Van Jones, ex-Special Advisor to President Barack Obama (D) and now a television commentator, has concerns for Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ (I, VT) supporters now that his chief competitor, Joe Biden, appears to be pulling away.
“You have now an insurgency that’s about to be defeated. What do you do with the people that you defeat?” he asked.
Jones told a panel…that young and progressive Democratic voters had a “champion” in the increasingly defiant and intrepid Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I).
“You’ve got young people who are graduating with a quarter-million dollars in debt, you’ve got young people with a lot of pain, and they had a champion. And, they thought they were going to be able to surround the divided establishment with their movement, crush that divided establishment, and move forward[.]
He went on:
Now, what do you do? Last time Bernie Sanders got beaten, there was an assumption that all his people were going to fall in line and vote against Trump and there was not enough care for the concern and the pain of his base[.]
What do you do with the people that you defeat? The cynic in me recalls earlier days with the victors would run around the battlefield killing all the defeated wounded who’d been unable to escape.
That’s not going to happen here. Still, the question is a valid one. Biden and his team have spent the campaign, when they weren’t smearing President Donald Trump and his supporters, trashing Sanders and his socialist ideology and revolutionary policies—and by extension, Sanders’ supporters, who agreed with him.
Having done that for so long, how, indeed, can Biden, et al., go back to those supporters and say, “King’s X, we didn’t mean it. C’mon guys?” If he tries to draw them in, what compromise can he offer them that they can believe?
If Biden moves in Sanders’ supporters’ direction, how could his current supporters believe that Biden still holds to the policies he espoused when he was trashing those Sanders ideas?
It’s a broader concern, though, than merely an intraparty tiffle. If Biden moves far enough toward Sanders’ supporters to draw them to him, how, in the general election, could any voter believe Biden holds to any position with any sincerity, that he’s not just mouthing the policy that’s currently politically expedient—to be tossed aside when the expedience changes?