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Reality check, here. Two of them. I’m not a pro at this space, but you really need to listen.

First: once upon a time about 45 years ago when I was a kid, my family lived in a district represented by a congressman so far right that my until that point apolitical parents (moderate R father, moderate D mother) threw their support behind his Democratic opponent. Things looked great until election day, when our guy lost. What happened? The pros said, “there are some people who were always going to vote for your guy, there are some people who were always going to vote for the far right guy, and there were people in the middle, the swing voters who mattered. Your guy spent all his time talking to audiences who were going to vote for him anyhow, which is why things looked so good. What he needed to do was spend all his time on the swing voters.”

Look, reality is that no matter how much even I (historically moderate right) support many of Bernie’s policies, he is too far left to win a general election in this country. Find someone center-left to build a coalition behind, and deliver the far-left votes, the center-left votes, and enough center-right votes to win the election. And yes, to appeal to the center, many of the far left ideas will have to wait. That’s how elections work. And if the Left had worked this way, we wouldn’t be in the trouble we are today as a country.

Second: if you haven’t read Jane Mayer’s “Dark Money” cover to cover, do so. I don’t mean buy it to sit on the coffee table, I mean read and understand every word. The far right has significantly more money than the far left does, and has been using that money in many ways to capture many aspects of not just the three branches of government at the national and state levels, but also public discourse (Fox) and the knowledge base government looks to for expertise in decision making (think tanks and certain universities). They’ve built a supply of favored candidates for Supreme Court over a period of generations (Federalist Society). They’re capturing parts of universities. The far left is very significantly outgunned here, and no matter how much money a few billionaires spend in the next election cycle it can’t touch what’s been done over the past 40 years. The far left is outgunned. Oh, and the far right cheats: voter suppression, gerrymandering, and creating cases to drive supreme court decisions are just some of the tactics deliberately pursued. Read. If the far left tries to go it alone, it will lose.

Pick a few key issues from the left which are palatable to the center, focus on them, engage the center, sell to the center, and then ally with the center to take the country back.

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