“Today we begin a political revolution to transform our country economically, politically, socially, and environmentally. Brothers and sisters, now is not the time for thinking small … now is the time for millions of working families to come together.” — Bernie Sanders
Revolution has been a recurring theme in Bernie Sanders’ campaign. In a recent interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, he was pressed about the meaning of that term; specifically, Matthews wanted to know how Sanders intended to bring it about. The exchange is worth quoting in full:
MATTHEWS: Obama can’t do this, but you can? How?
SANDERS: I’ll tell you. What you need and what I say is you need a political revolution. And that is you need these young people to understand and working people and low income people, if they are not involved actively in the political process, it will be the billionaire class who makes decisions for them and not necessarily in their interest.
MATTHEWS: Let’s say you get elected…and walk up to the Senate and you meet with leadership…and Mitch McConnell looks at you the way he looked at President Obama and says, “Forget about it.”
SANDERS: And then you know what I say? I’d day, “Hey, Mitch, take a look out the window. There’s a million young people out there who don’t want to be in debt for half their life for the crime of going to college…if you don’t want to lose your job, you better start listening to what we have to say.” That’s the point. That’s how change takes place.
While Sanders may not be advocating a revolution in the strictest sense, he is trying to transform the landscape by bringing millions of new voters into the process. And he’s absolutely right: No change of any consequence happens without mass mobilization. The problem, though, is that it’s not working. The people aren’t showing up...