It might have something to do with ‘Authenticity’ and staying true to ideas that resonate with everyday people
“No poll conducted changed Bernie’s position on anything. Bernie Sanders is a true champion of the people.”
By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News
Posted April 14th, 2017 on Niagara At Large
He is a self-described Democratic Socialist who is 75 years old.
He is not supposed to be the most popular politician in America, but he is.
He is not just loved by his natural base, the old left. He is the most popular politician with young people.
Establishment Democrats dismissed him as too radical. They ignored the voters and the polls that showed he was more popular than Hillary Clinton and would have beaten Donald Trump by more than she was expected to.
Their fear had some logic in the beginning. How could a socialist win in the United States? As time went on, however, all the signs were there that he was what the country was looking for. The insiders thought they knew better. Only a few super delegates didn’t support Hillary Clinton.
Poll after poll showed that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were the most unpopular candidates running for president. A political science freshman could have told you that both candidates had too much baggage. I will acknowledge that some of the baggage Clinton was carrying was unfair, but it was still there.
What is it about Bernie Sanders that makes him so popular? Authenticity. Bernie had some talented people around him. Tad Devine and his crew put together great advertisements, but their job was made easier by having a candidate who just had to be himself. Bernie doesn’t need a team of handlers and speechwriters to craft his message. His staff only has to amplify the message that Bernie has been pushing for 30 years.
It took Devine months to convince Sanders that they needed a pollster at all. No poll conducted changed Bernie’s position on anything. Bernie Sanders is a true champion of the people.
The American people are tired of business as usual. That’s what led to Trump’s victory and it remains a factor is Bernie’s popularity. People believe that Bernie will fight for them and not for big money donors. Not taking money from super PACs is another draw to Sanders. People know he isn’t bought and paid for.
Many of us agree with him on the issues, from health care to a living wage to eliminating student debt. With Bernie, though, even those who don’t agree with him respect him. They trust that he has the right motives, even if they disagree with his proposals. They know he will fight for them.
The pundits are wrong to dismiss Bernie’s support as young people’s idealism. I followed Bernie before the rise in the polls. In the beginning, his crowds were not young people. Young people came as they heard his message because it was the message that activists have been organizing around for decades. The country was ready for Bernie; it was the Democratic Party establishment that was not.
It seems that many in the Democratic Party establishment understand that their base is ready for Bernie’s message. That is why Bernie is hitting the road with newly elected party chair Tom Perez. The closeness of the party leader election showed that Sanders was close to taking control of the party.
Many in the party point to Bernie not being a registered Democrat as their reason for opposing him. But his independence is one of the reasons people like him. There are more Americans registered as independent than as Democrat or Republican. Trump won because he wasn’t politics as usual. That is why Bernie is so popular. Democrats must understand that the American people are tired of establishment politics and are ready for bold ideas
Scott Galindez, the author of this post, attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador’s slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush’s first stolen election. Scott moved to Des Moines in 2015 to cover the Iowa Caucus.
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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders