An excellent analysis of why Bernie Sanders and his political revolution will succeed
Bernie Sanders Will Be the Next President
by Michael Konik · April 17, 2016
In poker, when you bet as though you have a winning hand even though you don’t – that’s a classic bluff. But when you also have chances to improve your presently weak hand into a strong one later – that’s a semi-bluff.
The Hillary Clinton campaign, in concert with their partners in the corporate media – and partners in the Banking, Pharmaceutical and Insurance industries, and just about every other special interest with a PAC – the establishment has been running a nicely constructed semi-bluff on the American electorate. It nearly worked. They’ve been telling voters that their dangerous opponent Bernie Sanders, the one who plays the game very differently, simply can’t win. No matter his progressive stance on the issues, no matter his refreshing policy prescriptions, no matter his scathing critique of the corrupt campaign funding system – ignore all that, they’ve been telling us. He can’t win. For months, otherwise intelligent and educated people, even comedians with their own podcast, were repeating the comforting mantra. “He can’t win.” I like a lot of what Bernie Sanders stands for, but he can’t win. Sigh.
From a game-playing perspective, Team Clinton, zombie messengers included, managed their poker hand beautifully. They tried to take down the pot early with a show of strength that looked and sounded convincing, and they almost got away with their clever ruse — just like it almost worked against Barack Obama in 2008, when Clinton was the presumptive nominee. Remember? Obama couldn’t win, either.
Now they’ve been caught bluffing. In fact, Sanders has won nearly half the contested primaries, and eight of the last nine, mostly by landslide margins. Clearly, the naysayers were fibbing, because it’s obvious that Bernie can win the nomination. (Whomever wins the nomination will almost certainly win the general election, since the Republicans have effectively alienated everyone who didn’t vote for them in 2012 and can’t find enough angry white guys to make up the difference.) Of course, the Clinton camp, demoralized and uninspired though it may be, could still draw good cards and figure out some way to win the pot. They have “outs.” But once the revolutionary Sanders snowball began rolling down the hill, gaining mass and building momentum, rolling over the forceful yet flimsy objections of the corporate class, the scheme was fully exposed. Clinton and cronies were caught holding nothing but a convincing act. And now they must hope to get lucky.
But here’s why we think they won’t: Snowballs seldom roll uphill.
We’re not real good at math, and we can’t keep all the complicated delegate arithmetic straight. But we do know this: When the bluff was revealed, an enormous number of fence-sitters were inspired and catalyzed. They understood that they had been told yet another focus-group-tested lie. Once they got over their initial resentment at being manipulated, as usual, American voters realized that since Sanders could actually win there was no longer any barrier to embracing their core values, the issues that matter most to the regular folks who will never attend a $2,700-a-plate fundraiser. The candidate who stands for them could win and is winning and will continue to win. Even while everyone says he can’t.
The sleeping giant of disaffected and disgusted citizens who don’t vote has been awakened. Millions who have sworn off elections finally have a candidate they can be proud of and genuinely enthusiastic about, someone genuinely different. Never has voting felt so exciting; seldom has a candidate given voice to so many regular Americans unspoken for in Washington. We know it’s a long-shot, but there’s a measurable chance (5-10% perhaps) that Hillary Clinton will not earn any additional primary victories, and if she does they will be by coin-flip margins.
Voters everywhere are beginning to realize that Bernie Sanders is the future and Hillary Clinton is the past. A vote for Clinton leads to more of the usual Washington corruption and inequity, to a world of Super PAC’s and secret donors, where all Americans are anything but equal. A vote for Sanders is an affirmation of bold and righteous ideas, including the assertion that America must treat climate change with the same urgency as we have our disastrous Middle Eastern wars. If you were a Victorian novelist, you couldn’t draw a starker contrast between characters running for the same office: While Bernie Sanders was meeting with Pope Francis to discuss a moral economy, Clinton was holding fundraisers in Hong Kong (where no primaries are currently scheduled) and Hollywood ($353,000 to chat with Madame Secretary) where max-limit donors in the financial sector could make a down payment on access to power. The average contribution to her campaign is more than $50,000. Bernie’s is $27, and he’s received support from more than 2 million individuals making 7 million contributions. Voters are increasingly understanding that someone like Clinton, the super-rich courtier of the super-rich dukes and duchesses who manipulate our society — someone like that is truly is not qualified to lead a new government for and by the people.
Bernie Sanders is the candidate who represents the widest demographic swath of our great republic, the one whose values are most sympathetically aligned with the majority of voters who can’t (and wouldn’t) attend campaign bundling events sponsored by Goldman Sachs executives. When you ask Sanders supporters which of his policy positions they’re most excited and passionate about, they usually have a long list of social justice concerns – single-payer healthcare, genuinely public education, income inequality, climate change, military spending, marijuana decriminalization — and will talk your ear off. When you ask Clinton supporters which of her positions they’re most passionate about, you get answers like she’s so experienced, she’s so smart, she understands how the government really works. Right. All true. But which of her positions are you passionate about?
Her willingness to let the Wall Street banks write their own regulations? Her unwillingness to share publicly the wisdom she shares privately with those same Wall Street banks when she speaks to them, at $200,000+ per speech? Her willingness to export and expand fracking technology globally? Her unwillingness to call for a nationwide $15-an-hour minimum wage? Are you passionate about her ongoing pride in “working hard” to help her husband Bill cut support for poor people and call it “welfare reform”? The way the regime change she pushed for in Iraq and Libya has turned out? The War on Drugs, a slow-motion genocide waged largely against people of color? Are you passionate about her job-destroying and corporation-enriching trade deals?
The reason Bernie Sanders can win is because the people have decided he can. The People. Not the oligarchs. Not their compliant bag-carriers in the Democratic Party. Not the media, which haven’t a shred of credibility, except among those who prefer their entertainment programs to masquerade as news. The People, the body politic – including the women and blacks that our beloved Founding Fathers didn’t think deserved a vote. When all of us stand together, We the People form our own benevolent corporation, and we’re instantly the biggest conglomerate in the world, with even more power than Google, Chevron or JPMorganChase. That’s what’s happening now in every region of America, and it’s a thrill to observe. It’s even more thrilling to participate. We hope you’ll join us.
Pressure has been steadily building. The cork is very near to popping. If and when Bernie Sanders does the impossible (impossible because independents in New York aren’t allowed to participate in primaries) and wins in New York, Clinton’s adopted “home” state, the unclothed Empress will be seen for what she truly is: a highly competent rich person unfit to lead a political revolution.
Bernie Sanders is that leader. He’s shown tremendous bravery and courage in speaking truth to power. For decades. He’s been on the righteous side of history his entire career, from marching with Martin Luther King to picketing Verizon. Who else but this free-speaking Jew has spoken compassionately about the plight of Palestinians? He’s the rare politician who is utterly authentic and whose principles cannot be bought. The DNC can pull whatever money strings they wish, and CNN can report the facts or not, but they can’t stop tens-of-thousands from showing up for Bernie Sanders everywhere he appears, and they can’t stop those highly motivated citizens from voting. (That would be the GOP’s area of expertise.)
So allow us to attempt a semi-bluff of our own. [We might not be a lock as of this writing, but don’t be surprised if we drag the pot at the end of the hand.] Here’s what we think: It’s not technically over until the convention, but this race is over. Bernie Sanders will be the next President of the United States.
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