Discord & Dissension — Part X — Bernie or Bust?

Although Hillary Clinton actually won the 2016 election by nearly three million votes, thanks to gerrymandering and the anomaly of the Electoral College, Donald Trump now occupies the Oval Office.  There were a number of factors that allowed him to gain as many votes as he did and win the electoral vote.  One, of course, was the influence of Russian propaganda intended to denounce Hillary Clinton with misinformation fed to the unwitting public.  There was significant voter suppression in a number of states that denied the vote to poor, minorities and youth.  Another was FBI Director James Comey’s ‘October Surprise’, and yet another was Hillary Clinton herself.  Despite the fact that it makes no sense, you would be surprised how many people vote for a candidate based on looks or that “warm, fuzzy” persona.  Clinton was highly qualified, had both the experience and education to have made an excellent president, but for some her forthright manner was off-putting.  And then, of course, there was that moment when she used really poor judgement in her comment about ‘deplorables’.

But the biggest single factor that handed Donald Trump enough votes to win the Electoral College was the fans of Bernie Sanders.  Let’s take a brief walk back through those times, shall we, for there are large parallels between 2016 and 2020.

Although Bernie was an Independent, when he threw his hat into the ring on May 26, 2015, he did so as a member of the Democratic Party, for the odds are so stacked against an Independent that most often they cannot qualify for debates, and will not be allowed on the ballots in many states. Bernie-Sanders-logoBernie ran his campaign much as he has this year, on a platform of populist, socialist, and social democratic politics, which gave him the support of a large portion of the under-40 crowd.  Then, as now, he focused on income and wealth inequality, which he argued is eroding the American middle class, and on campaign finance reform. Unlike most other major presidential candidates, Sanders eschewed an unlimited super PAC, instead choosing to receive most of his funding from direct individual campaign donations.

By the time of the final primary election in June, it was obvious that Clinton would be the nominee, and on July 12th, Sanders officially endorsed Clinton at a unity rally with her in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  But then … On July 22, 2016, various emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the governing body of the Democratic Party, were leaked and published, revealing apparent bias against the Sanders campaign on the part of the Committee and its chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  I have always believed this was part of the Russian campaign to put Trump into the Oval Office, but as far as I know, there is no evidence to support it, so I can only speculate.

Although the race was close, with Clinton leading by only 291 delegates before the superdelegates weighed in at the nominating convention, Hillary won the party’s nomination.  Sanders threw his support to Clinton, campaigned with her, and asked his supporters to please vote for Hillary Clinton.  But … his supporters were bitter about a number of things, especially the leaked DNC emails.  They also believed that the media had short-changed Bernie by covering his campaign significantly less than Clinton’s or Trump’s.

And thus began ‘Bernie or Bust’, a movement by some of Bernie’s die-hard supporters with the goal of taking votes away from Hillary Clinton.  They urged Democrats to write in Sanders, vote for a third-party candidate such as Jill Stein or Gary Johnson, or not to vote at all.  Sanders repeatedly said he would vote for Clinton in the general election in order to avoid a “disastrous” Trump presidency and encouraged his supporters to do the same, but few of his supporters listened.  If every Bernie supporter had given his or her vote to Hillary Clinton, we would have been talking and writing about President Clinton these past 38 months, even despite the Russian interference, despite Jim Comey, despite Hillary being “anatomically incorrect” in the eyes of some, and despite her lack of a ‘warm & fuzzy persona’.

All of which brings us to today and the looming 2020 election.  This year, it is Joe Biden vs Bernie Sanders, or as I’ve been calling it, the Bernie & Joe Show.  The circumstances are much the same as they were four years ago, with Biden leading in delegate count and almost certain to become the Democratic nominee in July.  Just this past Tuesday, in the three states that held Democratic primary elections – Illinois, Florida, and Arizona – Joe Biden was the clear winner in all three.  And already, “Bernie or Bust” and “Never Biden” movements are in full swing.

