On CNN’s State Of The Union Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) incited what Republicans fear most. A red state populist rebellion against Donald Trump.
SANDERS: Let’s be clear.
I mean, the point here is that, I think, all over grassroots America, whether they’re Democrats, independents or Republicans, people are perceiving that Trump did not tell the truth in his campaign in terms of what he would do as president of the United States.
He was going to drain the swamp. Well, he’s, in fact, appointed more billionaires to his Cabinet than any president in history, et cetera, et cetera.
So, what I think has happened now, in Kansas, it is true that the Democratic candidate lost. It is true that the Democratic Party should have put more resources into that election. But it is also true that he ran 20 points better than the — than the Democratic candidate for president did in Kansas.
So, what you’re seeing in Kansas, what you’re seeing in Georgia, I believe you’re going to see it in Montana, I believe you’re going to see it all over this country, is the many so-called red states, working people are going to wake up and say, wait a second. Republicans want to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and education, and they want to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the top 1 percent.
No, that’s not what we elected Trump to do. Yes, climate change is real. It’s not a hoax. We got to move to sustainable energy. I think, all over this country, in red states and in blue states, people are beginning to stand up. They’re beginning to fight back. They’re demanding a government which does not just represent the billionaires, but represents the working class of this country.
Sen. Sanders also mentioned in this interview a need to build Democratic parties at the grassroots level. This means building or strengthening state and local parties in red states or red areas of blue states where Democrats are not competitive at the local level.
Democrats would not have won the Kansas House special election just by dumping more resources into the race. Democrats will win future special elections in states like Kansas by matching the motivated electorate that Sanders is talking about with a party infrastructure that can organize them and get them out to vote.
The Republican Party’s worst nightmare is a populist backlash in red states against Trump. Most of the evidence suggests that the Kansas special election was more unpopular Gov. Sam Brownback than Trump, but no matter what the source the backlash will be taken out on Republican candidates by the voters.
People are beginning to stand up and fight back. A rebellion is brewing, and Bernie Sanders is going into red states to turn up the heat on Donald Trump.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and 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