This clip got me thinking — is Killer Mike right? Is this a moment that won’t come around again for decades?
Since day one I’ve believed Bernie is the real deal, but I haven’t always thought of this race as dramatically different from any other. There are progressive candidates every election cycle and, if Bernie doesn’t win, there will be more in the future.
I like that line of thinking because it absolves me of having to do anything outside my daily routine. It means I can let this moment pass by and then say ‘oh well’ if Bernie doesn’t get the nomination. After all, ‘there’s always next time’.
I’ve also never fully believed Bernie could actually win, but that little voice of doubt is getting quieter and quieter – thanks, in part, to the hard work of folks who ignored that voice and decided to organize for Bernie regardless of his chances.
But let’s get back to the original question: is this a moment that isn’t going to come again? I’m starting to think the answer is yes, for 3 key reasons.
Reason #1: The Republican party is imploding, making any national election a less dangerous scenario for a self-described democratic socialist. This is perhaps the most important point as it undercuts one of the easiest arguments against candidates like Bernie Sanders – that they aren’t able to win national elections. Right now, Bernie is polling ahead of every leading Republican candidate.
Reason #2: The Democratic establishment anointed a candidate far in advance that their base isn’t excited about, effectively removing any viable competition from traditional candidates. This was a major miscalculation that I don’t think would have happened if it weren’t for Hillary’s pedigree and failed presidential bid in 2008. The prevailing sentiment of the political elites was that it’s ‘Hillary’s turn’ without checking first with rank and file voters.
Reason #3: The financial collapse, Occupy Wall Street, and Citizens United are all very fresh in people’s minds. These are all issues Bernie is perfectly positioned to talk about – and is talking about extensively. The banks have bounced back, but people haven’t.
This confluence of events and circumstances has created an extremely unique environment for an insurgent progressive candidate to not only win the primary, but win in a national election. And I’m not sure we’re going to get another chance like this anytime soon.
That means we all have to get to work if we want to see a president as progressive as Bernie in the Oval Office – this is the moment to make that happen. I’m not ready to quit my job and go door-to-door, but I’ll definitely be doing what I can in the weeks and months ahead.