Allow me to share with you some of the comments from Bernie supporters …

  • “I can’t vote for Joe Biden. It feels like the party doesn’t want us — the people who were pushing for Bernie Sanders and were enthusiastic about it. I think it just means I don’t vote for president.”
  • “The rationale for us is that our votes need to be earned and that we’ve been taken for granted, and the party never moves to us. If they install Joe Biden, I will not vote for Biden. … This is not democratic what’s happening in the Democratic primary.”
  • “If we lose to Trump then hopefully within the next four years maybe an AOC or Rashida Tlaib would be able to run. Maybe there would be a better chance to save the planet.”
  • “I don’t think that I should put aside my values and vote out of fear. The DNC needs an overhaul, it lacks values, real leaders that represent the people not its donors.”
  • “For me not voting would be to send a message: what you’ve done is not OK. I wish there was a way to vote for Biden and still send that message.”

And those are just a sampling.  But I think what those comments tell us is that the Democratic Party has some work to do.  Unity.  The party is deeply divided at present, and you know that saying, “United we stand, divided we fall”?  It’s true.  I think that Joe Biden stands a very good chance to beat Donald Trump, especially considering that Trump has been shooting himself in the foot these past few weeks.  BUT … it will not happen unless both the party and the man get busy and unify the party.

The best-case scenario probably would have been for Joe Biden to pick Bernie to be his running mate, but that is not going to happen.  To his credit, Biden did say in Sunday night’s debate that he would chose a woman to be his running mate, which should help with women voters, at any rate.  The most likely is Kamala Harris, second most likely is Stacey Abrams.

My own personal choice was Elizabeth Warren, and when she dropped out, it became Bernie Sanders.  However, I believe Joe Biden to be at least as qualified as Hillary Clinton was in 2016, I believe that Bernie will support Joe if Joe is the nominee, and I will most assuredly vote for Biden.  I think that many of the younger voters who comprise “Bernie or Bust” fail to understand what another four years under Donald Trump would mean.  I think, based on all the comments I’ve seen, that they want to shake things up within the Democratic Party, and I understand that, for I share their frustration with the Party. Bernie-or-BustHowever, having watched the progressive destruction of our constitutional democratic republic over the past three years, and having studied at some length the current incumbent, his lack of values, lack of intelligence, and his monumental ego, I will throw my full support behind Joe Biden if he is the Democratic nominee, because I honestly believe that by 2024 the United States of America under Donald Trump would be a full-blown dictatorship, plain and simple.  If Trump is handed another four years, I do not believe there will be an election in 2024, but that Trump will have found a way to circumvent or disavow the U.S. Constitution and extend his term.  Nope, I am neither a conspiracy theorist nor a drama queen, but rather I am an observer with enough knowledge to understand what we are seeing.

What I ask of you is twofold.  First, please VOTE on November 3rd for whomever the Democratic nominee is.  Second, please, when you hear someone say they will throw away their vote either by staying home, writing in Bernie Sanders, or voting for a third-party candidate, try to talk to them.  Try to explain the dangers for the future if Trump is re-elected.

Discord & Dissension — Table of Contents

21 thoughts on “Discord & Dissension — Part X — Bernie or Bust?

  1. Pingback: Discord & Dissension — Table of Contents | Filosofa's Word

  2. Pingback: Voting for Trump is not a favorable vote for Bernie | musingsofanoldfart

  3. Thanks Jill. I have written separate posts on the relative veracity of Biden and Sanders. I have commented on a couple of progressive sites as well. I will vote for Sanders if he is the nominee, but I favor Biden. I am an independent who is fiscally conservative and socially progressive. I believe in helping people, but we need to make sure we pay for it and are getting a ROI (i.e. – is this the best way to help).

    Biden and Sanders are genuine and decent people. Neither are perfect, but I don’t find myself questioning the veracity of what they say. None of these descriptions fit the bill with the incumbent. I also recognize what too many don’t that America’s economic system is a blend of fettered capitalism with socialist underpinnings. That simple statement would blow people’s minds.

    The question we need to ask is what is the proper balance? That question does not fit on a bumper sticker which is how the president got elected. I am just saddened that our reputation around the world has declined with 64% of Europeans not trusting the president trusting Putin and Xi more. To be frank, I am surprised it is not higher in distrust, as I don’t trust a word he says.

