Sanders, the Invisible Candidate

Political conspiracies are not my cup of tea.  When I was tracking criminal intelligence on outlaw bikers for  the Knox County Sheriff’s Department, I kept running across a phrase used among that group of sociopaths:  “Three people can keep a secret if two of them are dead.”

Experience has taught me that human beings are blabbermouths. Even among police officers, who have more reason to practice discretion that most people, I have had an officer tell me something along the lines of, “This is between the two of us and it goes no further,”  only to have it come back to me a day or two later from several different sources with the same warning that the secret — whatever it is — must be kept.

When someone tells me what their intentions are, I take them at face value until I have reason to believe otherwise.  I never subscribed to “the great right wing conspiracy” or “the great left wing conspiracy.”  In most cases, both sides are upfront about their intentions.  I believed the political right when they say they want to shrink social services to a size small enough to drown in a bathtub  — a form of social Darwinism — and the left when they say they want a government that protects people and provides assurance that nobody will ever starve or go without healthcare — a capitalistic –socialist state, not either or.

In the matter of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who was elected as an Independent, caucuses with the Democrats and does not shy away from what he has described as “Democratic Socialism,”  it appears that  for all intents and purposes, he is nonexistent. The right wing concept of Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton as radical liberals, does not carry over to the left wing of the Democratic Party, where the two of them are viewed as moderates, at best. It’s a matter of perspective.

The conspiracy I have almost come around to believing is that the media in general is pretending as if Bernie Sanders does not exist, despite the crowds of thousands he is drawing and a popularity that matches or exceeds that of Clinton in some early primary states.

While the media seems to be totally focused on Donald Trump and the Republican majority continues to try and disgrace Clinton with continuing and pointless investigations, as if she is the only possible Democrat strong enough to threaten their quest to regain the White House, Sanders continues to draw large crowd everywhere he goes.

The journalistic non-existence of Sanders became suddenly acute when Joe Biden, Obama’s loyal VP began to cause rumbles by making noises that he might enter as a candidate for president. When Biden went to visit Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a favorite of the genuine left wing of  her party, there was an explosion of interest in the media at a possible marriage of the moderate wing of the Democratic Party and the left wing.

Sanders was not mentioned as a part of the possible marriage, even though he has been saying what Warren says for decades longer.  Why is Sanders still being treated as a nonentity? Is it his age — he’s 73, not much older than Clinton — or is it because he is viewed as being unelectable because he has been upfront about building on existing socialist programs such as Social Security and Medicare? Or is it just that Sanders is not as colorful as some?

If I believed in conspiracies, Sanders’ journalistic nonexistence would qualify.

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