When Bernie officially dropped out and endorsed Joe Biden for president, the progressive universe went into doom and gloom. Dreams of a progressive presidency in November had begun taking shape just after Sanders secured a stunning victory in the Nevada Caucus. Within a matter of a few weeks, these dreams were shattered.
There are many reasons why Sanders lost to Biden. Considering the poor performance of Biden on all fronts as a candidate, Sanders loss is all the more distressing for the progressive movement.
As expected, many prominent voices in the progressive movement have been vocal about not supporting Biden regardless of the danger a second term for President Trump presents.
There have been some voices who have laid out a set of conditions for Joe Biden to meet in order to earn their vote. An example is Kyle Kulinski from Secular Talk –
The ONLY way @JoeBiden can earn my vote in the general election is to pick @BernieSanders or @ninaturner for Vice President. Sign the petition for that here if you agree with me. https://t.co/eqsG2NkpPp https://t.co/OCTJcCIiio
— Secular Talk (@KyleKulinski) March 19, 2020
Sanders for VP is a Hail Mary.
Sanders joining Biden on the ticket would be awesome. It is also, sadly, a pipe dream.
If this could happen, would this be the right move for the progressive movement? Furthermore, is it worth the time and effort day-dreaming about such a possibility?
Is Sanders Being Picked for VP a Good Move for the Progressive Movement?
This one is easy – yes.
Bernie Sanders as VP would fundamentally change the Democratic party. Until now, leadership positions in the DNC and other elected offices are taken by moderate, centrist, and conservative Democrats. Nancy Pelosi has fought harder with progressives in her own party than Republicans.
Obama, the man most progressives thought would bring progressive policies to the mainstream, passed a half-baked healthcare program, bailed out Wall Street, and widened income inequality during his eight-year-long presidency.
Many centrists tried to paint Hilary Clinton as a progressive to lure Sanders voters later during the campaign trail. Clinton only looked progressive when juxtaposed against Trump – a hot pile of nothing.
Sanders inclusion on Biden’s ticket could mean that the Democratic party would finally welcome a progressive in a leadership role.
Needless to say, Sanders as VP would influence the way the Biden administration takes shape. From cabinet picks to policy push during the first hundred days, Sanders would be able to influence decisions on all these matters.
The progressive movement could have a legitimate voice in the annals of power.
And all this would never happen.
Stop Dreaming. The Establishment Will Offer Nothing
Progressives like Kyle Kulinski are smart enough to know that the DNC establishment would never allow Sanders on the Biden ticket.
Biden’s nomination is the creation of the DNC establishment. A candidate that was bumbling from one debate performance to the next and performing poorly in Iowa and New Hampshire should have never made it to the nomination. The machinations that went on before Super Tuesday helped ensure Biden’s propulsion to the Democratic nomination.
Joe Biden would never have been the nominee if the DNC did not actively participate in helping his campaign. Why did they do so? Because the nomination of Bernie Sanders was an untenable scenario for the DNC elite and the rich donors of the party.
Do you really think the same group of elites is naïve enough to allow Sanders to join the ticket?
By now, progressives should start understanding the Establishment. They robbed Sanders of the nomination in 2016 and punctured his campaign with clever political manoeuvring & a trojan horse in the form of Mike Bloomberg.
The establishment has tried stopping Sanders at every turn. Knowing all this, progressives should not make up dream scenarios of having Sanders as VP.
The Establishment will never concede ground, neither on policy positions nor on political stances. Progressives would do well to accept this reality. The only way a real progressive can make it to the Democratic ticket is for one to actually win the nomination.