Sanders needs to learn from Trump to defeat both Biden and Trump. Biden’s dementia is merely the most tangible reason that Trump would eat him alive. Biden has supported sanctions and wars of aggression at the cost of hundreds of thousands perhaps over a million lives in Iraq alone. A part of Trump’s base that can be won over to Bernie would rather vote Trump than Biden given Biden’s war record by itself.
Sanders has a less than even chance to defeat Trump, but a slimmer chance at winning the Democrat Party nomination. His biggest obstacle is the fact that the party doesn’t want to win, and would rather remain an opposition party.
Analysis showing that Sanders would handily beat Trump should be treated with skepticism for the same reasons that Crooked Hillary was favored. But for Dems between Biden and Sanders, it’s Sanders that stands any real chance come November.
The Democrat Party would rather lose and have four more years of Trump, than see a President Sanders. We’ve consistently written as much, and the purpose of the Democrat Party is to control and ultimately betray its working-class base. Sanders remains the Democrat’s biggest threat.
This way, Dems are nominally not responsible for what goes on. The Democrat Party risks implosion if they continue to play games and rob Sanders of the nomination. But what Sanders must internalize is his own hashtag – #NotMeUs – taken from his stump speech. For it isn’t Sanders being robbed when the DNC cheats, but all of the Americans who are being robbed. And this is true regardless of party affiliation or ideology, as all are entitled to a fair and clean system. This is why Bernie does a disservice not just to his own base but all Americans when he fails to attack DNC corruption openly.
It should seem that the DNC wouldn’t mind a Sanders victory, because they would be closer to power, and they would have accomplished their goal of ‘anyone but Trump’. If the ‘Deep State’ which involves much of the DNC elites can control Trump somewhat, certainly Bernie could be controlled similarly. But the DNC understands that Sanders presents a deeper problem for them, so much so that they prefer Trump.
This isn’t so much because Sanders is some anti-systemic warrior himself, but because the movement behind him has many anti-systemic elements and aspirations which would cause a destabilizing cultural shift in the nation’s political discourse. It would lead to rising expectations and a forward movement on solving a whole range of unresolved social problems. And yet these problems which are very much not viewed as problems by the very same elites that control both political parties, and who profit immensely from the present arrangement.
You see, one of the fundamentals of population control and management is keeping the unwashed masses on their back foot. Make them fight defensive fights, fights lost in slow motion, as austerity creeps in.
Trump for his part represents a cultural shift, one entirely tied up with that which Sanders also represents. It is a turn-away from a politics which for too long ignored both the reality of U.S foreign policy, and the betrayal of the working class – in part as a result of trade agreements that featured out-sourcing and overseas production.
Yet Sanders continues to make a number of critical errors in his outlook, strategy, messaging – and these in turn may relate to shortcomings of his understanding of the present moment.
Comeback Biden is a Wakeup Call
After former Vice President Biden’s ‘remarkable comeback’ – which Sanders should have predicted as a push by the Democrat Party establishment to defeat him at any cost – the numerous weaknesses in Sanders campaign have been thoroughly exposed.
Sanders has often been poorly counseled by his closest advisors, and while his messaging has been consistent, it’s been consistently troubled. It’s true that these same advisors have also gotten so very much right, and have a proven record delivering.
What Sanders Must Learn from Trump
One: The other candidates except Yang (now dropped) and Tulsi, aren’t your friends, were never your friends. Stop calling them that. They aren’t the American people’s friends, and as a candidate they cannot be your friends.
Little Marco Rubio wasn’t Trump’s friend. Trump never treated him as such. Only once they got inline as the Trump campaign succeeded past the Republican primaries, did he give any words of respect to his one-time opponents. Only after.
Two: It’s time to attack Warren as ‘Pocahontas’, not consider that Warren will ever give an endorsement to you; Warren would never make a good VP and should never be trusted anywhere close to power. Any endorsement Warren would give would be too late, overtly opportunistic, and come with the kinds of strings attached that are far from worth it. Fair enough, saying ‘Pocahantas’ may not be necessary – but pointing out how she deserves the accusation behind it certainly needs to be done. This connects to her overall unreliability. If Warren isn’t dropping out of the race, it’s clearly part of a DNC plan to dilute his votes against Biden.
Trump understood that America has become an ugly place, full of animosities, broken promises and broken dreams. This isn’t simply an urban issue or a minority issue, but indeed very much a disenfranchised white working and middle class issue. Politeness and niceties do have their place and you have no problem here, but there’s a real need to tap into the disgust that people have for the establishment. Your real base aren’t enlightened upper-middle class ‘progressives’ who want the situation to improve out of the kindness in their heart or some realization at the local yoga center. They are the people out of work and on the verge of eviction and starvation themselves. This is not about generosity, but survival.
