[Marxism] Fwd: Perlstein: Conservatives drawn to a socialist senator

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Oct 23 06:25:42 MDT 2015

By Rick Perlsetein

Nate Silver has the Bernie Sanders campaign figured out. Ignore what 
happens in Iowa and New Hampshire, the “data-driven” prognostication 
wizard wrote back in July, when Sanders was polling a healthy 30 percent 
to Clinton’s 46 percent in both contests. That’s only, Silver says, 
because “Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa and Democratic primary voters 
in New Hampshire are liberal and white, and that’s the core of Sanders’ 

Silver has a chart. It shows that when you multiply the number of 
liberals and whites among state electorates, Vermont, New Hampshire, and 
Iowa rank first, second, and third. Texas is near the bottom—a place 
where Bernie Sanders should feel about as welcome as a La Raza 
convention at the Alamo, right?

I have a new friend who begs to differ.

It’s July 20, and my airplane seat mate asks what brought me to Texas. 
He is a construction company sales executive from Houston. He’s watching 
Fox News on his cell phone. He tells me he considers himself a 
conservative. I tell him I’m a political reporter covering the Bernie 
Sanders campaign. He perks up: “I like what I’ve heard from him. Kind of 
middle of the road.”

Eleven days later, I’m at a Bernie Sanders house party in the depressed 
steel town of Griffith, Indiana, in a state that places in the bottom 
quartile on Silver’s chart. I approach a young man in his twenties 
wearing a thrift store T-shirt. I ask him what brings him here tonight.

“I’m just helping out my friends because they asked me to help out,” he 
tells me. He adds that he’s a conservative: “But I approve of some of 
the stuff that Bernie stands for. Like appealing to more than just the 
one percent and just trying to give everybody a leg up who’s needing it 
these days.” Data-driven analysis is only as good as the categories by 
which you sift the information. If you’ve already decided that 
“liberals” are the people who prefer locally sourced arugula to eating 
at McDonald’s, or are the people who don’t watch Fox News, it is a 
reasonable conclusion that there aren’t enough “liberals” out there to 
elect Bernie Sanders. Yet political categories shift. One of the things 
the best politicians do is work to shift them.

full: http://washingtonspectator.org/bernie-sanders-populist-movement/

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