Centrism Is Not Inevitable. A Better Future Is Possible for Texas.

Centrism Is Not Inevitable. A Better Future Is Possible for Texas.

Centrism Is Not Inevitable. A Better Future Is Possible for Texas.

The Democratic establishment can’t stop Bernie from sowing the seeds of a better future that young people want.

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A better Texas is possible. But on Super Tuesday, a stubborn Lone Star State clung to the old ways by a small margin.

Texas Latinos and Latinas stuck with Bernie Sanders. African Americans voted for Joe Biden. Young people stuck with Sanders. Older voters went for Biden.

Sanders carried the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, El Paso, and Austin. Biden carried Houston, Dallas, East Texas, and the rural counties.

Early voters went strongly for Sanders. But election day voters—in the wake of the election-eve “moderate consolidation” featuring Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg’s endorsements, plus a surprise boost from local favorite Beto O’Rourke at a last-minute rally in Dallas—went heavily for Biden.

By midnight, Sanders’s early lead had disappeared, and Texas ended up in Biden’s win column.

As one of those who worked with Progressive Democrats of America to draft Sanders to run for president six years ago—and as a brand-new Texan, as of 2019—this is not the outcome I wanted. Super Tuesday’s result was made worse by the fact that as late as a week before the big election day, I rated Sanders’s chances of carrying Texas as pretty good.

But the “future” of Medicare for All, a serious climate emergency plan, a pitched fight with inequality and the billionaires and the corporate 1 percent, a sane foreign policy once again feels stalled.

More bad news came in the close loss of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez–backed progressive Jessica Cisneros, 52 to 48 percent, who almost upset the Koch-funded, Trump-friendly incumbent Representative Henry Cuellar. I hope she’ll be back.

Overall, the news from the Lone Star State added to the dispiriting pundit narrative of a Biden surge.

For what it’s worth (maybe not much), if Bernie asked my opinion right now, I’d suggest he spend the next three months running a positive campaign focused on the climate emergency, the global struggle against rising fascism, the unspeakable horror of children in cages, and the role of the younger generation in forging radical change. In short, the big stuff facing our kids.

The party establishment is obviously very focused on making sure that Sanders will not be the nominee. To that end, they had a good day on Super Tuesday.

But they can’t stop Bernie from using his platform, and the upcoming debates, to educate younger generations about democratic socialism, about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s relationship to those ideals, about the ecological emergency that is facing our children and grandchildren.

They can’t stop Bernie from sowing the seeds of a better future with a growing young audience that’s listening.

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Katrina vanden Heuvel
Editorial Director and Publisher, The Nation

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