Ground-breaking, 150-Year-Old ‘The Nation’ Endorses Bernie Sanders

For 150 years, America’s oldest weekly magazine, The Nationhas been pushing, pulling, and cajoling the country into the future. On Thursday, the publication endorsed Bernie Sanders for president.

the nation has an illustrious history in promoting progressive causes.

Founded by abolitionists, The Nation‘s progressive credentials are unimpeachable. According to their own description:

“James Baldwin, Ralph Nader, and Hunter S. Thompson all published their first pieces in The Nation.

The writings of iconic figures like W.E.B. Dubois, Sinclair Lewis, Willa Cather, Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Gore Vidal have filled their pages.

The essence of The Nation‘s presidential endorsement — just their third in 150 years — is contained in this statement:

“[Bernie Sanders] has summoned the people to a ‘political revolution,’ arguing that the changes our country so desperately needs can only happen when we wrest our democracy from the corrupt grip of Wall Street bankers and billionaires.

We believe such a revolution is not only possible but necessary..”

The main reason that The Nation has taken this step is because of the candidate himself. Sanders has shown no hesitation in addressing the increasing economic and political inequality in this country, with which Americans are disgusted. The magazine’s list of grievances is comprehensive:

  • the huge gap between rich and poor.
  • the devastating consequences of climate change.
  • endless war.
  • reckless interventions in other countries.
  • the need for criminal-justice reform.

The editorial supports the movements that are addressing these issues, and finds hope in Sanders’ willingness to bring them all together in a coalition that demands the return of Americans’ rights:

“Americans are fed up and fighting back. Seen in isolation, the Fight for $15, Black Lives Matter, the climate-justice movement, the immigrant-rights movement, the campaign for a financial-transactions tax, and the renewed push for single-payer healthcare may seem like unrelated causes. Taken together, they form a rising chorus of outrage over a government that caters to the demands of the super-wealthy, while failing to meet the needs of the many.” 

The list of initiatives to rebuild America that are supported by Sanders alone is astonishing, when put all together. According to The Nation, he alone has proposed to:

  • break up the too-big-to-fail banks.
  • rebuild public education, from universal pre-K to tuition-free public college.
  • establish single-payer healthcare with Medicare for All, which would end the power of insurance and pharmaceutical companies.
  • give workers a living wage.
  • rebuild our deteriorating infrastructure.
  • make the country a global leader on renewable energy.

clinton is no progressive in ‘the nation’s’ estimation

While the magazine emphasizes Sander’s positives — including his consistency and integrity over the three decades of his political career — it makes no bones about the fact that Hillary Clinton’s deficiencies as a candidate were also integral to their decision to endorse Sanders. Although noting that Clinton would be preferable to a Republican, especially on women’s rights, the editors don’t see her as grasping the bigger picture of what Americans need.

The drawbacks they list are damning. Clinton:

  • wants to find common ground with Republicans to make deals and “get things done” — a strategy that has been an absolute failure for President Obama.
  • wants to raise the Social Security retirement age.
  • opposes single-payer healthcare.
  • will not consider breaking up the big banks.
  • hasn’t learned from her experience as Secretary of State and would become another ‘war president’ — having not only voted for the Iraq war back in 2002 but, as SOS, having advocated for interventions in Libya and Syria as well as a confrontation with Russia that could well resurrect the Cold War.
  • pledged, during the peace talks with Syria, to increasingly arm Israel.

The Nation is taking a stand for Sanders at a time when the mainstream media is largely ignoring his surging popularity, his growing dominance of the Democratic contest. Like the candidate himself, the magazine believes in adhering to ideals. The editorial sums up their position with this:

“Bernie Sanders and his supporters are bending the arc of history toward justice. Theirs is an insurgency, a possibility, and a dream that we proudly endorse.”

Time for some optimism, America — which will be totally justified if we stand together and back it up with our vote.

Feature photos via @BernieSanders and Wikimedia Commons.

Deborah Montesano is a writer and political activist, who has just been freed from decades of wandering in the Arizona desert. She is now stunned to find herself actually living in progressive heaven — Portland, Oregon. READ MORE BY DEBORAH.