Liberals who refuse to feel the Bern, should at least refrain from insulting him

I am at a loss for why so many liberals are skeptical of Bernie Sanders. It’s obvious why right-wingers and corporatists don’t like Bernie, but why does the liberal base in the US divided on his candidacy? If there’s any candidate that a liberal should rally around, it’s Sanders.

Bernie surely has foes in the Democratic Party establishment. To be clear, Sanders is serving as an Independent in the Senate, though he caucuses with the Democrats. He has been without a doubt the most progressive member of the Senate, if not Congress as a whole. One of the main reasons why Sanders became an Independent in the Senate was the fact that he opposed the Democratic establishment in their selling out to Wall Street and the robber-barons.

Bernie’s main contention with the establishment of the Democratic Party is that it placates the Republicans too much, in the sense that it has become complicit in selling out America’s democracy to corporations and powerful interests.

The Democrats stood by while workers were shafted, corporations bought and cheated our system, and and made matters worse by accepting the same corrupt money from the same interests they claim they are against.

While it is clear why the establishment of the Democratic Party doesn’t like Bernie, why is there such a divide among the Democratic liberal base? Granted, I don’t believe the divide is very wide, but a divide does exist, and often a very vitriolic divide at that.

There are many liberals who are not only not supporting Sanders, they are incredibly outspoken about it. Why, though? The simple answer would be to break it down to the factional divide occurring in the primary. Obviously Hillary Clinton has a lot of supporters, and this weighs heavy in the conversation.

Granted, yes, liberals can have a genuine disagreement (or even dislike) for Bernie Sanders and what he stands for. Far be it from me to tell liberals who to vote for. Yet, some of the vitriol against Bernie is uncalled for, and disappointing to me.

Many Hillary supporters have come out in-force to trash Bernie any way they can. I understand people get passionate about who the support, but I’ve seen cases where people who got along just a year ago, now won’t even talk to each other.

One example I saw was a woman who belonged to a group I follow on social media, and she flat out told every one of her friends and connections to unfollow her if they supported Bernie. She wrote a childish and silly paragraph about how Bernie supporters are “stupid” and that they are “unworthy” of her attention or friendship.

Granted this is an anecdotal example, but I’ve seen other cases where the Hillary/Bernie friction has gotten intense. There is no need for this friction, though yes, I’m biased in that I swing more towards Bernie than Hillary, but I don’t despise Hillary or think her supporters are unworthy of my friendship.

On the flip side, I’m not really seeing Bernie supporters behave quite as vitriolic. While many are proud about supporting Bernie, I haven’t seen the Bernie supporters go after Hillary supporters simply because they don’t support Bernie.

Bernie supporters seem more excited about Bernie, and not about attacking Hillary Clinton. To me it seems like a certain sense of entitlement, that Clinton is entitled to the Democratic noination. Even the DNC is slanting its support mainly in Hillary’s favor.

The fact is that Bernie has the best record when it comes to fighting progressive causes. He has championed just about every progressive issue there is, from Civil Rights, anti-war activism, environmental issues, women’s rights, and removing money from politics. His record is clear, and anyone who is not aware of it at this point chooses to remain in the dark.  If you know Bernie’s record fully, and compare it to Hillary, and you still don’t like him, so be it.

Many who would support Bernie in every case now feel compelled by the Democratic Party establishment to be skeptical of him, and doubt both his credentials and his ability to affect change. The main point of criticism is that Bernie is simply “too extreme” to get anything done in an ideologically gridlocked Congress. His agenda, while admirable, will never pass Republican filibusters, even if a Democratic Congress is elected. I disagree.

Politics is not as hard of a game to play as the establishment would have you believe. It’s easy, once you know how to win. You win by taking your case to the voters, and then you let them decide. Bernie is playing hard on this. While other candidates are sucking up to donners in order to win, Bernie is relying on the support of the people. This is a powerful tactic, especially in today’s political climate.

People are angry at the political establishment, and the way Bernie can get his agenda done is by rallying the voters. One of the main issues that Bernie is running on is ending the money regime that has bought our government. The American people overwhelmingly support this. Bernie can get the progressive agenda done by doing what Obama would not do after winning an election; ignore the establishment and bring your case to the voters.

All you have to do is make your case. Just say, “I want to end money buying your representatives, and Republicans don’t. Who do you support?” The odds are overwhelmingly in Bernie’s favor on that one. “I support worker’s rights to a living wage and decent jobs, Republicans don’t. Who do you support?” Bernie will get them every time. The reason is because Bernie is unlikely to play by the establishment’s rules. He won’t play their game, which perpetuates the broken system for American voters.

Those on the left who criticize Bernie’s goals as being “unrealistic” need to understand that you can’t win on these issues unless you fight for them. Not just tacitly fighting, but throwing the kitchen sink and the bathtub if necessary. To those who support Hillary based on this reason, do you really think she will fight the very establishment she belongs to the way Bernie would?

Bernie is not the enemy, and yes neither is Hillary and yet who you support will determine the course of the country. There is a reason why Bernie draws crowds of thousands to his events, even in deep red states. The people are screaming for a change, and Hillary is unlikely to deliver it.

17 COMMENTS

  1. For me, a lifelong democrat who also believes in a polite armed society willing and able to defend themselves from criminals who ignore gun-control laws, it is all about the uselessness and fallacy that assault weapons and hi-capacity magazine bans will result in any improvement of gun violence. The Democratic party has posted their intention to restore these restrictions on a federal level, essentially taking the country backward to 1996 when the legislative boondoggle resulted in the escalation of firearm sales not seen since WWII. Our president exacerbated this when he just mentioned that he’d try to do something to address gun violence.

    Gun control laws, just like every other prohibitive law outlawing personal choice have always been abject failures. The bee in my bonnet, however is the clear fact that gun violence is not even close to being our highest source of danger to the general public and that the majority of it originates and stays within the criminal elements of our society – at least 70% and up to 77% of gun violence deaths are directly attributed to gang killings, which is not relevant to the normal everyday risks that the public is exposed to.

    Recent studies have incorrectly attributed gun control laws in reducing the overall violent crime numbers in America, but had to resort to cherry-picking their source data to hide the fact that the entire country enjoyed these reductions totally without the supposed benefit of gun control laws. Some of the most restrictive gun controlled cities experience the highest numbers of gun violence, like Washington, DC, Chicago and especially NYC, where you must be either rich or know the police commissioner and mayor before you can get your armed guard detail to keep you safe. This is of course the height of hypocrasy but it represents the typical attitude of the anti-gun crowd; they just can’t grasp the notion that their position is seen as extremist and therefore easily dismissed as nut jobs – a self-defeating performance they are incapable of deviating from.

    Gun Free = Criminals’ Glee

  2. The difference between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders has been correctly identified here in the article and on the comments section. While both are veteran insiders, there is no denying that Clinton is part of the establishment faction, with an enormous war chest, is too comfortable with Wall Street, supported the Iraq War and is short on specifics as she continues what up until now is a very lackluster campaign.
    Sanders will have to convince the liberal voter who considers him a slim to none chance at the nomination or Presidency that he is a very solid candidate and that at least has the record to back his claims without resorting to personal attacks.
    People hopefully will find this refreshing, and give Sanders a more serious look as he seems the only one genuinely interested in the middle class, working Americans and issues that affect us, and not just the rich inside crowd. He will not have to waste time on the GOP side, because calling himself “Socialist” has done its work with the ignoramuses who have no intention of voting for anybody besides who FOX News or Limbaugh tells them to.
    Still, it will be an uphill fight, and I don’t doubt Clinton will pull out the stops to derail him with all the dirty tricks she can call in. Hillary desperately wants to be the 1st female President, and I have no problem with that, but I will not vote for her in the primaries because I think Bernie Sanders is the man we need right now, provided he can do more than just sound good and get things done with a Congress and Senate who will be furious on both sides if he does win the general election. But it’s either Sanders, Clinton, or some insane lunatic on the right. Ought to be interesting.

  3. On the whole Sanders supporters are more caught up in the issues. Hillary people tend to be more caught up in power and personality. Hence the general difference in how they behave. It’s basically maturity.

  4. Ru kiddin me with this “Nit-Wit Bible-Thumpin, Rite-Wing A-Hole. Bachmann.” She does’ent give Bernie any respect, avoids ?’ions doesn’t know here facts, & smerk’s when ever Bernie gets mad @ her, 4 bein RUDE! ! ! Yeah she’d b a real asset 2 this Cuntry. U Dim-Wit! How’s about step’in dn from politics & go’in back 2 ur farm, were u & ur Husband collect all those subsidy’s fr the Govt that u don’t want any1 else 2 have! PT-!– O2A. . .

  5. Living in the heart of South Carolina, I get a daily earful about both Hillary and Bernie. Though, to be sure, the Republicans/Conservatives/Nuts here would much rather take Hillary to the woodshed than Bernie—I think, first, because she’s a strong, poised, accomplished woman who won’t back down and, second, they have had over two decades for their anti-Clintonian attitudes to fester while, half the time, they can’t remember Bernie’s last name (they just remember that he terms himself a “socialist”)—they will bring the wood to him as well between the five times a day when they get out their prayer rugs and pray for Bernie to be nominated. They don’t think they can beat Hillary. They are surprisingly sure they can beat Bernie. I’m not, but they are.

    I actually don’t hear any back-and-forth between Hillary supporters and Bernie supporters. That may be because there are only about seven Democrats in my county across the river from Columbia and we feel as though we need to watch each other’s back. But, for whatever reason, I just don’t hear it.

    I like Bernie. I like many of his policy proposals. But I have yet to get my head around the idea that his campaign is anything beyond quixotic. Again, I have no problem with him, his policies or his campaign. But I just don’t think the man can win—not the nomination and certainly not a general election. I think, right now, that his campaign serves two functions: (1) Make sure Hillary gives more than a nod to the Democratic left and (2) Rev up the Democratic left (which has been far too quiet).

    I don’t think Bernie’s goals are unrealistic—as I said, I support his policies. But I do think it is unrealistic to think that he can “take them to the voters” and get them accomplished. We are working with a Republican majority in both chambers that set as its #1 goal for 2015 the passage of a bill that would provide for 35 permanent jobs. And their followers called Barack Obama and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi every name in the book when they couldn’t get it done—for 35 lousy jobs.

    The problem is not Bernie’s policies. The problem is that the American Right is visceral and reflexive rather than thoughtful and reflective. There can be no dialogue—none—with them because their policy likes/dislikes are primarily based on anger, fear and ignorance and not on thinking an issue through. That’s why they vote against their own interests a great deal of the time—they’re not thinking, they’re just feeling. That’s why they have such a hard time articulating why they so bitterly oppose every move this president makes and also why they, as a result, resort to nothing more than name-calling and personal insult. I took a look at a message board this morning per Obama’s re-naming of Mount Denali. Someone had asked the Crazies why they felt so strongly that the mountain should be named after McKinley. The responses were best summarized by one guy who wrote: “This president is the Monkey-in-Chief.” Huh?

    I wish I had the confidence in the American electorate that you have. I don’t. I think the American Center and the American Center-Left and, to some extent, the American Left think issues through and articulate them reasonably well. I think most—not all, but most—of those on the American Right aren’t even thinking. They’re just feeling the adrenaline and nothing drives those adrenal glands like fear and anger.

  6. Sander supporters bash Hillary constantly and many say if Bernie is not the nominee, they will not vote at all. How STUPID is that? Most Hillary supporters are in agreement that although they feel she is the most qualified for the Presidency, they will vote for the democratic candidate whoever it may be.

  7. I think that if Bernie supporters are not bashing, it may be because he does not bash. He has stated time and time again that he only wants to talk about the issues. The “establishment” would rather you discus anything else. I wish he were running in Canada October 19th, his passions are Canadian passions and we too have lost our way.

  8. I have had to leave three liberal facebook groups because of the Hillary bashing. I have read countless articles about how the Bernie supporters should stop their negative comments towards Hillary. This is the first piece I’ve seen about liberals not liking Bernie. To me, Hillary is the best candidate for the job based on her experience and accomplishments.

  9. I have seen so many Bernie supports outright bash Hillary. I saw a good friend post n Facebook suggesting all Bernie supporters withhold support from the DNC until they felt Bernie would have a place on the ticket. When I responded to her post discouraging Democrats from destroying the party from within she unfriended me. I felt bad but I’m not seeing Democrats bash Bernie, its just the other way around.

  10. The impossible dream Bernie has sold to me is the return of “government of the plebians, for the commoners, created by ordinary people” Biliary Clinton makes my stomach sour. We Unreal Americans don’t want another damn Demokleptocracy. One more untrustworthy, greedy ,lying fool in the oval office isn’t my cup of tea. Hillary Clinton is a very appealing turd for some, I’m still repelled by the stench of Wall Street that wafts from her mouth every time she lies.

  11. To honesty believe Bernie Sanders can get all that he hopes to accomplish is a day dream.Even he admits this can’t happen, unless the House and Senate are won over by Democrats. Bernie is a talker, but Hilary has accomplished far more. I honestly believe she can make a difference.

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