Bernie Sanders And The Progressive Revolution Was Belittled And Silenced
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders launched a remarkable presidential campaign which not only sparked a progressive revolution but also brought millions of new youth voters into the political picture that will continue to fight for positive change for elections to come. Throughout Bernie’s impeccable run, he broke the record countless times for the sheer number of audience members at a political rally. He easily smashed the previous champion President Obama for most campaign contributions and did so without any assistance from super PAC funding. Senator Sanders took the Democratic Establishment by storm and had the progressive movement in the palm of his hands. It felt rather shocking and almost impossible that his unstoppable momentum was halting and eventually put to a close by Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton in such a routine fashion. However, multiple sources of evidence are now surfacing and stating that Bernie’s loss was not only handed to him unfairly, but completely unethically as well. In fact, some statistics are so mind boggling that numerous political pundits and journalists are questioning the legitimacy of this primary and whether or not it was handled in the fashion of an honest and fair democracy. Due to unbalanced coverage and constant attempts to misguide the public about factual information by corporate media outlets and voter suppression by the DNC to put the cherry on top, Bernie Sanders and his progressive army was silenced and brushed under the rug.
The numerical difference between the amount of television mentions Hillary Clinton was given compared to Bernie Sanders is nothing short of appalling. According to Kalev Leetaru, writer for The Atlantic, throughout the summer of 2015, Clinton received a whopping 182,170 television mentions on major broadcasting channels such as CNN, MSNBC, and FOX while during the same time period Bernie received a mere 8,129 mentions (1). This staggering gap is not only frightening, but also unacceptable and depicts which presidential candidate the mass media had their money on. When Sanders began his bid for President, he was an alarming sixty points behind Clinton in the polls. The fact that he came out of August leading in New Hampshire and within striking distance in Iowa given that gargantuan amount of media silence is an extraordinary accomplishment in itself. However, receiving more media attention is not merely for the benefit of notoriety by the public, it has financial perks as well. For instance, New York Times writers Nicholas Confessore and Karen Yourish stated that in the month of February, Hillary Clinton received seven hundred and forty six million dollars in free media coverage while. Bernie Sanders was granted only three hundred and twenty one million (1). This more than two to one ratio gap of free television media meant that Bernie had to make up this incredible deficit by utilizing his own campaign funds. Given that The Clinton Foundation is one of the most wealthiest organizations in the world, Sanders and his artillery of twenty seven dollar individual contributions was unable to remedy this critical issue as his campaign raised 28.4 million in the month of February while Clinton was right on his tail with 27.9 million (Confessore, Yourish 1). The results are in, and the facts still stand, Senator Bernie Sanders was robbed and outright wronged by the mainstream media who made certain that his roar of a progressive revolution was televised to their audience as a mere whisper.
On top of silencing his rhetoric, the mass media continually tarnished and destroyed Bernie Sanders’ record and reputation throughout the course of the Democratic Primary. For example, during the Iowa Democratic Town hall, CNN host Chris Cuomo asked Senator Sanders a question regarding affordable health insurance and if tax increases are necessary. Bernie elegantly answers with “If you’re paying $10,000 a year to a private health insurance company compared $5000 more in taxes for free healthcare, are you going to be complaining that I just saved you $5000 in your total bills?” (Forth Democratic Primary Town Hall 1). It’s clear here that Sanders’ proposed plan will wind up benefitting the American people in terms of financial spending. However, later that night, headlines for MSNBC, The Hill, and The Fiscal Times were all worded with “Bernie Sanders: We Will Raise Taxes, Yes We Will”. The mass media completely subtracted Sanders’ point about how the tax hikes are for the greater good and instead, published a mere sound bite of his response in order to strike fear into the minds of their viewers. In addition to that, the media bias goes both ways in terms of how they project Hillary Clinton. During that same Democratic town hall, the first words to come out of Cuomo’s mouth while interviewing Clinton was “Interesting week for you, Boston Globe, endorsement, The Des Moines Register, endorsement, maybe the best accolade President Obama said… ‘you’re wicked smart, knows every policy inside and out’, sounds like an endorsement” (Forth Democratic Primary Town Hall). The establishment media is propping Hillary Clinton up on a pedestal. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders is being labeled as a tax crazed socialist/communist and placed on the same level as Fidel Castro. This demonic bias is starting to look a whole lot clearer, the mainstream media is blasting Bernie with five hundred pound cannon balls and coddling Clinton with five ounce cups of frozen yogurt.
As if constant media silence and bias wasn’t enough, Bernie Sanders’ own party turned against him once it was time for the American people to cast their votes. In Brooklyn, New York for instance, more than 125,000 votes were “lost” in the counting process (Yee 1). It’s extremely difficult to believe that in a democratic society over 100,000 votes can somehow disappear into thin air without some level of intent or form of tampering. Coincidently, Bernie Sanders grew up in Brooklyn and had a heavy influence on the city’s citizens. The chances of this occurrence being a mere accident are starting to plummet and the odds of this debacle being deliberate are starting to skyrocket. However, New York wasn’t the only state to fall victim to voter suppression. Over three thousand miles to the west, California also recorded a gigantic purge in votes. According to a documentary published by The Young Turks, about three million votes were left uncounted after the California primary had concluded (UNCOUNTED: The True Story of the California Primary 1). In a country where it labels itself as a Democratic Republic, losing votes in an election is already preposterous, but outright forgetting to count them is authoritarian and entirely contradictory to the word “Democratic”. Weeks later, officials resumed the counting of the abandoned votes and as expected, counties such as Glenn, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara flipped in favor of Senator Sanders. Sadly, the coalition that led to the recount had arrived too late, as nearly every mass media outlet crowned Hillary Clinton the almighty victor without even giving a second thought about the atrocity that had taken place. Though the question of Sanders possibly winning the California primary still remains unanswered, the American people have gained one piece of knowledge. They’ve learned that Bernie and the progressive revolution had the deck stacked against him since the beginning, and even his own party was prepared to stop at nothing to deteriorate and demolish any chance he had at becoming the nominee.
When analyzing this horrifying and poor excuse of a Democratic primary, the crucial question is not who did or should have reigned victorious, but whether or not the voting process by the Democratic Party and coverage by the mainstream media was executed fairly and ethically. Unfortunately, this time around, vertually the complete opposite unfolded. In the history books, the 2016 Democratic Primary will be written as the time when both the corporate media and Democratic Party joined forces in unity for the sheer sake of tarnishing and terrorizing a seventy four year old self proclaimed Democratic Socialist who merely desired for a higher standard of living and overall happiness for the citizens who reside in this country. This history books will also highlight the fact that it was to keep corporate interests and neo liberal views safe and secure while at the same time preventing a progressive agenda from infiltrating the minds of the masses. However, the millions of young, progressive individuals aren’t looking for an apology, they’re searching for a change in leadership and transformation of the Democratic Party’s platform and ideology. They are longing for a political party with honesty and integrity. One which doesn’t tear its own candidates to pieces, and cut its own democracy to ribbons.
Confessore, N. Yourish, K. (2016, March 15). $2 Billion Worth of Free Media for Donald Trump. The New York Time, Retrieved from www.nytimes.com
Leetaru, K. (2015, August 28). The 2016 Candidates Who Are Making The Headlines. The Atlantic, Retrieved from www.theatlantic.com
TYT Politics. (2016, June 20). UNCOUNTED: The True Story of the California Primary. The Young Turks, Retrieved from www.youtube.com
Yee, V. (2016, April 22). Routine Voter Purge Is Cited in Brooklyn Election Trouble. The New York Times, Retrieved from www.nytimes.com
2016 US Presidential Debates. (2016, March 5). The Fourth Democratic Town Hall — January 25 2016 on CNN. YouTube, Retrieved from www.youtube.com