Bernie beats Trump

We are going to make a country in which no one is left out.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Socialism takes myriad forms, it’s not the same as communism, and in many aspects it is already integrated in our society. Still, many Democrats believe that Bernie Sanders cannot defeat Trump based solely on the fact that Bernie calls himself a “democratic socialist.” Some claim, like Trump, that no socialist will ever win the presidency in the United States, which is reminiscent of the claims about a black man until 2008 and the claims still being made about a woman or a gay man in some circles. 

But Democrats are nothing if not pusillanimous and get easily scared by the Republicans. “Bernie can’t win … Bernie can’t win … Bernie can’t win … You are feeling sleepy. Bernie can’t win. Your programming has been completed and you can wake up in a minute. Bernie can’t win.”

Conditioning skillfully accomplished is unconscious and effective. When Trump says, for example, that he wishes Bernie will get the Democratic nomination because he’ll be so easy to beat, many people believe Trump, even though they know he has lied almost 16,000 times and don’t believe anything else he says. They never consider that Trump and friends may want them to believe that, when he actually fears Bernie, in order to freak them out, divide the Democratic Party, and manipulate the nominating process to get the weakest opponent he really wants. 

Let’s not forget that Trump also was widely believed to be incapable of winning the Republican nomination, until he did. In fact, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank was so sure in 2015 that Trump would not get the Republican nomination that he promised to eat his printed column if he was mistaken. He literally had to eat his words.(1) Then it was widely believed that Trump could not defeat Hillary Clinton, until he did. Harry Truman also was widely believed incapable of winning the presidency, and the Chicago Daily Tribune published an edition on November 3, 1948, with a huge headline, “Dewey Beats Truman,” which the paper had to throw away when the results came in. Truman famously displayed it at a public appearance following his victory, smiling triumphantly. It is apt that Margaret Sullivan, media columnist for the Washington Post, earlier this month wrote a piece titled “Journalists Shouldn’t Make Political Predictions. I Learned This Lesson the Hard Way.” She wrote, “Of all the lessons the mainstream media should have learned over the past four years, one of them is inexcusably obvious: We’re bad at predictions.”(2) 

And yet, by focusing on “electability” as the main criterion to vote for one of the Democratic candidates, the media and opinionators require ordinary people to make immensely complicated calculations about polling, probability, margin of error, societal trends, and October surprises. The only possible calculus is who one would put in the White House if one had the only vote. Bernie can beat Trump if Democrats unite behind him and communicate the right message without fear, in accord with the needs of the American people.

Pictured are a younger Joe Biden and Anita Hill.

Many ordinary Democratic voters, apparatchiks, and “experts” keep insisting that Biden is The Man, despite growing evidence to the contrary. They have been ignoring that Biden’s mind appears to be failing and he has become incoherent; his history of plagiarism; the baggage of his disgraceful performance regarding Anita Hill, when he led the judiciary committee and failed to protect her or call other witnesses that supported her allegations against Clarence Thomas; his years of service to big banks and the credit card industry; his championing the 1994 crime bill associated with mass incarcerations of blacks and Latinos; the Ukraine affair, which (unfairly) ensnared him along with his son Hunter Biden; and other alleged scandals also involving Hunter as well as son-in-law Dr. Howard Krein, brothers James and Frank, and sister Valerie, all of which Trump and friends can exploit to the hilt.(3)

Tell your friends who have fallen into this trap to repeat after you: Bernie beats Trump … Bernie beats Trump … Bernie beats Trump … You are feeling sleepy. Bernie beats Trump. Your programming has been erased. Bernie beats Trump. Now freed from Bernie derangement syndrome, we can go back to rationally analyzing the political landscape and may be spared the agony of watching Trump mocking Biden – the same way he mocked a disabled journalist – when they both get on the same stage and Biden starts “stuttering.”(4)

The derangement has reached a fevered pitch with some pundits. As results started showing that Sanders was winning the Nevada caucuses last Saturday, there were “horrified reactions and doomsday warnings about Sanders getting the nomination. The most jaw-dropping came from MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who said he was reading about the fall of France to the Nazis in 1940, and it reminded him of what was going on with Sanders appearing more likely to win the nomination … Sanders’ spokesman Mike Casca tweeted after the segment that he ‘never thought part of my job would be pleading with a national news network to stop likening the campaign of a Jewish presidential candidate whose family was wiped out by the Nazis to the Third Reich. But here we are … After Sanders’ strong showing in the Iowa caucuses, Matthews also expressed his skepticism of socialists, wondering whether Sanders would like to see people executed in Central Park.”(5) Similarly, during the New Hampshire primary ― also won by Sanders ― MSNBC’s chief political correspondent Chuck Todd read an article asking whether Sanders supporters were like Nazis.(6)

I’m sure Matthews and Todd’s comments have nothing to do with the fact that MSNBC is owned by Comcast, the second largest media and internet conglomerate in the world, which has been fighting antitrust accusations and was deemed “The Worst Company in America” by The Consumerist in 2010 and 2014(7) – just the type of abusive corporate behemoth that Bernie promises to break up and force to pay its fair share of taxes and a living wage to all its employees. But I only worked once upon a time, as an editor, for a newspaper owned by Knight-Ridder, then one of the largest and most respected media chains in the U.S., so who am I to comment on how a corporate culture results in self-censure and points of view defined at the top of major news organizations?

