The State of the Sanders Movement
It was inevitable. Hillary Clinton’s campaign was bred to take the torch from the Democratic Party into the 2016 election cycle and most likely into the White House. From an objective stance, it felt like this was just a re-election cycle in which there was only one candidate that the party cared about and catered everything to; media, donations, endorsements. When Bernie Sanders’ movement took off last summer, there was a change in the air that the people felt. Here was a progressive candidate that offered a much different platform than his competitor despite the dialogue that Clinton and Sanders have very similar ideas. Sure, they are similar in the fact that for the most part they are further left than the conservatives. Within leftist politics, they are markedly separated. Clinton’s platform has been one that the Democratic Party has slowly started drifting toward. Clinton is a centrist. She leans left at times, leans right at others. But that’s the issue. She leans.
Sanders’ views are so striking and different because they are leftist views and the Democratic Party has become a centrist party. For a people who have been handed down a country in debt across the board, unnecessary intervention around the world, and limited opportunities in education, compensation, healthcare, and social rights, it’s no surprise that this generation wants to give the establishment a kick in the ass and get it moving.
The message was essentially this: We cannot allow special handpicked corporations and special big-money donors to run the government. Back to grassroots democracy where it really was a choice for the people to find someone they identify with most and support them to take public office. Sanders’ fight is not necessarily one for his social or economic agenda, rather to re-energize the people and let them realize that the way this country is managed is unacceptable.
So where does this message go from now? The two-party system will continue to hand down torches to its beloved groomed candidates and give the people a fake show. I don’t want to feel like I’m at the optometrist’s office testing my vision and being told “What looks better? This or this?” In reality, we’ve seen that radical movement from the people will defeat what the establishment wanted to set up. Marco Rubio was the golden boy for the Republican Party. Look how that played out. The change we want to see requires energy, one that will not run out because people will constantly push back at the setup of this electoral system. Soon, we will see the rise of other parties as voters begin to realize that they should vote for their beliefs, not what the two parties want to feed them. Young socially liberal, fiscally conservative voters see a Libertarian Party cater to their ideas. The Green Party is pulling in people who agree with its liberal views on making the planet and the country a better place environmentally, socially and economically. There are different opinions in the electorate that people are realizing they have. The Sanders campaign energized voters, reminded them that they don’t need to pick the side they think they agree on more than the other but that they can actually pick the side they agree with the most.
The Sanders movement will influence newer generations across the entire political spectrum in this country. Now they have seen how a candidate that could not be suppressed by the existing political machine has made a lasting impact on how we decide to vote.