I’m a Bernie supporter, and I’m not voting for Hillary, but I’m not a sycophant.
After getting pretty badly beaten in multiple northeastern primaries, Sanders’ window of opportunity seems to be all but shut. Despite that fact, I am still someone who will lend my voice to the chorus of people pleading with him to keep his word and fight to the convention.
Cue the “Republican troll,” “Naive Kid,” “Silly Dreamer,” “Free Stuff” bullshit in 3…2…1…
For starters, people are still giving more money to Bernie than any other candidate, period. Yes, he is not winning the popular vote, which is how you win elections, but since the people who are funding his campaign clearly don’t want him to stop, it would be an insult to them to stop before the convention, where it would naturally run its course anyway.
Secondly, Hillary needs to earn each and every single goddamned vote as far as I’m concerned.
If Hillary fails to inspire the people who are still giving money to the guy they know deep down is fighting a battle he might not win, then you know who’s to blame? Hillary Clinton. And no, you cannot blame “Bernie or Busters” for it. I happen to be Bernie or Bust because I live in California, so it allows me the leeway to vote my true conscience. Other states afford that chance as well. Blaming Sanders for Hillary not winning the General is like blaming Nader for Gore losing because you miss the fact that Gore lost his home state and the Supreme Court had been hardcore tilted right thanks to Reagan and Bush I’s presidencies.
The Democratic Party has been horrible to Sanders supporters in many respects. Spare me the “he’s not a Democrat” line. Maybe he wasn’t a registered Democrat before this election, but a shit load of his supporters were. The Democratic Party just doesn’t think they can win elections on the New Deal anymore, because they were so embarrassed by how the Republicans lied about Jimmy Carter’s legacy and performance, that they were convinced they’d never win as liberals again, and that’s when Billy Clinton rode into town and saved them by moving the party to the right.
The Democratic machine has been snidely dismissive of a wing of their own damn party. Do these people genuinely think no lifelong Democrats are voting for Sanders? If not, then why were they so insistent on painting Sanders as “not one of us,” especially when he caucuses like a motherfucker with them?
I understand this where the Tea Party comparisons come in, but that is intellectual laziness. There are definitely threads of populist anger that run between the Tea Party and Berniecrats, but there are enormous fundamental differences. Like, oh, I don’t know, not wanting to dismantle the government and caring about minority groups, to name a few. And therein is another example of the casual rudeness that establishment and pro-Hillary Dems have shown to Sanders supporters…and they wonder why so many of us have said, “To Hell with your party.”
In the end, is “winning” all that matters? That’s what the VOTE BLUE NO MATTER WHO crowd remind me of…the kids in school who had to win every damn thing. As if their trophies from adolescence would mean fuck-all when we were all just meat in the grinder. I decided I could be Bernie or Bust when I decided I didn’t care if he won the nomination because the movement he has inspired is one that is important and isn’t worthy of snide disdain.
Should Bernie stay in, even though he needs a bottom of the ninth, two out, bases load grand slam just to tie Hillary? You’re damn right Bernie should stay in. He is inspiring people, many of them young, to be engaged in thinking about who is going to lead them. Only the most cynical of shitdick would think that’s a bad thing. Everyone, even silly conservatives, are entitled to their views, and to gather in groups to magnify their voice, even when inside their own party they might represent a minority.
Maybe the Berniecrats are, for the time being, a smaller force within the Democratic Party. The bigger urban cities with larger population densities are not his friend right now, so that would seem to lend credence to the idea that Berniecrats are the minority within the Demorcratic Party. But if Sanders stays in, he can help keep the people he’s encouraged to care, and to keep right on caring even after he loses. If that’s a bad thing to you, you’re not half as open-minded and liberal as you think you are.
Ultimately, that’s what we want as a society. Get people to care first, and then you can start brainwashing them with whose party is better than whose.
Sanders is no messiah. He’s a politician. He’s got cracks in his campaign I wish weren’t there and don’t agree with, but he’s the one guy saying the right things, all the right things. So I guess of course it would make sense that America would think he’s too crazy to be president or some such other shit. But here’s hoping he honors his word to his donors and supporters and fights to the last breath, and battles until he’s taken his last swing at the plate. It hurts absolutely nothing, and only helps the party stay interested and fired-up about moving the country in the right direction.
Patience, Hillary fans, you’ll get your day of gloating. You’ll have your moment in the sun. But until then, let the process be the process and stop wringing your hands over what making the sausage we call America looks like.