By Nicholas Riebel || Staff Writer
New Hampshire felt the Bern. He won by a large margin of over 20 percent. He won with almost every demographic group, including women. He won every county, and won the youth vote by a huge margin. Sanders made history that night. I believe he was the first socialist, and first Jewish person, to win a primary in a major political party in the United States. So now, of course, all of the attention is on Hillary Clinton, as she tries to pretend that Sanders, not her, is a member of the establishment (claiming that, as a woman, she can’t be), and (I’m not kidding) begging people to give her money (http://bit.ly/1QWxgBW).
Despite his overwhelming win, Sanders is counted out because people argue he can not possibly win. After all, the conventional wisdom goes, even if you have people voting for you, you need to have money. Perhaps that’s why Hillary Clinton asked her good friend DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to ease off lobbying donation restrictions (http://bit.ly/1oxzzSY).
Donald Trump won as well, as you may have heard. Ohio Governor John Kasich placed second far behind him. Ted Cruz came in third, and Jeb Bush came in fourth. Marco Rubio, who performed somewhat poorly during the last GOP debate, came in fifth. Now all the media attention is on Kasich, Bush, and Rubio, with the Very Serious People arguing that one of them must be the nominee. After all, it can’t be Cruz or Trump, the only ones thus far on the Republican side who have actually won a caucus or primary.
The thinking goes like this: the Republicans always ensure by whatever means necessary that an establishment-friendly, pseudo-moderate Republican gets the nomination. There is little the GOP can do to hide Trump and Cruz’s extreme reactionary conservatism, so they are forced to choose a candidate they can more easily “etch-a-sketch” their conservative record, policies, and beliefs away to suit the general election’s more moderate electorate. The big money and power players in the Republican Party, then, will force all the establishment candidates, save for one, out, and then focus all of their money on that man. That way, he can defeat Trump, Cruz, or both, and win the nomination in what will hopefully not devolve to a brokered convention.
I believe, though, this plan is little more than wishful thinking from the GOP Establishment and Very Serious Persons who are afraid that a less-easily controlled candidate may interfere with Wall Street’s power, which would be most unacceptable. This is the real reason why Sanders, Cruz, and Trump are marked as unacceptable choices for president by these people, as opposed to a woman who considers the war criminal Henry Kissinger as one of her closest friends, a robot named Rubio, a Bush, and whatever Kasich is. Sanders will crack down on Wall Street and its excessive wealth and power. Trump will be accountable to absolutely no one but himself, which puts Wall Street in a very precarious position relative to his presidency; they will have no influence in his actions, so his conduct toward them can be whatever he wants it to be (an independence Sanders would share, and use more effectively). Cruz would be the most Wall Street friendly of the bunch, but the Establishment is afraid that his fiscal conservatism will be so extreme, that it will scare people away from that ideology for decades, resulting in a more fiscally progressive America in the future after Cruz is easily defeated for re-election. With Bush, Kasich, Rubio, or Clinton, Wall Street can breathe easily, knowing that a status quo favorable to them will be upheld and defended.
Clinton would be the financial sector’s least favorite, as she would not be as beholden to Wall Street as her Republican rivals, but they know that she would not actually do much to them, as none of them think she really means her populism (http://politi.co/1NFRV9a).
Only three candidates, then, stand up to the wealthy and powerful in their own parties and in America. Cruz will be friendly to them, but perhaps too friendly (see what has happened with the Brownback administration in Kansas, which even conservatives there are starting to realize does not work). Trump will be a potentially dangerous wild card, and may even occasionally clash successfully with Wall Street and other powerful interests.
Sanders, though, actually does believe what he says about the growing wealth and power of the wealthy. One cannot doubt his integrity (as one may for the other candidates), and we will ignore him and his message only to our own detriment. Indeed, Wall Street’s greed and excesses wrecked the economy before. Maybe when and if that happens again, we won’t bail them out– unless Clinton, Bush, Kasich, or Rubio become president.
Vote wisely, with your head and heart, for Bernie Sanders.
Junior Nicholas Riebel is a staff writer. His email is nriebel@fandm.