Enough with your internet polls! Yeah I was shocked at the post debate poll numbers, but even if our tech savvy Berniacs didn’t manipulate the results (I don’t blame them. Let’s do what it takes), they don’t mean that much. Thinking that someone won a debate doesn’t mean you’ll vote for them. The very idea of winning such a debate is ridiculous. Hillary did well. She was on her game. So was Bernie. This is one step on a long journey. Ok, I’m glad the soldiers pushed back against CNN, because they can be forced to be more responsive. Let’s move on. Bernie is now holding smaller more intimate sit-downs with voters. We need to take a page from his book and begin to focus on the relationships we are building as we engage with this campaign.
Clearly the key demographic to focus on is the millennials, the 18 to 30 folks. College students. Baristas. Waiters. Coders. Young workers. The people really with the most to lose if the status quo is preserved, the downward spiral of income and wealth inequality, degradation of the planet. And they love Bernie, the father they (or any of us) never had.
Bernie can’t recreate the Obama coalition. There’s no way Black people will become as enthusiastic for Bernie as they were for Barrack, and you can’t blame them. But we can energize young people of color. If I were Bernie, I would have a serious sit-down with the Black Lives Matter folks, a lot of them, and listen to them until I got it. He doesn’t quite get it yet. It was great in the debate that he mentioned Sandra Bland, but that’s not enough. He needs to do stuff like use his position in the Senate now to call for a congressional investigation of white supremacy in the criminal justice system. I want a witch hunt. I want some congressman to seize the podium and declare that “I have a list of 52,000 card carrying members or supporters of the Ku Kluz Klan and related groups who are in the leadership of police departments and unions and courts all over the country…” Sorry, you might have to be old to get the Joe McCarthy allusion. Communism was illegal for many years. Can’t we make racism illegal?
What does this youth focus mean locally? Concerts. Spoken word events. Open mikes. Let’s put on fundraising concerts with all the hippest local talent, most of whom support Bernie. How about a contest for who can come up with the best Bernie song on video? Let the young people lead. What I like about this strategy is that it reflects what we want the revolution to be all about: dancing in the streets.