Monday, April 25, 2016

Will #Bernie's Supporters Vote for #Hillary Or Refuse to Vote At All


Predicting the outcome of primaries and elections can become addictive but it's a pastime that leaves you feeling empty. It's just numbers that might or might not be real.

Much more satisfying is to read the comments to articles on the various campaigns—where readers leave intelligent comments, that is. Like the New York Times, which draws pretty informed readers. Recently it ran an op-ed piece on whether a highly contested nomination process damages a Party or not and if yes how much.

Relating to this Presidential race and the Democratic nomination, the author speculated on Hillary Clinton's ability to gain the allegiance of Bernie Sanders' supporters if she wins the nomination.
I've read in other media reports and on Facebook that Clinton supporters will vote for Sanders if he wins the nomination, but the reverse isn't true; a lot of Sanders supporters are saying they won't vote at all if their hero doesn't win the nomination, citing all sorts of conspiracy theories about how corrupt Clinton and the Democratic Party are. The comments and 'recommends' on this NYT article backed that up.

I've heard the argument that it means Sanders is the better candidate, but it doesn't mean that at all: it means that Clinton supporters understand what's at stake and are not willing to sacrifice their country.
Sanders and his supporters generally consider themselves to be on moral high ground; they are the ones who haven't been brainwashed, who care the most about democracy, the poor, the middle class…

Yet, what's at stake in this Presidential election is the middle class, the very poor, human rights in practically every category, a GOP-skewed Supreme Court, added heft to the military industrial complex and to major corporations that do control politicians in Congress, and internationally, America going back to the world despising it. I think about Susan Sarandon saying, from the comfort of her million dollar home and life in LA, that if Bernie loses the nomination she would welcome a GOP president and Congress because then everything would fall apart.

And who would be hurt the most? Obviously not Susan Sarandon. How is anybody going to undo the damage of a skewed Supreme Court? What kind of moral high ground is that? The dangerous kind.

It's the kind that led Sanders to once give his enthusiastic support to Fidel Castro, brushing aside the executions, the corruption, the suppression of opposition and the media with "sure, there are some problems".

Well, there are some problems now, too. Sanders has woken up and nurtured a beast which has the label "liberal" but is actually more angry than anything else. And not controllable. Bernie and Jane have said explicitly that they will support Hillary Clinton if she's nominated. But #FeelTheBern-ers think they know better than the man they adulate. It will break his heart if a GOP candidate wins, or if the chance of Congress changing hands is destroyed by his own supporters.