Commentary: Progressives, Myopic Media, Bernie Sanders and Mafioso Trump

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Sanders was also a victim to dishonest media. Photo: Gage Skidmore--Flickr.

[Future Hope Column]

Over the years I’ve come to count on www.realclearpolitics.com during times when there are important federal election campaigns underway and I want to get a sense of how the candidates are doing.

It’s a valuable resource.

During the run-up to the 2016 Presidential election, every few days I checked the status of the Democratic primary race between Sanders and Clinton. I of course checked what the polls were saying about Bernie’s chances of defeating Hillary, but once it was clear that Trump was going to be the Republican nominee I also checked what they were reporting as far as how each of them would match up against Mafioso Don.

Consistently, for several months in the spring and summer of 2016, Sanders always did much better in the polling than Clinton, by about 10 percentage points. If the average of polls said that Clinton would win the popular vote by 5-6% over Trump, the average for Sanders was about 15%. It was striking how consistently this was the case, for at least 2 ½ to 3 months.

The polls said that Bernie would have been a stronger candidate against Trump, but from the standpoint of media coverage of the Presidential campaign, it was almost as if these polls didn’t exist; it was a media non-story. Shame on those progressive and liberal media commentators and outlets who kept this fact quiet.

These polling results are similar to the voting results in the rural state of Vermont when Sanders is on the ballot. He doesn’t just get the votes of Democrats and Independents; he has a tri-partisan appeal, including a decent percentage of Republicans.

When progressives are considering who they’ll be supporting for President, I’d urge them to include this in their thinking. It’s not just Sanders’ progressive positions and leadership on issues, especially economic justice-related issues. Sanders has the authenticity, the political smarts and the track record over decades of standing up for the working man and woman against rapacious corporate power that will lead to a winning back of white workers who voted Trump in 2016.

As far as Mafioso Don, I think the odds are good that he’s not going to be the 2020 Republican candidate. I predict:

-that once the Mueller investigation releases its full report, the results will be devastating for the guy;

-that more Republicans than the trickle of them so far who have done so will turn against him, as the investigations by House Democrats keep them constantly on the defensive;

-that the legal and political pressures will be so strong that supposed deal-maker Trump will make a deal to resign in return for him and his family not being indicted.

This is essentially what happened with Richard Nixon in 1973 and 1974 as far as the Watergate scandal. Special prosecutors kept up the legal pressure.

A Senate committee run by Democrats held public hearings on a steady basis. And when Nixon’s popular support plunged to 25% and very few Republican elected officials were publicly supporting him, he avoided being impeached by the House by resigning.

An argument can be made that progressives should oppose this ending of the Trump Presidential nightmare. There’s soundness to the view that Trump and others close to him need to be indicted, prosecuted and punished (or impeached and convicted) for their crimes as an object lesson for others.

Whatever happens with Trump, whomever the Republicans end up choosing in 2020, the need for a visible, active and strong progressive movement as the new year begins and continuing into and through 2020 is very clear. Fortunately, that movement, in all its diversity and differences, ends 2018 on an upswing. Let’s resolve to keep it going.

Ted Glick has been a progressive activist, organizer and writer since 1968.

Past writings and other information can be found at https://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jtglick.

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