According to George Bennett from the Palm Beach Post, Bill Clinton had this to say on the stump yesterday:
It’s not altogether mysterious that there are a lot of people that say, well, the Republican Party rewarded the tea party. They just tell people what they want to hear, move them to the right and we’ll be rewarded – except they didn’t get anything done. Then that’s going on now in our party.
Now it’s no shocked that I am a Sanders supporter, but I also believe there to be some truth to this statement, though I believe Clinton didn’t mean it that way. Allow me to explain.
The Tea Party and Occupy movement, despite being on different sides of the political spectrum, had one thing in common – a disgust of how Washington works. From bailing out big banks, to constant grid lock, both groups were frustrated. I share that same frustration, which is why I support Bernie. I also live in one of the biggest Tea Party areas in the country, giving me a lot of friends that are supporters of the Tea Party movement, and I can tell you first hand that we do have a lot of these types of issues we agree on.
Of course Clinton wasn’t going that deep in his statement. Instead he meant that Sanders supporters are separated from reality, the same as the Tea Party. Is it really a separation in reality when we want to see our country working again?
Something Hillary and all of the GOP candidates, save Trump, have failed to realize is that the chorus of people who are fed up is enormous. If you take the Sanders supporters and Trump supporters nationally and lump them into this “fed up” group, you have one of the biggest majority of Americans this country has ever seen.
To illustrate my point, let’s do some math. Currently on the Democratic side, Bernie is running at 35.7% in the Real Clear Politics average, and Trump is at 29%. For simple math let’s do a sampling of those numbers out of 1,000 voters. For Bernie we get 357 and Trump gets 290. Combined that’s a total of 647 people, or 64.7% of our sampling. 64,7% of the people saying “enough!”
Now let’s translate that number even further, into political terms – specifically the metric of electability. We hear that term all the time. “Bernie isn’t electable.” “Trump isn’t electable.” It’s a phrase that the establishment candidates and their supporters just LOVE throwing around. But if one or both become the nominee, that could go by the way side if you start considering the “fed up” crowd. Of course not everyone will vote for the candidate in the other party, but I can easily see some cross overs, just because they feel an attraction to that sentiment of “enough!”
This also means that another, much more important issue must be considered, and one I have brought up time and time again – enthusiasm. Anger and frustration makes for an excellent motivator, and that can easily transform to enthusiasm for a candidate. Look at the past couple of electoral years. In 2014 and 2015 Democrats suffered enormous losses. The turnout was also record lows. Why? Well Democrats were “well, things are going ok, so why vote?”. Meanwhile the Republican side was going “we got to stop President Obama!” and turned out. You can look back even further for proof of this. Go back to 2008. With the exception of that year and 2012, Democrats have suffered enormous losses. The only salvation in 2008 and 2012 was the fact that Barack Obama was on the ballot, and he is an enormous force at energizing an electorate.
While Bill thought his comments might be a little jab at the Sanders side of the Democratic Primary, it may very well backfire and make a harder battle for his wife, should she become the nominee. The last I checked the document that governs the very basis of our nation starts off with three simple words; “We the people.” Well, “we the people” are tired of what is happening in Washington and are speaking up, which is what has made this election so exciting. Perhaps the other candidates need to start accepting that and embracing it.