Sanders continues to turn the tide with win in New Hampshire
Ever since Bernie Sanders emerged as a challenger to the coronation of Hillary Clinton, the conventional wisdom has been that he's not electable, and she is. Hillary would be the nominee because Trump was going to be the nominee, and running someone as radical as Bernie would be suicide.
After Sanders' stunning win in New Hampshire, the election calculation seems to be swinging in Sanders' favor. Not only is Sanders "electable," he is MORE electable than Clinton. I have a demographic breakdown but as Mara Liason said on NPR, "demographics are not destiny." Sanders did not win every group in New Hampshire because of demographic advantages. He won because he is truly, passionately outraged by the concentration of wealth in the United States -- a level not seen since the eve of the 1929 crash -- and he offers a radical prescription to change the way the country is organized. A Second New Deal, if you will.
This must be understood. In many ways, the country strongly resembles America in the late 1920's. We averted plunging into full Great Depression in 2008 but structurally nothig changed and the concentration of wealth continues. Just as with Trump's anger -- he doesn't merely understand conservatives' anger, he is angry -- Bernie doesn't merely understand the frustration and desire for hope among young people and the middle class, he feels it viscerallly himself. He is personally outraged at the corruption, at the role of money, at the fact that Wall Street is allowed to continue on its merry way, that income inequality continues to rise, that education is out of reach for many, and that schools are a pipeline to jail.
Clinton is the epitome of that corruption: earning hundreds of thousands of dollars for Wall Street speeches, sitting on top of millions of dollars of the Clinton Foundation. And, with her her secret email server and her Clinton-esque parsing of what "classified" actually means, she appears disingenuous, actually dishonest.
Sanders more trustworthy, and "unstoppable"
What happened in New Hampshire changes the mainstream view of Bernie. He is, according to no less than Chris Matthews, "unstoppable." Mike Klinger, who runs a Sanders activist Facebook group, writes: "The base of the entire democratic party is shaking at its foundation. With no exception, every political leader across both isles is now impacted by Bernie's vision. He's influencing their speeches, ideas, even their agendas." With the under 40 vote all but lost, Clinton is hanging all hope on minority voters in the South, the voters who were so important to Obama's victories. But Hillary is no Obama, and her giant lead with African Americans appears to be slipping in South Carolina.
When Trump is appealing to nationalism and jingoism, Hillary will only be able to offer a steady hand on the rudder of what feels like a rudderless, or at least unfair ship of state. Many voters don't want that and many Bernie supporters will stay home, even in a Clinton-Trump matchup. She might still win. She probably will. But, this moment calls for a showdown between a messenger of fairness and equality on the one hand and aggressive, fear-based negativity on the other. Neither force wants that competent but untrustworthy captain of state at the helm. #Donald Trump #Election 2016