[Future Hope Column]
Glick: We are very, very fortunate that Bernie Sanders is alive and well and continuing to do what he has done his whole adult life, speak up and take action in the interests of low-income people, working people and the middle class.
Who is our best leader in a time of multiple crises? Is it Donald Trump?
No way, for oh, so many reasons.
How about Joe Biden? Hmm, certainly better than Trump, if those were the only two choices. But given very real issues of possible, if not likely, cognitive decline on his part, it’s too bad we don’t have any other options.
But wait!! We do! The calls by Jim Clyburn and James Carville for the DNC to end any further primaries and debates were unsuccessful, and Bernie Sanders is still in it, 150 delegates down with 2,200 still to be won and allocated.
How does this democratic socialist handle crises?
We got an idea on Wednesday when both Bernie and Biden spoke to the country about the coronavirus crisis and what needed to be done.
Joe did a good job reading from the teleprompter and many of the things he said were sound. Bernie, however, doing it the old-fashioned way and reading from a written text, and then answering questions, came across, I would say, definitely stronger and definitely with more substance. He was particularly good at calling for human solidarity in the face of this crisis, that we as a society need to function in a “not me, us,” way. We need to look out for and enact policies to address this crisis that benefit all, particularly low-income people, the homeless, those working for very low pay, the uninsured, whose resources to cope are much less than many of us.
Is the coronavirus God/the Goddess’s way of giving us in the USA another chance to take a second look at Bernie before acceding to the Democratic establishment and their media’s desperate efforts to get Bernie to drop out?
And does God/the Goddess have something to do with the fact that tomorrow evening, in prime time, when there are no live sporting events to compete with it, Bernie and Biden will be debating for two hours?
Let’s not forget: nobody predicted what happened as far as the Biden surge between February 29th (South Carolina) and March 10th (second Super Tuesday voting), after Bernie’s popular vote win in Iowa, his win in New Hampshire and then his very big win in Nevada. The Democratic primary Presidential race turned on a dime. And it wasn’t the first time things had changed in unexpected ways. And it’s still not over.
What about silent Elizabeth Warren?
After she dropped out my position was that she should be given time to make a decision about what she was going to do. Now, almost two weeks later, and after the coronavirus and economic crises coming to the fore, and after anyone who’s watching Joe Biden knowing there are some real problems there—and with Elizabeth being overwhelmingly on the same side as Bernie as far as the issues—why the continuing silence, Senator Warren?
Elizabeth Warren, your country needs you. Please don’t put your personal political career within a possible Joe Biden administration ahead of what is really a very clear choice.
So do I think Bernie is going to sweep the four state primary elections in Arizona, Illinois, Ohio and Florida on Tuesday. No, that’s too much to hope for. As of right now, the latest polls, according to Real Clear Politics as of March 13, for those four states have Biden ahead in all four, from 17 points in Arizona to 39 points in Florida, an average of a 30% lead per state.
But what if Bernie does well tomorrow, demonstrating on the debate stage how much better of a leader he is at this time when solid leadership is so needed? Then, when the votes are counted, and if there’s an overall big reduction—say by half—in that average 30% lead, that will be an important political statement and a sign that things may well be turning.
Regardless of all of that—just forget all the political calculations and the Warren issue and tactical decisions—we are very, very fortunate that Bernie Sanders is alive and well and continuing to do what he has done his whole adult life, speak up and take action in the interests of low-income people, working people and the middle class. We desperately need his clarity, his strength and his vision right now.
Ted Glick is the author of the forthcoming Burglar for Peace: Lessons Learned in Catholic Left Resistance to the Vietnam War. Past writings and other information can be found at https://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jtglick.