Tuesday, June 07, 2016 12:10 PM
Poor Bernie! He’s done a great job of dragging the Democrats back to the socialist agenda that made FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s War On Poverty. If the Democrats aren’t all about social justice and social services, then they don’t really stand for anything. The centrist agenda that helped Hillary’s husband get elected may have been politically expedient, but it also hollowed out the core of what we’ve come to expect from the Democratic Party.
But Bernie’s done it—he’s forced Hillary to publicly advocate for a war on income inequality—leaving her with baggage she will find difficult to misplace, once elected. Still, I think it’s a mistake to assume that she’s done so unwillingly—anyone familiar with her early work, co-founding Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, and other initiatives, will recognize that she is happy for the opening that Sanders’ campaign afforded her. It wasn’t Hillary who spent the last two decades backing away from social programs and banking regulations—it was her entire party, going for the easy vote.
Had Hillary attempted to run on her present platform, without Sanders’ competition as a foil, she would have been branded a wild extremist. So, well done, Bernie. Though, to be fair, it is these last decades of centrist, business-friendly politics that have created a situation where people are ready for socialism’s resurgence, whether from Bernie or Hillary.
Now, the big problem is simply this: Bernie is a human being—and not just that, he’s an old man. He’s spent the last two years being cheered by throngs of adoring young people, championing justice for the little guy, fighting the good fight. It’s going to be very hard for him to just turn around and go home. He was so close. But be of good cheer, Bern-feelers—Hillary hasn’t promised as much, but I believe she will deliver on more of her promises than Bernie ever could. In the end, that will give you more of what you’re looking for, just not everything. The rest we can talk about in four years.