“Bernie would have definitely won the states Hillary did not.” I’ve even heard, “Bernie would have dick-slapped Trump.” I’m sorry: In a battle of dick-slap, I would not give advantage Bernie.
Could he have won? Of course. Would he “definitely” have won? I do not know. He had pluses and minuses, and the latter people choose to ignore.
We can’t just think of his chances in terms of the circumstances in the primary. He would have faced a massive negative onslaught from the opposition that he’s never had to before, along with much deeper media vetting. And who knows what fake new propaganda the other side would have brought?
And yes, it’s great that he had a legion of young people pumped. That’s a very positive thing and would have helped his chances. But that is a far-left constituency. That’s a very different thing from having to sell Socialism with its exploding taxes and government to the Rust Belt.
He would also have had to present himself as commander-in-chief to moderate and right-leaning middle America, who put a premium on national security. I can imagine their reaction being: “Children, run, hide. Save yourselves. This man can never protect us. ISIS is sure to blow us up now.”
Unfairly or not, when it comes to security, his appearance and his policies would make Sanders come across as weak—especially next to virile-looking, Mafioso-level tough guy Trump. Along with aversion to socialism, weakness would have been Bernie’s biggest weakness.
We all know Hillary had weaknesses—the email thing, people disliking her, her being torn apart for years. All accurate. And we can’t discount the unprecedented Russian-backed barrage against her, the unfair treatment by the FBI, and even sexism. There were a wide range of downsides.
But it is ridiculous for it to be taboo to discuss Bernie Sanders’s potential drawbacks in a general election when it’s fair game every minute of every day from now to infinity to pound on hers.