First off, he's not a big deal. Find me one Democratic presidential candidate who isn't going in his direction. Bernie just gets you to the end point faster.
Assume that American economic politics is a normal distribution with socialism and fascism on the far left and libertarianism on the far right.
Let's say for the sake of argument that America is currently in the middle of the curve. Bernie wants to use government spending and regulation to take us to -3. Who in the Democratic field doesn't want to move us in that direction? Is anyone suggesting that we should spend and regulate less? When has anyone in that party said that?
It seems to me that if the Democrats win, we'll eventually hit Bernie's workers' paradise no matter who gets elected. Why Bernie is some kind of threat when waiting 10 years or so will get you there anyway is beyond me.
However, he is a big threat to the Smart People. Dig this essay from WaPo bland-as-oatmeal liberal Michael Gerson.
Some progressives seem to view Trump’s arrogant overreach as a golden opportunity for their own. They see the president’s weakness as a chance to run the ideological table and get the kind of “structural” change that is really a form of democratic socialism. Their argument here is less with Trump than with Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. Surveying the charred ruins of our public life, these leftists propose to fight fire with petrol.His claim is that since Trump is wacko, progressives have decided to go full wacko, too. He has completely missed the point because he's failed to ask the question the Elites have all failed to ask themselves since Trump won. Namely, "What did we do to cause this?"
Sanders isn't running strongly because he's the solution to some kind of wackiness equation, he's running strongly because insufferable snobs like Michael Gerson haven't been listening to the American People.
Trump and Sanders are threats to them, which is why they're freaking out. I'll let Tucker explain.