Opinion: Bernie Sanders’ Popularity is a Double-Edged Sword

Opinion: Bernie Sanders’ Popularity is a Double-Edged Sword

The Hill reports that Team Clinton is “worried” about Bernie Sanders. “He will be a serious force for the campaign and I don’t think that will diminish,” said Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri.

The Clinton campaign is right to be concerned. After polls showed Sanders surging in New Hampshire, he then went on to raise a larger-than-expected $15 million in 60 days.

Unsurprisingly, conservatives are gleeful at the sight of Hillary Clinton’s vulnerability among Democrats – as well they should be. Such gladness on the part of the Right should be tempered by a reality: Sanders popularity is a double-edged sword.

Every person who is willing to support Sanders over Clinton is willing to support an avowed socialist. Therefore, any increase in support for Sanders is an increase in the number of Americans who support – or at least are willing to accept – socialism.

With the exception of Sanders’ position on gun control and his common ground with non-interventionists and libertarians on some foreign policy issues, those to the right of center have no agreements with the direction he would take this country.

While a Sanders presidency is almost certainly never going to happen, the idea that so many American voters would punch the ticket for a socialist simply out of dislike for Hillary Clinton either means that socialism has gained a disturbing amount of acceptance in America or that the Clintons and their many scandals generate a whole lot of disgust even on the Left.

The truth is surely some combination of the two. Conservatives naturally should hope it is far more of the latter than the former.

This is not to say that conservatives should not be happy at evidence of Hillary’s weaknesses; we should. At the same time though, conservatives should recognize that the image of a semi-viable socialist candidate like Sanders could represent or result in a leftward shift among American voters.



  1. Bernie Sanders is not a Socialist, he is a Communist. I attended the University of Vermont from 1984-1988. During those years I wrote for the UVM “Cynic ” newspaper. Bernie was the Communist mayor of Burlington, VT during that time. I knew him as a political staff writer. One time I sat next to him on a flight to Philly. Bernie had two brownies wrapped in plastic. Like a good comrade he shared one with me… True story.
    When he ran for Congress in the 90’s, he had to tone down the Communism so he became an “Independent.” He was actually a pretty good mayor and was well-liked. I think he is still a Communist at heart. I wonder what that would make Hillary?

    • Hillary would still be a liar whose legacy is a trail of dead bodies and an overwhelming air of arrogance. If either of these candidates prevails, the United States will continue down the road to oblivion that Obama has fostered. God help us!

      • I hear you Poppo. I’m really implying that we know openly what Bernie stands for. Hillary, like her former boss won’t speak the truth. I prefer integrity over a liar, even if he is,a Commie… May he be strengthened just enough to sink her campaign.

        • I could not agree more. I had no intention of demeaning your statements in any way. Someone who believes in what I consider the wrong thing is usually capable of being persuaded, or, if not, you can always try to minimize or limit their damage. A person who has a habit of willfully lying is totally incorrigible.

          • No offense taken. You are simply more brazen. I was a liberal back in those days. I saw a radical element throw balloons filled with red paint at the CIA recruiters when they came to campus and at students who tried to inquire about jobs with them.
            I couldn’t relate to that radical wing of the party. I saw the light in the mid nineties and woke up. I’m not for Bernie, but he sure makes the Clinton camp nervous.

  2. What a terrible time for the USA. We have a staunch Anti-American in the White House and half of the country cannot decide whether they want him replaced with an avowed Socialist/Communist or a proven liar whose only legacy is a trail of dead bodies and an overwhelming air of arrogance.

    • I think that points to the real reason why Sanders is so popular. Voters are catching on to Mrs. Clinton’s dishonesty.

  3. Labels and ideology aren’t helpful, rather they shut down pragmatic and independent thought. Not all of us supporters of Bernie Sanders identify with the “left” or “socialism.” I consider myself a patriotic and pragmatic American, excited that finally there is a Presidential candidate proposing solutions as big as the crises our country faces. He is the Presidential candidate who clearly opposed Fast Track and the Free Trade treaties that offshore our industries, jobs and sovereignty. He introduced legislation to break up the “too big to fail” banks that threaten us with another financial crisis. He supports the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act that will restore sanity to the American banking system. He understands the ACA health insurance reform is inadequate and we need a National Health insurance. He proposes massive rebuilding our infrastructure and making our public colleges be free to our citizens. These are the long-term solutions our country needs to rebuild our industries and put our people back to work.

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