After several days of deception and withholding results from the Iowa caucus, the results were released, stating Bernie Sanders won the popular vote. However, Pete Buttigieg won the most delegates.
Is this scenario sounding familiar? Didn’t we go through the exact same thing in 2016? Yes, we did. I can tell you that as an absolute, as a person who helped moderate no less than four Progressive forums on social media in 2016.
Obviously I am not happy that Sanders walked away with fewer delegates than Buttigieg. I have explained why the electoral college is important but in primaries, the electoral college has no relevance whatsoever. The fact that Sanders got more votes but fewer delegates is a clear demonstration that the DNC has not changed in the least and will do everything in their power to suppress any candidate that is viewed as remotely Progressive.
Yes, I am happy that Sanders got the greater share of the popular vote. This is an indication that more people have awakened slightly more than they were in 2016. Very slightly.
When it comes down to it, if Sanders gets the nomination, I will most likely cast my vote for him. However, that is ONLY because we need to get Trump out of office. NOT because I think Sanders is the best candidate. I will continue saying that Tulsi Gabbard is a better option by orders of magnitude.
Domestic policy. I have stated on many occasions and demonstrated through many, many articles that I believe that the major portion of Sanders’ domestic policies are ones I agree with. That is, depending on how they are constructed, which is a key point but I prefer taking those one by one. I have also pointed out that the president does not have the power to write domestic policy. Domestic policy is written and controlled by Congress.
Rule by executive order. Yes, the president can introduce domestic policy by executive order. However, those executive orders can be vetoed by the Republican-majority Senate. No, his policies would not fare much better with a neoliberal Democratic majority. Remember that the ACA was passed with a Democrat-majority House and filibuster-proof Senate and did not include a public option, which was the key part of what had been promised. Another issue with this is simple- Do we want the president to rule by executive order? How is this not dictatorial rule?
Foreign policy. The president is primarily responsible for foreign policy, which even Sanders’ supporters realize he is weak on and contradicts himself frequently. At least, those who pay the least bit of attention realize. He claims to support diplomacy, yet calls leaders he does not agree with dictators and tyrants. He claims to be against use of force, yet uses the word “force” in his own foreign policy, supports sanctions and issues mandates to foreign leaders. He claims to be in favor of democracy, while stating it is the role of the US president to rebuild the UN.
Better than Trump. Yes, I support Sanders insomuch as he is better than Trump. Then again, name someone who would be worse. (Besides Hillary. She would be worse, no question.) Sanders would be marginally better than most of the other candidates the DNC is trying to push down our throats. Yet I still question deeply the ability of Sanders to beat Trump in debate in 2020. In 2016, pre-convention, I would have said he would definitely have beat Trump. It is his words and actions since that time which bring this into question. Yes, he would likely do better than the other DNC candidates. Once again, that’s not saying much. The point is that the lines have been drawn and Sanders is unlikely to attract voters across party lines in the general election, including convincing Independent voters. He would repel Libertarian voters.
Weaknesses in debate with Trump. Yes, I believe Sanders would fare better in debate with Trump than Buttigieg, Warren, absolutely better than Biden and on down the neoliberal list of the DNC. None of that means he would beat Trump in debate. He has definite weaknesses which will come up in debate with Trump which are not going to be mentioned at all in DNC debates. Such as his foreign policy. Trump’s foreign policies are dismal failures and he has insulted many leaders. However, he can point to having met with leaders we do not agree with, pushing NATO to spend more on their own defense. Sanders cannot even point to any stated policy which indicates he will meet with adversarial leaders. On Russiagate, outside of the Hillary crowd, absolutely nobody in this country believes in Russiagate, yet Sanders has continued that charade, even stating “Russia” helped his 2016 campaign. Sanders’ rhetoric indicates a leaning toward censorship. Trump has made bombastic and outrageous statements which can be construed as censorship by some but he has taken or endorsed no actions which amount to state-sponsored censorship. Sanders has never called out the fraud by the DNC in 2016 or mentioned the DNC fraud lawsuit, which will definitely come up in debate. The self-imposed label of “Socialist” Sanders has used to portray himself and which still carries negative connotations to capitalists and those of low education status will be raised.
In the end, Sanders has many weaknesses and vulnerabilities which Tulsi Gabbard would be immune to. Russiagate and Ukrainegate have moved many voters further to the right. Gabbard has the endorsements of Ron Paul and Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, not for her economic policies but because of her stances on legalizing drugs and ending wars, in addition to reaching across part lines.
Yes, if Sanders gets the nomination I will likely vote for him. Depending largely on what he says going forward. I would pinch my nose and hold my breath while pulling the lever, hoping beyond hope that he assigns someone to handle foreign policy who can do so better than he seems able or willing. Yet the truth is, I don’t expect him or any other “top-level” DNC candidate to win.
I am happy Sanders won the popular vote in Iowa. It means people have awakened marginally since 2016. I still believe in absolute terms Gabbard is the best candidate of all parties for 2020. If she does not win the nomination, I hope Sanders does. If so, the job of actual Progressives will be lighting a fire under his supporters to hold his feet to the fire regarding foreign policy. To not allow him to back down from fights against the DNC neoliberals and warmongers. No matter what, I expect independent media to have no shortage of content to produce over the next 9 years, no matter who wins 2020.