As someone who personally has met Hillary Clinton and knew people who worked for her family, I never had problems with supporting her campaign in 2016. I defended Hillary against the most asinine attacks for years, and I am not in the camp that believes the social media campaigns didn’t have an effect on votes (but that’s a looooong discussion off the topic). However, this is 2020, and I want to try to convince my friends in the center to come over with me and give your full support to Senator Bernie Sanders for president.

If this was six months ago, I may not have been so confident in showing my full support for the Sanders campaign above the others. I still had some unresolved anger with a handful of “progressives” who did not need their voices heard but somehow floated up amid honestly decent progressive voices in 2016. However, that all aside, I’m here to tell you to ignore the commentary from Hillary or other center-left Dems complaining about Bernie Sanders. They aren’t speaking lies, but the context isn’t something most Americans truly care about at the moment. Nobody is really happy with the DNC or the RNC.

The RNC currently has some unity due to a feeling that the republicans gave the voters an unconstrained Trump as a way to give them something. Trump hasn’t been shy about what he truly has been promising the entire time… pride. Confidence. Patriotism. He wants to give his voters ethereal things to assuage their woes over the long-time effects of elitist access to government, and there is no way he’ll ever give them those reforms they truly want. Trump took the GOP playbook of moving the goalposts for their constituents and ran with it hard. It went from draining the swamp to let’s do this one thing first to see if that fixes it instead. And this is exactly why we have so many Independent voters in this country.

The DNC is struggling with the same issues because a political party system which can be corrupted will have some corruption. Corruption might be painfully obvious in Trump’s administration or in McConnell’s handling of the GOP Senators’ futures at his sole discretion, but the DNC also has the same self-dealing issues. When some of that sausage-making process came out in the stolen emails from 2016, it set off a fire in the Democratic Party that they still haven’t put out. Nor do I think they can…. or should.

The further we take the moral high ground in politics, the further to the left and into the modern progressive movement we’ll get. Bill Clinton’s take on party politics encompassed the hybrid 3rd Way hedging towards more socialism as technology replaced more labor (but the horse-trading gave a bad smell to bi-partisanship as the fruits of those trade deals, banking changes, and more started leaving a history of data to track). Companies are rarely looking for ways to squeeze out cheap labor (except the restaurant industry), and many of those disrupted industries replaced blue-collar low-education/high-skill jobs which paid decent wages with automation and heavy equipment. As globalism grew our GDP, the regulatory structures that were in place benefited a minority of Americans without much benefit to the rest. And in some cases, globalism was a detriment to their livelihoods here in this country.

Globalism has generally produced a lot of prosperity, yet that prosperity has been narrowly focused, leaving most Americans with very little to show for those gains which caused rapid change to job markets and wage stagnation in this country.

The conservative solution to this problem prior to Trump was to just cut taxes and let boosted revenue and the free market magically fix everything through… well… magic. Trump stepped up and said fuck these trade deals, let’s give something to you people who were left behind. And then he said some crazy shit, but his support came from that initial promise to punish those elites who had been prospering from world trade while leaving blue collar America behind. He lied to them. He still lies to them. But, they’re not getting anything better from anyone else.

The only time Voodoo has worked in economics.

The noticeable hostility from center-right and center-left pundits on MSNBC or CNN against Bernie has been something that’s righteously being pointed out (these aren’t conspiracy theories, they’re quite valid). However, when have those same pundits ever recognized Trump’s appeal realistically to the voters he has? Do they honestly think that tens of millions of people are just flat-out racists or elites taking advantage of racists? Yes, Trump is quite the racist. No, we don’t need to point it out like it’s a reason those voters came to him. Some did, but most didn’t. Blue-collar Americans want to feel like they’re being heard, but the punditry has either accused them of being racists or communists for wanting any change that benefits those men and women who’ve been left behind in our growth as a nation.

This is why I believe the country NEEDS a Bernie Sanders in the White House. Trump’s voters shouldn’t be thrown out as empty vessels not worthy of our attention, and they deserve real solutions to the problems they want fixed. Sanders will give that to both the right and the left with his policies. Bernie won’t punish Trump’s voters to help his own supporters. Bernie is a true patriot who actually wants to do the things Trump only promised yet failed to deliver over his first term in office. Bernie wants to fix the problems in your backyard, not sell you a con about fixing backyards far away to somehow trickle down a benefit back to you.

As for the term “socialism”… well, for one, it’s not that accurate. You can ask any Venezuelan about whether they think Bernie Sanders is a “socialist” and they’ll laugh in your face for how ridiculous that will sound to them. Sanders makes a claim to democratic socialism, which is a model closer to Truman’s social policies on paper than the authoritarian examples people like to bring up. Not only will it be a hard sell to smear socialism as it’s been watered down in punditry, Sanders has proven quite capable in defending AND selling people on the concept when given a forum to do so.

I admit, I was on the fence about Bernie in 2016 even though I supported him so fervently as a Senator. However, if you have any ability to look at the zeitgeist around you in this era, Bernie and Trump are really the only choices that have a chance at becoming the next president in 2020. Don’t listen to those people who say any Dem with a pulse could beat Trump because his base is still waiting for that reciprocal trickle down of benefit from his immigration policies and tax policies to reach them. They won’t care kids are in cages, they will want to see the ride through to get their end of that promise. Sanders is the only other candidate giving Americans a solution for that, and his won’t trickle down later.