(Jerusalem, Israel) — Can an avowed socialist win the Democratic presidential nomination? The latest polls say yes.
- “SANDERS CEMENTS FRONT-RUNNER STATUS AFTER NEW HAMPSHIRE WIN,” reports the Morning Consult poll.
- After winning the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has “opened up a double-digit lead over former Vice President Joe Biden,” notes the poll. Sanders is now “the first choice for 29 percent of Democratic primary voters, up 4 percentage points since polling conducted Feb. 4-9. Biden’s support fell 3 points during that time to 19 percent.”
A growing number of top Democratic strategists also say yes.
And they’re terrified, especially since a recent CNN analysis indicated Sanders’ economic proposals could cost $60 trillion, “an expansion of government’s cost and size unprecedented since World War II.”
- “There’s a certain part of the Democratic party that wants us to be a cult. I’m not interested in being a cult. Some people in this country want a revolution. They want disruption. They scream at people and bully people. And I don’t know how you win an election — 78 years old, screaming in a microphone about a revolution — but you gotta give people an alternative….If we [Democrats] go the way of the British Labour Party, if we nominate Jeremy Corbyn, it’s going to be the end of days,” — James Carville, former chief political strategist for President Bill Clinton.
- When Sanders responded by calling Carville “a political hack,” Carville replied, “At least I’m not a communist.”
- “The issue of that campaign — it is that word — socialism. Some people like it — younger people like it — those of us like me, who grew up in the cold war and saw some aspects of it after visiting places like Vietnam like I have and seeing countries like Cuba being there I’ve seen what socialism is like, I don’t like it. OK — it’s not only not free, it doesn’t frickin’ work.” — Chris Matthews, MSNBC host of “Hardball” who used to work for a Democrat Speaker of the House.
- “Most Democrats running don’t subscribe to Bernie Sanders’s democratic socialism and his economic policies. Ultimately, Bernie Sanders…will appeal to his base and no one else, and it gives fodder to Trump and the Republicans.” — Mary Anne Marsh, a Democratic strategist who worked for Senators John Kerry and Edward M. Kennedy.
Sanders is not even a member of the Democratic Party. He’s actually a registered Independent. And he is not shrinking back from the “socialist” label — he’s proud of it, even as he openly calls for “political revolution” in America.
- “We have to talk about democratic socialism as an alternative to unfettered capitalism, where the rich get richer and almost everybody else is getting poorer,” Sanders recently told The Nation, a socialist magazine. “I think that’s a message that young people are receptive to, and I think it’s a message that working people are receptive to.”
- “Let me be clear, I do understand that I and other progressives will face massive attacks from those who attempt to use the word ‘socialism’ as a slur,” Sanders recently told a crowd in New Hampshire. “But I should tell you that I have faced and overcome these attacks for decades, and I am not the only one.”
- “To bring about real change, we need a political revolution where millions of people stand up, fight, and demand a government which works for all of us — not just the 1%,” Sanders said in June 2019. “And that is what my campaign is all about.”
So, can Sanders really will win the Democratic nomination? It’s too early to say. But he’s creating a political earthquake in the United States that certainly bears watching.
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