Sen. Bernie Sanders, the old “sort-of” socialist who gave Hillary quite a run for her money last year…particularly considering the ends to which we now know party establishment types went to hijacking any legitimate chance he had of defeating her…has a message for those same establishment types: Change your ways, or else.
Appearing last Sunday on CBS News’ Face the Nation, Sanders said, in part, “I think what is clear to anyone who looks at where the Democratic Party today is, that the model of the Democratic Party is failing. We have a Republican president who ran as a candidate as the most unpopular candidate in modern history of this country. Republicans control the House, the Senate, two-thirds of governor’s chairs and in the last eight years they have picked up 900 legislative seats. Clearly, the Democratic Party has to change.”
While many would surely disagree with Sanders’ assessment of Trump that his 2016 candidacy was the least popular in modern history, there is no denying that Democrats did themselves no favors in their effort to keep the White House by running a deeply-flawed candidate of their own, as well as eschewing any real embrace of the populist streak within their own party that resonated so well for Trump.
On that note, Sanders declared the Democratic Party “has to become…a grassroots party, a party which makes decisions from the bottom on up, a party which is more dependent on small donations than large donations, a party…that speaks to the pain of the working class in this country. The middle class is shrinking. 43 million people living in poverty. Almost all new income and wealth is going to the top 1%. People can’t afford to send their kids to college. They can’t afford childcare. They can’t afford health care.”
Sanders has been known to at least broadly espouse the same ideas as President Trump and other, select Republicans on the matter of economic populism, particularly in the areas of free trade, and many blue-collar whites who gravitated toward Trump and his message saw themselves as being entirely invisible to Hillary Clinton during her campaign.
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