“Could Bernie Sanders have defeated Trump?” – Harry Spindler

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By Harry Spindler

It is official. Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States of America. In what has to be regarded as one of the dirtiest, most pathetic and remarkable elections in a very long time, scandals have ensued over rape allegations, sexism, racism and corruption on both sides and, somehow, the American people were supposed to pick out of either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump; the classic Capitalist or the anti-establishment demagogue.

Both make my spine shiver, but, somehow, we can also think of what could have been. Bernie Sanders was the closest running opponent to Hillary Clinton for the right to be Democrat presidential candidate, and, on several occasions, appeared to be ahead of both her and Trump in the polls. Yet, in a time which was clearly calling for Social reform and a break in the establishment, as we witnessed by the Republican candidate of Donald Trump, the Democrats refused to accept reform and chose the old way of a potential refreshing candidate in Sanders.

A self-declared Democratic Socialist, whilst he resembles more of a Social Democrat, Bernie Sanders was exactly what the people had been begging for. A candidate who would dedicate all his time and energy to the installment of a Welfare State and the end to the capitalistic aims to all of America’s policy. Those living in the biggest capitalist society in the world wanted to change their ways. If Sanders had been standing behind the podium during the Presidential Debates, would we be witnessing the end of a Wall street organised government?

Between May 6th and June 5th, Sanders was, on average, polling at 49.7% to Trumps 39.3%. This average was far bigger than Clinton’s average over Trump after Sanders had to concede defeat. As well as this statistic, NBC’s Wall Street Journal took a poll on the 15th of May to figure out how many points each Democratic candidate may have won by. It was predicted that Clinton would win by 3 points in the election. Sanders was predicted to win by 15 if he had reached that stage. Fox News took a similar poll and argued that Clinton would lose by 3 points. However, they concurred that Sanders would beat Trump, even if at the smaller margin of 4 points.

Let’s forget these statistics, for now. Sometimes, the best way to judge something is by looking directly at it. In this case, cast your minds back to the rallies that Clinton had run and the ones Sanders organised. Many political commentators in the U.S. feel that Clinton lacked that drive or charisma to really invoke the passion of those caught in between her and Sanders. Comparing her rallies to those of the Democratic predecessor, you wouldn’t be able to instantly see the compassion or the adoration the voters had for their ‘Glorious Leader’. Many feel that same drive that we saw at Obama’s events were mirrored at Sanders’. With the dictation and the performance of the Socialist Sanders on stage, you would forget he is 74 years of age and could be swept along with his performance.

The youth still voted for the Democratic candidate and that pattern would most likely have remained the same, regardless if it was a Sanders led presidency bid or a Clinton one. However, it was clear to see that, after the Democratic convention chose Clinton over Sanders, a lot of the voters who were pining for reform in the establishment had felt some sort of betrayal that the party had chosen their preference and not the voters. I believe this shock that Clinton was chosen led to many taking the idea of actually voting against their party as an act of protest for how narrow-minded the Democrats were being.

Some arguments went along the lines of “Sanders is purely unelectable in this day and age” which is wrong seeing as, in many of the polls, he was favoured over Clinton, as well as the idea “Clinton will be the first female president, a win for feminism” but was she truly even the best candidate to represent women? The day the first female President is elected will be an incredible day, but there are far better candidates for it than Hillary Clinton.

The Democrats were, therefore, all in all, blind to see the desire of their voters to change how the establishment worked and instead went down the alley of momentous landmarks where they desired to not just be the first to elect a black president but a female one also. Sanders would have been the President that America needs, but evidently after this election, not the one it deserves right now. Everything weighs in Sanders favour, the polls, the desire of the electorate to fix the establishment and then the passion he garnered in his rallies. Sanders may not be president but he has opened the door to reform in America. We might just have to wait four years for someone like him though.

Harry Spindler is currently studying History and International Politics and has aspirations to be a journalist. He is a huge fan of football, rugby, ice hockey and basketball and is a keen supporter of the left wing. You can find more of his work online at spindlersdugout. & allonredharry.blogspot.

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