I know I talk about the Sanders campaign a fair bit, but I’m still amazed at how far left it went. I don’t mean left in a good way either. I mean left as in, “holy shit this went so wrong so quickly.” From Netroots Nation up to today, that campaign has been a raging dumpster fire. It’s an example of what not to do in a political campaign.
I mean, first of all you had the guy who’s not a Democrat running on the Democratic ticket. He bragged about not being a Democrat; he openly called himself a socialist. This posed a big problem in the New York primary.
In order to vote for the Democrat, you had to be a registered Democrat. The “not a Democrat but running on the Democratic ticket” dude forgot to mention to his “not Democrats but voting for the guy running on the Democratic ticket” supporters (i.e., most of them) that you had to register as a Democrat before a certain date to vote for him. By the time the primary rolled around the “not Democrats but voting for the guy running on the Democratic ticket” supporters found out that they fucked up and instead of saying “we fucked up”, they cried election fraud.
Speaking of his supporters, holy hell were they a problem. From sexism to classism to racism, they had it all covered. They loved patronizing Black people so much that the phrase “Bernie marched with King” became a meme. They brushed off voters in the South as “low information” when in reality a lot of us knew who he was and just didn’t trust him. One of his supporters thought it’d be a great idea to host a Halloween party that doubled as an event for Bernie and used the hashtag #BernTheWitch in reference to Hillary Clinton. Oh! There was also the infamous “Democratic whores” comment by Dr Song. That was horrid. I could list so much more, but I think you get the point.
What did Bernie do to address the toxicity of his supporters? (Side Note: Toxicity by System of a Down is a GREAT song.) He did fuck-all, that’s what! I honestly believe he thinks his supporters aren’t his problem. As long as they keep showing up at rallies and chanting his name, he’s good.
Another fuck up? The refusal to directly address race. No candidate was particularly good at this, but Bernie kinda stood out. He had a habit of making it look like he was about to say some poignant shit and then swerve straight to economics and education. I mean, I had no idea a job and a diploma made you bulletproof. (Side Note: Bulletproof by La Roux? Also a good song.) I’ve pointed this out before, but ever since he marched with King, he’s believed that racism is a side effect of economic inequality. He thinks if you solve economic inequality, racism will magically disappear. Sorry to say, it doesn’t exactly work like that.
Bernie and his fans also have the bad habit of blaming everyone and everything else when things go wrong. Losing in the South? “Low information” voters, Black people don’t know me, and it doesn’t matter anyway. Losing the entire primary? Well if Hillary wasn’t running we’d be winning. Women are voting for Hillary? They’re voting with their vagina. No matter what, it’s never his fault. He and his fans never take responsibility for fucking things up.
This cycle of bullshit from the campaign is annoying at best and infuriating at worst. As the primary has gone on and Bernie’s fallen further behind, his supporters have only gotten worse. I actually didn’t think that was possible after some of the shit they’ve pulled, but they managed to surprise me.I know someone’s gonna say “you can’t blame him for what his supporters do” and to that I say bullshit. He has implicitly co-signed this behavior by never addressing it. They’re also his ambassadors to the country and they did a truly horrible job. Bernie and company ruined this campaign for themselves, and instead of taking the L, they’ve decided to drag it out. Dear Lord do I want this to be over already. It’s downright embarrassing to watch.