Sen. Bernie Sanders had one message for the Democratic Party. Instead of being the establishment, Democrats need to take on the corporations and billionaires.
Sen. Sanders said that few took his candidacy seriously when his campaign launched four months ago, but it is fair to say that a lot has changed in the last few months. Sanders said that he is drawing young people and working people who have not previously been involved in the political process. He said that the campaign has received more individual donations than any other candidate with an average donation of $31.21. He said, “This is a people’s campaign.”
Bernie Sanders delivered a wake-up call to Democrats about enthusiasm:
The Republicans did not win the mid-term election in November. The Democrats lost that election because voter turnout was abysmally low, and millions of working people, minorities and young people gave up on “politics as usual” and stayed home.
Let me be very clear. In my view, Democrats will not retain the White House, will not regain the Senate, will not gain the House and will not be successful in dozens of governor’s races unless we run a campaign which generates excitement and momentum and which produces a huge voter turnout.
With all due respect, and I do not mean to insult anyone here, that will not happen with politics as usual. The same old, same old will not be successful.
The people of our country understand that — given the collapse of the American middle class and the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality we are experiencing — we do not need more establishment politics or establishment economics.
We need a political movement which is prepared to take on the billionaire class and create a government which represents all Americans, and not just corporate America and wealthy campaign donors.
In other words, we need a movement which takes on the economic and political establishment, not one which is part of it.
Sen. Sanders hit on the biggest fear of some Democrats who are concerned that the party won’t be able to generate the kind of enthusiasm that will be needed to keep the White House, and take back the Senate.
Sanders wasn’t trying to go to war with the Democratic Party. His message is that Democrats and the left need to be unified in pursuing a common goal, and that Democrats need to understand that people are fed up, and they want change.
The mainstream press is already trying to spin his remarks as Sanders versus the Democratic establishment, but Sanders isn’t Donald Trump. He didn’t threaten Democrats, insult, or rail against the party. Sanders began his speech by thanking them, “Thank you for inviting me to be with you today, and thank you for the hard work that all of you do every day in trying to make our country a better place in which to live and raise a family.”
The message isn’t Sen. Sanders versus Democrats. The message is that Democrats had better be prepared to leave their old ways behind, or face potential defeat in 2016.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association