Clinton’s campaign seems stuck in the mud thematically. I listened to some of her speeches the last week. I heard her appealing to voters to support her because she is a Democrat and Sanders is not really. Look, America isn’t Europe circa 1960. We don’t have membership parties, and partisan allegiance has been declining since the election of 1896. If your main appeal is that you have a D next to your name, you are going to lose.
Maybe that’s why Wisconsin’s left-leaning Independents voted 70-30 in favor of Sanders.
I also heard the appeal from Clinton and her boosters that her programs are practical and pragmatic and that his are airy, grandiose and totally impractical. Clinton seems to be arguing that the test of a good campaign proposal is that it be able to be inserted in the annual budget message that the President sends to Congress in February — a message that is never read and that is inevitably pronounced dead on arrival. It’s no wonder that Sanders is attracting young voters. They know Washington is currently gridlocked, but they want to know where a presidential candidate wants the country to go in five, ten, or fifteen years. What are the larger changes on the basis of which incremental changes could be made?
I’m not sure Clinton has any big plan other than becoming the first woman president, and continuing to serve the comfortable classes while promising to help the struggling working classes, or as Peggy Noonan called them – the unprotected. The struggling classes, however, have lost faith in establishment promises, and are turning out for Trump or Sanders.
Sanders’ independent supporters could have been the core of the Democratic party someday, but probably won’t have much use for the Democrats after an election cycle resulting in business as usual. As Green Party candidate Dr Jill Stein recently reminded Abby Martin, third parties have stepped up to replace older parties that have faltered. If the Sanders Independents start their own movement, and if the Trump/Tea Party supporters do the same, the Democrats and Republicans might be relegated to the history books with the Federalists, Democratic-Republicans and Whigs.