Arriving In Power & the Establishment

Michelle Alexander’s much-discussed piece in The Nation on Clinton, Sanders and African-Americans is worth reading. I want to pull out one line from it, though, that isn’t about race but instead about power and change.

Yes, Sanders has raised millions from small donors, but should he become president, he would also become part of what he has otherwise derided as “the establishment.”

I think this is a significant misreading of what the Establishment is. It is not about power alone, but a certain type of power. If Sanders is elected President, he will have a massive amount of power. Based on what he is saying now, it is highly unlikely that he would suddenly appoint a bunch of Rubinite Wall Streeters to cabinet positions and Deep State hawks to run our foreign and military policies. Of course he would have to live the values he is preaching now.

But the mere act of occupying the office wouldn’t mean a conversion of Sanders to the Establishment mean. It would mean fundamentally dislodging the Establishment from the power it currently holds over our government, which is to say, it is exactly what people are supporting Sanders to do.

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