February 25, 2016 by David K. Sutton
Don’t Blame Me For Lack Of Democratic Enthusiasm
Yesterday I said Bernie Sanders has already won. The victory is educating millions of young Americans about social liberal values. Sanders calls himself a democratic-socialist, but he’s a true liberal, a true FDR Democrat.
But in response, some people think saying such things is a signal to Sanders supporters to give up.
[D]on’t go calling it over either way, it just causes people to stay home.
And others believe there is no net-positive benefit of a Sanders campaign if he ultimately loses the election.
If we lose then we lost. We did not win. Rallies in presidential years are not winning. Winning is winning. If Sanders loses the corporate republican lite democrats like Hillary will rule the party for 8 long years and we will likely get another Republican after that.
Apparently we cannot speak the truth for fear that it will prematurely end the Sanders campaign. And we must not consider if Sanders, a 74-year old democratic-socialist, had a positive influence on the minds of young adults.
Now, I could posit just the opposite. I could reason that it is fear of Sanders not winning that motivates his supporters to vote. This ought to be particularly believable given the momentum of his campaign. After all, we are talking about a candidate who the mainstream media dismissed as soon as he entered the race. So, we shouldn’t underestimate people, right?
Well, just a second there, professor. Because I can offer up something you should really fear. How about another election cycle where Republican enthusiasm trumps (pun intended) Democratic enthusiasm.
Last night I wrote the following on the Left Call Facebook page:
Hey Democrats, you know that 2014 mid-term election you ignored? Yeah, good job on that! It allowed Republicans control of the Senate. Had you shown up for that mid-term, maybe President Obama would stand a chance to tip the Supreme Court liberal. But nope, you had more important things to do.
Also last night, Rachel Maddow reported Democratic early voting is down 50% in Texas from 2008.
Falling well short of the voter enthusiasm from that year is not a good thing for the Democratic Party this year. Whatever you think of the comparative merits of the Republican field and the Democratic field right now, the Republican field is consistently making more people turn out to vote. They are setting records. Democrats aren’t getting anywhere near their records. If the Democrats cannot fix that by November that will be an ominous sign for the general election. And it is therefore something that the Democratic Party and both their candidates should start having both an explanation for and a ready plan to fix it as part of their basic pitch for electability.
Yes, the enthusiasm gap is something we on the left should fear. Because if an open Supreme Court seat, which will define the ideological leaning of the high court, is not enough motivation to get Democrats to vote, then I wouldn’t sweat one opinion piece about Bernie Sanders.
Don’t blame me for lack of Democratic enthusiasm.