Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Bernie Sanders defied the money primaries and no one noticed

Has anyone even noticed that we have a leading presidential candidate that completely bypassed the money primary? His name is Bernie Sanders. But what about Trump? Trump is already a billionaire and billionaires finance money primaries. He is not really accountable to the people and has won his own money primary. Sanders, with no SuperPAC and no direct wealthy benefactors, is completely accountable to the people.

And now we see that Sanders dominated the Democratic debate on Sunday, January 17th, and took in more than $1 million during the debate alone. 39,000 donors said that they believe Bernie Sanders is the person they would most like to see in the White House.

I am also noticing that since Bernie Sanders dominated the debates in no uncertain terms, his detractors are coming out in full force. They are sincerely worried that Bernie doesn't stand a chance to win against the Republicans and believe that Hilary Clinton is the more competent, pragmatic candidate. They believe that once nominated, the Republicans only have to go negative and call Bernie a socialist and Republicans will win. They even believe that there is a quiet GOP conspiracy to get Bernie nominated because some Republicans believe that they can take him down easily by calling him a socialist.

But there is huge body of evidence to the contrary. Bernie Sanders has won 14 elections. He won his last election by 71%. He even took a good chunk of the Republican vote. From the beginning, the opposition has been calling him a socialist and yet he still wins. They have gone negative on him every time and lost, while Bernie has steadfastly resisted going negative on them. He maintains that the election should be about the issues, nothing else.

Some point out that his home state is mostly white and think it fair to say that he is out of touch with minorities. But prominent minority leaders have started to review his record and have come out firmly in favor of Bernie Sanders. Rapper Killer Mike and journalist Shaun King have both endorsed and continue to support Sanders. Neither of them have expressed any concern about his electability. It is all about the issues and character. That's what the election should be about.

I see Trump, doing his thing, but am not that much concerned about him. He may be an avowed capitalist, but one thing he is not is friend to the GOP establishment. He also defied the money primary with his own money from his own business empires and many consider him the presumptive nominee for the GOP. He maintains a commanding lead in the polls, but he doesn't fare too well on Politifact with his bombastic statements. He has been one continuing stream of embarrassments for the establishment GOP, and continues to test the limits of what he can do.

The stark difference between Bernie Sanders and Trump is that Trump is essentially accountable to no one except maybe his customers and business partners. Where Trump can rely upon his gambling and media empires to finance his campaign, Sanders has no such resources. Sanders has set himself up to rely upon the people alone. He has defied the money primary and has done so with aplomb. No other candidate in recent history has done what he has done. Only one other has actually tried. Larry Lessig.

Larry Lessig is founder of Mayday.us. He is author of several books on the subject of campaign finance and has provided an indisputable body of evidence to show that a tiny minority of very wealthy individuals are controlling public policy with their enormous political contributions. They own the money primary. They own the right of nomination for nearly every candidate running for president, except Bernie Sanders. Larry Lessig actually tried a brief run for president on the Democratic ticket a few months ago, but was denied a podium in the debates by the DNC.

This confluence of events is indicative of a peaceful political revolution in the making. There are serious pundits who say that Sanders is going to win, and it's going be a landslide. This isn't to say that Trump has no appeal. It's just that he only appeals to a narrow white base constituency that is racist. Much of his appeal is based upon the myth that he is not a socialist. The reality is that his father made most of his money in government contracting. His father gave his son a huge advantage by loaning Donald $1 million to get his own business started. Trump owes his position in life in no small part to the Conservative Nanny State.

Detractors who prefer Clinton over Sanders are worried. They believe that once Sanders is nominated, all that the GOP nominee has to do is go negative and call him a socialist and that should be enough to scare off any possible victory for Sanders. They are ignoring more than 30 years of Republicans going negative and calling him "socialist" without a single victory to show for their efforts.

They are ignoring the fact that Sanders has shown us how to reclaim the right of nomination. Sanders is showing us how a candidate can win the presidency while dependent upon the people alone.

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