"Give me five minutes, and I can tell you exactly what Bernie Sanders believes in. Single-payer health care for all. A $15 minimum wage. Higher taxes on the richest Americans. College education that doesn’t bankrupt families and leave students with crushing debt. Criminal justice reform. Investment in infrastructure and renewable energy. He gives specifics, and he’s walked a principled walk for decades.
But what does the Democratic Partly leadership believe in? As this article at Truthdig put it, “Nancy Pelosi Believes In Nothing.” Of course, she does believe in something: her own power and privilege, which she seeks to maintain and expand. But principles like those held by Bernie Sanders? Forget about it.
I’ve been reading Matt Taibbi’s “The Great Derangement,” a terrific book that came out in 2008, and Taibbi nails it in this passage (pages 243-4):
The Democrats’ error was in believing that people wouldn’t notice this basic truth [that the party’s ideology is driven by power and nothing more] about their priorities. They were wrong on that score. In fact, a Quinnipiac poll taken around that time  found the approval rating of Congress had fallen to 23 percent. Other polls saw the number plummet to the teens. The rating of the Democratic Congress was even lower than [George W.] Bush’s, and it was not hard to see why. Bush was wrong and insane, but he stood for something. It was a fucked-up something, but it was something. The Democrats stood for nothing; they viewed their own constituents as problems to be handled, and even casual voters were beginning to see this.
If you substitute Trump’s name for Bush’s in the above quotation, it makes even more sense. “[Trump] was wrong and insane, but he stood for something. It was a fucked-up something, but it was something.”
This is the biggest issue for corporate Democrats: What do you stand for? For so many in the establishment, what they stand for is themselves. The perpetuation of their own power and privilege. This is the biggest reason why Hillary Clinton lost in 2016. It was always all about her."