In following the primary campaign of Bernie Sanders I’m surprised by the sheer number of reasonably intelligent people who actually believe that Sanders will win and be the democratic nominee. To say he will become the nominee is laughable, and to claim he has a chance was just as delusional as saying Ron Paul in the 2012 primary season was going to be the nominee. And yet people want to believe this is possible so badly (finally a candidate I believe in!!!) that they’ve weaved themselves in this fake world believing that if X, Y, and Z happen in just the right sequence “sure… yes this is possible!” A probability 0 event is possible, that does not mean it’ll ever happen.
This is all one big self-perpetuating lie
So here’s the deal. Everyone wants everyone else to believe Sanders has a shot. That’s because you need a lot of people to vote for this guy in order to change the Democratic Party to get his policies down the road. In order to do that, you need to swing independents. Well, believe it or not people in this country actually do care about ‘picking the winner’ and choosing the ‘lesser of two evils’. Additionally, most people know that Sanders cannot win, but they don’t want to admit it. If you admit that Sanders can’t win, and your friends who support him start to believe that, then they won’t campaign for him. The less campaigning you do for this guy the less popular support he gets, the less likely his policy platform gets carried over to the next cycle.
Therefore, to support Sanders is to engage in one big cognitive dissonance experiment. He will never win, but you try to convince yourself that it’s possible so that you can trick other people into supporting him. By doing so you hope to get your policies to ‘infect’ the existing status quo. And so the cycle goes. Still don’t believe that this is actually happening? Well, feast your eyes friends.
This phenomena seems awfully familiar. Any clues who did this last cycle?
Bernie Sanders is simply a ‘liberal’ Ron Paul
The Bernie Sanders campaign is so similar to Ron Paul that it feels like plagiarism to draw the comparison. Both are ideological purists (sanders is a democratic socialist, Paul is a pureblood libertarian). Both of these candidates are polling well in the most out of touch states in the Union (Iowa and New Hampshire). Both candidates are older (by about a decade) than their nearest competitors and have a storied history of being a pure ideological light fighting back against the Federal Government’s supposed corruption and selfishness. They are both old and have voting records which are relatively pure of any… ‘opportunism’.
But most importantly, both do really well with young voters (and thus the internet), and their campaigns have a dramatic fall from grace after the first primary. Look, it’s a long road, with a lot of states in the union who are not as interested in raising up the craziest candidates on the ticket. Does anyone actually remember that our favored religious zealot, you know, the guy who’d like to see America turn into a Christian Iran won the popular vote from Iowa last cycle? Yep, that was Santorum.
Look, I disagree with roughly 80% of Bernie Sander’s platform and policies. I have a strong distaste for unions, for giving people free college, for subsidizing stupidity, and for treating the government like a cultural oppression machine. But I’ll be the first to admit that having Sanders on the ticket, whose only competitor is Clinton (rather than Ron Paul who had like 7 other people to compete with) is probably the healthiest thing to happen to the political dialogue of this country in a long time.
I want ideologues to start challenging the assumptions of the very government we have set up. I want people to begin questioning the very axioms we use to justify capitalism, universal rights, the purpose of government, and everything else. I want this to happen because I think it makes people be more honest and open about what they actually believe, rather than picking from Candidate A or B, where the only difference between them is the color of their ‘god bless America’ pin.
But most importantly, I want people to think; just for a second, before they vote. So while Bernie Sanders will definitely lose, he’ll draw it out as long as he can; forcing the media to cover his proposals and arguments for the future of global government. Thanks Bernie, you make politics interesting again; even if you won’t admit that you’re going to lose… hard. (You can hold me to this prediction)