Sam Ross Jr.

Sam Ross Jr.

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump’s election success last cycle has become all the more amazing in light of Bernie Sanders’ ongoing campaign sequel.

The subsequent takedown of Sanders in this primary cycle has reinforced that one must give credit to Democrats.

When they bring out the long knives to derail a candidate, they succeed,.

The Republicans failed spectacularly on that front regarding Trump.

Trump overcame opposition from Republicans and Democrats alike en route to his presidential victory. His populist message overcame organized resistance from both sides of the political spectrum.

Recall that in 2016 the Republican establishment had anointed Jeb Bush as their man even before the first primary vote had been cast. He failed miserably.

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side of the 2016 campaign, Hillary Clinton was the pick of the party establishment, but this socialist populist Sanders kept throwing sand in the gears by garnering votes.

Former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile later revealed that the Clinton campaign had taken over direction of the supposedly neutral national group by assuming the group’s debt.

Now there is quid pro quo for you.

Even worse, Brazile copped to giving Clinton advance notice of questions and topics for a CNN town hall, the better to have the right person come out looking good.

Sanders eventually surrendered to the inevitable when four years ago he pulled out of that race and endorsed Clinton. Not long after that, Sanders bought a $600,000 lakefront vacation property, which gave birth to a lot of never-proven rumors of yet another quid pro quo.

The whole thing left a bitter taste in the mouths of many ideologue Sanders supporters, but they came back for more in 2020.

And Sanders, for a time just last month, looked like he was going to take the Democratic nomination.

His spectacular decline since is a combination of self-inflicted wounds and party intervention.

Begin with the self-inflicted damage, such as praising former Cuban dictator and fellow socialist Fidel Castro.

To paraphrase the Sanders message: Sure, Castro eliminated a lot of political opposition the old-fashioned way – with bullets – but he increased the literacy rate on the island.

Earlier this month, Sanders also botched an attempt to quote the Communist Manifesto during a rally in Minnesota.

And while he used to rail against millionaires and billionaires, Sanders had edited that to billionaires since has joined the millionaire club.

One last item was that Sanders never could fully explain how he was going to pay for all the free stuff he was promising voters such as health care and college education.

Bernie was doing a pretty good job of hamstringing his candidacy, but then the national democratic operation and its lapdog media outlets piled on to stop Sanders.

For example, “retired” MSNBC analyst Chris Matthews compared a Sanders win in the Nevada caucuses to “blitzkrieg,” a particularly insensitive way of linking Nazi war efforts with the triumph of Jewish candidate.

All of a sudden, Sanders was roundly painted as dangerous.

He would be just that to the nation as president, but the Democrat hierarchy was more concerned about his danger to their majority in the House of Representatives and hopes of catching the Republicans in the Senate.

Talk about blitzkrieg, moderate Democratic presidential candidates fell on their swords this week in rapid-fire succession, dropping from the race and endorsing resurgent Joe Biden.

Even mike Bloomberg (the lower-case m is mike’s political preference, perhaps an homage to his oft-mentioned height-challenged stature) got out of Biden’s way and pledged to support Biden financially.

Bloomberg, who managed to spend more than $500 million on his ill-starred campaign, winning only American Samoa’s caucuses, presumably will expect a greater return on his additional political dollar expenditures for the Biden effort.

In the final analysis, Sanders once again has been taken down by the party he sought to represent. In his place, the Democrats will run gaffe-a-minute Joe Biden, and perhaps even beat the hated Trump.

Should that happen, should Biden win this fall, let us hope that once he arrives in the Oval Office he remembers he is the president, not a candidate for U.S. Senate as he told a South Carolina rally late last month.

Sam Ross Jr., of Johnstown, is a freelance journalist and former staff member of The Tribune-Democrat.

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