There’s a disorder sweeping across the nation within the past few months–Bernie entitlement. Its symptoms are “I support Bernie; therefore you owe me, and if you don’t let me get my way, I’ll make you and the entire country pay.” The problem went viral after Bernie Sanders dropped his campaign and endorsed Hillary Clinton. Not all Bernie supporters suffer from this syndrome, but the media loves to concentrate on those who have this illness. Talking to Bernie supporters who plan to vote for Hillary Clinton isn’t nearly as much fun for journalists as listening to those who oppose Hillary.
Evidence of this infirmity appeared at the recent Democratic convention. Far beyond the shouting and heckling during every speech, including the one given by First Lady Michelle Obama, was a fart-in created by Bernie supporters eating lots of bean. the decision to eat lots of beans so that Bernie supporters would fart. Not all Bernie supporters follow the same pattern as those below: the reference is to those who remain obstructionists as in this a link.
This is my response to the vocal minority of Bernie supporters who think that they can carry on their revolution by trashing Hillary Clinton.
Bernie brought in followers, many of them unregistered voters, with his charisma, promises, and generalities. He said his ideas would raise taxes by $15 trillion over ten years, but the cost of the health care plan alone is over $30 trillion. Even the economist who originally analyzed Bernie’s plans had to admit that he was originally wrong about the cost because of “faulty math.” The doubled deficit in a decade would cause higher interest rates and government borrowing costs that slow economic growth. Higher taxes to slow the deficit rate would fall on the middle class and poor. As Bill Maher said to Bernie, “[Universal health care] couldn’t even work in your home state of Vermont!” Bernie had no answer.
Hillary agrees that people need relief in health care, and it’s one piece of her vision. Unfortunately, Bernie supporters just say that she doesn’t mean it because she lies. Yet statistics show that the two Democratic candidates lie at the same rate–20 percent–compared to 80 percent lying for Trump.
This statement from the Bernie supporter is an outright falsehood: “We understand that while the candidates differ in significant ways, both Clinton and Trump offer unthinkable options whether cutting services, limiting our rights, and inciting hatred or promoting an increasingly pro-corporate agenda, destroying our planet, or sending our children to endless war.” Both Bernie and Trump supporters operate on “feelings” and not facts about Hillary’s past. When she took money from Wall Street, she gave much of it to Democratic candidates to help their campaigns. Bernie kept his $200 million for himself.
The GOP and Trump support unlimited gun ownership, sexual assault, no health care, much lower taxes for the wealthy, no paid family leave, low minimum wages–or perhaps none–rescinding LGBT rights including marriage equality, no abortion or contraception, a police state allowing law enforcement to kill innocent people, World War III if someone annoys Trump, persecution of the disabled, no equal pay for genders, no public education, no protection against climate change and protection of endangered species, fraud in profit-making higher education, no unions, elimination of Social Security and Medicare, no other safety net, oppression of the press, mandatory Christianity, no women’s rights, no relief for college loans–in short, the opposite of Hillary’s position. In addition, he wants to support Russia, North Korea, and other places controlled by totalitarian dictators and give them nuclear weapons.
Bernie supporters use the word “passion” to describe Bernie and accuse Hillary of not being “passionate,” but passion is more than playing the star at huge rallies. Hillary hasn’t stopped working for human rights since she was a teenager.
Listing all Hillary’s accomplishments would take too long here. Listing Bernie’s achievements is much easier. He got a lot of young people, many of them not registered voters, excited about the election process. This article shows his accomplishments. He revitalized a city waterfront and opposed TPP, NAFTA, CAFTA, Keystone XL, Patriot Act, and the Iraq War. (Hillary now admits that she was wrong about TPP, Keystone, and the Iraq War.) The claim that he tells the truth puts him on par with Hillary’s truth-telling rating. The legislation he’s passed in his 20 years in Congress is listed here. But what he’s done doesn’t matter: his campaign achieved its goal–to move Hillary toward the left. Yet like Hillary Bernie has made mistakes, and Bernie supporters need to accept that Hillary will do the best job she can to benefit the people.
Bernie supports are right that Hillary is “disliked” because people, including Bernie’s followers, pass along false propaganda that the conservative mainstream media has propagated for the past three decades. Those who put a high priority on likability need to consider George W. Bush, an extremely likable man, and look at what he did to the country. Likability is for high school prom royalty.
