Labor for Bernie?
Posted on June 26, 2015 by Lou
I left the state a long time ago but return fairly often.
I remember Sanders from the ’70s when he was with Liberty Union, a radical “third party” roughly equivalent to California’s Peace and Freedom. I was more interested then in another of LU’s leaders, political science scholar and author Michael Parenti who was my neighbor in Putney.
I came to L.A. in ’81 just when Sanders took office as Burlington mayor.
Sanders makes great speeches from the Senate and I was impressed about 10 years ago when I saw him speak at a local gathering of Vermonters. He is very good at explaining how elites use wedge issues to divert workers from focusing on economic inequality.
I always had the feeling that Vermont’s uniquely accessible political culture enabled Bernie’s rise. That doesn’t detract from him. He’s a very smart guy. But if he hadn’t migrated north, I can picture Sanders teaching political science at Brooklyn College.
I’ve heard that Bernie is not especially “likeable” but I don’t think that matters very much (Obama is extraordinarily likeable but only marginally successful at moving the agenda).
“Labor for Bernie” is building steam for obvious reasons. But I’m holding back. First of all, I’m not quite finished with my political hibernation. Exhausted by the disappointments of the Obama years, I’m just beginning to peek out of the cave.
Also, the gender issue will be huge among Democrats this cycle and I just don’t believe that primary voters will again throw Hillary overboard for a male politician.