The contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders is more than just one Democrat against another; it represents something far beyond whether Sanders can handle foreign policy or whether Clinton is likable. The Democratic primary is a contest between two competing economic ideologies, and the difference between them is NOT being covered in political media.
This article should be required reading for every Democrat planning to vote in the primaries.
So Bernie Sanders is not merely running to attempt to implement a set of idealistic policies that a republican-controlled congress is likely to block. He is running to take the Democratic Party back from an establishment that ignores the fundamental systemic economic problems that lead to wage stagnation and economic crisis. Those who say that the Democratic Party cannot be reclaimed by the FDR/LBJ types or that if it is reclaimed it will flounder in elections against the GOP are thinking too small. In the 1968 and 1976 republican primaries, this guy called Ronald Reagan was running to take the Republican Party back from the Richard Nixon types who went along with the democrats on welfare and regulation in a bid to return the republicans to their 1920’s Calvin Coolidge roots. At the time, Reagan’s plan was considered madcap–everyone in the 60’s and 70’s knew that hard right Coolidge style economics leads to depression and crisis. But the stagflation in the 70’s created an opportunity for Reagan to convince republicans and eventually the country as a whole to fully embrace a totally different ideology that was much closer to Coolidge’s politics than it was Eisenhower’s or Nixon’s. In the years since 2008, many Americans, in particular young people, are willing to consider the possibility that neoliberalism–the economic ideology espoused by both the post-Reagan republicans and the post-Carter Clinton-era democrats–is fundamentally flawed and must be revised or potentially replaced entirely.
This can only happen if democrats recognize that Bernie Sanders is not just a slightly more left-wing fellow traveler of Clinton’s. This is not a contest to see who will lead the democrats, it’s a contest to see what kind of party the democrats are going to be in the coming decades, what ideology and what interests, causes, and issues the Democratic Party will prioritize. This makes it far more important than any other recent primary election. The last time a democratic primary was this important, it was 1976. Only this time, instead of Anybody But Carter or Anybody But Clinton, the left has Bernie Sanders–one representative candidate that it is really excited about. The chance may not come again for quite some time.
Seriously, read the whole thing: Why Bernie vs Hillary Matters More Than People Think | Benjamin Studebaker