Bernie has won the war of ideas … if not the nomination


So much of our national attention has been focused during this political season on the Republican Party presidential primary campaign.

After all, it features a glam king, TV personality, real estate mogul and showman who appears headed for the Republican presidential nomination.

Donald J. Trump has broken all the rules of normal decorum, good manners, class and grace.

Oh yeah! There’s a primary in the other party that’s taking place, too.

Democrats are fighting with themselves over whether to endorse Hillary Rodham Clinton or U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The dynamic there also has been somewhat unconventional, albeit not to the degree the GOP race has become.

Sanders is getting his clock cleaned in primary states. He’s been close in many states and he did win Michigan and New Hampshire’s primaries. However, Clinton is now — once again — the shoo-in for the Democratic nomination. To get there, though, she’s had to do something quite extraordinary: She’s had to change her positions on issues to where she now agrees with Sanders.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership? Clinton once favored this trade agreement; now she opposes it.

The Keystone XL pipeline? She once favored it; today she opposes it.

The Iraq War? She voted for it in 2002; she says now that she has changed her mind.

Sanders opposed all those issues from the beginning.

Clinton now has taken up the cause for wage inequality. She’s vowing to take on the big banks. She is sounding more populist than mainstream than when the campaign started.

By golly, she’s sounding like Bernie!

Has Sanders won the war of ideas in the Democratic primary? It’s sounding as though he can declare victory. He well might do that — but he won’t go home quietly.

All this change of mind/heart, of course, brings to mind the issue of Clinton’s authenticity. It has become the source of “Saturday Night Live” skits that skewer the former secretary of state, first lady and U.S. senator over the manner in which she crafts certain images to please whatever audience to which she is speaking.

Sen. Sanders has no serious hope of becoming the Democratic nominee. He does have some hope, though, that the message he’s sought to convey has become part of his opponent’s campaign.

All along, Sanders has sought to tell his party’s base that the campaign “isn’t about me.” If he believes it, then his campaign has been about his ideas.

Stand tall, Sen. Sanders! You’ve won!

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