Sanders decided to upset and hopefully usurp the expected coronation of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee for president. So far he is doing quite a job of keeping the apples rolling down the street and tripping up expectations across the nation.
Over the weekend, around 20,000 people showed in Oregon to support and listen to Bernie speak. Monday, an astounding 28,000 packed the stadium in Los Angeles to cheer for the man who is self-ascribed as a socialist.
But we have seen this type of turnout and support before.
Look back to 2012. An awkward congressman from Texas, known as “Mr. No”, was seeing his campaign stops jam-packed. He was stirring emotions. He was attracting young people much like Bernie. His followers were very loyal and very vocal. His movement even took over some Republican Party state committees.
That man, Dr. Ron Paul, was laying the foundation and building a springboard from which his son, Rand, could run for the White House in 2016. So far that plan is not coming to the fruition imagined. Nor did all the loyal followers nor all the large numbers translate into votes on primary and caucus day.
Will it be the same for Bernie?
At the moment, Bernie is in a statistical tie with Hillary in the first-in-the-nation primary state, New Hampshire, where he has somewhat of a home field advantage being from next door Vermont. But even in Iowa, Bernie is building steam.
Other rivals for the nomination cannot seem to get traction nor get news coverage nor turnout. Not even Hillary gets the turnout Bernie does. For Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, Lincoln Chafee, except for O’Malley, there is never a mention of these candidates in the news.
Playing it smart, Bernie even defended Hillary saying that the criticism of her is sexist. The other competitors remain unmentioned.
Known as “Mr. Socialist”, where does Bernie stand on issues?
The bulk of his campaign centers around support and renewal of the “middle class”. Sanders is a Don Quixote character out to topple the windmill of income inequality.
He stands for overturning of the Citizen United ruling by the Supreme Court and ridding big money from political campaigns.
Bernie backs the raise in the minimum wage to at least $15 per hour and creation of better paying jobs.
Struggling with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which shut down one of his Oregon events, Sanders has been a long-time civil rights advocate.
He is for what he calls, “Real Family Values” – paid time off for new parents, paid sick leave and paid vacation.
Naturally, Bernie is a big advocate of reining in Wall Street and tighter controls on the free market.
Sanders stands firmly against the Keystone XL Pipeline. He has called for taxing carbon and methane emissions.
(I wonder if that means there will be a tax on bovines flatulation?)
Bernie is tapping into the frustration and anger, much like Donald Trump on immigration and political correctness, of Americans with the big banks, the “living wage”, the stagnant, for too many, with the job market and the economy.
Question remains if those flocking to see and hear Bernie will turn out at the polls?
For Ron Paul, though vocal, loud and loyal, the Liberty Movement could not pull in the votes needed to win. Since the take over of state parties, the Paulites have been assimilated.
Will this be the fate of Sanders and his supporters in the Democratic Party?
From the Desert with my feet planted firmly in the Cornfield, is Bernie Sanders this summer’s Herman Cain or Ron Paul?
Sanders is a straight talker much like his GOP rival The Donald.
But are Democrats ready to swing as far left as Bernie would like to take them?
Can Sanders win the general election?