So I saw parts of the DNC speech that Bernie Sanders spoke and he talked about the Political Revolution continuing as people cheered like crazy.

I see articles and hear news stories like this Bernie Sanders started a political revolution. Now he can’t stop it. but I cannot figure out what this Political Revolution hype is all about and how that relates to revolutionizing American Politics.

Is something supposed to be overthrown in some political fashion or are people rebelling against something or what exactly or how could this be explain in simple terms for those that maybe don't understand but are curious.

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    There is nothing special about Bernie. He merely entered the scene at the right time and said some new (to Americans) and interesting things. Americans are feeling the effect of two obama terms and, while many can't bring themselves to vote for a Republican, they are happy to protest the establishment by supporting a fringe Democrat. We know now that the DNC rigged their selection process to favor Hillary, a person most believe to be an overtly corrupt, big banking, establishment candidate. If Bernie supporters aren't in "active rebellion" mode over recent revelations, they never will be.
    – acpilot
    Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 16:02
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    These comments are a bit off base...first, he's not a fringe democrat. It is a relatively new democrat, but hardly fringe given the support he brought forth. A lot of the 'revolution' talk certainly is rhetoric and hyperbole--but there are significant changes to the DNC platform because of him. He has definitely moved the party further to the left than it would have been otherwise. As for Hilary, no most do not view her as acpilot does. Many do. Again, lots of rhetoric.
    – user1530
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 22:30
  • Bernie Sanders is unique in both his policy positions and in his following. He has millions of donors and volunteers. He has rejected PAC money and large corporate donations due to the obvious corrupting influence, and unilaterally disarmed in a principled way. His idea to introduce Western European style ideas like free college and taxpayer funded universal healthcare are radical in America. Bernie Sanders has done much to de-stigmatize socialism. His climate change plan is incredibly bold. The revolution hasn't happened, but he has planted seeds and awoken lots of young people to politics.
    – Icarian
    Commented Sep 13, 2019 at 19:27
  • Bernie is not a Democrat at all, he's and independent.
    – Andy
    Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 20:26

1 Answer 1


First let's consider the question "What's so revolutionary about Bernie Sanders"?

Sanders has political positions which are unusually social-democratic for American politics. When you compare the United States with European countries, the US policies were always favoring a smaller state and a more capitalist system with fewer transfer payments and fewer policies actively supporting class mobility.

Sanders is the first US politician who gained enough support through social-democratic policies to almost become a presidential candidate.

Now "why is this influential"? He lost the nomination, after all.

Because it showed that there is a considerable amount of voters in the United States which favors more socialist policies. Any politician now knows that they might be able to tap into this voters potential by changing their stance on certain issues. The future will show how this will affect the general political course of the United States in the next decade.

Regarding the question "Are people implying the Bernie Sanders movement will result in a violent revolution trying to overthrow the government"?

I believe that most people who use the term "political revolution" in that context do not actually want to imply that. The term "Revolution" is used quite inflationary in the English-speaking world in the past decades (note that when advertising speaks about "revolutionary" new products which will "revolutionize" the market, they are rarely talking about molotov cocktails). Its meaning became a lot softer. Most people who use the term are talking about a considerable change in direction, but do not necessarily imply that this will happen through a violent uprising.

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    You've definitely managed to be incredibly even handed/neutral, but I'm not sure I fully agree (+1 anyway, it's an insightful analysis). I think the "revolution" thing is more about populist sentiment than left-right alignment, with Sander's main distinguishing characteristics being that he's a candidate opposed to elites and not his specific economic or political stance; with his positions being more aligned with the broad party base than with the leadership. It just so happens that, in the DNC, the disagreements happen to align with more-progressive positions.
    – user4012
    Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 16:00
  • To back up my opinion: If you look back at history, there were popular candidates that were quite far to the left (McGovern, Roosevelt, - heck, Eugene Debs got 3% of Pres election votes)
    – user4012
    Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 16:04
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    The first ever or just the first in the last decades (e.g. since WW2)? Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 23:46
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    This is not an answer to the question. This seems to be propping up an artificial strawman of everything on the left and just whitewashing it, not by actually providing properly sourced facts. Please only post answers which actually answer the question that was asked.
    – user9790
    Commented Sep 13, 2019 at 14:17

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