The Bernie Sanders movement has been an interesting story to this point. The Vermont Senator sparked an incredible movement of young activists inspired by a message. The message was from a man who had been in Washington D.C. for quite some time and with little results. But he remained persistent in his principles and attempts to uphold them. People were drawn to this message and others respected him, even when disagreeing, because he was honest.
For this reason, a segment of left-leaning libertarians who leaned a little far to the left this cycle said Senator Sanders was just like former Texas Congressman Ron Paul.
Ron Paul, like Senator Sanders, had been in Washington D.C. for some time. His legislation had bold goals and never moved far, but he remained persistent. He eventually would run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, without gaining much traction in the actual primary. The result however, was a movement.
Paul sparked what is the modern libertarian movement, something the Libertarian Party could never do. Countless young activists were drawn to Paul’s message and others respected him, even when disagreeing, because he was honest and consistent.
The Senator Sanders supporters who drew comparisons had a point, right?
This was an issue that many Paul supporters took issue with from the beginning of this election cycle. All philosophical differences aside between the two individuals, and the differences are indeed great, there was also a difference in objective.
Senator Sanders has always sold himself as someone who would stand up to the elite, which he described as a great Wall Street conspiracy with big money controlling all of America. He would be the man who started a revolution.
The test wasn’t during the primary itself, but would be at the end. Just like with Paul’s two runs for the Republican nomination, there became a point when it was clear Senator Sanders just wasn’t going to be the Democratic nominee for President. The Democratic National Committee wasn’t going to allow it to happen, no matter how hard he tried.
At that point, would Senator Sanders stick to his principles and fight? Or would he cave to the Democratic establishment and support Hillary Clinton?
The Associated Press called the Democratic nomination on a night when nobody voted based on a survey of superdelegates who don’t vote for another month. It gave people like Senator Elizabeth Warren and President Barack Obama a free pass to finally endorse Hillary Clinton without appearing like they were picking favorites.
This was the time for Senator Sanders to fight. And he didn’t.
After a meeting with the President, Senator Sanders endorsed Clinton without actually endorsing her. While he didn’t say he was supporting her for President, he did say he would work with her to stop Donald Trump. That means only one thing: Hillary Clinton has his support.
This illustrates the difference between Senator Bernie Sanders and Ron Paul.
Paul wasn’t running for office, he was launching a movement. Even after his candidacy concluded, he stuck to his principles and pushed. The Campaign for Liberty started after 2008 and after 2012, liberty activists across America launched countless groups, organizations and movements to push their principles.
For himself, Ron Paul never endorsed Senator John McCain or Mitt Romney. Both contradicted his principles and he wasn’t going to compromise what he stood for just to appease the party establishment.
Senator Bernie Sanders was never like Ron Paul and was never going to be. As he’s showing now, he never had the political backbone to stand up to the establishment. And that’s why he failed.