    And, neither does Bernie Sanders who calls him a “pathological liar.” So, when I see Bernie fans say they would vote for Trump over Biden it is a puzzlement. I think it is an insult to everything Bernie stands for. I would also caution my more ardent Bernie friends to make sure who they are getting their information from, as it easily might be a Trump supporter masquerading as a Bernie Bro. Trump has and will stoop low to get reelected.

    Finally, my friend Bernie is not getting the votes like last time. I was pulling for a good interview on “60 Minutes,” but his subtle answer to a question about Cuba cost him Florida in huge way. One Democrat said it may have lost Florida for the Dems if he wins the nomination. Trump cannot win if he does not carry Florida.

    So, I do hope we rally around Biden. Otherwise, the climate change and environmental fights will be lost for a key four year period (per Greta and AOC) and SCOTUS will likely become a 7 to 2 conservative majority along with other judges. This point galvanizes Republicans as Mitch McConnell knows he can shape a future of jurisprudence that favors big business for forty years.


    Liked by 3 people

  4. Hello Jill. Interesting post. Let me start by saying I agree with the idea that we must have a Democratic Party President even if it must be Biden. A DPP at any cost. I agree with your assessment of what will happen should tRump be reelected. That said I think your post misses an important point. Biden went out of his way to alienate and dismiss Bernie supporters when he became the front runner and apparent nominee.

    The idea that it is my candidate or else was not limited to Bernie supporters. I follow a mostly LGBTQ+ forum who supported Buttigeig ( I wonder why ) and they were rabbid against Bernie the entire race, claiming they would never vote for Sanders even if that meant giving the election to tRump. They blame Bernie supporters for Clinton’s loss. Needless to say I was not very popular for a while when I pointed out they were wrong.

    About 12% of Bernie supporters voted for tRump while 24% to 28% of Clinton supporters voted for McCain. Hillary did 12 rallies for Obama, Bernie did 39 for Hillary. As you say the DNC has a lot of work to build the bridges with progressives. During this campaign they have constantly done what they could to minimize the progressive candidates and promote the corporate moderates. Bernie was constantly asked to pledge he would support the nominee who ever it might be but no reciprocal request to support Bernie should he be the nominee was ever asked. Notably Hillary did TV interviews saying she wouldn’t support Bernie as the nominee, a clip played many times over and over in the meda. This at a time Sanders was the front runner and his support was growing. Hillary is clearly a high ranking member of the party. It was deliberate sabotage. Lastly the DNC let it be known they were going to change the rules to let superdelegates vote in the first ballet at the convention if Sanders was leading going into the convention. They made it clear to every Bernie supporters they were willing to change the rules to take their votes away. The DNC was willing to pull a Republican move to deny the votes of a large segment of the voters to block a candidate they didn’t like. I don’t see this as the Bernie people saying if I am not the quarterback I will take my ball and leave. I see this as Bernie people saying if you won’t let me play at all I won’t give you my ball. So yes the DNC and all the party leaders need to work to show progressives that their votes, their ideas, that they themselves mean something to the party.

    That said I do think the way to reform the party is to vote blue this election and to work to move the entire party left to where it use to be. I think getting tRump out of the White House is paramount, then shifting the Democratic party leadership to younger more progressive members is next. Destroying the country to show that you were wronged is not acceptable to any thinking person. But after tRump is removed all votes and loyalties must be earned and not taken for granted. Hugs

