Sanders Has Now Become the Boogeyman

By Angel Guerra Cabrera on February 27, 2020

There is a panic among the powerful in the United States. The front runner Bernie Sanders is the candidate they need to defeat at all costs, or he at least needs to be slowed down by the other contenders. They are doing everything to minimize his impact in the South Carolina primary this Saturday and especially on Super Tuesday on March 3 when 1,357 delegates will be chosen to represent their respective candidates at the Democratic National Convention starting on July 13 in Milwaukee Wisconsin.

This past Sunday the alarms went off in the Democratic Party establishment, and among the wealthy in general, when Sanders was beginning to be described as the favorite to become the Democrat’s nominee.

Self-described as a social democrat, he gained great momentum in the Democratic race by winning by a large margin the Nevada primary with a significant amount of Latino votes, winning the popular vote in the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries as well, and accumulating more delegates than the other pre-candidates. But he is not accepted by the party’s National Committee’s inner core or especially by its dominant figures, such as Obama, the Clintons or another pre-candidate and former vice president Joe Biden, still a favorite of those bodies for the nomination. Of course, Wall Street or the corporate world, where the war industries and the big pharmaceutical and insurance companies would be badly hurt in the event the Senator from Vermont actually was elected to the White House.

But also all the very rich are concerned because they know a Sander’s presidency would implement tax reform that would make those that have more pay more, the opposite of what has happened in the last decades where many corporations pay no taxes at all. Trump is a savior to them and their large fortunes who barely contribute to the treasury irritating extreme inequality, which already equals or exceeds the number of poor that existed before the Great Depression of 1929. The so-called American dream never existed, but it is even further away now in a country with millions of poor, people resigned to living on the street and a population increasingly afflicted with chronic-degenerative diseases, and more and more millions with no access, or very limited access, to health services. It is a real paradox that Cuba, with a blockade reinforced almost to the point of asphyxiation, possesses health indicators that are higher than those of the country blockading it, the greatest imperialist power in history. There is data from the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund that makes that very clear. In the deterioration of the United States with its neglected education system, it can’t hold a candle to Cuba’s literacy achievements where a 2015 CIA, yes CIA, study reveals that Cuba is the country with the 5th highest level of literacy and the United States is not even in the top 20.

Sanders advocates policies that the one-percenters consider subversive, socialist, crazy. These include ending interventions abroad, implementing a free health system with universal coverage, free education and total settlement of university debt, promoting renewable energy and environmental care, and controlling the sale of firearms.

According to a recent Reuter’s poll, Bernie Sanders leads all his rivals concerning the Democratic voters and with the largest part of the African-American vote nationwide supporting him. The only state where he does not have the African-American vote is in South Carolina, where the up until now almost disappeared former Vice President Biden appears favored to win the state. However, analysts argue that multimillionaire Tom Stayer’s intense campaign in this state will subtract a number of traditional votes from Biden, which may give Sanders the victory. In that case, he would score almost a fourth victory in a row, since in Iowa he needed only a few tenths to win the number of delegates, even though he won the popular vote.

The issue with Sanders is not only his program, which is consistent, very humanistic and has a deep social conviction. Perhaps even more worrisome for the one percent is the great trans-ethnic and trans-generational coalition that the veteran politician has been building since 2018, which may transcend him. If the Reuters poll reflects reality and if the analysts’ predictions about the preference of the Latino and youth vote for the Senator are correct, he may very well get a good slice of the Super Tuesday delegates and, with the shock wave that it creates, he could roll on to win California and Texas, with their enormous delegate weight.

Could Sanders beat Trump in 2020? It seems very difficult to think that the establishment, historically capable of anything to suppress an adversary, accepts such a scenario when the wind of fascism and adherence to the status quo circulates in the corridors of the White House. But in times of serious political crisis, nothing should be dismissed in advance. Especially because a movement as significant as the one supporting Sanders could propel him to the Democratic nomination and that in itself would be a huge political feat.

What is very clear is that neoliberal capitalism is no longer accepted by voters in almost any country, including the United States and this is partly what explains the fascist temptations in sectors of the ruling classes.

Source: La Jornada, translation, Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau