"Feel The Bern Luke, Feel The Bern," How Sanders Wins By Losing
"You can't win Darth, If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."
Can Bernie Win By Losing?
Turn out the lights, one of the most amazing and improbable campaigns is pretty much guaranteed to end the race without crossing the finish line with the Democratic Nomination for POTUS.
I was pretty public about my support for Bernie, writing THIS piece on why I decided to pick Bernie over HRC. So, I am pretty bummed about the recent turn of events. At the same time, I have always been a pragmatist, so I am not raining down my hatred on HRC in a "damn the torpedoes" fashion (because I know the alternative to HRC is worse, much worse).
And trust me, I get it, for many progressives, it was the always bend but never entirely break pragmatism (cynicism) that turned you off to politics in the first place. I get that many people are tired of compromise and tired of Democrats kowtowing to the notion that "Liberal" is a dirty word (in fact, "Progressive" started being used explicitly to replace "Liberal" as a euphemism because it became such a toxic word in public discourse in the 90's).
The damnable truth is that our system was set up to ensure compromise, it has only been through herculean shenanigans that the GOP has been able to muck up the works for the last 7 years (I could explain this in much more detail, but at this point we all know the story). Most likely, as much as many of you hate HRC, she will get a great deal done in the next four years mostly through knowing the corridors of power (corruption) and compromise better than everyone else. As much as I would prefer Bernie, and loathe some of Hillary's policy positions, she is a better choice than Cruz or DJT.
One thing might make her even better, a reinvigorated Jedi Master named Bernie Sanders.
Make Washington "Feel The Bern"
It is possible if this is done right, that Bernie could force more LIBERAL reform by losing the White House than he ever could have forced by being President.
By using "THE MOVEMENT" dudes, you know, by using Bernie's "Revolution."
When Bernie first started talking about how he was going to be the medium through which his supporters forced radical changes in Washington, I was pretty skeptical. Not because people can't make a difference but because people usually lose momentum after elections.
Obama tried the same thing almost every year after his SOU speeches, he would go on a tour of the country to drum up public support and public pressure in the service of helping him enact his agenda. But here is the problem, while lots of people hear a President, he or she has to serve a million Masters and often does not have the resources to whip up direct action once he or she leaves the podium.
I have always been skeptical of the idea that Bernie could keep his coalition together after the election, but he has millions of young voters who love him and feel disenfranchised and bitter, he can use that bitterness for good.
In other words, what if I was wrong and Bernie really can keep his movement together after losing?
Once he is out of the race, Bernie can spend all of his time keeping his coalition together and using it as a hammer to pressure whoever gets in the way of the real LIBERAL agenda. If Hillary starts to cave on bank reform, jam the switchboards. If some GOP Congressmen threatens to block something important, have hundreds of thousands outside their state and national offices.
Bernie can become a total nightmare to the incrementalists.
By losing Bernie could truly become the most powerful force in American Politics because unlike the Sean Hannity's and Rush Limbaugh's of the world, the people who love him are young and idealistic (not old, racist, and cynical).
Demographics are moving rapidly towards Bernie's coalition and away from everyone else. And by remaining an outsider he can maintain the ideological purity necessary to keep his movement together and focused on true radical reform.
As shocking as this sounds, Bernie might truly be able to shape the future just by continuing to lead his movement. For his ally is the force.
Can Bernie become more powerful by losing? What are your (polite) thoughts about what is happening on the Democratic side of the Presidential race, let me know your thoughts, leave a comment!