Last night’s Iowa primary was a wild ride as befit the first official vote in this extraordinary year.
Even though cable news awarded the win to Clinton, the clearness of victory most certainly remains questionable and must be bitter-sweet for the once presumptive nominee.
Establishment pundits on the same cable networks still insist Bernie doesn’t stand a chance against Hillary when minorities are factored in, but his long-time supporters know how compelling his arguments are among almost any demographic once he is able to reach them on their home turf.
Conventional wisdom treats minorities as monolithic voting blocs, likely to herd in one accustomed direction. When you think about it, that’s a pretty demeaning assumption. If we are learning anything from this election cycle, it is the folly that lies in making assumptions.
The only question is whether there is sufficient time left for Bernie to make contact with all those voters in crucial southern states who are just now becoming familiar with his name.
I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that Bernie is likely to get his revolution in the long run, if his support among young people is anything to go by.
Last night was far more of a moral victory for Bernie Sanders than it was for Hillary Clinton.
With Iowa, he has already proven that, even after Citizens United, a principled candidate relying solely on small donations can still be viable against the kind of money Hillary Clinton is able to summon from establishment and corporate interests.
It must be hugely gratifying for a man who has devoted his long political career to fighting for the little guy, often suffering ridicule for his idealism.
There is an overarching theme of populism driving both the Democratic and Republican primary races. Make no mistake though; while some glib pundits suggest they are drawing from the same pool of discontent, the theme plays in a wildly different key on either side of the two party divide. Suggestions, by the same pundits, that Bernie supporters could ultimately be recruited by Trump in the event of a Hillary nomination, demonstrate how clueless the mainstream media is about the values of Bernie voters. This is hardly surprising when you consider how little attention they paid to his candidacy throughout the summer and fall.
Bernie Sanders’ revolutionary message appeals to our evolved and ‘better’ selves, while that of Donald Trump appeals to the primitive and selfish id, which instinctively responds with an adrenaline rush to fear and prejudice.
The same kind of anti-minority, nationalistic drum-beat that recruited God-fearing German citizens to join Hitler’s brownshirts is calling the extreme right flank of the Republican party to renounce the traditional American values of personal liberty, tolerance and generosity that underly our constitution.
No matter who ends up the Democratic nominee, to imagine Bernie’s followers could ever fall-in behind Donald Trump is truly laughable.