Win or Lose, Bernie Sanders Has Changed Everything

While most people know that I support Hillary Clinton as our next president, most should also know that my number one priority this November isn’t to see that Clinton wins – but Democrats win. My support for Clinton isn’t tied to some emotional investment that makes me irrational or devoid of facts or reality. I like her, I think she will make a great president and I think she gives Democrats our best chance to win in November. That doesn’t mean I don’t like Sanders, I just prefer Clinton. Believe it or not, it is possible to like both candidates but simply have a preference for one over the other. I’ll never understand this mindset of “I can only like one.”

Though I know what drives that attitude: The Media

The argument is always shaped “one candidate vs. one candidate” as opposed to simply picking the better of two good candidates. Getting people angry and divided is much better for business. Unfortunately, negativity sells.

All that being said, win or lose, Bernie Sanders has changed everything.

I think it goes without question that, if she goes on to win the nomination, he’s made Clinton a much better candidate. This will definitely serve the party well in the long-run if she wins the nomination and goes on to become president.

But one thing above all else is he’s changed the discussion from “should we” to “how will we.” Because at the heart of the Clinton vs. Sanders battle, no matter what each of their supporters might think about the other, it’s essentially nothing more than a conflict of philosophical differences on getting to goals that are more or less the same. While Clinton’s approach is more pragmatic, which takes longer, Sanders is the idealist talking about “political revolutions” and sweeping changes to our government.

The ultimate question is, which is more realistic or probable? Well, obviously, that depends on who you ask.

Though the great part about all of this is that, no matter what happens this election, the train has left the station and there’s no turning back. If Clinton is elected, then goes back on a lot of her bold progressive promises, that will cost her the election in 2020. While progressives may disagree about how to get where we want to go, we’re mostly all in agreement on the destination itself. And none of us, including myself and the other Clinton supporters I know, are going to allow her to simply go back on her word.

Perhaps the true “revolution” that Sanders ultimately brings to the Democratic party will be that of ideas. I’ve argued that the presidency isn’t what Bernie Sanders is best suited for. I’ve always viewed Sanders as a “fighter.” As president, you’re simply stretched too thin, with too much on your plate, to devote the time and energy it takes to really push for massive changes. When you’re president, you typically make a few speeches outlining what you want, then you sit back and let your colleagues in Congress try to send it to your desk. Your ultimate power is that of the veto and certain uses of the executive order.

This is why I believe Senator Sanders is much more valuable than President Sanders. He’s someone who’s immensely passionate about what he believes and you can tell wants to be hands on with getting those goals accomplished. That’s fantastic – but you can’t do that when you’re president.

But no matter what ultimately happens this election, the Democratic party will never be the same – and we have Bernie Sanders to thank for that. He has inspired ideas that, for far too long, we talked about in private – but rarely pushed for publicly. He’s empowered Democrats to be bolder, stronger and more forceful with their ideas. He has given a voice to a movement which I think is going to lead to more Sanders and Elizabeth Warren-types running for office.

No matter what anyone may think or feel about Bernie Sanders and his chances of becoming our next president, I don’t think any rational person can deny that, presidential revolution or not, he has caused a seismic shift in the very foundation of the Democratic party. Whether or not his campaign ultimately wins or loses, he’s already “won” by making sure his voice was heard, his ideas became a part of mainstream discussion and that he’s succeeded in pushing the Democratic party back to what it once was.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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