by Peter Franklin
Thursday, 9
April 2020
Reaction
11:22

Joe Biden didn’t win, Bernie lost

The Vermont Senator didn't even win the battle of ideas among the Democratic base
by Peter Franklin
Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders exchange a corona-shake before their head-to-head debate.

The race for the Democratic nomination was basically over a month ago, but yesterday Bernie Sanders made it official, formally throwing in the towel.

So that’s both the grand old men of Anglospherical socialism — Sanders and Corbyn — out in the space of one week.


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In an echo of Corbyn’s “we have won the arguments” line, Sanders insisted that “we are winning the ideological battle“.

That’s right, Bernie — it’s an endless run of victories for them socialists! Unless, that is, you count actual votes, which, in a democracy, we do.

As for the battle of ideas, the only winner right now is the coronavirus. The crisis is forcing a series of unprecedented state interventions, but under the direction of governments battling to save the system not change it. Whether it’s President Trump or President Biden heading up that effort next year, it won’t make a huge difference.

In reality, what we’ve seen ever since the great financial crisis is democratic socialism losing the ideological war. Capitalism, at its lowest ebb, has nevertheless prevailed for want of a credible alternative.

Sanders didn’t even win the battle of ideas among the Democratic base. Looking back, the nomination was always Joe Biden’s to lose. That said, the former Vice President gave losing a jolly good try — running a low energy campaign, punctuated by a series of ‘senior moments’ (which may yet undo him).

In the early primaries and caucuses, despairing Democrats on the party’s moderate wing were clearly casting around for an alternative champion. However, none of them managed to break loose from the others. Furthermore Biden held on to the all-important support of black Democrats in southern states. Once that became obvious, the alt-Bidens (Buttigieg, Bloomberg, Klobuchar etc) were dispensed with.

And that brings us to another parallel between Sanders and Corbyn. While both men were immensely popular among young, college-educated Left-wingers — they failed to connect with whole sections of their respective parties’ traditional base.

Unlike Labour and the working class voters of the former Red Wall, the Democrats have yet to lose the overwhelming support they get from Black Americans. But the fact that such voters showed so little interest in what Bernie Sanders had to offer should give Democrats pause for thought. If socialism allied to super-woke social liberalism represents the future of the Dems then, at some point, a less off-putting Republican than Donald Trump could make a populist, yet bridge-building, offer to hard-pressed Americans of all ethnicities.

Voters across the western world are desperate for an alternative to the status quo, they just don’t want it to come from either extreme.

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Jerry W
Jerry W
2 years ago

Nothing will change so long as virtually all our electronic and allied consumer goods are sourced from China. Go round your home, and you will find it is full up with goods made in China. If you are not prepared to give them up, or find locally made alternatives that will undoubtedly cost you more, nothing will change..

Sarah Lambert
Sarah Lambert
2 years ago
Reply to  Jerry W

I do go round my home. I live in France. Buy local. Buy French if you you live in France. Buy British if you live there.

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
2 years ago
Reply to  Sarah Lambert

French electronics? I doubt it.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago

I would say that the American people have lost. As Joe Rogan said regarding the choice of the corrupt, war mongering and increasingly senile Biden as Democrat nominee: ‘The Democrats have made morons of us all’.

Fred Dibnah
Fred Dibnah
2 years ago

Why did no white Biden alternative get a black man to be their putative vice president while running for the Democratic nomination?

johntshea2
johntshea2
2 years ago

“So London is bound to lean more liberal, more rule-bending ““ and, in a world that valorises ‘open’ traits, more sure of its own worth than the more culturally ‘closed’ provinces.”

More rule-bending? Yet their philosophy, world-view and religion is so often no more than Political-Correctness, one of the most closed and conformist ways of living ever foisted on people.

“These millions might consider whether it is time to vote with their feet. After all, theirs is the talent and energy. Theirs is the future.”

Amen to that!

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
2 years ago

Creepy Joe Biden never really seemed to be altogether there. Years ago, he spoke to an American audience about the most famous battle in Serbian history, the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, calling it the Battle of Pristina in 1388. It’s like he referred to the Battle of Sussex in 1065 for the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Now he is clearly senile and quite incapable of holding any political office, let alone the presidency. Did Bernie Sanders actually fail to win the battle of ideas, or was he unwilling to go for the jugular, attacking Biden as senile and incompetent, as he should have done?
Polls taken in the Democratic primaries showed that there were solid majorities in the Democratic base for single-payer health care, so it is sad in a way that Bernie lost and Creepy Joe will be running against Trump as the status quo defender of Obamacare. I suspect a lot of Sanders’s support came from people who thought his nuttier ideas would never have a hope of getting legislated, but did believe he might be able to enact a single-payer health care system if he were president. Peter Franklin writes: “a less off-putting Republican than Donald Trump could make a populist, yet bridge-building, offer to hard-pressed Americans of all ethnicities.” Agreed that Trump would never go for a single-payer health care system, but next time there may be a Republican candidate who will make a case for it. The COVID-19 epidemic shows just how problematic the current US system is.

Nicholas Taylor
Nicholas Taylor
2 years ago

London’s Millennials “¦(9 April 2020) ‘0 comments’? I saw several before I logged in. Anyway, if people settle in a park or beach, in order to ensure you can move around and be at least 2m away from them and their sneezes and coughs ,they need to be spaced about 6m. That means taking up nearly 10 times the space they would if walking on a street or promenade. That has to be unfair to somebody. So keep on trucking, folks. Oops! Bad metaphor, remembering the foot-and-mouth epidemic in 2001. Keep driving on. Oh no, not that either! Who know where they’ve been, or are going? But the great affair is to move.

norahmaydean
norahmaydean
2 years ago

Uncle Joe as POTUS ? O M G. This creep is as genuine as an 11 dollar bill. The only question I can’t answer, is who would be worse, Uncle Joe or Crooked Hillary. Both would fumble into an all-in war with Russia or China, or both, both would just do what the Rothschild / Rockerfeller cartel wants. O M G.