Look, I get it, we’re all dug into the trenches fighting Trump. And while the Resistance should keep on resisting, and should absolutely keep its eyes focused on stagnating and stalling Herr Orangefuckenfacen’s agenda, if the left-wing of American politics doesn’t do some soul searching and, yes, even have a nasty little squabble over how and why it lost the 2016 election to the tiny handed twatwaffle, then what exactly was the point of all that shit last year?
One narrative I keep hearing from what I consider the Hardcore Democrats, is that there’s just no way that Bernie Sanders could have beat Donald Trump. They point to the fact that Hillary won the popular vote by such a wide margin (true) and that Bernie couldn’t even beat Hillary in the primary (eh, we all know that wasn’t exactly a “fair and even” fight, but okay, true), and that he simply wasn’t attacked as viciously in the primary as he would have been by Trump et. all.
Oh, and of course, the most salient, erudite argument about how badly Sanders would have done…”SOSHULIZM!!!” Because you know, the country electing a D-List reality TV star doesn’t indicate that all the “norms” of prior years could be and should’ve been ignored. Here’s the thing that true blue, Hardcore Democrats need to realize — Hillary was a supremely qualified candidate. By all rights she should have won, and in any other country without arcane, stupid participation trophies called “the Electoral College,” she would be president right now. But she’s not, and she’s not because of a whole host of reasons, and while swing state voters may have been swayed by Russian propaganda, the left needs to be honest with itself about how poorly Hillary was received in many counties, regardless of Russian propaganda.
But you know what? This isn’t about Hillary anymore. It’s about the country. It’s about the direction we could have gone. It’s about the direction we should have gone. I voted for Hillary. I had no problem, at the end of it all, with four years of basically the status quo, because I knew the tumult and bullshit of the Trump Era would take years off our lives literally and figuratively with all the programs now on the chopping on the block. Again, though, I’m not writing right now about Hillary Clinton.
I’m here to tell you that Bernie Sanders is the most popular Senator in the country. It’s true. As reported in The Hill, a polling company recently conducted a survey in all fifty states, and lo and behold the guy with the biggest approval rating? That socialist guy everyone is convinced couldn’t carry the Rust Belt.
The Morning Consult poll showed a 75 percent approval rating for the Vermont senator. Sanders, who lost the Democratic presidential primary to Hillary Clinton last year, has remained popular. He is now a vocal critic President Donald Trump. (source)
Why does it matter, some of you will ask. Why does it matter for us to re-hash this? Because, y’all, you have to figure out where the country is headed in politics, not just where it’s been. People woke up last year to the fact that they were angry, wanted change, and weren’t really given many options for change by the two major parties. So a lot of desperate, sad, poorly informed people bought a sales pitch from a lifelong conman, and elected Donald Trump.
If Bernie Sanders has a 75% approval rating right now, that means one thing — his message resonates. Maybe people disagree with how much of his goals could have been accomplished, but people want the Bernie Way. So this is important because it should embolden Berniecrats. It should show them that if they speak with the same earnest passion for fiscal equality and economic compassion for the poor and working class, they can win.
All fifty states — you know, the states that vote in the presidential election? — approve of Senator Sanders the most. I’m not saying that means every person in Podunk, Iowa loves Sanders, or even a majority. I’m not saying this poll means Sanders would’ve won in a landslide. I am suggesting, because it’s self-fucking-evident, that he had a pretty good shot at it, if he had been on the ballot against Trump.
The country should light up now with little hot spots of Berniedom. The poll hit all fifty states and checked in on almost 100,000 people per state. It’s hard to get a snapshot of any political movement these days, but it just makes sense if you think about. Trump is sort of the polar opposite of Bernie, but still pitching the big overall theme of systemic change, and handing power back to the people.
Of course, Bernie wanted to give the power back to the people by way of dislodging corporations from the driver’s seat of government, and Trump wants to do the opposite. But that doesn’t mean that people desperate for real, honest change wouldn’t have gone with Bernie. He won the Kansas primary convincingly. That state was not part of Hillary’s southern firewall. It shows that even in the heartland, the word “socialism” isn’t as scary as the phrase, “You have no jobs and no prospects, so enjoy dying poor, Taker.”
The bottom line is that shit is important because you cannot move forward until you figure out what’s in your way. Currently, the Democrats need to have a come to Jesus moment with themselves and figure out how to inspire the people that Sanders invigorated to go with them. I’m tired of hearing, “But, but he’s not a REAL Democrat,” because that kind of thinking is EXACTLY one of the reasons you lost last year.
Democrats need to see every voter as a potential anti-Trump vote. They can turn that dream into a reality by embracing the sea change this country is going through. Maybe Bernie would have won, maybe he wouldn’t have. But this entire notion of he “couldn’t” should be put to rest, because clearly he could have. There are very powerful forces that have a vested interest in convincing us otherwise, but polls like these confirm the truth, and not just bullshit, partisan spin.
So take this with however big a grain of salt you want, but, to me the shortest path to taking back Congress and the White House starts with embracing Berniecrats. It starts with admitting that the wrong candidate, no matter how qualified may have been put up there, but even if you don’t subscribe to the “wrong” candidate theory, you have to admit, in the clear light of day, that there were, contrary to what the Dems told, us more, completely electable options on the table.
…and one of those options is now the most popular Senator in the country. So…tell me again how he couldn’t beat Trump.
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.