Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Bernie Sanders Phenomenon

"For many, the American dream has become a nightmare." - Bernie Sanders, US Senator and a presidential candidate

Bernie Sanders, the  US Senator from Vermont, became a political super-star early on after announcing his candidacy for the presidency. The septuagenarian who was born in Brooklyn managed to mobilize mass support of a rather diverse electorate, but most importantly, the support of millions of young voters whose future right now looks more uncertain than ever. 

Bernie's base consists mostly of grassroots networks working tirelessly to rise funds for the Senator and to popularize his candidacy. He has a populist appeal and his rallies attract large crowds that compare in numbers to the crowds rallying for the Republican maverick candidate, Donal Trump.

"As President, I will: make tuition free at public colleges and universities, lower student loan interest rates for current and future borrowers, ensure all children have access to a quality education by fighting to ensure equal access to educational resources, and make childcare and pre-K universal and affordable." - Bernie Sanders

The populism of Sanders and Trump is nourished by the deep suspicion and distrust for the political "ruling class," the corporate world, and the often biased media. The system is, or at least appears to be, rigged. People demand change.

"Citizens in a democracy need diverse sources of news and information." - Bernie Sanders

No wonder that Sanders came up like a rising super-star. His political and philosophical views quickly attracted masses of disgruntled voters. 

"Finland is no utopia." - Bernie Sanders

Running against a candidate who personifies all that is wrong in American politics today, Sanders did rather well in presidential democratic debates and managed to win a few states, but his loss against Hilary Clinton in New York shook his campaign violently. Although no announcement has been made yet, Sanders might be dropping out of the race. Pennsylvania will probably deliver the final blow.

But did Sanders ever have a chance in the race for the White House? 

Bernie Sanders' supporters strongly believe that he could and should become the next president of the United States. I, on the other hand, do not think that he would ever get the Democratic Party's nomination even if he were winning over Clinton. His seemingly Marxist views, but above all, his strong and genuine belief in social justice, have won him populist support, but would never win over the hearts of the Democratic National Committee whose eyes and minds are lovingly fixed on Hilary Clinton. She probably will become the first female president and, as a part of establishment, she will perpetuate a system that is concerned with its own survival and preservation.

For the same reason, no matter how popular, Donald Trump might not receive his nomination from the Republican Party. Too much "revolution" was never a good thing.

By Dominique Allmon


Image source unknown but greatly appreciated