One wonders what to make of someone like Bernie Sanders. His platform is basically 1960s liberalism adapted to a different era. The US was a confident nation in the 1960s. It could go to the Moon, it could end poverty, it could offer health care to the elderly and the poor. In the 1960s most people felt a wealthy USA could afford to do all these things and it felt it had the know-how.
In the end we missed a few goals. Elder destitution was ended and if you were the right generation and middle class, you might live pretty well. We didn’t do so well with poverty in general. By the mid 1960s, our advantage over Europe and Asia was starting to end.
Bernie Sanders’s message today is about income inequality which has ballooned in 40 years. Unlike the early 60s, message, it isn’t a positive message about fixing what is hurting the few. It is a message aimed at a large percentage of Americans.
The problem for Sanders is that he is old, he will be 75 at the next election; he is also Jewish, and the US has never elected a Jewish president. He doesn’t click with minorities. It is early in the campaign, but Sanders’ minority support is low, perhaps 25%, and now groups like ‘Black Lives Matter’ have been disrupting his appearances.
I hope that he can pull Hillary to the left. If he does that it may all be worth it.