The New York Times is still get­ting the Bernie move­ment wrong

Manteca Bulletin - - Opinion - JIM HIGHTOWER Po­lit­i­cal colum­nist

Be­fore ma­jor news or­ga­ni­za­tions pro­nounce some­one dead, they ought to check the per­son’s pulse. Take, for ex­am­ple, a re­cent New York Times screed pre­ma­turely pro­nounc­ing the Our Rev­o­lu­tion po­lit­i­cal or­ga­ni­za­tion — launched only two years ago by veter­ans of the Bernie San­ders pres­i­den­tial cam­paign — a mori­bund fail­ure. “The group has re­peat­edly picked fights with the Demo­cratic es­tab­lish­ment in pri­mary elec­tions, los­ing nearly ev­ery time,” the paper barked.

But, lo and be­hold, the very next day, Our Rev­o­lu­tion’s en­dorsed can­di­date for gov­er­nor in the Mary­land pri­mary, Ben Jeal­ous, hand­ily de­feated the party es­tab­lish­ment’s fa­vorite. And in New York, a 28-year-old Our Rev­o­lu­tion ac­tivist, Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez, shocked the na­tional party’s cor­po­rate hi­er­ar­chy with her re­sound­ing grass­roots vic­tory over Rep. Joe Crowley, the fourth high­est rank­ing Demo­crat in the U.S. House.

These big scores fol­lowed the group’s ear­lier out­sider vic­to­ries over mon­eyed in­sid­ers in the Ge­or­gia and Texas gu­ber­na­to­rial pri­maries.

In fact, the in­sur­gent group, which the Times ridiculed as “fail­ing,” has been win­ning dozens of up­set vic­to­ries in down-bal­lot pri­mary elec­tions from coast to coast, elect­ing 45 per­cent of its can­di­dates. That’s a huge num­ber is grass­roots pol­i­tics.

Just as sig­nif­i­cant, these San­ders-in­spired pro­gres­sive rebels have now de­fined the Demo­cratic Party’s agenda. They’ve en­livened both its sup­port­ers and many of its pre­vi­ously lethar­gic of­fice hold­ers by back­ing such pop­ulist (and pop­u­lar) pro­pos­als as Medi­care For All and debt­free higher ed­u­ca­tion.

Ap­par­ently, it’s hard to see Amer­ica’s grass­roots re­al­ity through the dusty and dis­tant of­fice win­dows of the New York Times. So be­fore the edi­tors and writ­ers do an­other hit piece on the peo­ple and can­di­dates of Our Rev­o­lu­tion, maybe they could come out of their jour­nal­is­tic cu­bi­cles.

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