Remove your head from the daily Trump mania on mainstream media. Go on, try.
And when you’re ready, watch this clip.
As a progressive watching the Republican debates, you may have shrugged this off as another one of Trump’s and the Republicans’ buffoonery.
Trump’s election to the White House was a big middle finger to the establishment. Historians in the future (and political analysts right now) will sift through Trump’s rhetoric to understand how a reality show celebrity was elected to the highest office in the country.
And maybe, all roads would lead to the moment depicted in the video above.
The Outlier – What Scares the Establishment the Most?
Imagine if Bernie Sanders had done something similar in an early debate. Imagine if he had said then, ‘I cannot make the promise to endorse the eventual Democratic nominee. I will look at the time and see if the nominee stands by my policy positions and principles’
Imagine if something like this would have happened.
CNN and MSNBC would have melted down. The New York Times would carry op-eds comparing Sanders to Hindenburg. The Dem debates would be more than just platforms to dunk on Trump.
And the Sanders base would swell. It would crush any political manoeuvring Biden and Warren could manage. Why? Why would this happen?
Because for once, Sanders would unequivocally use his power to get elected.
By declaring that he won’t support the eventual nominee, Sanders would make it clear to the establishment – if my policies are ignored, I am taking away my base. Good luck beating Trump with your so-called diverse coalition without my support.
His own base would love this confrontational style. The meek centrists who only want to get rid of Trump would fall in line eventually.
This stance would have horrified the establishment like it stunned the Republicans in 2016. Over the course of the last five years, one thing has been made clear – the Sanders base holds the key for Democrats to win the general election. Clinton learned this the hard way.
Even mainstream pundits acknowledge that without Sanders voters, Biden has no chance of beating Trump.
By agreeing to support the eventual nominee, Bernie did the opposite. He relinquished the power he had as the leader of the progressive moment in that very moment. Instead of energizing his base and terrorizing the establishment elites, Bernie conceded.
Everything looks so much clear in hindsight.
The Lesson Progressives Leaders Need to Learn from Trump – Use Your Power
If you were a Trump supporter and you watched Trump in the above video, your chest would swell and you would feel ten feet tall. After this declaration, you would be ready to run through brick walls for Trump in spite of all his faults.
Trump knew his supporters would have such a reaction. He understood the power he exercised and never failed to wield it.
Progressives don’t like Trump, and they shouldn’t. He stands against the ethos of what progressives believe. Nevertheless, the tactics and political savvy Trump has should be a lesson for future progressives who think of running for office.
Generally, progressives have popular policies on their side. They stand for things most people believe in – healthcare, ending the regime change wars, elimination of student debt, reining in Wall Street, and more. For a country that never misses out on a chance to bail out big corporations or start a war, maybe it is time to look inwards. Most voters agree with progressives on these points.
The only things progressive leaders lack is the political nouse needed to fight the establishment elite. In contrast, Trump has this skill.
It is time progressive leaders take a leaf out of the president’s book. Bernie Sanders may probably never run for president again, but the next progressive leader will face as many smears as he did.
Be ready to fight then.