Is Bernie Sanders The Great White Hope?
I am a progressive. I generally support programs to alleviate inequality and poverty that I view as natural off shoots of capitalism and favor state action to do this. Additionally, I am a liberal, so I support the government, where necessary, securing these personal freedoms such as voting and political rights.
The party that best represents my wide range of views that both adhere and deviate from that orthodoxy is the Democratic Party. As a registered Democrat, I support the strongest candidate for office. To me, this means the candidate that can win first, and who can implement their agenda that most closely resembles mine second. No politician can be considered strong if they aren’t in a position to win, and after winning, if they can’t implement heir agenda.
This is why I support Hillary Clinton. I am not against Bernie Sanders as some would suggest, but want to ensure, as a Democrat, the strongest Democrat win for I see a weak Republican Party that the entirety of the country does not like. I see the first female Presidential candidate with 50 state organization and the 42nd and 44th presidents campaigning by her side. I see a woman who was a U.S. Senator and Secretary of State as imminently qualified to be President.
The Great White Hope
In Bernie Sanders, I see a guy who only appeals to a small constituency of homogeneous believers. He does not have robust 50 state organization or infrastructure that would seamlessly transition into general election mode. This is not his fault for in the entirety of his political career, he has represented Vermont, a small constituency of homogeneous believers. Unfortunately, his followers don’t understand this, and want to castigate black people and the #blacklivesmatter movement as unknowing of Bernie’s record, not smart enough to determine that he is for black people, or are just “professional” agitators.
These well meaning, overwhelmingly white, liberals who I’m sure are not bigoted or racist, sound bigoted and racist. Bernie Sanders‘ campaign, after being interrupted twice by #blacklivesmatters activists, will now address these issues of race and actually hire black staff that will be prominent in his campaign. This is a good thing, but when contrasted with the work Hillary has done with the Children’s Defense Fund, ABA, Legal Services IN ADDITION, to her voting the right way, black people supporting Hillary over Bernie makes sense. Subordinating issues of race in favor of those of class has been a battle on the left forever. The left telling black people essentially “to fall in line” has not and will not work for him. Talking to and about the issues we have are a much better tact and I’m glad he’s now doing that, but he has a long way to go, and it’s not just black people. From the New York Times:
Hillary Rodham Clinton is working assiduously to cement her support among black voters. In an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll this week, 95 percent of nonwhite Democratic voters said they could see themselves supporting Mrs. Clinton for the nomination in the primary. Only about one-quarter of respondents said they could see themselves voting for Mr. Sanders.
I have a wakeup call for my white liberal friends, countrymen and compatriots. Blacks are not too stupid to understand that Bernie is an ally. We are not being taken advantage of or duped by the Republican Party nor Hillary Clinton. We also are not to be taken for granted, and seeing that Obama showed us there is strength in the Democratic Party with minorities, women and young people, it’s going to take more than thinly veneered racism to make us support his candidacy in any meaningful way.