do the right thing and vote for Bernie if he is that person.

Brian1946's avatar

I’m 72 and Bernie appeals to me.

Here’s a Bernie supporter who’s older than me.

What are the ages of the other Bernie supporters here?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@gorillapaws I don’t believe that people are as polarized as it appears they are when you look at each issue individually and ignore the team colors that they wear.

JLeslie's avatar

I think someone above mentioned young people are more progressive politically. Just remember young people are the least likely group to vote.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Young people are almost always more progressive. Many will become conservative as they gain life experience.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Is there such a thing as “jobs guarantee,” and does Bernie promise such a thing. What does that mean? It doesn’t really make any sense to me.

rockfan's avatar

“Young people are almost always more progressive. Many will become conservative as they gain life experience.”

That’s pretty ridiculous.

Here are some progressive ideas I listed in a comment I made earlier:

“You think favoring a social safety net (like most modern countries have) legalizing marijuana (a drug less harmful than alcohol), being against corrupting money in politics, and againsy bombing foreign countries that don’t attack us, is extreme?”

Do you honestly think young liberals today are going to backtrack on those ideas as they get older?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@rockfan I don’t particularly see anything controversial about any of that. I don’t see any of it as being exclusively liberal either. Some on the religious right or those who are uninformed may get bent over a little with dope but that clearly will be quite mainstream in very near future. Corruption and being the aggressor in war is something conservatives and liberals are generally in agreement with. Again, those are not progressive ideas.

rockfan's avatar

Many moderate, centrist liberals support interventionist, unnecessary wars. Being anti-war and pro-universal healthcare is clearly a progressive liberal stance.

It almost feels like you’re trolling at this point.

rockfan's avatar

I think I may have misinterpreted what you were saying. Because for a second, when you said those aren’t liberal ideas, I thought you were referring to my list of progressive ideas.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@rockfan Clearly you must think all conservatives are pro-war, laissez faire and are against any type of public assistance. This is not the case. You did not say pro-universal healthcare, you said safety nets. People are not that black and white.

rockfan's avatar

Universal healthcare is a safety net…

And I put “like most modern countries have”, inferring that it’s a safety net that the United States doesn’t have.

hmmmmmm's avatar

I’m officially dropping my support of Bernie Sanders for 2020 – unless he reverses his support of US imperialism re: this. He’s been getting a ton of pushback on this, and I really hope he responds accordingly.

rockfan's avatar

@hmmmmmm

Just read his tweet and he didn’t imply whatsoever that he supports intervention

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@rockfan I’m all for healthcare reform provided it addresses the obscene cost being passed to those flipping the bill. That’s actually where most conservatives are on this too. We all know the cost is insane. Conservatives want to address that cost, I think most liberals do as well but it seems like many more are fine with just passing them on to taxpayers without any real negotiation. I’m not ok with that.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@rockfan: “The Maduro government must put the needs of its people first, allow humanitarian aid into the country, and refrain from violence against protesters.”

In the face of full-time propaganda from the entire corporate media, bipartisan consensus, and an administration that literally assigned the job to the war criminal responsible for many of the atrocities in the US intervention in the 1980’s in Latin and Central America (Abrams), do we have anyone who will stand up to this? I would have preferred silence on Bernie’s part. But to support the lies and propaganda by insinuating that Maduro was blocking humanitarian aid is obscene and nearly unforgivable.

This was retweeted by Matt Duss, Sanders’ foreign policy adviser, so this doesn’t appear to be something that was tweeted quickly and without much forethought. This is either a) a completely cynical ploy to try to win over interventionists and imperialists or b) a sign that Bernie’s foreign policy is so bad as to not be worthy of my support.

Bernie was once (in the 1980s and 1990s) far better on this. He was explicitly anti-imperialist, and was very outspoken on US crimes in Latin America. But this take on Venezuela/Maduro has made me sick – and he’s getting near a ton of pushback online from his supporters. I really hope he will listen.

