The 2016 presidential election marked a low point for the Democratic Party as they chose to nominate someone who was ill-prepared to take on a political neophyte in Donald Trump. Moreover, they had someone who had a good chance of beating him, but they didn’t see far enough into the future to realize the radical ideology of Bernie Sanders would inexplicably gain popularity among their base.
Now, he faces a different type of opposition from the Democratic establishment that stole the nomination from him in 2016. They’re okay with the ideology now, but there are newer models sitting on the showroom floor ready for them to take for a spin. As a result, they’re going to try to destroy him. Again.
On a personal level, I actually like Sanders. He’s the type of guy I could imagine having a cup of coffee with while we debate the merits of capitalism versus socialism. His views are far askew from mine, but at least he seems reasonable enough to not bore me to death with progressive platitudes. I can’t say the same for the revolutionaries he spawned. But those revolutionaries, better known as the majority of Democratic president candidates, are going to do everything they can to prop up his legacy while tearing down his reality.
They like what he started, but they want him to move along and be their spirit guide instead of their competitor. Unfortunately for Sanders and his still-substantial fan base, the Establishment is going to side with these competitors unless he’s able to wipe them out early. To do this, he’ll need to start making allies, something he failed to do in the 2016 election until it was too late.
Sanders is among the four candidates who would give President Trump the most trouble in the general election, but he also represents one of two people who would change the dynamic of the President’s attacks. The other is former Vice President Joe Biden. These two older white males going up against another older white male would allow ideology and likability to be the primary components of the general election instead of allowing race or sex to be the issues.
Again, this is a negative in the minds of the Democratic power-brokers. They don’t want to go head-to-head with President Trump by throwing up another older white male in the general election. They want someone young, racially diverse, and hopefully a woman. In that scenario, they think they have the best chance of winning.
Bernie Sanders can overcome this, but he’ll need to do so by communicating directly with other candidates as soon as the real challengers emerge when the pre-Iowa polls come out. He must start off with a large lead or he’ll get pushed aside quickly. His best bet is to start making unofficial offers behind closed doors. Attorney General Kamala Harris. Vice President Amy Klobuchar. Secretary of State Howard Schultz. Something like that.
Before anyone pounces, no, I’m not hoping Sanders wins the general election. He wouldn’t be my favorite choice to take on President Trump, either. But I believe he’s a decent person, which is more than I can say about other Democratic candidates.