By Jerry Mooney
There have been a lot of narratives surrounding this election cycle, including Bernie is unelectable and Hillary is the presumptive winner. These are old tactics, designed to maintain politics as usual, anointing the victors instead of vetting them through a rigorous selection process. By proliferating these narratives, people assume that their choices confined to the ‘electable candidate’. These narratives are being exposed by this year’s election cycle. Unconventional candidates like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are stealing the headlines as well as the primary results.
But the idea that someone is a competent, experienced leader is not resonating with the electorate, in fact, it’s becoming a blemish. That’s why Bernie Sanders is having such an electrifying effect on the voting population. People are tired of the politics as usual.
So this race, which is pitting the pragmatism of Hillary Clinton against the idealism of Bernie Sanders would conventionally favor the pragmatic choice.
Pragmatists often cite the need to work with others, reach across the aisle find common ground.
This approach is exactly what has been infuriating liberals, however. When the Democrat compromises, the Republican celebrates. Republicans are unapologetic in their positions. They stand firm and campaign on how unyielding they are, portraying an image of strength.
Democrats, on the other hand, sit back and bash the inflexible Republicans for how dim they are. And despite how right Democrats might be, Republicans win. Why? Because people rarely delve into the nuance. People are gullible. People respond to their lizard brain that tells them that leaders must be decisive (even if every decision is horrible) because it’s leftover survival instincts.
If people were rational, Republicans would never win an election. But if Democrats are so smart, why do they lose? It’s because they have wussified their party. Democrats are afraid to stand up and proudly say, “Eff the banks! Eff the 1%! Eff the military spending!” even though every one of us believes that. Because of that, we get compromises to the Republicans who don’t yield, who don’t compromise, and then campaign on how they beat Democrats in the negotiations.
There is is narrative that has been out there, floated by Democrats not Republicans, that Bernie Sanders is “unelectable”. This comes from that same wussified approach that the Dems continually lose with, stay in the middle.
Because Bernie Sanders has not stayed in the middle, because he has maintained his integrity, because he has been willing to take on Goliath and stand behind labels, like socialist, he is showing the strength liberals have been pining for. And because of that, he is not only electable, he’s electrifying.
This is seen in the fact that his demographic isn’t old Jewish people, but young people, women, the anti-establishment. He is showing the Democrats how to grow a pair. He is creating the example that you don’t have to be so cautious to win. You don’t have to flip-flop to get support. He’ll lose some voters with some positions, but he’ll make up for that with those he gains for being honest and courageous. Hopefully, Bernie wins the Presidency, but perhaps as important is that he teaches liberals that they can stand by principles and win in today’s political climate.
Talk among yourselves Zenrupters
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Feature photo courtesy of Flickr, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license
Jerry Mooney is co-founder and managing editor of Zenruption and the author of History Yoghurt and the Moon. He studied at the University of Munich and Lewis and Clark College where he received his BA in International Affairs and West European Studies. He has recently taught Language and Communications at a small, private college and owned various businesses, including an investment company that made him a millionaire before the age of 40. Jerry is committed to zenrupting the forces that block social, political and economic justice. He can also be found on Twitter @JerryMooney