A part of me feels for Bernie supporters.
That part of me has seen the mainstream media act like Bernie Sanders wasn’t even in the race, much less doing as good as he was.
That part of me saw interviewers ask Bernie what his plan was if Hillary won the Democratic nomination instead of questions on his policy positions or track record.
That part of me that gets the heartbreak saw the mainstream media not take Bernie seriously and act like a nominee Clinton was a foregone conclusion.
It saw the media hound super delegates to disclose who they were supporting, in effect discouraging Bernie supporters.
It saw Hillary’s alleged pandering.
It saw Hillary get the black vote thrown at her, despite having few specific policy commitments for addressing racial injustice.
The part of me that feels for Bernie supporters understands how disappointing it is to feel like you’ve had your prayers answered and to see them trampled on the way they have.
The other part of me doesn’t want to hear their whining.
That other part of me wants them to acknowledge that their support of Bernie isn’t as logical as they make it out to be and that they’re as guided by their feelings as Clinton or Trump supporters are. That part of me has no problem with feelings, only a problem with people who try to deny them, call other people out on them, and then use them as the basis for their decisions.
That part of me wants to point them to Gary Johnson’s policy positions, which are by and large more “radical” than Bernie’s (and also included supporting legalizing marijuana since 1999). It also wants them to take a look at Jill Stein’s ambition to relieve them of their student loan debt and to try to tell me with a straight face Bernie’s the only shake up to the establishment.
That other part of me wants them to acknowledge the hypocrisy of railing against the superdelegate process, but holding out hope for Bernie to get enough superdelegates to secure the nomination, even if Hillary gets the popular vote.
It wants them to acknowledge that Bernie is playing the game to change the game — not incinerating the playing field with Molotov cocktails from outside of the stadium. That part of me wants them to acknowledge that they’re not above doing the same thing [mindfully, of course] and if they think they are, that part of me wants them to question why keeping out a demagogue issn’t their moral red line.
That part of me wants them to acknowledge that Bernie is not the egoless messiah they make him out to be.
That part of me that doesn’t want to hear Bernie supporters’ whining wants them to own the smugness that caused them to think Bernie had Millennial liberals in the bag — instead of talking to fellow liberals and progressives like they were real humans who didn’t owe Bernie their vote.
No progressive owed Bernie anything, yet many conversations I’ve had with others would indicate differently.
Look: I’m not trying to throw salt in anyone’s wounds or encourage business as usual. I’m just annoyed as fu*k that so many liberals for Bernie don’t see that their self-righteousness is as nauseating as Hillary or Trump supporters’. I have abnormal patience for a lot of shit, but hypocrisy isn’t one of them. Neither are insane expectations.
Before you crucify me as jaded, I’m not talking about revolutionary expectations. I’m talking about the expectation that the mainstream media or Democratic establishment would behave any differently than they did. I’m talking about the expectation that telling people they’d behave badly would be enough without sufficient action by Bernie’s supporters to counteract that. I’m talking about the expectation that a Bernie Sanders campaign would work without us — we the people — working for it, as well. The establishment will *always* incite a subtle counter-revolution that takes them less effort than it takes revolutionaries. That’s how this goes. It’s insanity to expect otherwise, so I guess what I’m on a soapbox for is overcoming that proud insanity.
Trump trolls pushing their “Bernie Bros” narrative aside, Bernie supporters proudly said some pretty out there shit this election cycle.
“If we don’t elect Bernie, America deserves Trump!” “We’ll get the violent revolution we need!” “Bernie or burn!” Never mind the people of color, trans people, religious minorities and countless other marginalized people who are constantly doing revolutionary work to better their communities. Never mind the fact that this election was the first time many Bernie supporters had ever spoken up about anything important.
That out there shit was alienating and calls for some accountability. Maybe now that we’ve seen the effects of that alienating speech and misplaced action, we can use that to build a better, truly progressive movement that can be unified toward combatting demagoguery and business as usual in the future.