The following is an editorial by PoliticusUSA co-publisher Sarah Jones.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is a man who has always advocated for the underdogs, for women, for minorities. And so it’s exceptionally ironic and troubling that his campaign is being hijacked by a small group of priggish, self-satisfied, angry white progressives. The elitist, misogynistic kind whose myopic priorities are pot laws and the privacy of their emails. Oh, and their zealous, rabid hate for former Secretary Hillary Clinton.
They don’t care about liberal values or the fact that three women are murdered every day in this country by an “intimate” partner or that black people are being systemically murdered by the police. They are very busy pretending to care about Wall Street, while not seeing or admitting how keeping minorities down enables Wall Street’s abuses and power over D.C..
An example of this behavior took place at the Bernie Sanders event in Seattle that was disrupted by Black Lives Matter activists. There were reports or racial slurs being directed at the activists by members of the audience.
I have made the decision not to link to specific examples of this behavior, because I don’t want to give these people attention that they do not deserve.
There is a small group of people who claim to be Sanders supporters who also have made it their mission on social media to personally attack anyone who they believe is not pro-Sanders enough. They label anything they read doesn’t fit their agenda as “Clinton propaganda,” and deem the author a “Clinton shill.”
Conservative media writes articles on a nearly daily basis that claim to praise Sanders, but they are nothing more than cheap attempts to divide Democrats. The type of Sanders supporters these kinds of articles attract tend to be the same folks who claim to be progressive but also believe that Rand Paul has really good ideas and they would vote for him.
These are not the same people who have supported Senator Sanders for years as an Independent Senator. These are also not his genuine supporters — those who support his actual positions. But these johnny-come-lately “Libertarian liberals” (try not to laugh) are glomming onto Sanders and rabidly attacking anyone who doesn’t get in line behind their every made up idea about him. Ironically, they don’t even know or care what he really stands for.
Senator Sanders is pushing an election of ideas and policies, and former Secretary Hillary Clinton is right there with him. Clinton has been doing this her entire campaign. Neither of them are playing dirty. This is such an opportunity to elevate ideas, but it’s being destroyed by nasty, teabagger-type viciousness of the new Sanders “fans”.
Whereas former Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD) participated directly in creating a misogynistic environment of dirty bombs, Senator Sanders has never done that. He would be horrified to see his name used to attack women just for being women, to bully and berate minorities, and worse.
These are not the real Sanders supporters, but they act in his name. Sanders might have a Sarah Palin problem on his hands if he doesn’t reel them in, especially the people who use his logo and name while they are conducting themselves like rabid lunatics who can’t deal with facts and throw bigoted tantrums any time someone doesn’t fall into line behind them to agree with everything they feel.
Ironically, these are the people who think of themselves as intellectuals, but we rarely get ideas based on facts from them. They’re too busy with their smug illusions of superiority to stop by the facts store and examine anything that doesn’t confirm their biases and privilege.
The good news is these people come around every election cycle, but they are electorally irrelevant. They are loud, but irrelevant. They do not influence national elections. They are not the “left”. It’s been years since anyone gave them the time of day, after they got busted selling lies about President Obama over and over again in the name of “liberty”. Lies they never corrected, by the way, which is the hallmark of the intellectual coward. These are the folks who are so far right they think they’re left.
It’s sad to see these people attach themselves to a candidate they don’t even understand, and one whose values they are violating every time they spew hatred at anyone who dares to state a fact.
Do they think this is helping their cause? The answer to this question should put to rest any lingering notion that these are stellar intellectuals. These are feelers. Their feelings are everything. They don’t care about voting records or policies, unless they can cherry pick them. It’s all ferocious indignation and regressive poutage all the time. They are the emotional infants of the alleged “left”, but in their closed-minded refusal to deal with facts, their blind anger and their cowardly attacks, they are really actually conservatives. In other words, the opposite of Senator Sanders.
As with all political failures of the typical reactionary, they keep scoring for the other side. If their goal is to drive all minorities to Hillary Clinton, job well done. This response, however, is not fair as it isn’t based on the actual candidate. But it is the inevitable result of such a glaring lack of actual liberal values.
Sen. Sanders and the vast majority of his supporters are good people who do not deserve to be smeared by the behavior of a few who are using his name justify their actions.
This is a sad state of affairs centered around a man who has made it his life’s mission to fight for equality and economic justice, battling the corporate overlords at every turn. Senator Sanders deserves better. He has earned it the hard way.