There are three invariable reasons I see people supporting Hillary in the primaries.
1) – Arguments that invariably amount to the centrist’s fallacy; I.E., “We need war when we need war and peace when we need peace.” Sounds reasonable until you spend two seconds thinking about how the U.S. has stopped asking its people’s approval to go to war, stopped supporting its veterans, or how U.S. imperialism works.
2) – Hillary has genuinely earned their support for one reason or another–she’s been playing ball for a long time, and there’s no reason she shouldn’t have earned followers. I have no beef with these folks, but I do ask them to carefully consider the effect that the massive campaign donations she’s receiving now and over the course of her career will have on how she runs the country. Just because bribery and backscratching have become the status quo does not make it right.
3) – They have not heard of Bernie Sanders. This is becoming less and less frequent, but still exists. Also in this category are the, “Well, Hillary’s already won the election…” people. In both cases, we’ve sold our democracy lock, stock, and barrel to very powerful big interests, who are happy to promote the people who’ll scratch their back and no one else. (To give an example of this who isn’t Bernie Sanders–I think Rand Paul has a lot of non-functional ideas, but consider how little his voice is heard when he’s spouting sanity, and how little time he’s given overall.) But there’s this attitude among the Democratic old guard that the establishment candidate is the best candidate, that other people really shouldn’t have a voice in this matter, and that it’s been decided regardless.
They’re holding a gun to every other Democrat’s head, saying “Solidarity behind Hillary, or else the GOP will win” and don’t seem to care what image this paints of the party, of themselves, or what it does to the very large influx of voters who are only energized for the election because of Bernie Sanders.
1) – He has doggedly attacked issues that are affecting millions of people nationwide. His refusal to go off topic on the harmful economic side-effects of the establishment’s trickle-down mentality is beyond admirable, especially in a media environment that asks us to constantly jump from one two-minute hate to the next. The largest names in media are in the pockets of an oligarchy that dictates policy change in the U.S. regardless of the wants and needs of the citizenry.
2) – He has expressed open support for Black Lives Matter, and seems to be the only person with a hint of limelight willing to risk political capital on and put effort behind dismantling the systematic murder and enslavement of blacks and other minorities in the U.S. by our police forces.
3) – He openly supports universal healthcare. We desperately need this. It’s not a matter of whether big businesses think we can afford it, or whether taxes go up–this has to happen. This is one area that cannot and will not ever be a free market, and it makes no sense that it be treated like one. Despite this, Bernie Sanders is the only person who is talking about expanding Medicare to everyone instead of slashing it.
4) – He has a proven track record of not only being a brilliant leader, and Vermont is still reaping the benefits of his leadership. In addition to this, he does not flip-flop on morality; he’s been an ally to minorities for his entire political career, and not just when being one was expeditious to earning votes. He does not and has never preached hatred.
5) – I do not believe that Hillary Clinton can beat Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, and Bernie Sanders almost certainly can defeat both. As the old guard Democrats keep repeating, we absolutely cannot afford a Trump or a Cruz presidency. But I don’t think the new voters see it this way. Hillary Clinton’s willingness to play dirty tricks and use her money to buy the DNC has disaffected this millennial voting block — young people who represent a vast, vast number of votes, and who, speaking frankly, have the time to sit through the negative consequences of a Republican win. Clinton could easily have played nicely and earned the respect of this group, but has decided to spend her energy, instead, on pandering to crowds that can see through her “Abuela Clinton” games, her use of thug tactics in manhandling the DNC, and her complete dependence on corporate money.
I think the old guard has it wrong. They’re correct in that there’s a gun pointed at the country’s head, and the bullets are Trump and Cruz. And make no mistake–this shot will wound us deeply. But the DNC are not the ones holding the gun. Millennials can and will hold the country hostage with their votes. They’ll show up for Sanders and they won’t for Clinton. They can afford 4, even 8, years of Trump. They’re already in debt. They’re already living with their parents because they’ve already accepted that the jobs aren’t there. Something had to give years ago for them, and it never did. From their perspective, it won’t get much worse than it is now, especially since they have another 60 years to gamble with.
The millennials can afford to wait.