Friday, March 25, 2016

Cenk Yourself Before You Get Berned

I can take or leave Cenk Uygur and his Young Turks, but his interview with Bernie Sanders this week was very, very telling.

Uygur: But, you have convinced them that Hillary Clinton is the establishment candidate. If you were to lose, and the Democratic Party comes to you and says, "Okay, now take this movement, that is full of energy and is against the establishment, and make sure they vote for the establishment candidate," what do you say? 
Sanders: Well, you know, what I say. Number one, I'm not big into "being a leader". You know, I much prefer to see a lot of leaders, a lot of grassroots activism. Number two, what we do is together, as a nation, as a growing movement, is we say, "All right, if we don't win (and, by the way, we are in this thing to win, please understand that) what is the Democratic establishment gonna do for us?" 
Uygur: Oh, that's interesting... 
Sanders: All right, for example: Right now, you have a Democratic establishment which has written off half the states in this country, you know that
Uygur: Mmhmm. 
Sanders: And they've given up on the slate in the South, the Rocky Mountain area—are they gonna create a 50-state party? Are they gonna welcome into the Democratic Party the working class of this country and young people, or is it gonna be a party of the upper middle class and the cocktail crowd and the heavy campaign contributors? Which to a significant degree it is right now. You know, I've talked to Democratic Party leaders and said, "You know what? Instead of going around and raising all kinds of money from wealthy people, why don't you meet in some football stadium and bring out fifty, a hundred thousand people, bring the damn Senate in there, Senate Democrats, and start talking to people, ask them what they want you to do. How about that?" Better? Radical? So, in other words, if I can't make it, and we're gonna try as hard as we can 'til the last vote is cast, we wanna completely revitalize the Democratic Party, and make it a party of the people, rather than just one of large campaign contributors.

There's one very, very large group of Democrats that Sanders is overlooking here because it's been something he's been overlooking his entire campaign: non-white voters in red states. When Sanders says that the Democrats have given up on "the South" and the "Rocky Mountain area" what he means is the Democrats have given up on white voters in those states.  That's true for the most part, but Bernie's efforts to reach out to white voters is coming at the direct expense of black and Latino voters in those states.

Bernie's entire campaign has been "I'm going to bring white hard hat, lunch pail Democrats back into the fold and I'm going to basically ignore non-white voters because what are they going to do, vote for the GOP?"

It's annoying ans obnoxious.  I don't like Clinton's obvious pandering to voters of color like myself, but it's infinitely preferable to being taken for granted by the Sanders campaign. Sanders wants an award for extreme cleverness or something and I'm about to get very tired of him.

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