The odds that Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., will be the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee significantly increased on Saturday after the Nevada Caucus.
Sanders took 46 percent of the county delegates and 40 percent of the vote in a crowded field to score an overwhelming victory over second-place Joe Biden, who earned 20 percent of the county delegates and 19 percent of the vote.
If you add that to Sanders’ successes in Iowa and New Hampshire, the Vermont self-proclaimed “socialist” is looking very strong.
How does this happen? How does a socialist with views outside of the historical mainstream of America find himself as the party’s presidential frontrunner?
If you look at what you see on TV in politics, it makes sense. It is professional wrestling — an event for show that has less to do with the day-to-day activities inside the Capital Beltway, and more to do with winning elections.
Democrats are not the only ones susceptible to this phenomenon. Republicans do it as well.
For more than a decade, elected Democrats have touted a socialist model for the economy that demonized capitalism and highlighted deficiencies in healthcare, education and income, etc.
Perhaps some of them are true believers, but for the most part, it was used to win elections and score points in the court of public opinion for the Democratic Party.
Take student loan forgiveness, for example. It sounds like a fantastic proposition for some, and many would vote for the candidate promoting that policy.
Could it happen, even if Sanders or Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., got elected?
Probably not. It could not get through Congress. Even if the right candidate were elected, and it passed the U.S. House of Representatives, such a controversial massive spending proposal could not make it through the U.S. Senate, at least without ending the filibuster rule.
There would likely be electoral consequences for members of Congress who supported the measure. Would they be willing to “walk the plank” for student loan forgiveness, and give up all of the perks of being a member of that exclusive club?
Keep in mind, 10 years have passed since the federal government last successfully enacted landmark legislation — not since enacting the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, in 2010.
Yet, Democrats continue to tout the virtues of far-left ideas like the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, reparations and decriminalizing illegal immigration, etc.
At some point, the people voting for these policies year after year after year get frustrated they have not seen any results.
Hence, you have a push further and further to the left. That is how Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., got elected. Constituents in New York’s 14th congressional district got tired of the promises from the Democratic Party and voted out her predecessor Joe Crowley.
A similar phenomenon is happening in the 2020 presidential election cycle, and it is not unlike 2016 and the Republican Party’s presidential primary.
In 2016, Republican voters sent a message to the party’s establishment: We did it your way with John McCain and Mitt Romney. We still lost to Barack Obama. It is time for something different.
In 2020, Democrat voters in the early primary states have said: We did it your way with Hillary Clinton and all of the promises of a fairer society. Where are the results?
The natural reaction of Democratic voters is to go in a different direction away from what the so-called party elites are saying.
Bottom line: Democrats benefited from hyped-up rhetoric and promise of hope and change. If nothing changes, then Democrats should have expected an ideologue like Sanders to be successful.
If Sanders is nominated, or if the Democratic Party takes measures to prevent his nomination at its convention this summer, President Donald Trump will be a solid favorite to win re-election.
After five years of telling us how terrible of a candidate Trump would be for the country, the only show of success Democrats may have is winning one chamber of the legislative branch, which came in 2018.
Will that go over well? Not likely. It will not be just the voters who are fed up with Democrats; there are also the financiers of the Democratic Party. For all that the Democratic Party touts being the party of the poor, it has very wealthy people backing it, writing checks for campaigns, etc.
If the money dries up for the current leadership, expect changes. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., are not where they are because they are the beneficiaries of a popularity contest decided by the colleagues.
They are where they are because they can raise money for Democratic candidates. Mainly, they go to members of their respective caucuses and say, “If you support me for leader, I will fundraise for your re-elections.”
If, for whatever reason, you were a wealthy Democratic Party contributor and your party got wiped out by Trump, would you keep writing a check to the same leadership regime?
For years, Democrats were able to successfully ride the wave of promising changes for the better based on an ideology that has been demonstrably unsuccessful throughout the last several hundred years. They overpromise and underdeliver.
That’s why they will get Bernie Sanders.
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