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Bernie Sanders Drops Out: Senator's 'Revolution' Less Transformative than Advertised

Baba Agba

April. 08, 2020

As he bows out of what will presumably be his final White House run, the Democratic Party appears to be passing the Vermont senator by.
‘Few would deny that over the course of the past five years, our movement has won the ideological struggle.” That’s how Bernie Sanders ended his presidential campaign, and that’s the line his supporters are taking in reaction to the news. Sure, Sanders has lost the nomination to a candidate with obvious and much-discussed debilities for the second time in four years, the argument goes, but his achievement will endure: He made democratic socialism (or at least social democracy) palatable in the United States. He shifted the Overton Window to the left, earned the loyal support of tens of millions of young Americans who will remain politically engaged, and helped Jacobin gain thousands of subscriptions. “Years and decades from now, we will look back on Bernie Sanders’s two presidential campaigns as massively transformational in American politics,” says Micah Uetricht, that magazine’s managing editor.
Will we, though? That may have been a reasonable thing to say after 2016, when Sanders notched a series of stunning wins in midwestern states while making real inroads among young voters of all races, but it doesn’t fit the evidence we have now, four years later. The rationale for Sanders’s 2020 campaign — that he could secure massive turnout among young people and the pan-ethnic working class by pitching a quasi-revolutionary message, while also mounting a challenge to Donald Trump’s claim to low-education white voters — has proven to be delusional. And while he may have gotten his rivals to embrace…
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