In going through the mental “what if” scenarios for the Democrats, after reading the opinions of respected commentators, including our own Larry Horist, it occurs to me that a Sanders’ nomination would be an existential threat to the Democratic Party, and perhaps even to America.
I’m not a fan of the Democratic Party, but I do believe the two party system has served America well. Congress was designed to move slowly, and the constantly contentious partisan fights are frustratingly good at maintaining stalemates for years and sometimes generations. Yes, this really is what our founding fathers intended. The two party system has kept us on a slow changing, publicly argued, heavily deliberated path for more than two centuries. We have seen some laws that we would rather not have seen, but we can never argue that we were surprised or that the process was not transparent.
To weaken an opposing side, or to fracture it into incompatible subgroups would unbalance our system. While I support the agenda of the Republican Party, I don’t want to see it go unchallenged. We have our share of crazies and radicals in the Republican Party (as with every political party). Without an opposition to moderate us, I believe we would see more radical positions in the mainstream. If this becomes the case, do we want a Congress that moves more quickly?
So back to Bernie.
As I have written before, Bernie Sanders is insane.
And I mean this in the clinical sense. (Full disclaimer, I am indeed an expert in psychology, but I am not a doctor, nor have I even met, much less physically examined Bernie Sanders). I do not doubt that Bernie Sanders can do basic mathematics. But I do believe that Bernie Sanders is incapable of seeing or registering any mathematics that conflicts with his world view, where socialism actually can work, despite all evidence to the contrary. But this is not the issue at hand. It is this:
Bernie Sanders is running as a socialist.
How will Bernie destroy his party?
If Bernie becomes the nominee, how will the House and Senate candidates in the 2020 election handle supporting a presidential candidate who is a socialist?
They have two choices.
They can support Bernie Sanders. If they support the socialist agenda of Bernie Sanders, they will almost certainly lose, since moderate Democrats will not vote for it, much less Republican voters. Their election loss will give Trump a majority in both the House and Senate. Further, even in their loss, they will normalize socialism for a much greater part of their constituency, a move that will eventually threaten the wildly successful free enterprise system of the greatest nation on earth.
They can reject socialism and Bernie Sanders. If they choose to reject Bernie, the Democratic Party fractures. I believe a great many Democrats WILL reject Bernie Sanders philosophies, since they know their constituents, especially older Democrats, realize how stupid is the socialist agenda. Their best chance to win the election is to distance themselves from Sanders. Can you imagine a large number of Congressional candidates rejecting the presidential nominee??
Is there a middle ground? No. Not with Bernie. You either agree with socialism or you don’t. You either support Sanders or you don’t. Sanders has made sure there is no compromise.
The result? A massively fractured Democratic Party, including loss of the House to the Republicans. Trump wins big.
We Republicans can rejoice in the short term because Trump’s agenda will prevail for the next four years. Personally, I trust Trump and the majority of our elected leaders to continue with the path they are on.
But the price we pay is a brand new, much larger group of believers in socialism, its entry into the mainstream and the possibility of eventual victory. This group will be opposed by an equally large group of moderate Democrats. Between the two, they will not be able to form a consensus on any but the most trivial issues. They will be impotent as a foil to a newly empowered Republican Party.
And while part of me would love to see this happen, my left brain, philosophical, intellectual self tells me that the collapse of the two party system would be incredibly dangerous for America.