While many mainstream media outlets have already written off the “unconventional” campaign of Bernie Sanders – that is to say, financially legal, honest, and conducted in a way that would be legal before the debacle of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision – it is clear that the tide is beginning to shift away from the establishment candidates, Wall Street dollars, and lobbyist Super PACs. Democratic presidential candidate and middle-class champion Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is on pace to outraise every single other candidate in the fourth quarter, mostly through individual donations from his strong online presence.
The Hill reports that “Sanders has already received over 1 million donations in the fourth quarter, well above a similar pace that earned him $26 million in the third.” His rival Hilary Clinton is on pace to raise some $21 million during the fourth quarter; Republican candidate and firebrand religious extremist Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has announced he will be taking in $20 million, which “is expected to be at or close to the top in the Republican fundraising race,” according to CNN.
While Bernie Sanders still has a long road to get to the White House, this outpouring of support from millions of everyday Americans and worker’s unions shows that he is the candidate that truly has his finger on the pulse of the dying American middle class. While others jockey for donations from the mega-rich and multinational corporations, Bernie Sanders has doggedly fought to keep his campaign clean and honest – his is the only one that would be legal before Citizens United.
His campaign is being run the way campaigns were meant to be done – by connecting with voters and by focusing on the issues that matter the most to the American people, refusing to be distracted by the contrived fear-mongering of mainstream media and the plutocratic machinations of American oligarchy. While he may not have the connections and the networks that the establishment candidates have, the way his campaign has exploded into the American political consciousness should send a deadly warning to the likes of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeb Bush – the time of crony politics is hopefully coming to a swift and long-awaited end.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.