“Make no mistake about it, this campaign will send Donald Trump packing” former Vice President Joe Biden announced to hundreds of supporters who gathered in Los Angeles late Tuesday night after a surprisingly fruitful Super Tuesday. Biden won ten states and raised his delegate count to 566, making him the frontrunner in the Democratic primaries. As Biden surged to the front, a downward spiraling stock market reacting to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic surged back up with him.
While this can partially be attributed to the approval of an $8.3 billion dollar emergency aid package designed to combat the spread of the virus, the more likely culprit for the markets collective sigh of relief is the promising lead Biden took over his top rival, the far-left socialist Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders.
Sanders picked up four states on Super Tuesday including the bulk of the delegate-rich state of California, which put him at 501 delegates. While it may not seem like a huge discrepancy in delegates between the two Democrat front runners, the 1,991 delegates required to clinch the Democratic nomination on the first ballot will be nearly impossible for Sanders to reach without the help of the same superdelegates Bernie supporters argue cheated him out of the nomination in 2016 against Hillary Clinton.
The reason these superdelegates are all but guaranteed to vote against Sanders in a potential brokered convention is the same reason the stock market surged when Biden dominated Super Tuesday: the establishment elites and the markets don’t like the extreme policies of a bona-fide 60’s communist who recently lauded praise for Fidel Castro.
Outside of having a very consistent voting record as a socialist in his entire career as a political Independent, Sanders plans to take on the banks, tax stocks and bond trades, socialize private health insurance and pull the curtain back on how corporate power and the ultra-wealthy are tied to voter suppression and the corruption of the American political system. His recent comments maligning Biden for receiving donations from 60 billionaires are a good example of why the elites on both sides of the political spectrum don’t want him anywhere near the White House.
He makes at valid point. The ultra-wealthy and corporate power do suppress voters, and it’s those who wouldn’t want to relinquish the power that late-stage capitalism has given them feel threatened by a candidate like Bernie. In the opinion of Sanders supporters, America’s hyper-capitalist system makes it possible for people to make amounts of money that allow them to influence politics more than any one human being should ever be capable of.
It is unlikely Sanders will be allowed to win the nomination, but the Democratic National Committee needs to be careful about how they hold him down this time. His supporters are mostly young, passionate and still a little pissed off after getting screwed by the system in the 2016 primaries. In their minds, that was an election they thought they had a better shot at beating Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton did. If the DNC blatantly screws this young far-left constituency out of another nomination with suspicious situations like the recent Iowa caucus, backdoor “rule changes” designed to keep him out, spurious accusations that he too, is a Russian agent working for the Kremlin, or the bizarre fact that nearly every other candidate dropped out and endorsed Biden except for Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Warren was also running as a socialist, a “Bernie-lite” as some call her, and therefore almost certainly stole votes from Sanders by remaining in the primary until several days after Super Tuesday despite having very little hope to win. Several of the ten states that Biden took on Tuesday may have instead gone to Sanders had Warren dropped out a week ago. Whether this was by design or because she was holding out hope against hope is up to you to decide. Conspiracy or not, her remaining in the race so long undoubtedly hurt Sanders.
The reason the DNC needs to be careful about how they handle this is that, as mentioned, Sanders supporters are mostly young and still a little angry after 2016. Only 53% gave a definite “yes” when asked if they would vote for the Democratic nominee in the general election if it isn’t Sanders on the ticket. If foul play is involved in his being ousted, I would expect that number to go down quite a bit. Additionally, there is the fact that 12% of those who supported Sanders in 2016 voted for Trump in the general election.
This is an interesting phenomenon. At the time, Donald Trump was considered far-right, even alt-right by some people. On the other hand, Sanders and many of his supporters could be considered as far left as you can go without hitting a wall. The fact that a not-insignificant amount of them voted for Trump shows that they were so angry with the system that screwed them over they were willing to give a guy with no political experience, and many policies that diametrically opposed the policies of their own candidate, a shot.
There is a tie that binds between the extremes of the left and right, they are both fed up with what they believe is a system that is broken. It is a strong tie, one that the centrist-loving political elites should be concerned about. If the system slaps Sanders supporters across the face again, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them become bedfellows with the dissident right who feel betrayed by the system due to Trump’s lackluster first term. The dissident right played a huge role in getting Trump elected in 2016. They believed he was a lighthouse in the darkness of their despondency, a candidate who would actually do what he campaigned on. His constant capitulations to the left and general lack of action on the key issues the dissident right so ardently supported him for in 2016 have left most of them disillusioned and inclined to stay home on voting day this year.
At the point where these extreme sides of the political spectrum agree America delenda est, all the rest of their political differences take a backseat. In fact, they may start to see a lot more similarities in each other’s policies than the system has let them see by labeling anyone on the dissident right a “Nazi” and unworthy of conversation. Once the Sanders supporters realize that the same system is working against them too, some interesting revelations might come to light. If the DNC wants to get rid of Sanders, they had better make it seem as unpremeditated as possible, or risk losing a lot of young voters for good.
If Sanders does end up winning the nomination, despite the political system working against him (similarly to Donald Trump in 2016), he will likely lose the general election. As much as Sanders supporters “feel the Bern”, the United States isn’t ready for a legitimate socialist yet. Not to mention the corporate elites have made a lot of money under Donald Trump, and although many of them may claim to be Democrats and disparage Trump at every opportunity, they like their money a lot more than they care about the environment or worker representation in enterprise and increased labor unionization. All things that Sanders campaigns on loudly.
Back to Biden
So, Joe seems to be their guy at this present moment. The fact that he still hasn’t been endorsed by his “best friend” Barack Obama leaves room for suspicion that the DNC could be planning for a brokered convention and a dark horse like California governor Gavin Newsom to step in, but for now, Biden seems to be who they want to run against Trump.
Unfortunately, Trump vs. Biden debates will be a mockery of political debate. Regardless of your political leanings, if Sanders were debating Trump at least we might actually have some interesting conversations about nationalism vs. globalism and socialism vs. capitalism that would get people thinking and being critical of their beliefs. However, a populace thinking and being critical is not what the establishment wants. With Trump debating Biden, we will get bickering about who is more at fault regarding Ukraine, and bloviating drivel about each other’s track records while in office. Considering Biden’s declining mental acuity and Trump’s junkyard dog style of debating, they would be entertaining debates for sure, but nothing intellectually stimulating. To be frank, given Biden’s poor verbal IQ, it is hard to imagine the DNC letting him get on a debate stage against the firebrand Trump. Inventing some bizarre reason to cancel the debates would be an ideal situation for the powers that be. They know best that the country is becoming increasingly more radical, divided and disillusioned with the way things are being done and don’t want serious debates happening anywhere. Hence the rampant censorship of individuals who talk about politics all across the internet and social media platforms.
Even with the rapidly changing demographics of the U.S., as former red states turn blue due to mass immigration, Trump still has an advantage over Biden as the incumbent. It will be an uphill battle for Biden who seems to be symptomatic of various mental afflictions that involve declining mental state. He certainly isn’t what we would call a “young” 77-year-old. However, if he does win, it’s possible that the DNC plans to pick his Vice President very strategically and then employ the 25th Amendment of the Constitution. The 25th Amendment provides an opportunity, in the event of death or disability, for the removal of the President and succession by the Vice President. This would be the first invocation of this Amendment for something other than death or surgery, but it is possible.
All told, it has been an interesting primary season so far. As of March, the Democrats appear to be circling the wagons around Biden while Trump insists it doesn’t matter who they choose, they don’t have a chance. The Democratic National Convention in July will ultimately reveal who Trump can focus his aim on, and by November we’ll see if his controversial first term has kept enough Americans interested in his definition of “great” from his new “Keep America Great” moniker.
By Eric Alexiev