Not that all of you care, but I am adamant about this; we should not trash any other Democratic primary candidate this time around. We have to get used to the concept that we are all on the same side. A primary is not like a regular election. We are not choosing the person who will make all our dreams come true, we are choosing the candidate who is most likely to beat Trump, or whoever the GOP chooses to run against Democrats.
That’s why, if you’re thinking Bernie Sanders is a “frontrunner,” or that he has any chance of getting the Democratic nomination, you are seriously deluded.
This is not meant to be a dig at Bernie Sanders at all, but Sanders has virtually zero chance of becoming president. His best chance at being nominated was in 2016, when he only had one serious opponent for the nomination, Hillary Clinton. While many people have convinced themselves he “almost won,” or that the primary race was close as could be, it was never even close. In fact, on March 1, 2016, or “Super Tuesday,” Hillary Clinton absolutely kicked his ass, to the point that Bernie would have had to get 60 percent of the vote in EVERY SINGLE PRIMARY going forward in order to earn enough delegates to barely eke out the nomination. In other words, contrary to the delusions of many Bernie Stans, Bernie never actually had a chance.
And this is a singular reason Bernie Sanders has zero chance of winning the nomination this time. There is a lot of resentment toward Sanders this time because of the way he and his staunchest followers (mostly his followers) treated Hillary Clinton four years ago. For some reason, many Sanders supporters believe the best way to support Bernie is to attack his opponents and their attacks on Clinton were brutal enough, it is not possible to claim he and the Bernie Stans had nothing to do with putting Trump in the White House. And they did so all the way through the primary season and even throughout what should have been Clinton’s Democratic Convention. During the convention, the Bernie Stans protested everything and rationalized the media’s talking point, that the Democratic Party was “divided” and that Clinton was a “polarizing figure.”
That is the number one reason Bernie Sanders will not be nominated; there is a lot of resentment out there toward him and his staunchest followers. And why wouldn’t there be? She beat the hell out of him when it came to votes. Yet, the constant refrain still coming from the Bernie Stans is that Bernie was cheated; that the all-powerful DNC preferred Clinton and made sure she won, thus denying Bernie the nomination he so rightly deserved. Never mind that she won nearly every contested primary and he most won caucuses, which is the least democratic method for choosing delegates imaginable. For instance, last time, the Nevada Caucuses were held at noon on a Saturday, In a state with a strong union presence, but in which the largest unions include hotel and casino workers, why might that be an unfortunate time to hold a caucus, do you think?
Caucuses are held in two-hour blocks that are primarily convenient for those who work 9-5 Monday thru Friday, which means at least a third of a caucus state’s population are precluded from participating. And yet, the Bernie Stans have been very actively trying to expand the number of caucuses, claiming they are “more democratic” without irony. The same people who botch about closed primary states because it means only Democrats get to choose the Democratic candidate also champion the use of undemocratic caucuses to choose the Democratic nominee.
If you wonder what I mean when I say there’s a lot of resentment toward Bernie Sanders, you haven’t been paying attention. And while most of the problem comes from Bernie Stans, Sanders himself has been a major pain in the ass, as well. He never clarified the reality – that he had been beaten fair and square – and he himself ruined her convention, by making demand after demand, as if he had barely lost.
And while that is one reason Bernie is not well liked among Democrats, there are many others. For example, Bernie himself has continually dismissed the will of the Democratic majority, and he has repeatedly slammed the Party when it hasn’t accepted his policy positions or his demands that they refuse to accept “corporate money” or a number of other things. He has also shown nothing short of cowardice when it comes to handling the Bernie Stans. Following his shellacking on “Super Tuesday” 2016, Bernie dismissed the 50-60 point defeats as irrelevant because they came in red Southern states. He declared them as “unwinnable” because they represented “the old Confederacy,” without conceding that most voters in those states are Black and represent the Democratic base. Before that, Bernie gave short shrift to the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Some other candidates did the same, but few were more vocal or more insulting than Bernie. And if you remember the Nevada caucuses, which Hillary won in a walk, you’ll recall that Bernie Stans dismissed those and even threatened the women running the caucuses, to the point that many were heard chanting the “C-word” – and that doesn’t refer to the word “caucus.”
And for all those who claim Bernie did all he could to help Hillary win the general election, well… yes and no. He did lead a handful of rallies on her behalf, but he gave the same stump speech with some anti-Trump rhetoric added; there was little to nothing in support of Hillary Clinton in his speeches and I was there for two of them. And while 86 percent of Bernie primary voters voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, the Bernie Stans continued to trash her at the same time, and, depending on the poll you look at, either 6 percent or 12 percent of Bernie voters cast their vote for Lord Donny.
Given that Hillary Clinton lost three key states by less than one percent of the vote, it’s impossible to claim Bernie voters had no role in giving Trump the electoral college win. Here are the approximate margins for those key states:
Wisconsin – 22,000 votes
Michigan – 10,000 votes
Pennsylvania -44,000 votes
If we are to assume only six percent of Bernie primary voters voted for Trump, the numbers in those states would be approximately:
Wisconsin – 51,000 votes
Michigan – 47,000 votes
Pennsylvania – 116,000
And that doesn’t take into account Jill Stein voters in those three states, many of whom likely voted for Bernie in the primaries.
This time around, Bernie will have a lot of hurdles to surmount, including the fact that he’s an old white man. Some of the Bernie Stans are already trying to pull the same shit they pulled on Hillary in 2016, this time focusing on Kamala Harris, which proves they learned nothing from 2016. They didn’t “almost win” because of their nonsense tactics then, and given the resentment among Democrats that is already present, such tactics will only serve to cement their opposition to the old white guy.
To follow Trump, this country largely needs something of an antidote. Bernie Sanders is not that antidote. He is older than Trump, he has a modest legislative record, to put it mildly, he still has low name recognition, considering his time in government and his so-called prominence in 2016, and his stump speech follows the same apocalyptic script as Trump’s. His depiction of this country as an economic crapfest didn’t work against one viable Democrat in 2016; to expect it to work after four years of Trump is ridiculous.
If Bernie Sanders gets five percent of the primary vote this time, I will be in shock. He may get 10 percent in New Hampshire because of name recognition, but he may not even do that. And not because he’s a horrible person; most of what will drag him down are the Bernie Stans.
Also published on Medium.