James Carville

Meanwhile, Democratic strategist James Carville, who was a consultant to Bill Clinton in the 1990s and was working for corporatist Michael Bennet until he dropped out of the primary race, also appeared in an interview on MSNBC with Nicole Wallace, who served in the George W. Bush administration. Also on the panel were host Brian Williams and former Democratic senator Claire McCaskill, but not a single progressive.

“Carville spent a good chunk of his interview attacking Sanders ― and then, at the end of the interview, said the candidates should stop ‘attacking each other’ and talk more about how to push the country forward.” Apparently oblivious to his contradiction, he also forgot that talk is already occurring about how to push the country forward, with debates about health care, student debt, immigration, the environment, and other issues. Then he suggested that voters are picking Sanders because they are ignorant, and urged the media to better inform the public of the “risks” of making Sanders the nominee.(8) 

Doubtlessly, this visceral aversion for Bernie also springs from the specter of George McGovern. The memory of his devastating loss to Richard Nixon in 1972 has traumatized Democrats to this day and conjures “naiveté, cockeyed idealism and electoral disaster,” in the words of the distinguished political theorist Yoav Fromer.(9) 

In a Washington Post article titled “Enough with the Sanders-McGovern analogies: 2020 is not 1972,” Fromer carefully dismembers the comparison, arguing that “America is nothing like what it was in 1972, and anyone suggesting a Sanders candidacy is predestined to suffer the same fate as McGovern hasn’t learned from history as much as they are enslaved to it.” 

Among other things, “Although McGovern had the support of many African American voters, he couldn’t really benefit from the Hispanic vote, yet. The Hispanic population barely reached 10 million in the early 1970s. Today there are around 60 million Hispanics in the United States, and their share in the electorate is projected to reach a new high this year by making up over 13 percent of all eligible voters. Hispanic voters who reside in battleground states such as Florida, Arizona and Nevada can offer Sanders a strategic constituency McGovern never enjoyed.”

In addition, “Millennials, who have overtaken the boomers as the largest demographic bloc, have consistently increased their voting rates and now threaten to outvote older generations. Trump secured only about a third of the youth vote in 2016. Conversely, Sanders has energized young voters, which could give him a demographic advantage in the general election that McGovern could only dream about.” These voters don’t see “socialism” as a bugaboo, and Sanders has been skillfully explaining that we already have a form of socialism, but it’s mostly for the rich.

Fromer goes on to examine other factors benefitting Bernie that McGovern didn’t enjoy, as well as factors that Nixon enjoyed but Trump doesn’t, and I invite readers to read his well-reasoned analysis. Ironically, James Carville himself published a book in 2003 that can guide a progressive candidate trying to defeat Trump, Had Enough? A Handbook for Fighting Back, and the candidate that best embodies his suggestions is Bernie. In addition to his genuineness, gravitas, and consistent message over forty years, fighting back to give more power to the people, achieve social justice, and reduce inequality, Bernie articulates the right points on practically all the issues that Carville addresses: homeland security, the military and defense policy, education, the environment, health care, campaign finance reform, taxing the uber rich, corporate governance, so-called entitlements, foreign relations, and the religious right. Stick to your principles, don’t become a Republican lite, and forcefully state what you think, are some of the behaviors that Carville recommends and Bernie practices. It’s really an amazing “coincidence” that Carville doesn’t see.

The ultimate choice voters face is whether to continue to endorse half-measures that lead back to the pre-Trump status quo or take the radical measures that we need to confront the existential threats that we face, starting with anthropogenic climate disruption. It is also a difference in understanding whether Trump is the problem or only a symptom of the rot at the core of American democracy. I believe it’s the latter, and that we need a radical cure in the apt sense of the word: going to the root of the problems. While radical in that sense, keep in mind that Bernie’s program is essentially a resurrection of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. As Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman put it, “He doesn’t want to nationalize our major industries and replace markets with central planning; he has expressed admiration, not for Venezuela, but for Denmark. He’s basically what Europeans would call a social democrat — and social democracies like Denmark are, in fact, quite nice places to live, with societies that are, if anything, freer than our own.”(10) 

Increasingly, the American people seem to be in agreement with Bernie’s new New Deal, as reflected in his runaway victory in Nevada and continued momentum. Despite the best efforts of the party’s power brokers and billionaires, voters are accepting a candidate whose agenda includes a transfer of power and wealth away from the ruling class and into the hands of the people. Voters are realizing that the nation’s political system and its economic practices are rigged in favor of the super-rich and multinational corporations, and that a comprehensive transformation is required to fix them. As of now, head-to-head polls in some battleground states are close or slightly favor Bernie, and Bernie beats Trump in the overwhelming majority of national polls. Trump’s vulnerabilities are immense, and Bernie should be able to exploit them in his inimitable, emphatic fashion. You may have noticed that he doesn’t surrender to interruptions, or someone trying to talk over him. He has carrying power and charisma like no other candidate to match Trump’s overbearing demeanor.

So, ignore the growing avalanche of red-baiting, slander and plain nonsense. Have heart, be hopeful, and cast your vote for the candidate who can best help to make a country that leaves no one behind. Don’t be surprised if in November 3 of this year there is this correct headline in the Chicago Tribune: Bernie Beats Trump.

Amaury Cruz is a writer, lawyer, and political activist from Miami Beach. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Juris Doctor. 


2 Id.


4 See


6 Id.