For ... those of us who want Trump and Trumpism defeated and replaced by something considerably and sustainably better — the prospect of a Sanders candidacy is doubly depressing. He is the candidate Trump most wants to run against. And he would be the president least likely to govern well.
This week, as Mike Bloomberg nearly achieved onstage spontaneous combustion, that prospect came appreciably nearer. To call this bad for the Democrats is an understatement. It’s a fiasco-in-the-making for the country, too.
“We need to appeal to young people and disenfranchised working-class people who are giving up on the political process,” Sanders told rallygoers in Iowa City on January 12. “That’s the way we’re going to beat Trump.”
As I read the In These Times' analysis, I was not so much interested in the "electability" question as I was in another question raised in the Stephens' Op-Ed - whether Bernie Sanders could "govern." Obviously, the two issues are related. If a voter thinks that Sanders is the candidate "least likely to govern well," then voting for him would be contraindicated. Thus, as I read what In These Times' had to say about Sanders' campaign, I searched for clues about whether Sanders could "govern," were he elected president.
My conclusion is that Sanders can, in fact, govern, but that he is proposing a different way of "governing" the country. You might notice, as an evidence of this, that Sanders does not say what "he" will do as president. He talks about what "we" will do. This is consistent with his campaign slogan, "Not Me, Us."
Sanders is saying, if he is elected, that he will organize and mobilize voters to force the Congress to do what the majority wants its government to accomplish. This includes an all-inclusive health care program, a direct attack on wealth inequality, and a Green New Deal that will reorient our economy in a way comparable to the reorientation that it underwent - very rapidly, by the way - in response to our entry into World War II.
The only way that such a significant reorientation of our political and economic life can occur is through a popular citizen mobilization - not by getting someone elected, and then going back to "ordinary life." Sanders is calling for voters to move to a continuing pattern of participation that can require all elected officials, at every level, to do what the majority requires - and in the case of global warming, what we must do to survive.
Since I think a fundamental change in direction is needed in this country, I am encouraged when I see someone not only talking about what needs to be done, but who makes clear that "we," not "he," are the only ones who can accomplish it.
If you like the more traditional way that politics has been practiced in our country, since the end of the New Deal, you can get your advice from both neoliberals and the neoconservatives! They come in all flavors, from Bill Clinton to Donald Trump.
Since I do think that fundamental changes are needed, in all the areas noted above, I am sticking with Bernie. I am hoping that he does turn out to be "electable," but he won't be elected without a broad mobilization of "new voters," and new energy from traditional voters. Whether or not that occurs will determine the "electability" question. After that, I am hoping that WE are up to the task of governing this country, and making the changes so desperately needed.
I, personally, think it's worth a shot. We know where we are going if we don't make those fundamental changes!