Sanders Proves the Pundits Wrong

Jim Hightower Author, Commentator, America’s Number One Populist

The problem with applying conventional wisdom to political campaigns is that it can suddenly be upended by an unconventional campaign.

National media pundits have been riveted by Donald Trump’s flagrantly narcissistic run for the Republican presidential nomination. But Exhibit A for the most remarkable political challenge to conventional wisdom is Bernie Sanders and his totally unconventional, unabashedly populist run for the Democratic nomination.

When the Vermont senator launched his campaign last May, the snarky cognoscenti pronounced his effort dead on arrival. Not a chance, they snorted, that a 74-year-old, Jewish, democratic socialist going against Hillary Clinton’s powerhouse machine — and daring to call for a people’s revolution against Wall Street and reckless corporate elites — could come close to winning.

Image by Khalil Bendib.

But Bernie’s authenticity and straight talk have mocked the cynicism of the “wise ones” and shocked the self-assured Clintonites. Huge crowds have turned out to cheer Bernie as he denounces the chasm of inequality ripping America apart.

Moreover, grassroots supporters have made Sanders’ run financially competitive. A record 2.5 million individual donors chipped in an average of $27 each last year to gird him with an impressive campaign fund of $73 million.

And now, polls show that Bernie “no chance” Sanders has surged into the lead among Democratic voters in both Iowa and New Hampshire, including taking a significant lead among New Hampshire women. Yeah, say the scoffers, but he can’t win the general election. In fact, polls now show he would handily defeat Trump, Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio, outperforming Clinton against all three.

Not only is Bernie defying the odds, but he’s doing it by showing that an authentic candidate with an authentic message can generate an authentic people’s movement.

Originally published at OtherWords.Org.

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be – consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks. Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top. He publishes a populist political newsletter, “The Hightower Lowdown.” He is a New York Times best-selling author, and has written seven books including, Thieves In High Places: They’ve Stolen Our Country And It’s Time To Take It Back; If the Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates; and There’s Nothing In the Middle Of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos. His newspaper column is distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate.

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Jim Hightower

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