Dear Lefty friends,
Underlying the MSM coverage of Bernie Sanders’ run for Prez will be a steady drumbeat of “but of course he can’t win.” Please DO NOT go around repeating that. Here’s why: 1) the goal is a left polity in the US, not a savior who fixes everything for us. This is a decades-long process, involving hearts and minds, not just an election or two. The real question you should raise is what might his candidacy do for that longer project? 2) The MSM’S focus on their perceptions of electability has long had an enormous self-fulfilling prophecy effect, horribly narrowing the range of debate in the country and alienating people from politics altogether. Do not help them with that. 3) Bernie’s strategy is based on the assumption that there are lots of folks who don’t vote and/or often vote Republican who might vote for him. And he’s shown some success: in 2004 he did better than John Kerry in Vermont, which meant there were people voting for George W. Bush and Bernie Sanders at the same time; he’s co-sponsored successful legislation with Republicans (e.g., John McCain); and he’s admired by groups often thought of as “natural” conservatives like veterans. Point-for-point almost all his policy positions poll very favorably with a majority of US citizens. Don’t laugh at that.
So just put the electability question aside, and get involved in the long game for hearts and minds. We don’t know whether or not he’s electable but we do know that if we all shrug and say he’s not, we’re just helping to ensure that he, and we, will lose.