For the primary homestretch, the remaining primary states and superdelegates must not forget the Democratic Party’s modern history, nor its heritage of liberal achievement. The Clinton political strategy of centrism and triangulation is not what America needs in 2016.
Imagine if Franklin Roosevelt had campaigned for small, incremental change. If, instead of tackling the Great Depression head on with massive and ambitious government programs, he had argued that Social Security, the Works Progress Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Securities Act, and Glass-Steagall were unrealistic and pie-in-the-sky delusions of grandeur like Hillary Clinton says of Sanders’s ideas.
Imagine if John Kennedy thought the Peace Corps and an American moonshot were not worth trying.
Imagine if Lyndon Johnson had decided the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Medicare and Medicaid were too much too soon.
Imagine if Jimmy Carter had decided the government should not bother promoting education or energy with cabinet departments.
Imagine if Barack Obama gave up on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Dodd-Frank, and Obamacare because baby steps were more politically feasible than leaps.
Note that one Democratic president is missing from this list, and perhaps it is not surprising—given Hillary’s trouble securing the nomination—that many Democrats have soured on many of Bill Clinton’s legislative accomplishments, such as NAFTA and the 1994 crime bill.
The Democratic Party, Bill Clinton and his philosophy of New Democrats aside, has been the party of unashamed liberalism throughout modern American history. Not all Democratic Presidents’ legislative accomplishments have been glowing successes, but reread the preceding paragraphs and note how many of the past Democratic programs are still around today despite eternal opposition from the Republican Party.
Even more importantly, look at the accomplishments that are no longer in existence: the WPA, CCC, the most important parts of the Securities Act, Glass-Steagall, our once-epic space exploration commitments, the parts of the Voting Rights Act that kept Southern states from disenfranchising minority voters, etc. A quick study of American society today shows that we would do well to bring them back.
Election 2016 is a real test for the Democratic Party and its liberal soul. In the battles for liberalism, Hillary Clinton is a summer soldier. Recently she claimed the $15 minimum wage was unrealistic, but then lauded it’s passage in New York and California. She didn’t use to believe gay people should be allowed to be married, but she sure celebrates LGBT voting power this election.
Clinton has had a long political career, so some flip-flopping is to be expected, but in contrast there are videos circulating the internet of Sanders fighting for virtually every contemporary liberal ideal and policy throughout his entire career. Sanders is the wintertime soldier for liberalism that America needs, and he has been upsetting establishment Democratic politicians his entire career because of it. Meanwhile, Clinton may just be the runner-up behind Jeb Bush for the most-establishment presidential candidate in history.
Hillary Clinton is simply the right candidate at the wrong time. Bill Clinton and centrism were right for the ’90s because Democrats were in a generational retreat and could only win the White House with Southern, moderate candidates, but in 2016 Democrats are in ascension for a generation of Millennial loyalty. Democrats would be wasting a huge electoral opportunity in nominating a timid Democrat who is most comfortable in the center-right.
Most importantly, though, never forget #NeverTrump. Electability matters in 2016 because Trump egotistically does not realize that he is the type of person who should never be president. Clinton’s timidity makes her the perfect foil for Trump, and the narcissistic, wannabe fascist trust fund baby’s candidacy will easily capitalize on the fact that Hillary is so visibly self-conscious over the political positions to which she has only recently adapted.
Only Sanders, a relentlessly populist candidate confident in his democratic socialism, will be immune to the immaturity and unprofessionalism of Trump, and there are enough independents, Democrats and Republicans receptive to Sanders’s unceasing messages of equality and his trustworthiness to elect him by a massive landslide against Trump.
Bernie Sanders is the right candidate at the right time. He has introduced his brand of democratic socialism to a generation of Millennials eager for his proposed political revolution to salvage their sinking future economic and social hopes. The Democratic Party will win a lot of elections as the Millennial generation ages if Democrats only choose to embody the Millennial passion for equality.