Look, Bernie supporters: you’re not only losing, but you sound terrifyingly like Republicans arguing not to pull out of Iraq.
You’re ignoring the math to leap to a conclusion you want to be true instead of looking at what’s actually happening.
You’re yelling about the unfair process of getting nominated as though the establishment somehow sprung these complicated rules upon Bernie midway through the process, as opposed the path to nomination being mostly known when he started his campaign.
You’re claiming “The media was against us!” exactly like the Republicans did with Iraq, as if the newspapers owed you popularity. The media always has a storyline it’s spinning; your challenge is to come up with a better story that they buy into, not to yell and froth.
And worst of all, too many of you are pulling the sad Republican bullshit that anyone who doesn’t support you in this endeavor are not real Americans, or at the very least to be side-eyed thoroughly because somehow they hate real change. You’re pulling the sad Republican bullshit that if people don’t support Bernie, it’s because they’re idiots who don’t know any better.
Look, guys. I’m a Bernie fan, and judging from this season’s political donations, I’m at least $240 more for Bernie ($20 a month for a year) than I am for Hillary (an ice-cold zero). If you want to change the process? That’s awesome.
But the Democratic party should be the alternative to the Republican party’s math-blinkered nature, and you do that by acknowledging facts. Black voters didn’t go for Bernie? Rather than yelling at them that HEY BERNIE’S GREAT at random POC, why not investigate their fears and work to counteract them? Or learn from the ways that Bernie bobbled the black vote this year (as was my fear he’d do way back in July of last year) and figure out how to build better grass roots the next time?
And y’all terrify me when you’re like, “Bernie’s the better candidate!” Well, he’s gotten less votes almost everywhere that counts- though unlike Hillary, he’s improved in his results as time’s gone on. In terms of sheer numbers, it’s Hillary by a landslide.
Y’all terrify me when you say, “Hillary’s been so mean to Bernie!” God, have you ever watched one fucking Republican attack ad? Hillary’s gone after Bernie with lily-white gloves on. She has not exposed one knuckle. Wanna see what the nastiness will look like? Here, read the nasty stuff that nobody’s unloaded on him yet because the Republicans have been secretly hoping he’ll be the candidate.
That’s what a hatchet job would look like.
And in that sense, sure Bernie’s beating Trump. Because nobody’s gone after Bernie yet. Maybe he can pull it off, maybe he can’t, but read that set of attack ads ready to go and see whether Bernie’s popularity has been truly tested; it hasn’t.
Be honest with yourselves and stop buying into your own goddamned hype.
And if you want to say, “Electing Trump would send a lesson to the Democratic party that they need to shape up!”, well, I want you to ask yourself a vital question first:
In 2000, Gore moved to the right to pick up votes, then Nader split the vote, and Bush got elected instead of Gore. (Full disclosure: I voted for Nader, and I blame Gore for alienating voters.)
A lot of you are unhappy with Obama. But Obama was literally the lesson that the Democrats learned from losing massively in 2000.
So do you honestly think electing Trump, someone massively unstable, is going to create someone notably better than Obama?
Bonus question, but not one you should ignore: Do you think “creating the better Democratic party” was worth the economic collapse and wars we got from eight years of George Bush? Because that’s really your argument, isn’t it? If we fuck over America, we’ll create a better and more resilient party! And maybe you conclude that’s true. But you should also ask yourselves whether that triumphant party will have to spend eight years picking up debris.
And if you’re frustrated by Bernie over Hillary, well… I am too. Welcome to the long and stories Democratic tradition of “Picking the person they think is electable” over “The person who people actually like,” which leads to horrific fiascoes of Dukakis, Gore, and Kerry. I too wish the Democrats would learn the lesson that they should nominate the person who gets folks the most riled up, as opposed to choosing the person who is least objectionable.
But they do. Maybe you can change that. Please. Try.
That said, you Hillary supporters?
First off, if you’re saying “The Republicans shouldn’t cave to Trump!” and yelling for Bernie to step down at the same time, you’re hypocrites. Bernie Sanders isn’t stepping down in part because he feels he’s not being heard in the Democratic party, and he knows darned well that the only way to force policy change is to swing enough power to get a seat at the table. This is the sort of cold-eyed realism you’d probably cheer if it was Hillary using her leverage to make changes.
If he steps down too soon, he doesn’t get what he wants. And he wants to be influential. That’s what politicians do. If Hillary wants his votes, she’s gonna have to make concessions to Bernie.
And the people who are all outraged that Bernie Sanders wanted to debate with Trump? Every time I hear them speaking, they sound as though Bernie and Trump’s debate will be them getting together over beers and bitching affably about Hillary. “Women, amiright?”
No. Bernie and Trump are both outsider candidates, but Trump and Bernie are wildly at odds on all sorts of issues, particularly those of economic hardship. The reason some Bernie bros can believe there’s no real difference between Bernie and Trump is because Bernie and Trump haven’t battled. And Donald Trump is a big windy bag of lies, but I’m pretty sure when Bernie goes “We need to raise taxes on people like you,” Trump is not going to shrug and say, “Well, yeah, I need to have 90% of my income taken away, like all millionaires!”
Trump won’t debate Bernie because he knows he benefits from Bernie Bros conflating their policies. (He also knows that being snide to Bernie, as he always is during debates, will alienate potential crossover votes from Bernie.) If it did happen, suddenly it’d put the stark differences for the candidates into place and people wouldn’t be able to switch votes as easily.
It’d be a massive win for the Democratic party if it happened, which is why I’m 90% sure it won’t. (Though this election season, I’m loathe to put firm bets on anything.)
Eventually, Bernie’s going to have to side with someone. When he does, he’s going to bring voters with him. And that guy, unless I’m radically misreading Bernie, is not going to be Trump.
(But again, hey, this election season, amiright?)
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.