Many red-blooded Americans are hyperventilating now that Bernie Sanders, an admitted socialist, is inching toward the Democratic nomination – especially since many polls show him beating President Trump in a head-to-head match-up. Well, all is not lost! Here's why.
First, Bernie is a long way from locking up the Democratic nomination. In Nevada, where he will apparently scoop up two-thirds of the delegates, he got only one-third of the first round votes. In national polls of Democrats, he's hovering around 30% support. The betting markets now give him about a 55% likelihood of being the party's nominee. All that's impressive, but it doesn't seal the deal by any stretch of the imagination.
Just a few short months ago, Elizabeth Warren was in a similarly strong position … and now she's seen as less likely than Hillary Clinton to get the nomination! Political realities can turn on a dime.
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Yes, Sanders benefits from the divided field and the numerous candidates trying to claim the mantle of the "moderate alternative" to Bernie-style socialism, but he's got a long way to go, and the criticism the Democratic establishment will hurl at him has only just begun. Bernie has myriad skeletons in his closet – he's got a very long record, after all, as most near-octogenarians do – but in the past frankly no one ever bothered to rummage through that closet, because he wasn't seen as a credible candidate for president but rather as a kindly old kook. Well, things are about to "get real" for Bernie and his "bros," and no one can predict how that will turn out. Consider, for instance, the fact that Mike Bloomberg is seemingly about to unleash an avalanche of anti-Bernie ads. That could change the dynamics of the race in a hurry.
Consider also that even if Bernie does become the Democratic nominee, this is not the end of the world. In fact, it could be the best news Trump supporters have had in a long time. That's because Bernie, as an unapologetic socialist/radical, ought to be a very weak general election candidate.
There's no question that Sanders would be disowned by many down-ballot Democrats and by thousands of establishment donors, organizers and officeholders. Bernie would almost certainly split the Democratic Party and cause diminished turnout among moderate Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who would otherwise like to defeat Donald Trump in 2020. He will forfeit a major portion of the Democrats' base, in other words, and this will help Trump to win the election. The Democrats' only hope, in fact, would be that a majority of voters hate Trump so much that they simply don't care who his opponent is. That didn't work in 2016, and it's unlikely to work in 2020.
Lastly, we should reflect on the fact that, even in the very worst-case scenario, i.e. the scenario in which Bernie Sanders becomes the 46th president of the United States, the creation of a Marxist tyranny, the redistribution of wealth, a government takeover of health care, etc. are by no means guaranteed.
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Even a President Sanders will be highly unlikely to accomplish and enact even as much as 10% of his radical agenda. If one takes "Medicare for All" as an example, as Amy Klobuchar has pointed out, that idea doesn't even command the support of most Democratic U.S. senators. It commands the support of zero Republicans – so simple math dictates that there is no chance whatsoever of Medicare for All being passed into law during a Sanders administration. Other parts of Bernie's agenda would run into similar problems.
Arguably, therefore, the main outcome of a Sanders presidency would be extreme frustration among his supporters, who would have expected a "revolution" and would have gotten next to nothing. Meanwhile, an unpopular President Sanders would hand Republicans a golden opportunity to make a political comeback in 2022 and 2024.
In the wake of that electoral comeuppance, my hope would be that "democratic socialism" would never be heard from again in America, although Marxism, which thrives in the diseased minds of tens of millions of leftists, certainly won't be extirpated overnight.
To make a long story short, my fellow conservatives and patriots, the rise of Bernie Sanders does not portend the destruction of all we hold dear. If we play our cards right, in fact, the fractures in the Democratic Party and the escalating radicalism of that party give us an excellent chance to win a solid victory in 2020 – and thereafter to split the Democrats down the middle, such that they may never pose a threat to our republic and our way of life again.
I, therefore, am optimistic, and you should be too.