Why Bernie Sanders and his Bernie Bros have become as toxic as Trump.
I recently encountered a disturbingly entitled, condescending, privilege-blinded argument for why so-called ‘progressives*’ are doing everything possible to undermine Hilary’s campaign, even if it means Trump wins. (Warning, this is a bit of a rant.)
In a discussion of the election, I called out a white man (I didn’t go there; he was the one to say “And for the record, I’m a white male, I’ll be just fine under Drumpf”) for being blinded by privilege to the actual consequences to more vulnerable Americans: LGBT, people of color, people of other faiths, women, the poor, etc… In other words, I said that just because *he* could weather that, didn’t mean it wouldn’t do serious, actual harm to others, and forgetting or ignoring that was selfish and entitled. In response, after he mansplained to me that I *really* only support HRC because she’s female, this fellow actually said that “Women and minorities did that to themselves when they voted for a candidate who doesn’t care about their needs and who likely can’t win the general election.” In other words, if women and minorities are too dumb to pick the *right* candidate, as decreed by the straight white male, they deserve to be punished. When I said that was the most outrageously entitled thing I’d ever heard, the reply was “Apparently they aren’t smart enough to pick a candidate. Again, they chose corruption. So really, it’s on them. Has nothing to do with me. I tried to help them. They voted against their own interest. Not me.”
I am stunned, though I suppose I shouldn’t be. I have heard a lot of entitled, privileged, borderline white supremacist rhetoric from the Bernie Bros, but that absolutely takes the cake. It sums up perfectly where the leftist political purists have gone so unbelievably (and yet, so predictably) wrong; the descent of the progressive into the ‘great white savior.’
Screw the more vulnerable people if they are too dumb to do things my way. *I* will undermine the Democratic candidate in any way I can to teach the poor, ignorant slobs a lesson. I mean, wow. Who needs the GOP when the left can produce something like this? As much as I appreciated some of Sander’s ideas, I am seeing pretty clearly that he has done for the left what Trump has done for the right: created a blinkered hoard of evidence proof, selfish, entitled (and frankly, racist and sexist), fanatics who will set the world on fine and to blazes with anyone else. By allowing this toxic rhetoric to fester all along, by not conceding after California, and by dragging this acrimonious wrangling out to the convention for no real reason, Sanders has completely thrown under the bus the people he claimed to want to help. And if he does try to launch a coup at the convention, get used to hearing ‘President Trump.’
* I say ‘so-called progressive’ because while I get that being a progressive means seeking change, even radical change, it doesn’t mean privileged white guys claiming moral and intellectual superiority over minorities in the name of being progressive. That’s a sort of ‘beneficent racism more commonly found in Kipling’s India, or Africa under Imperial rule. Progressives, I have to believe, are not willing to sacrifice OTHERS to get what they want. These ideologues aren’t the ones whose livelihoods, marriages, health care, civil rights, and possibly lives are at stake, and they don’t give a damn about the people who will actually take the risk. That’s not progressive. That’s just self-serving.