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Fri Feb 21, 2020, 01:00 PM

Why Sanders Will Probably Win the Nomination

Democrats already see reality through the Bernie lens.

By David Brooks
Opinion Columnist

Feb. 20, 2020

Excerpt:

Successful presidential candidates are mythmakers. They donít just tell a story. They tell a story that helps people make meaning out of the current moment; that divides people into heroes and villains; that names a central challenge and explains why they are the perfect person to meet it.

My takeaway from Wednesdayís hellaciously entertaining Democratic debate is that Sanders is the only candidate telling a successful myth. Bloomberg, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar all make good arguments, but they havenít organized their worldview into a simple compelling myth. You may look at them, but you donít see the world through their eyes.

Elizabeth Warren inhabits a myth without expressing it clearly. It just happens to be Sandersís myth. I thought her performance Wednesday evening was tactically brilliant and strategically catastrophic. Her attack on Bloomberg was totally through the Bernie lens. Her attacks on Buttigieg and Klobuchar were also through the Bernie lens. (Through that lens a bigger spending proposal is always better than a less big spending proposal.)

Warren was a devastatingly effective surrogate for Sanders, but she reinforced his worldview rather than establishing one of her own.

Over the past five years Sanders and his fellow progressives have induced large parts of the Democratic Party to see through the Bernie lens. You can tell because every candidate on that stage has the categories and mental equipment to carve up a billionaire like Bloomberg. None have the categories or mental equipment to take down a socialist like Sanders.

Sanders goes untouched in these debates because the other candidates donít have a mythic platform from which to launch an attack. Saying his plans cost too much is a pathetic response to a successful myth.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/20/opinion/bernie-sanders-win-2020.html



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