Last night was the last Democratic Party debate before Super Tuesday. It was held in South Carolina and tickets to the event cost an average of $1750. Needless to say, the crowd was not on Bernie’s side that night.
Yet despite a hostile crowd and attacks from all directions, I think Bernie proved why he is the front runner. Because while all of the other candidates clamored for attention, Bernie kept his cool and played the political chess he is so good at.
Bernie has been getting attacked recently for complementing the Cuban Literacy Program, saying nothing worse than what Obama had said in 2008, Bernie simply pointed out that while Castro was a dictator, the Cuban government was successful in reducing illiteracy to 3%.
Bernie did not back down from the position either, he kept his cool and stood by his statements.
The real checkmate of the evening though was Bernie’s answer to the last question of the night, “What is your personal motto?”
Bernie, ever the subtle politcal chess master, dropped a very popular, widely memed Nelson Mandela quote, “It always seems impossible until it is done.”
First of all, copping to my bias here, I love Nelson Mandela. He is one of my political heroes and one of the reasons I got the word “Invictus,” the title of his favorite poem and mine, tattooed on my arm. So of course I am going to be excited when the candidate I have followed since Occupy is giving Mandela a shout out.
But, here is why Bernie dropping a Mandela quote at the end of that debate was a move of politcal genius:
As mentioned above, Bernie has been getting attacked for complimenting the Cuban Literacy Program. It came from all angles on the stage, and from random pundits on twitter who weren’t going to vote for Bernie anyway.
However, because I know the nature of the Democrats who support people like Warren or Biden, I know for a fact at some point most of them will have shared some cliche inspiration porn memes, and you know at least one of them had a Mandela quote.
Here is where it get’s spicy; Mandela was not only pro Cuba, he was pro-Castro. In a debate where Bernie was constantly attacked for praising Castro, even though he didn’t, Bernie dropped a quote from one of the most pro-Castro world leaders to hold power.
It was a move so subtle and understated it will probably go unnoticed by the majority of people. But, once people start doing their research, and start coming across blog posts like mine 😉 eventually they will see that the man that they love to quote was in fact more adamently pro-Castro than Bernie ever could be.
So all you Mandela loving Warren Lads and Biden Boys who have polluted your Facebook with his quotes cut to a meme of some landscape in a place Mandela probably never actually visited, you who are probably the same ones leaping on Bernie for saying what Obama said about Cuba, you, it is you will have to reconcile with the fact that the man you love to fetishize and whose legacy you whitewash was more radical than Bernie is ever capable of being.
We all want to believe our candidate wins the debates we watch them in, but I am convinced that dropping the Mandela reference in a debate that revolved around Cuba and Castro was check, checkmate, and game over. Bernie is now president.
What else should I have expected from the “Amendment King” who displaced the GOP from two political offices they held for a century, all without the Democratic Party apparatus. I shouldn’t be surprised that he is not only an integral politician, but a very crafty one.
If Bernie can drop subtle wins in a debate stacked against him, he can handle a public tantrum that will be his debate with the cry baby in chief.
And just for context, here is how Mandela felt about Cuba: