in the weeks following the general election in november, there have been countless commentaries on “what happened” and “who’s to blame.” with little deviation, the consensus i’ve seen develop seems to coalesce around a list of problems and failures:
- mainstream news misreading, or ignoring signs of deep discontent
- pervasive “fake news”
- polling flaws
- democrats’ and the clinton campaign’s failure to appeal to and turn out a core portion of their base, i.e. white-working class voters
but the other day i saw an article shared on facebook which absolutely made me angry: it’s time for bernie sanders to apologize to his supporters, and to president obama.
i think everyone knows at this point that i was a strong sanders supporter. i was a campaign leader here in hawaii and went to philadelphia as a sanders-pledged delegate.
the author, a perfect example of a whiny, entitled white woman who had no problem with clinton being anointed the nominee and next president by the dnc and media elite, respectively. the author’s myopic view atop her pedestal is bernie shouldn’t have run at all, let alone mount a competitive campaign of hope and change. he should “apologize for disrupting the historic milestone of the first female nominee for president of the united states with threats and fears.” then she goes on to insult his supporters.
never mind the fact that clinton was wildly unpopular among primary and general voters. never mind working class people across the country haven’t climbed out of the 2008 recession hole, but she claimed america is already great. never mind she angrily and uniformly insulted everyone who was inclined toward trump. it seems the article’s author is one who thinks democracy is a formality; it was hillary’s turn and how dare anyone challenge the democratic establishment and the democratic leadership council (dlc).
the author also seems to either have selective memory, or wasn’t paying close attention to things post convention. bernie spoke to issues, not personality. she also refers to obama’s popularity, as a sign that people would have been happy with clinton, which i think is a flawed assumption.
for one, as of december 5, his approval rating was in the mid 50’s; certainly not a glowing endorsement of his job performance. and i’m not sure his number wouldn’t be lower were it not for a certain nostalgia that set in as americans began to pay attention to the presidential election. at the beginning of the year, his approval rating was in the mid 40’s.
two, leading up to, during, and following the democratic national convention in july, bernie urged his supporters to get on board with clinton, telling them she was a far better choice than trump. then he went out and stumped for her for the last few months of the campaign.
three, the author seems to blame sanders and not clinton for the slow and reluctant migration of his supporters to her. in during a town hall with rachel meadow, clinton oozes contempt at the suggestion that she needs to woo sanders supporters. “i have a bigger lead in pledged delegates than senator obama, when i ran against him in 2008, ever had over me. i am winning!” for voters who were already disinclined toward clinton, her contempt for us certainly didn’t help.
clinton and the dnc should apologize for refusing to see the signs in front of them. had the system (including mainstream media) been truly neutral, i believe we might have a different president-elect right now. had democrats been more interested in who was the candidate with the best chance of beating the republicans than they were of “breaking the glass ceiling,” maybe clinton supporters and the dnc wouldn’t be standing around pointing fingers at everyone but themselves over who’s to blame.
senator sanders should apologize? i don’t think so.