Socialist Bernie Sanders won the Nevada caucus — his second consecutive win — by an impressive margin. However, serious issues remain for the Vermont Senator. Sanders’ victory in the Nevada caucus did not come as a surprise. Consequently, all major networks announced him the winner unusually early on Saturday evening. Afterward, Sanders addressed his supporters from Texas.
Sanders Promises ‘Justice’ Against Trump’s ‘Lies and Corruption’
What the Sanders fans heard was a confident victory speech that sounded as if Sanders genuinely believed he had quasi-obtained the nomination, ready to challenge President Trump. His speech once again utilized all the talking points even Sanders’ opponents should now know out off the top of their heads. In a nutshell, Sanders considers his campaign as different, superior to those of his competitors. His “grassroots movement,” he calls it, was ready, focused, and determined to change America – with Sanders as their representative, a man of the people.
And as the man of the people, it was up to Sanders to stop President Trump his “lies and corruption” against America and combat it with “justice,” economically, socially, racially and ecologically. While Trump — according to Sanders — divides people by skin color, place of birth, religion and sexual orientation, Sanders was doing the opposite: bringing people together – which is an interesting choice of words considered he has been alienating half of Democratic voters with his constant criticisms of other candidates and socialist views.
Sanders’ Silly Socialist Platform
In the world of Bernie Sanders and his supporters, including the Bernie Bros, the election against Trump can be won with a program that could have been written by Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. There are, for one, Sanders’ demands for a $15 an hour minimum wage (i.e., an increase of over 100 percent), additional teachers who ought to earn at least $60,000 a year, tuition-free universities, financial transaction tax and a severe restriction of the pharma industry. Moreover, and arguably Sanders’ most ambitious idea, Medicare for all, including illegal aliens.
When asked how exactly he seeks to get these plans done, Sanders’ answer remains constant: by taxing the rich. Accusations that the math in his plan was not only detrimental but unrealistic are being ignored by Sanders, in part because he cannot concede the fact that merely taxing the rich cannot suffice and that he would need to raise taxes significantly for everyone.
What if Sanders Becomes President?
Even if Sanders was to achieve the impossible, obtain the Democratic nominee first and beat Donald Trump on November 3, he might be limited to govern via executive orders, which would restrict his impact significantly. For his major projects, he would nonetheless need congressional approval. The latter is inconceivable as his ideas do not even command a Democratic majority either in the House or the Senate.
In particular, Sanders’ ideal of Medicare for all is almost impossible to realize. Only recently, a union for the major Nevada hospitality industry vocalized against Sanders’ plans. Some unions, such as those of the firefighters, have negotiated good additional contracts for their people with the insurance companies, and rightly fear that they will lose them in the single payer system Sanders envisioned. No Democrat who is interested in maintaining his seat would thus stand with Sanders and deprive their voters of their healthcare plan.
Sanders is Surging
Nonetheless, Sanders’ victory in Nevada is an extraordinary triumph. It will be seen next Saturday whether he can transport his winning streak to South Carolina where about 60 percent of the democratic voters are African-American. In the polls, however, Joe Biden commands a slim lead in what has become a do-or-die scenario for the former VP.
It will not get any easier for Sanders moving forward. He, just like Trump, is serving his base. In Sanders’ case, it is a base he has yet to sufficiently condemn for their aggressive and apoplectic attitude to anyone not called Sanders. Their obsession goes that far that many supporters are already stating that a Sanders loss would undoubtedly be a rigged election. These are words as one heard them in 2016 from the Trump team. The “rigged” narrative, as well as the ideology raise moreover, doubts whether Sanders would encourage his supporters to either vote for Biden or Bloomberg if he failed. Sanders also has also not been high on transparency — another parallel to Donald Trump. Questions regarding his health are shut down, and despite earlier promises, he will not publish his medical record.
Non-Socialist Democrats are Rooting Against Sanders
All these points add to the resentment his own party has developed against Sanders. In fact, all non-socialist Democrats are currently rooting against Sanders. For many of them, a Sanders ticket could result in defeats and loss of their congressional seats and, in turn, the possibility of Republicans regaining power in the House. For the Democrats, there is thus more at stake than losing another general election.
The more Sanders emerges as a favorite, the more the attacks will come in. In the recent debate last Wednesday, Sanders had been fortunate that the candidates pounced primarily on Bloomberg. Today in South Carolina, it will be different – except for shadow VP Warren.
And Sanders himself has provided new ammunition. In a 60-Minute interview with Anderson Cooper, he defended Fidel Castro. Rightfully, all his opponents have already reacted and launched their first attacks on social media. Besides his traditional amicable stance on communist regimes, however, Sanders offers plenty of additional attack angles for the reasons mentioned above, and the rest of the field is about to take full advantage of that.