Note: Yes, I know nobody is perfect, and the left often has to nudge Bernie. He has some problems with some positions and votes, but is far better and far less of a compromise than the others. But this single tweet is an ominous sign, and I’ve been queasy since he wrote it. And yes, I have reached out to his campaign in hopes to convince them to reverse this direction.

For now, however, I’ve put the breaks on my financial support, and will continue to push his campaign for progress on this.

Darth_Algar's avatar

And there’s the problem with demanding ideological purity or hinging your vote on single issues…

hmmmmmm's avatar

^ Talk about propaganda. The term “ideological purity” is a term used by ideologues to demand that people adhere to their ideology. You are an extreme ideologue – which isn’t a bad thing. But the fact that you don’t recognize it, and use this to attack progress, is a problem.

If you think not killing people in the name of oil and global capitalism is simply a “single issue” then you are a monster. Do you have any idea who Elliott Abrams is, and what we have done to Latin and Central America, and what we doing right now?

Centrist ideologues gave us Trump. No lectures on ideological purity.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Oh I do love being called this and that by people who know nothing of me. Shit, the other day I got called a Trump supporter simply because of the fact that I’m a white male. I’d love to think I’m assuming that was the reason, but the other person flat out stated that she looked at my profile picture, saw a white male and assumed Trump supporter (even more amusingly, it was on a rare thread that had not been political in the least).

hmmmmmm's avatar

^ Ok. I apologize. But please don’t use terms that identify yourself as something that you may not be. Anyone who uses “demanding ideological purity” or “Bernie Bros” is intentionally identifying themselves as being part of a particular ideology born in 2015/2016 as part of a campaign. It doesn’t have any use in any discussion, and is not based in reality.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Is that so?

Here’s the issue with these “ideological purity” (goddamn right, I used that term again) tests – you’re never going to find a candidate who checks every box you think they should. It’s simply not going to happen. Thus dismissing an otherwise solid candidate based on their stance (or their perceived stance) on a single issue is self-defeating.

Dutchess_III's avatar

He implores the Maduro government to put the needs of its people first, to allow humanitarian aid into the country, and to refrain from violence against protesters = US intervention?
I don’t follow.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@Darth_Algar – We’ve been pushing back and communicating with Matt Duss, who at least seems to be trying to clarify what was meant by the tweet. The excitement has dwindled a bit, but there is great discussion among those on the left. I’m hoping he addresses this head-on in the town hall tonight. I suspect there will be a question or two.

I’m not looking for a revolutionary speech against US imperialism – Bernie is a center/left guy. But he needs to come out strong against supporting the coup, and against the corporate media narrative surrounding the “aid” myth. He’s likely in a tough position because he needs to keep the excitement (and donations) from his base, while not alienating the mass of population that doesn’t pay attention to what is going on. On the one hand, I get it. On the other – of what use is a Bernie Sanders candidacy if he parrots (or gives legitimacy to) the imperialistic nonsense that of Elliott Abrams and Trump?

We’ll see how it goes. Who knows – maybe I’ll end up supporting (financially and other) his campaign again. I likely will. The alternatives are pretty disgusting. But for now, many people have stopped their contributions while actively reaching out to the campaign for a change. And you can see that the offending tweet is unusual in that he was practically ratioed, which is rare for him.

But remember – a “single issue” can mean a shit ton. A single issue meant the Iraq war and all that has followed. It means life and death and unimaginable suffering. The concept that a “single issue” is petty is part of the whole “purity” nonsense. Even the concept of “checking boxes” is part of a model of politics that mimics a consumer choice. If you need to create a matrix to determine who to vote for, you’re likely approaching it incorrectly. People who suddenly adopt positions for a campaign might end up checking boxes for you. A representational identity politics, stripped of class, might end up taking up disproportionate space in the matrix. And the one with the most checked boxes might end up a product of pure marketing and fiction.

Anyway, we’re still very active in pushing back against Bernie – as most of his supporters do – on many issues. Let’s hope we can make a difference.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther