Bernie Sanders Makes History As The First Jewish Person, Non-Christian To Win An American Primary
It’s no big surprise that Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary last night–he’s been projected to win there all along. It is, however, a really big deal.
It’s a big deal because he’s a Democratic Socialist in a country in which “Socialist” has been a scare word for decades. Hell, one of the ways the right has disparaged President Obama has been by repeatedly insisting he’s a Socialist–which, being one myself, I can vehemently assure you he is not.
Sanders has fundamentally changed the perception of Democratic Socialism in this country for the better–which is a huge feat considering the looming specter of the Cold War and whatnot. The fact that he was able to do so is a huge sign that people are not so much buying the whole “We swear! If we let rich people get even richer things will be better for us all!” thing so much these days and are ready to try something new.
The other reason it’s a big deal is because Sanders is both the first Jewish person and the first non-Christian to win a United States primary. Yeah! As much as we talk about what a fabulously diverse nation we are, the truth of the matter is that it would be a big deal for anyone who was not a rich, northern European, Christian man to be President. Hell, we’ve still only had one Catholic president!
I’ve actually been saying for a while that it would be more of an uphill for a Jewish person to be elected President in this country than it would be for a woman to do so. I still believe that. As old-timey as anti-Semitism seems, conspiracy theories are becoming more and more mainstream, and if you’ll notice–pretty much every conspiracy theory eventually comes down to “The Jews” somehow controlling stuff. Hell, Trump fanboy Ted Nugent just posted this crap on Facebook a few days ago.
Yeah! It’s a thing we’d like to think is dead…but it really isn’t. If anything, it’s oddly more acceptable now than it would have been a few decades ago. I am pretty sure that even if any Presidential candidate in the ’90s was associating themselves with someone making grossly anti-Semitic comments, that it would be game over.
Frankly, I’m honestly super excited about the prospect of either Sanders or Clinton winning and making history. Because as much as we’d like to think that kind of stuff doesn’t matter, it really does.