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Bernie Sanders wins even if he loses

In politics, there is no such thing as second place, but that will change in June regardless of where Sen. Bernie Sanders finishes. Sanders wins even if he loses.

If Sanders catches Secretary Hillary Clinton in the delegate count and overcomes the super delegate obstacle, he could snag the Democratic nomination, a remarkable feat that seemed impossible just a few months ago. And even if he doesn't go on to win the general election, his nomination would change the focus of the Democratic platform and move the party further to the left over the next four to eight years.



Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders

A Sanders elevation to the top of the party would influence the near-term trajectory of the Democratic party, igniting a deeper debate on taxes, minimum wage, the environment, entitlements and the way wealth is distributed between corporations and citizens. Even the Truman Doctrine, which implies the U.S. will protect people in other countries threatened by totalitarian regimes, could be altered under a Sanders platform.

And if he goes all the way, Sanders will move the country as a whole further to the left, starting with entitlements, wages and wealth distribution. The Supreme Court will move to the left with the next two appointments that are likely to happen with the next president. Corporations can expect to immediately come under scrutiny with everything from CEO bonuses, international trade, minimum wage and health benefits. It will likely deepen the divide that already exists between Main Street and Wall Street.


But what happens if the current super delegate trend continues, and Clinton walks away with the nomination in June? Sanders won't end up like most other presidential candidates. His voice and movement will continue to grow and evolve long after 2016.

The Sanders campaign got the country talking about issues that were in previous election years discussed by policy wonks and political junkies alone. Minimum wage and universal health care weren't fodder for the campaign trail. And certainly topics like super delegates never entered the conversation.

But Sanders and his followers got the media and public talking about such issues facing the working poor. They educated voters on how super delegates were negotiating behind closed doors for endorsements that were more powerful than citizen votes.



On Sunday, more than 28,000 people packed into Prospect Park in Brooklyn to hear Sanders preach about trade policy, minimum wage and the environment. This isn't a flash mob that will disappear if their hero loses. The anger across the country — and in both parties — will only grow as their perception that the establishment is holding them back, continues to frustrate them.

There's a theory that says for change to occur, there has to be a moment of pain so great that it becomes easier to leave than to stay. When that occurs, people quit jobs or leave spouses. I think we have just entered the state where the moment of frustration and pain is so great for Americans that they will leave the party they know for the unknown.

And if that means rejecting the candidacies of establishment players like John Kasich or Hillary Clinton for a socialist like Bernie Sanders or an outsider like Donald Trump, so be it.

Commentary by Mark Macias, head of Macias PR, a global public-relations firm, that has run media and branding campaigns for politicians, tech start-ups, financial firms, nonprofits and companies. He's also author of the book, "Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media." Follow him on Twitter @markmacias.

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