Three: Biden has dementia and is unfit to serve. He has an anti-progressive record in what can indeed be yet another ‘change’ election. It’s time to get that out there. It’s fairly certain that Bernie supporters and ‘bros’ are out there making that case. So you’re right to have a campaign that does this in such a way that isn’t exactly you yourself doing it. But now’s a good time to escalate here, otherwise it won’t be heard by enough people. The honest Biden voters are mostly very low information voters, which means they will never read or hear Bernie bros in virtual spaces.
Trump understood that attacking Hillary’s physical and mental condition was key. Next to Pizza Gate, Hillary’s stroke and the idea that she too had dementia gained a lot of traction for Trump, and viralized his campaign. You can do the same, because again, Biden is not your friend. And he does have dementia
Four: Ease off the references to LGBT in your main stump, continue to maintain good relations and speak to this ‘constituency’ through other channels. This is possible under contemporary conditions in communications, because we aren’t reliant on sound-bites and media coverage. You have your own following on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram, and identity politics can be appealed to in these channels. Low information voters don’t use these platforms. They only hear your stump. So use your indoor voice when talking indoors, and outdoor when talking outdoor. Gay voters are not really a demographic – and this itself is the outcome of gay acceptance. Being gay is no longer really a ‘thing’, it has increasingly become as mundane as hair color or music preference. Gay voters divide pretty much along the same lines as the general population itself, and only trend Democrat provided there are fiscally conservative Democrats who might win. But there aren’t. Gay voters backing you aren’t backing you for LGBT reasons, but for the myriad other factors that affect their real lives – employment, rising costs of living, healthcare, never-ending wars, etc.
Trump understood not to touch this subject, and never attacked the LGBT community in his stumps. It was simply not an issue in his campaign. This is a divisive issue which stands to lose more support than gain, especially since the goal is not merely to mobilize voter turnout numbers to Obama levels, but now – given the Trump phenomenon – to win over Trump’s base.
Five: Show you can win over Trump supporters by speaking the language of Trump. The voters you need are not simply what your opponents will call the ‘gib-me-dat’ crowd seeking hand-outs. There’s some fairly sophisticated conspirology a foot, and you will never defeat it but you can co-opt it. Research which of the online conspiracies that Trump supporters are more keen on down to the specific counties within the swing-states themselves. People who are under tremendous economic stress are also under tremendous emotional strains. They feel that their own personal world is falling around them, and they are prone to view the world at large as falling apart. It’s important to be able to tap into this impending sense of doom and millennialism in the population. They will most certainly go for Trump if this isn’t done, and yet there is nothing particular about Trump that should win him this surprisingly large demographic if you also speak their language. This all leads to the following …
Six: Learn from Yang what Yang learned from Trump. Yang is much more of a researcher than a candidate. The YangGang phenomenon wasn’t merely UBI, but everything behind it. Yang understood the ‘sky is falling’ doomer demographic that is related to the above ‘conspirology’, but also extends into some sound econometrics as proposed in Jeremy Rifkin’s 1995 book, The End of Work – delving into the effects of automation, not just outsourcing. While it will be important to echo Trump’s criticism of trade deals with China and the job outsourcing this resulted in, technological ‘advancements’ like robots and automation are a huge factor effecting many industries. It may be difficult to take up UBI itself, because this may detract more than it adds from your campaign.
Trump understood the feelings of despair, conspirology, and ‘French Revolution’ levels of disgust for the elites. We are talking guillotine stuff. You need to make some guillotine allusions, the sort that make the Chris Matthews types lose their lunch.
Seven: Stop disowning your supporters. Don’t make apologies for them. If you don’t understand how exactly social media works yourself, fine, but don’t be advised into disavowing the ‘Bernie Bros’. Bernie Bros are your bros, and your DNC opponents are trying to paint Bernie Bros as similar to Trump’s red hats in some respects. They aren’t wrong, but that’s a strength not a weakness. Your DNC opponents want to defang your social media campaign by divorcing you from your populist base, and make you look like an establishment politician.
Trump understood the value of his most radicalized online supporters. He never once disowned them, he went as far as to claim he had never heard of David Duke before ever considering disowning that KKK-light endorsement. Your supporters aren’t deplorables. Treat them well and they will be in this fight with you to the end.
Eight: Be clearer about socialized medicine, known politely as ‘Medicare For All’. Both the DNC and Trump will have similar attacks, so this one is key to be consistent on. Don’t give long winded answers here, not everyone is a good listener. These type of answers also don’t make for good quotes. Explicitly denounce the disingenuous attacks as lies, not ‘confusions’. People respond to the word ‘lies’; ‘confusion’ itself sounds ambiguous and indeed is confusing. Your opponents are not ‘confused’, they are liars. Instead, just explain that Medicare For All improves healthcare and Americans pay less overall, and it’s a lie to say it costs more. It costs less. Getting into maths to explain it won’t help you. The maths back you, but explaining the maths in your answers will fail you.
Nine: Run against the DNC establishment and the Deep State. Does this require explanation?
And Bernie, what are you doing right? Keep talking revolution.