Always Onward

After Bernie Sanders won the Nevada Primary, I was finally starting to believe in the impossible dream. It gave him wins in the first three states — on top of Iowa and New Hampshire — showed he was able to attract a broad coalition of latino voters, and had the mainstream media absolutely freaking the fuck out. It was by far the best political day of the last four years.

That sweet taste of victory didn’t last long, however. A week later Joe Biden won South Carolina by a similar margin, and over the course of the next three days moderates Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobachar both dropped out of the race and endorsed him. On Super Tuesday, Biden basically wiped the slate clean, winning everywhere with the exception of my home state of California (which matters), Vermont and Colorado.

It was a brutal day, and capped off a brutal week for the Sanders campaign. All of the good feelings and happy thoughts I’d developed after the Nevada victory washed away, and the awful realization that Sanders, again, would fall short in 2020 sunk in. For a few days, or a week, or at least until the South Carolina results came in, I was on top of the world. Then Buttigieg and Klobachar dropped out, and Super Tuesday happened, and all of a sudden it felt like the dread of 2016 all over again.

At this point a Sanders victory feels like a long shot. I don’t mean that in the sense that Biden has an overwhelming lead in the delegate count — because he doesn’t — but rather that for Bernie to win this thing he probably needed a majority of the delegates going into the Democratic convention this June. Anything less and the Democratic Party, via superdelegates, were just going to steal it from him anyway. We know this now just like we’ve known this throughout the entire process.

As it stands, I do think there’s a better chance than not that Bernie leads in delegates come convention time. There is just too much evidence of Biden being a weak candidate, of his mental faculties eroding, and of Sanders clearly showcasing himself as the better option to face off against Donald Trump.

But none of that means anything now that it’s nearly impossible for Bernie to win a majority of delegates. I’ll keep going until I’m blue in the face about this, but Sanders has the entire establishment — both Democrat and Republican — working against him. He has the corporate media working against him. He has all the billionaires working against him. And on the opposite end, Biden has all of these things going for him.

I’m not going to be the dummy to bet against the establishment and the money. Bernie’s strategy throughout this whole deal has been to overwhelm all of those opponents with people power. Unfortunately, the people have spoken and it looks like they are willing to sacrifice Sanders and his vision for the future for a candidate who will get creamed in a general election against Donald Trump.

At the end of the day I have to be okay with that, even if I think the people are dead wrong. Sanders is a class act and if and when he drops out of the race, he will endorse Biden and campaign for him and try to get his voters to come out and vote. It isn’t going to work, though. It didn’t work in 2016 when he endorsed Hillary Clinton, and it won’t work this time around when he inevitably endorses a guy who can’t speak cogently for two consecutive sentences.

I’m going to be fine. I make enough money, and I’m white, and none of the horrible policies that Trump pushes are going to come down hard on me. They will disproportionately affect the black community, and the immigrant community, and the poor community. Whether it’s the rule of law or the unjust financial system, it’s only set up to benefit the rich and continue hurting the poor.

But I was never thinking about myself when I originally thought Bernie Sanders was the best choice for the future of the country. Okay, sure, I’m one of those millennials that once had a shitload of college debt, and I liked Bernie because he proposed free college. But I understood, back in 2015, that what could benefit the next generation of kids would also benefit me. That’s what this all comes back to. That it isn’t about me. It’s about everyone.

So if Sanders was saying everyone would have free healthcare, that means all the people making $30,000 per year the same way it means me. If Sanders was saying everyone could go to college for free, that means my (future) kids could one day go to college for free. If Sanders was saying he would expand Social Security benefits, that means my dad could live in dignity. If Sanders was saying he wanted to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, that means people would have more disposable income to come gamble with at the casino I work at and, as a consequence, I would theoretically have more opportunities to make tip money from them.

Bernie Sanders is far from a perfect candidate, but compared to what we have now — and what we would have if Biden made it into office — he has the ideal program to stimulate the American economy. And I don’t mean that in the sense that the stock market would be doing well, thus giving the billionaires more money to stash in offshore tax havens, I mean that in the way that for the first time since FDR was in office we would have a true bottom-up approach to economics. Put money in the pockets of workers, and they spend it. Put money in the pockets of billionaires, and they save it, or put it in the Cayman Islands, and it never makes its way back into the economy.

Anyway, this is what I’ve got. Four years ago, the day Hillary Clinton won South Carolina and effectively ended the Democratic Primary, I wrote that it was the day Donald Trump won the White House. It comes with some sense of irony that, four years later, South Carolina won this year’s primary for Joe Biden. As a result, it all but ensures Trump will win again in 2020.

I am forever an optimist, so in spite of my disappointment that Sanders didn’t just roll through the 2020 Democratic Primary on his way to defeating Donald Trump and helping us all get a little closer to the American Dream, I’m going to keep up with my belief that the future is still bright. I don’t think Biden will beat Trump, and I don’t think the next four years give working people anything to proudly look forward to, but I’d say that the American Left, the working class, will ultimately prevail. If we don’t have that, then what do we have?

I’m going to be all right. I write about all of this utter bullshit because I want everybody to be all right. What is good for those below me on the economic ladder is good for me. When you hurt, I hurt. When you do well, I do well. That is how this works. I’m going to stay on your side even if you aren’t on mine. The struggle continues.

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