Column, 296 words

Sanders Proves the Pundits Wrong

Bernie’s now beating Hillary Clinton in the Iowa and New Hampshire polls.

Jim Hightower

The problem with applying conventional wisdom to political campaigns is that it can suddenly be upended by an unconventional campaign.

National media pundits have been riveted by Donald Trump’s flagrantly narcissistic run for the Republican presidential nomination. But Exhibit A for the most remarkable political challenge to conventional wisdom is Bernie Sanders and his totally unconventional, unabashedly populist run for the Democratic nomination.

When the Vermont senator launched his campaign last May, the snarky cognoscenti pronounced his effort dead on arrival. Not a chance, they snorted, that a 74-year-old, Jewish, democratic socialist going against Hillary Clinton’s powerhouse machine — and daring to call for a people’s revolution against Wall Street and reckless corporate elites — could come close to winning.

Usurping the Bush and Clinton Dynasties, an OtherWords cartoon by Khalil Bendib

Usurping the Bush and Clinton Dynasties, an OtherWords cartoon by Khalil Bendib

But Bernie’s authenticity and straight talk have mocked the cynicism of the “wise ones” and shocked the self-assured Clintonites. Huge crowds have turned out to cheer Bernie as he denounces the chasm of inequality ripping America apart.

Moreover, grassroots supporters have made Sanders’ run financially competitive. A record 2.5 million individual donors chipped in an average of $27 each last year to gird him with an impressive campaign fund of $73 million.

And now, polls show that Bernie “no chance” Sanders has surged into the lead among Democratic voters in both Iowa and New Hampshire, including taking a significant lead among New Hampshire women. Yeah, say the scoffers, but he can’t win the general election. In fact, polls now show he would handily defeat Trump, Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio, outperforming Clinton against all three.

Not only is Bernie defying the odds, but he’s doing it by showing that an authentic candidate with an authentic message can generate an authentic people’s movement.

OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also the editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower

  • jazz04ever

    Perhaps, two of Bernie’s greatest attributes is his trustworthiness and the fact that he is “beholden” to nobody. All these years
    in office, he hasn’t changed his message when it comes to income inequality and the impact that has had on our middle class. And, he is the ONLY candidate willing to take on the Wall Street and bust up the big banks that are pushing us towards the economic cliff again.

  • DFinMOzarks

    He is the genuine article …and that’s a rare commodity in US politics. I really hope that his message gains more traction after a win or two in IA and NH.

    When he gets into the southern states where Hillary’s huge war chest (much of it from big Wall St. banks) and voter ignorance will hamper him much more. I hesitate to use that term as I personally know many highly intelligent voters from the southern states …but evidence is evidence. SC is the area where Bush 43 and his paid henchmen came up with a ‘push poll’ in 2000 that asked voters what they thought of John McCain having had a child out of wedlock with a black mistress and would it affect their vote. This sick smear was based on a black child from Bangladesh he and his wife had adopted. McCain damned the Bush team and demanded that they apologize and set the record straight. They didn’t and he lost after leaving IA and NH with the wind in his sails.

    Informed voters don’t make that kind of decision.

  • Tran Nguyen

    Watch this documentary and share. I think that everyone will . Have you ever think that IF you’re poor and live in the hell neighbor. Can you tell me how YOUR FAMILY & YOU can escape this place without money, power and educated ? The inequality insult the dignity of the human beings.
    740 Park Avenue Wealth and Power…

  • novenator

    Love that graphic.

  • Avian

    who else read that in Jim Hightower’s distinct, amiable voice ? 😉