'Bernie Sanders started a revolution, then handed it to the Establishment’
The Democratic Party let young supporters to blow off a little bit of steam, and now it comes time to get serious, says Daniel McAdams, executive director at the Ron Paul Institute.
On Tuesday, Former US presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders stunned his supporters by throwing his support behind Hillary Clinton after an intense and close-fought Democrat campaign.
“She must become our next president,” Sanders declared, a direct contradiction to what he has spent the past six months saying.
RT: Some people seem to be surprised by this turn of events in the US political arena. What do you make of it?
Daniel McAdams: I don’t think we should be surprised. But it is a farce, it exposes politics for what it is – it's a dirty game. The Democratic Party let the young supporters blow off a little bit of steam. And when it comes time to get serious, all get back on the reservation. This is Bernie Sanders standing next to Hillary Clinton saying, “We are together going to make a government for all Americans, not just the one percent.” He is standing beside the epitome of the one percent, the person who has got millions of dollars from Goldman [Sachs], from Morgan Stanley, anyone who benefited in the 2008-09 bailouts of the big banks. So, it just becomes an absolute farce.
RT: Do you think Bernie Sanders’ supporters will listen to what he is saying and now support Clinton?
DM: I think a lot of them will. According to a latest poll, 85 percent of Bernie Sanders voters will go for Clinton. But it also shows that nine percent have said they would go for Trump. And I think that is significant because probably there is a lot more who wouldn’t want to say it vocally. And Trump is no dummy. He is making a play for these voters. And he is making a play for a certain type of Sanders voter: the blue collar voter, the ones that are concerned about these so-called free trade agreements, TTIP, and these others. These are kind of the old Reagan-Democrat coalition; you could call them Pat Buchanan democrats. A lot of them were behind Sanders. Trump seems like he would be a good fit and he is making a very clever play for these voters, and he may get some of them.
RT: Are you seeing a very close contest ahead?
DM: I think it is a very close contest. And I think that Hillary Clinton has got enormous power and pressure behind her. I think that Donald Trump now is the sole candidate with a kind of populist groundswell behind him. The country is in a sort of a populist uprising, they are disgusted and frustrated with the status quo.
Sanders is standing beside the epitome of the one percent, the person who has got millions of dollars from Goldman [Sachs], from Morgan Stanley, anyone who benefited in the 2008-09 bailouts of the big banks. So, it just becomes an absolute farce.
That is the origin of the entire Sanders phenomenon. And so the question is whether Trump can capture more of that energy and bring it on to his campaign. But there is such disappointment with Sanders, who essentially said: “I’m here, I am starting a revolution,” and then he hands it to the establishment. Contrast that with someone like Ron Paul.
‘Bernie Sanders is not the outsider he pretends to be’
RT: What do you make of Sanders' ringing endorsement of Clinton? It's something of a U-turn?
Lew Rockwell, chairman of The Mises Institute: Who knows what bribes and threats were used to bring Bernie along. Bernie is not the outsider he pretends to be. He is really one of the guys in the US Senate. But it was fun to see how awkward their body language was. He wasn’t happy with the whole thing. They can’t stand each other, is what people tell me, and it certainly looks like that.
It’s great for his supporters go after him. About half of them, the polls show, said they will never vote for Hillary. So Trump is attempting to build out of this a sort of right-left coalition. He wants to attract them to his banner. It’s all fun. I think it actually hurts Hillary, and it certainly hurts Bernie. It really cuts the ground out from Bernie’s feet for whatever he intends to do in the future - unless it is just to be a Senator for the Pentagon from Vermont, which this alleged pro-peace guy actually is…
RT: The media had been predicting Clinton's nomination from the start. But it is not the end of the anti-establishment presidential run. It still looks like Trump can still pick up a lot of support here. Is the option still there to choose the anti-establishment candidate?
LR: That is exactly right. You know, hilariously, the Trump people are supposed to worry that the Bush crime family and similar people are not going to show up at the convention. Nobody cares, not the people who support Trump; these are yesterday’s men guilty of doing very bad things to the country and to the world. So, the whole establishment is on trial; we’ll see if they are found guilty, Hillary is, of course, ‘Miss Establishment’ with a capital ‘E’ - she is part of the Wall Street pay-off gang. She is bad in every single way. This is going to be a very hot race, and it has been a hot race ever since Trump got into it. It has made politics fun again.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.