Hi, I’m also a PhD candidate, but in chemical engineering so I claim no expertize on american history. As an amateur I found it interesting to observe the similarities between Bernie Sanders and Theodore Roosevelt when it comes to ensuring a competitive free market by breaking up powerful corporations as noted in these two articles.
Another thing that interested me was the seemingly verbatum copying of FDR’s 2nd bill of rights proposal into Bernie Sanders platform where the phrase I love the most is “ true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence”
This second bill of rights seem to have been largely adopted by european countries after ww2, but not by the US. Much like the league of nations championed by Wilson after ww1.
From the little I know about history it would seem as though the fight for equality sometimes has to come through violent protests, at least for the civil rights era and the formations of unions. In that regard it does not seem that impressive when politicians now talk about income inequality. They feel the way the wind is blowing. Obama pressed the issue in his 2015 state of the union address and even Christie and Santorum mentioned it in their campaign speeches in Iowa. What did impress me was the old youtube videos of Sanders addressing this issue repeatedly. As I see it, Bernie’s revolution is about getting more people engaged in the political process, keep the interest going to vote out house and senate members who obstruct progress and pass the legislation the american people want. It’s incremental and as he said he’s not exactly a dictator here, but I doubt Hillary will have the same effect on the political system leaving me to suspect the status quo will go on. The status quo is not great, it’s ok, but I can not accept that it’s unrealistic to strive for something better.