I am supporting Bernie Sanders in 2020. This is strange to people who knew me in 2016. Back then I was an ardent supporter of Hillary Clinton.

Here is my rationale for supporting Sanders now:

In 2016 supporting Clinton made sense. She offered continuity with Obama, she was going to finish the work he started, and she represented the Democratic Party’s ideology which was to advance the disparate interests of the poor, the middle class, and business in a harmonious way. She was a return to what seemed to work in the 1990s.

But now the Clinton dynasty is in ruins, Obama is functionally a wandering ascetic, and Jimmy Carter has spent the last five years dying and then coming back.

The Democratic Party is experiencing a leadership vacuum. It will be filled by whoever becomes the next president.

There are two choices: The vacuum can be filled by a leader of a movement who will reshape the party into the political vehicle of the working class. This is Sanders’ movement, and it has the benefit of providing a natural constituency based on class.

The second option poses an urgent threat: The vacuum might be filled by corporate élites who transform the party into a hub of wealthy suburbanites. This option is represented by centrists like Joe Biden — who mean well but aren’t the best fit for the moment — and corporate Frankensteins like Michael Bloomberg who are running to prevent progressives from winning.

With the Republican Party descending into radicalism it is important that the Democratic Party has a reliable constituency. The only way to create this is to become a class-based party.

It’s time for Sanders.

Jack Lindsay

Mankato

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