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Why is he? We have to cut through the wretched noise of mass media. I think it’s simple. The more people learn about him (a professional politician who’s been pushing the same progressive message for 40 years) and his vision for the country (the right to healthcare and education without personal bankruptcy), the more they see how he’s doing it (small donors, normal people, people previously apolitical or politically marginalized), the more they sign on.
His vision is inclusive (unlike Pete); it is not a technocratic solution to a technocratic problem (unlike Warren); his ideas are lockstep with young people (unlike Biden). The result is extremely passionate, organized supporters (unlike Bloomberg; good god, are we really talking Bloomberg?!).
Since 2015 he has built national crossover appeal in race, gender, identity, and left-right politics. He says Washington is not working and offers a credible new idea (organize the regular people in, say, Kentucky to challenge McConnell). On the merits he is best positioned to beat Trump. He is also—most importantly—the *actual* working-class champion that Trump pretends to be.
One can find a dozen faults with this, or with Sanders himself. He is vulnerable to right-wing smearing, but no less (I’d say far less) than his competitors. Trump and the FOX and Koch machine will wage war on anyone. Bernie isn’t afraid, and his campaign won’t be either.
You are the best left-leaning analyst with a big profile. Don’t miss this! Bernie got here with almost *zero* mainstream media support. What does that tell you?
(A gentle PS: Bernie Bro’s exist, in relatively small troops, on Twitter. Life and politics are not lived on Twitter. You make this point all the time!)