Some Much Needed Deep Breathing
I’ve had it. Up to here (imagine seeing me holding my hand just above my head, miming that I’m swamped by the shit rushing around about the Democratic nominating process). And, no, this is not a “pox on both your houses” post. It is rather a “pay attention to who might be stirring you up” post; a “nothing is decided on the internet so stop yelling” post; and a quick note to those few-and-far-between true Bernie Sanders’ supporters who really do exist (one is on my friend list).
After last week’s melee at the Nevada Democratic convention, at which supporters of Bernie Sanders, upset both over the outcome and the process, began throwing chairs and otherwise acting like children who’s binkie had been taken away from them, suddenly people who claimed to support Bernie, or claimed to support Hillary, started popping up all over the place, stirring the resentment and residual anger, getting people to start shouting at one another on the Internet. Then, folks like me and some others who watch all this with a jaundiced eye start complaining about “Bernie Bros”, and it soon spreads that the Democratic Party is experiencing a “civil war”.
As with all things, a few deep breaths, a quick survey of the landscape, and some thought lead one to one question: Who benefits? The answer, of course, is the Republicans and their putative nominee, Donald Trump. This is not to suggest what’s happening is some coordinated action being run by the Trump campaign. On the contrary, it usually takes very little to get people dedicated to a particular cause or issue suddenly to explode in anger at the least provocation. At least, online, where there are no consequences and a lot of the time anonymity allows all sorts of venting to occur. It really only takes a few somewhat clever trolls to type words like “rigged” and “stolen” and “Bern it down”, and soon enough a-tad-too-dedicated supporters for one or the other Democratic candidate start yelling at one another online.
Which leads me to my next point: Stop thinking that a bunch of hashtags, memes, and continually complaining about how “the system is rigged” will either convince people you are correct and therefore support your favored candidate; and stop thinking that telling Hillary Clinton supporters they are no better than Republicans, that she is a corrupt liar who gives secret speeches to millionaires for huge sums of money which proves she’s a corporate shill, and then sit and wonder why what seems so obvious to you might not be so obvious to everyone. No one, so far as I know, has changed their mind because of a bunch of memes, unsourced and long-debunked claims about corruption, or TYPING LIKE THIS BECAUSE ON THE INTERNET NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM SO THEY HAVE TO SEE YOU SCREAM. No one’s suggesting that folks who support one or another candidate for President should dampen their enthusiasm. I am suggesting that trying to convince people who think that Bernie Sanders has run a good race – and maybe should stay until after the California primary! – but in the end should support (and urge his supporters to support) Sec. Clinton in the general election; trying to tell people like me that we’re actually Republicans, that we support corruption, that we aren’t real Democrats; that all that might well be counterproductive and make us – well, me – even less inclined to pay attention to you.
Finally, for those few-and-far-between true Bernie Sanders supporters who really do carry on about rigged systems and corrupt nominating processes: First, of course it’s rigged. Sanders entered the primaries and caucuses and conventions knowing it was rigged, but thinking he could use this rigged system to win, anyway. When he loses . . . don’t carry on that the system is rigged (it is); recognize that Sanders lost. Second, yes, the whole nominating process with its superdelegates and what not is corrupt and supports the status quo. This isn’t a shock or surprising, so stop yelling about it. Sen. Sanders entered this process knowing full well that both the system and those who support the system through the nominating process were against him. When Sen. Sanders loses don’t whine about the system being against him, because of course it is. He lost. Accept it and move on. Finally, Sec. Clinton isn’t Sen. Sanders when it comes to her positions on the issues, but that hardly means she’s a stealth Republican. Particularly in this election year, the differences between the candidates and their respective parties could not be more clear. While Clinton is certainly the status quo/stand pat candidate, compared to Donald Trump . . . well there really isn’t much at all of a comparison, now is there.
As for the rest of us looking on: There is not going to be a convention floor fight. There is not going to be more than one ballot. Mrs. Clinton will most likely arrive at the convention with enough delegates to win. I’m figuring that Sen. Sanders might well be offered a cabinet post – Secretary of Labor or HHS would be my guess – and, really, he’d be a fool not to take it. And if you really really really really believe the system is corrupt, that Sen. Sanders is actively being denied then nomination by an apparatus designed to prevent candidacies like his from winning, you are right, but remember – BERNIE SANDERS ENTERED THIS RACE KNOWING FULL WELL ALL THIS WAS TRUE. STOP ACTING SURPRISED THAT IT IS TRUE.
That’s all. Have a great week.