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How the Sanders Campaign Is Going Off the Rails

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Bernie Sanders at the 2015 Iowa State Fair
Bernie Sanders at the 2015 Iowa State Fair
(Image by Phil Roeder)
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At this point in the US election cycle we, the people, have our ONLY chance to influence who will be the Democratic Party nominee. It is NOT time now to start the horse race fever and begin maneuvering as if in preparation for the general election.

We need now to look at the critical issues before this nation and the world and form a clear picture of what the next President will need to do to address these looming major issues. Those of us who believe Bernie Sanders is the candidate who is most likely to do what we think needs to be done should, in these few months before the primary election, be doing all we can to persuade other Democrats to support him.

There was another election cycle 12 years ago where there was a very distinct difference between the people's candidate and the others vying for the Democratic nomination. Many young voters today were not politically active at that time. They have no experience in building support for a people's candidate. The lessons we learned in the Howard Dean campaign are not being used by the Sanders campaign here in Texas.

It is alarming to those of us who were deeply involved in the Dean campaign in 2003-2004 that the Texas Sanders campaign is being run by very young people who believe they have nothing to learn. Our North Texas official campaign manager is focused on all the things that are done in a general election when it is past time to try to convince the base of the qualities needed by the nominee and recruit supporters for a particular primary candidate.

We need to be having regular weekly meetings where the supporters of Sanders come to see videos of Sanders speeches and hear local speakers tell why they are supporting Sanders. The supporters bring friends who say they are not yet decided who to support. We did this in the Howard Dean campaign, and it was hugely successful. We scared hell out of the DLC Third Way cabal and caused them to dilute the field of candidates by injecting stalking horse candidates whose job was to chant Third Way philosophy and decrease the share of available time for Dean to make his case. In the end they engineered the Iowa Scream faux issue to knock Dean out.

Twelve years ago our Dean base was mostly in their 30s and older, though there were a smaller number in their 20s. Those people are now 33 and older, mostly older. The local Bernie campaign officials seem too young to have been politically active in 2004, and they clearly are not focused on selling Sanders to the base. They assume there is no need to convince people not to support Hillary. This is a huge mistake and a waste of precious time. Worse, they do not put any stock in lessons we learned.

I sincerely hope the Sanders campaign will read and heed this warning.

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I am a retired physicist and hold a B.S. in Ch. E. as well. I have been an environmental activist since the early 1970s. I was a founding member of the Save Barton Creek Association in Austin, TX. In 2006 I was a member of a select (more...)

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