The ten percent of Bernie voters who say they cannot vote for Hillary also say that it’s okay if the country blows up. The others who are still smearing Hillary are achieving the same ends. Instead of blowing up the nation, they might move to Somalia and leave the United States to people who want to preserve the nation.
I agree that many people are struggling, and don’t see the country getting ahead because that’s their situation. Hillary is aware of these problems, which is why she supports higher minimum wages, unions, equal pay for women, paid and medical leave, and other benefits to help struggling people.
Bernie supporters also complain that “our hard work [for Bernie’s campaign] doesn’t matter.” They worked for less than a year and expect to get everything they want. Life doesn’t work that way. If they really want to change things, they need to cheerfully work for Hillary and struggle to make the changes that they want.
They also think that we have the hard times now are unique. When I was 26 years old, a teacher and new mother, I worked two different jobs–one full-time as a high school teacher and the other as an adjunct teacher at a junior college. I worked at a 7-11 market in the summer to make ends meet, and my husband worked full time. I was much luckier than the people who lived during the Great Depression of the 1930s. People angry about inequality should look at the massive costs to the nation by George W. Bush’s huge tax cuts and wars and blame GOP leaders who pass laws giving the country’s assets to the wealthiest and then rig the voting system through gerrymandering and voter restrictions so that the practice continues.
Like Trump supporters, Bernie supporters operate on feelings and not facts. They provide no evidence about which lies the media told or how it suppressed the vote. Bernie supporters complain about all the lies the Hillary told about Bernie, but Politifact records that each one lied about the opponent only three times. References about how the Clinton campaign infiltrated a Sanders network are not well substantiated, but the Sanders campaign took information about the Clinton campaign from the DNC last year.
Like Bernie supporters, I’m furious about Arizona and New York denying votes, but Republicans were responsible. I’m even more furious that almost every red state denies people the vote–which is not mentioned in the writer’s statement. The trashing of votes in California is inexcusable, but it would not have changed the outcome: Hillary won by over 3 million votes. The same thing happened to Arizona ballots in the last presidential election as well as in other states. The media did create the Trump monster, but that’s not Hillary’s fault. Changing the system requires more than angry ranting at Hillary.
I, too, don’t like some of Hillary’s positions, specifically her strong support of military and Israel, but she succeeded in brokering peace between Israel and Palestine if only for a short time. Opposing some of her positions won’t make me oppose her election.
Bernie created his following by with the positions that all other candidates are evil and corrupt and that he is the only ideologically pure person. His absolutism, both moral and political, attracts the same people who followed Ayn Rand’s philosophy, such as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). Congressional gridlock was caused when the Tea Party refused to compromise, the same position that Bernie supporters have. Everyone has complained about the congressional gridlock since the Tea Party co-opted Congress, a gridlock caused by lack of compromise. That’s where Bernie’s supporters are at this time.
This year’s presidential candidate campaign had three positions: fear, idealism, and pragmatism. People could select on the basis of primal reactions from the lizard brain, belief in something with no evidence, or an approach that has the best chance of getting results. Hillary wants a lot of the same things that Bernie does, but many of his supporters are not satisfied and they would rather go with the GOP lizard brain.
I understand the grief that Bernie supporters are feeling. It’s like the loss of a lover. But destroying the country that Bernie cares about doesn’t bring his campaign back to life. People who really care about the country and not just themselves and Bernie Sanders should do everything they can to elect Hillary Clinton and then continue with Bernie’s ideals. People who give up after less than a year are quitters.
People need to look at both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders realistically. Neither one is perfect, but they’re both good people. Hillary won, and it’s time to move forward. Bernie supporters have said that Hillary needs to work to persuade them that they should vote for her. It’s really their own job to look into Hillary’s positions to see if she really is exactly the same as Donald Trump.
If people continue to smear Hillary and/or vote for Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, Donald Trump, or–worse yet for democracy–not at all, we have a great chance of the lizard brain running the United States and destroying the country. People also need to consider these three words–Supreme Court justices. The decision that voters make in November 2016 is not for the next four years. It determines the future for everyone on this planet.
[Note: once again, I’m not talking about all Bernie supporters–just the ones who don’t care whether Donald Trump wins the upcoming election. I’m grateful for those who have are now supporting Hillary and hope that more of them will understand the high stakes of this year’s election.]