After my last post, and after some online discussion, it became crystal clear to me:
I hate Bernie Sanders.
I try not to hate political figures: it tends to be counterproductive. (Viewing them with disdain and disgust, however, is a different matter. See Guiliani, Rudy.) And God knows had he been the Democratic candidate in the general election (or if he is next year) I would have voted for him in a flash.
But there is something about his candidacy… His support for Clinton in the general was lukewarm at best, and pretty much amounted to “she’s better than Trump.” She won the primaries well before California, superdelegates notwithstanding, but he refused to recognize that. He spoke to his supporters about their behavior, but only after a great many complaints, and before that was defiantly in their camp.
And yes, I know that a lot of this comes from experiences with his supporters, many of whom irrationally charged that Clinton had stolen the primarieres. The level of misogyny was breathtaking. You can only see women called cunts or screamed at so many times before you come to the conclusion that a candidate’s supporters hate women. (Not to mention the oft repeated charge that if a woman supported Clinton it was only because she was a woman. I didn’t hear anyone stating that if a man supported Bernie it was because he was a man.) See: Nevada, delegates election.
One incident sticks out in my mind. A group of women in New York (if I remember correctly) had a social event to talk about Hillary because they felt that they could not do so in their social circles or at work without getting abuse thrown their way. A male Bernie supporter — in a Bernie t-shirt no less — showed up. He was pleasant, but still, his unspoken message was “You have no safe places. We will not let you be rid of us.”
Please explain to me how that is not abusive.
The women at the event were nicer than I am — probably because the young man was pleasant and polite. I would have kicked him out — physically, probably.
I know Bernie supporters in swing states who voted for Jill Stein because Bernie didn’t get the nomination, and who felt that Clinton was horrible because of what Bernie had said in the primary. Those Bernie or bust people may have cost us the election. They may have given us Trump. (There are friends and relatives it took a year for me to be able to talk to.)
I don’t think he will be much of a factor this time… what’s he going to do, attack all of the other candidates? Many of whom hold similar views to his? (I’m sure his attack will be along the lines to “I had this idea first, they’re just copying me,” which will work on pretty much everyone except Elizabeth Warren. Warren is more of an economic populist than he is.)
I hope that I can let everything go, and just ignore him, and concentrate on Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, and Kamala Harris. (I’m a bit more centrist than Warren, although if she wins the primary I’ll be perfectly fine with it.) Because the best way to deal with people you hate is to pretend they’re not there. I hope I can do that.