    Liked by 5 people

    • Hi Scottie. Much of what you say I agree with, especially the last part. I do sense some dissension from you, as for how the DNC/Hillary etc..has treated Bernie. Yes, in some cases they were not fair to him. But in other cases, they bended quite a bit as to how the convention was going to be run. He was part of the process. In one of the debates, he was the only one who didn’t agree with the others when they asked if they would abide by the rules….that ALL of them agreed to.
      So, there’s blame to go around on both sides. Like you said, voting for Biden/Democrat is imperative, unless we want another 4 years of you know who. We simply cannot have that. People need to check their hurt feelings/animosity at the door this time around. I’m not confident that they will, unfortunately. And Btw, I like Bernie and would have voted for him in a heartbeat. When the vote was expanded, beyond the predominately white smaller states, Biden ran away with the nomination. The people decided that Biden was THE best candidate to defeat Trump. This was not unfair to Bernie. This was a statement. You may disagree, but the numbers are what they are. Now, as you said, we must push him to the left. It can be done Scottie. He’s already moved significantly in that direction. We must hold his feet to the fire, though.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Hello Brookingslib. You mention in one of the debates that Bernie was the only one not willing to go along with the rules. Quite true. What was the rule he was against. That the person with the most delegates going into the convention was NOT the nominee. ( the reason for this was the superdelegates who are the party insiders and the party powerful still want to determine who is the nominee ) No question. Now the ones against him on that all were way behind on the delegate count, so that left them out if that held. The really weird thing is the entire situation reversed basicly when Biden became the front runner and every DNC and party member demanded Bernie drop out and give his support to Biden. Before the primaries were over and even before my state had a chance to vote. Yes I take that personally. They anointed their chosen one before I even had a chance to vote. Is this the party of Democracy? Why was there two different rules pushed, one set for Bernie and another different set for the establishment candidate.

        As for the people who decided Biden was the best candidate to beat tRump, that was the point the corporate establishment, the corporate media, the corporate Democrats that the progressives are fighting for pushed at every turn, every article, every TV spot. That is the very point people like me are making, that is the thumb on the scale. You couldn’t turn on any news show without a corporate moderate Democrat claiming Bernie couldn’t beat tRump, even when the polls clearly showed he could. That was the same rational used for Hillary only she could win, the same rationail used for Kerry only he could beat Bush, the same rationel used for Al gore ( who should have been declared the winner but was not ) . You can go back through history for the establishment candidate that was the only one who could win … and then lost.

        The fight is really over for this election and it is only because tRump is such a national threat that I and people like me will vote Democratic. After this it is over. The deck has been stacked against us too long, our votes taken for granted. I have often been told “as a gay man who else would you vote for” even when the majority of the Democrats were voting to restrict my rights as a gay man in the military.

        After this election if the corporate Democratic party wants my vote they need to offer me something I want, not just dismiss me and assume I have no choice but vote for them. Hugs

        Liked by 3 people

        • I get what you’re saying Scottie. Perhaps after what we’re now dealing with as far as the virus goes, we can begin a conversation on the role government will need to play going forward. The ‘shrink it to the size of a bathtub’ crowd will have to explain their reasoning. We see the importance of the federal government, and we also see what happens when you have a whole crew in charge who do not believe in it, nor do they believe in science. What they do believe in is $$$$$$, and nothing else. What’s in it for me, and the hell with everyone else.
          At least I hope that’s the case Scottie. We have such short attention spans in this country. Don’t you find it ironic that the same people who scream and cry about ‘big government’ have no problem making sure the corporations get their share. The stimulus that Obama got in 2008, which I always thought was too low, brought about the infamous tea party. Funny, the debt and deficit are out of control now…and you don’t hear a word about it from these folks….but you can be damn sure when a Dem is in office, that’s all they will scream about.
          Hope all is well with you Scottie. Be well!!

          Liked by 2 people

          • Hello Brookingslib. I have been posting all morning that the many things Republicans and Democrats are trying to use to mitigate the negative effects of the virus on the economy and on people’s lives are the very things Bernie and the progressives were advocating for. The very things that were mocked on corporate news shows and by others as socialist are the things that they are trying now to pass into law. Best wishes, stay safe. Hugs

            Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with much of what you say, Scottie. I do think, though, that if all Bernie supporters had voted for Hillary in 2016, she would be in office now. Perhaps only 12% of them voted for Trump, but many more either voted for Jill Stein, who never stood a snowball’s chance, or wrote in “Mickey Mouse”, or else stayed home, pretending that they were ‘making a statement’. At any rate … for the immediate time, there is only a single goal, and that is to get Trump out of office. I loved Warren, loved Bernie, and am truly sorry that neither of them will be the nominee. Sigh. But, we must now try to work toward bringing unity and presenting a united front behind Biden. In truth, he will have a hard job trying to repair at least some of the damage that Trump has done, and I think we have to be supportive of those efforts. By the way … I loved Buttigieg, too, and I think he’ll get his chance … he’s young yet, but has a strong following. He just needs to keep his name in the forefront for sometime in the future. Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Scottie, I totally agree with you that if Dems want to win, they need the progressive voters and shift the party left in a meaningful way. Due to this health crisis, it seems we’ve entered the twilight zone, as Republicans become more progressive/ socialist than any Democrat. Trump is enacting emergency UBI, free cash $1200/ per adult, nationalizing industries that receive gov’t bailouts, free medical testing and treatment, moratorium on bank foreclosures and evictions, defense production act, zero percent loans for small business and individuals regardless of credit rating and many more life saving socialist programs for the ppl!
      The Republican party is beating the Dems from the Left! Crazy right? Watch this:


  5. My thinking is Trump badly mishandled the coronavirus debacle and was called out for it on all sides. People are pissed, he’s losing potential voters in a bigly way, so now he hatched a plan with Mnuchin to “bribe” every adult and child in the US with “Trump checks”. $1200/ adult and $500/ child no questions asked. Of course it still has to pass the house, Nancy Pelosi is already objecting, claiming political interference as this will influence upcoming election.
    In the short term, the money will help the unemployed pay bills and buy food.
    Jill I know ur against gov’t handouts and increasing an already bloated deficit, but these are extraordinary circumstances. I plan on donating my cut to a local Christian food pantry servicing the community, perhaps you can do the same with your check? Trump plans to steal this election once more, at least we can do some good with the money that we don’t need.
    I know this blows big time, but Trump is cruising his way to re-election once the cash strapped public start receiving free money, swing voters along with independents and Bernie supporters will vote Trump, that’s the harsh reality of politics. In any scenario i simply don’t see Biden winning, he has no platform, stands for nothing, is a neo-liberal corporate shill and apologist. His last debate is a huge nod to Wall St bankers, wealthy elite, corporate America and very little benefit for the working class. Why would unemployed blue collar workers vote for him?
    I agree that a Biden/ Bernie or Biden/ Tulsi ticket would capture the hispanic, young & female vote. We’ll see what our future holds.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Reblogged this on On The Fence Voters and commented:
    Jill continues our election year project with an urgent plea to reach out to disaffected Bernie Sanders voters. As it’s now clear that Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee, feelings are hurt and many are vowing to either stay home or write in another candidate’s name–reminiscent of the 2016 election. We simply cannot afford to repeat this in 2020. The stakes are too high. Thank you Jill for sounding the alarm!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m getting very contributey lately and I hope it’s okay.

    I agree that people pouting and shooting themselves in the foot out of pouting has done a lot of harm–if it’s not their guy or gal, they pout and don’t vote, or write in Mickey Mouse or Gandhi or someone not in the race anymore, and that has been proven to give them/us what we don’t want. I don’t hear anyone these days saying anything other than some pouting-plus-realism that adds up to, “I’ll hold my nose and vote for whoever the Democratic person is”. No longer do people seem to think that pouting will prove something–I hope I’m right about that. In the old days I voted for Nader and whoever else, to make a statement that the two main entrees were not what I wanted to see on the menu, but these days, there are two clear options, 1) an unqualified squatter who has bungled an apocalypse after bungling all the mundane stuff leading to it, versus 2) anybody else, who could hardly be less qualified and who would be much more qualified–former VP, former governor or senator or whoever. The days when it was fine that I had seldom voted for any presidential candidate who won have to be over, to my way of thinking.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Of course it’s okay! I always value your opinions! I do hope you’re right and that most people will hold their nose and vote for whomever opposes Trump, and I’m really happy to hear your own feelings on the matter! You’re so right … I cannot imagine a candidate as unqualified, dishonest and evil as the one we have now. We simply must get him out!

      Liked by 3 people

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