Bernie Sanders' meteoric surge in American polls is an indicator of a deeper reality. On August 16 Fox News released results of their nationwide polling as to US voter presidential preferences. This was a scientific opinion survey with published methodology. The results were astonishing:
"On the Democratic side, Clinton drops below 50 percent for the first time, while Sanders keeps climbing. She leads among Democratic primary voters by 19 points (49-30 percent). Two weeks ago Clinton was up by 29 points (51-22 percent). A month ago she had a 40-point advantage (59-19 percent). Vice President Joe Biden, who is undeclared, receives the backing of 10 percent. The remaining Democratic candidates are at one percent or less." (1)
In about one MONTH Clinton dropped from a 59-19 point advantage to a 49-30 advantage! This represents a 21 point relative shift. The conclusion is obvious: The more closely Democratic voters look at Clinton, the less they like what they see. Conversely, the more these voters learn about Sanders, the more they support him. This in SPITE of Clinton's fame, her wealth, her billionaire supporters, media--everything! Sanders seems an unlikely protagonist here: He's 73, a self-described "democratic socialist" who was until now, a relatively unknown senator from a small state. What gives?
What is happening is that Democratic voters are MASSIVELY rising up in opposition to the doctrine of neoliberalism. Since Bill Clinton's Presidency, neoliberalism has been the guiding political philosophy of the national Democratic Party. Georges Monbiot, a British journalist, succinctly describes neoliberalism as being: "....the doctrine which holds that the market can resolve almost all social, economic and political problems. It holds that people are best served, and their prosperity is best advanced, by the minimum of intervention and spending by the state. It contends that we can maximize the general social interest through the pursuit of self-interest." (2)
Since this odious doctrine came to dominate the American government during the 1980's Reagan Administration, the results have been unfailingly disastrous for 99% of Americans. Wealth has become ever more concentrated into fewer and fewer hands. Concomitantly, so has corporate and political power. Former Democratic President Jimmy Carter recently referred to the US political system as constituting: "An oligarchy, with unlimited bribery." (3) This is consistent with the findings of US political researchers Martin Gilens of Princeton University and Benjamin Page of Northwestern University. Commenting on this landmark study, a BBC analyst stated:
"The US is dominated by a rich and powerful elite. So concludes a recent study by Princeton University Prof Martin Gilens and Northwestern University Prof Benjamin I Page. This is not news, you say. Perhaps, but the two professors have conducted exhaustive research to try to present data-driven support for this conclusion. Here's how they explain it: Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. In English: the wealthy few move policy, while the average American has little power." (4)
As a direct consequence of the adoption of neoliberalism as unquestionable orthodoxy by BOTH major parties, almost ALL Americans have suffered severely, not only economically, but also politically as their republic has metastasized into an ever more nightmarish inverted totalitarianism. (5) Essentially this is a political system in which the outward appearance of democracy is maintained, while in actuality, a small, wealthy elite group is in control. Government exists SOLELY to serve this group. All else is facade. THIS is the actual emerging reality of early 21st century America.
Sanders has caught the Democratic voters' attention because he is the "real deal." He does not and never has taken corporate bribes--aka "campaign donations." He never will. His positions have not varied over the years and decades. They are positions which exclusively favor ordinary Americans over elites. Because the American political spectrum has been shifted ever farther rightward (Democrats ALWAYS moving right, as Republicans lunge ever farther right, thus allowing for an imaginary "center"), Sanders' "democratic socialism" is essentially FDR's policies updated somewhat to be relevant to our post-industrial society.
Clinton, conversely, is INEXTRICABLY part of the neoliberal mafia which has devastated America. Her policy proposals, no matter how cleverly obfuscated and "spin doctored," constitute another dosage of the neoliberal poison which has nearly destroyed us already. As voters realize this, and also that there exists a real alternative CHOICE--Bernie Sanders, the tangible manifestation of this is the rapid shift in each candidate's poll numbers.
The fundamental issue is neoliberalism. We do NOT want it! In fact, this rejection of neoliberalism underlies Donald Trump's rapid rise to, and stubborn persistence at, the top of Republican preferences. Republican voters also know something is fundamentally wrong with the US political and economic system. As Trump is the only Republican Presidential candidate clearly standing outside of Republican business as usual politics, they gravitate to him.
The upcoming primaries should be fought on the core issue of neoliberal economics. Government must exist to serve the PEOPLE, NOT concentrated pools of capital. The Democratic Party and its establishment candidate, Clinton, are an INTEGRAL part of the problem. They must be decisively rejected as part of a people powered revolution to take America back from the greedy swine who now control it and also from the infinitely sold out scum who do their bidding in the political arena, the media--everywhere.
However, doing this will not be easy. One way in which each of us can participate is to take the pledge located at the Revolt Against Plutocracy webpage (6) to vote for Sanders in the general election in the event that he is not the Democratic Party's nominee. If enough of us do this NOW, it will create enormous influence over the outcome of the Democratic primary and caucus process.
As Frederick Douglass aptly noted during another crisis period in American history "Power concedes nothing. It never has, and it never will." We must fight if we are to prevail. If we fail, neoliberal business as usual will not only impoverish us all, it will not only eviscerate our freedom, our liberty, it will rapidly drive the planet into ecological collapse, which likely means our deaths.
Therefore, we have nothing to lose, and everything to gain! THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE!