When it comes to Bernie Sanders’ chances in a national election, much discussion seems to revolve around his self-proclaimed “socialist” identity. The critics say it would repulse most voters in the heartland – and that’s why he wouldn’t get far on the road to the White House.
While he wouldn’t be the coalition builder Hillary Clinton embodies, I’m not so sure Bernie’s really a socialist. But as I look at his positions, the label I see is “hippie.” Or as I’ve been arguing, hippies came – and still come – in all varieties, few of them fitting the mass-media stereotypes. Bernie could have been living down the dorm hall from me, or even in the rundown apartments we rented.
Early in the race, his rallies did look like hippie reunion time. All we needed was the right band to dance to. And now? It’s a youth movement, ripe for the Revolution of Peace & Love.
At least our alternative isn’t another Hubert Humphrey, rest his soul. No, I suspect Hillary was also a hippie – one of the intense ones of the activist sort.
And both with something resembling a social conscience.