#BernieOrBust Proves One Thing — White Liberals Feel Entitled To Ideological Purity

The mostly white Bernie supporters 'protesting' the DNC and turning on their idol shows the privilege they enjoy, especially while minorities are targeted this election.
bernie or bust

While there was a hope that Bernie Sanders’ endorsement of Hillary Clinton earlier this month and his promise to help her defeat Donald Trump was going to quell any tension at this week’s Democratic National Convention, that all came crashing down over the weekend with the release of leaked DNC emails. In what is looking more and more like a coordinated effort by Russia to negatively impact the Democrats’ chances in November, Bernie supporters found new outrage over the critical comments outgoing DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz had for Sanders’ campaign.

Therefore, we’ve been treated to marches and ‘protests’ by #BernieOrBust dead-enders the past couple of days, culminating with them booing — yes, booing — Bernie Sanders when he said told them in a Monday afternoon speech that they need to unite and vote for Hillary to defeat Trump. The Vermont Senator had to interrupt them and tell that that “this is the real world we live in” when they chanted “We want Bernie!” in response to his call for a Democratic win this fall.

Of course, the WikiLeaks thing is just being used as an excuse for the #StillSanders folks to demand Bernie be coronated at the convention despite his falling 4 million votes and hundreds of pledged delegates short in the primary. These voters, who are generally under 40 and a vast majority of whom are white, were coming to Philly no matter what. And their plan was to disrupt the convention, make it clear that they think the system is rigged, and that Hillary Clinton stole the primary from the right heir.

But what are they really, truly fighting for? Over the past few months, Hillary has embraced many of Bernie’s policy positions. She’s turned her back on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. She’s pushed forth a debt-free college education plan and moved left on healthcare, calling for a public option and a reduction in age to receive Medicare. She wants to increase the minimum wage to at least $12 an hour.

Beyond that, Bernie scored major concessions with the party’s platform, getting pretty much everything he wanted included. Sure, there were some minor quibbles, but the Democratic platform is by far the most progressive one the party has run on. There’s even going to be further discussions about changing the primaries and perhaps altering the superdelegate system.

But, that is apparently not enough. While a racist demagogue who is cozying up with a Russian autocrat and outwardly saying he will change this country to a fascist state is leading in the polls, these special snowflakes are throwing temper tantrums in Philadelphia’s streets because their guy didn’t win. And why didn’t he win? Because he never made inroads with black voters, leading to large losses in the South and Mid-Atlantic states.

And this is the point I am getting to. White liberals are revealing their privilege to the world for all to see right now. Their demands for ideological purity, specific causes to be placed front and center and only perfectly liberal candidates are the demands one can only make if they aren’t placed at risk during an election. The fact is, black, Hispanic, Muslim and LGBT voters don’t have the luxury of holding out for the perfect like these progressives do.

For minorities, especially those who have historically been marginalized and are demonized by the far-right to rally conservative votes, civil rights trump everything else. Sure, many would probably love to push a candidate further on certain issues, but when it comes down to it, they will vote for the Democrat because they need to protect the civil rights gains of the past several decades.

Propane Jane, a social activist who has gained quite a following in recent months on Twitter, has exhaustively discussed this situation during this endless election season. Back in September, she presciently wrote about how black voters, specifically black women, would save white liberals from themselves in November by turning out in droves to vote Democratic. She also highlighted at that time that blacks couldn’t waste time on “symbolic” third party votes, pointing out that the Nader 2000 votes is how we ended up in the “hole we’re in now.”

After Bernie got jeered by his own supporters for not dead-ending with them, she took to her Twitter account to throw some bombs.



This is something we’ve seen for a while, too. In 2010, progressives bitched that President Obama was just too centrist and trying to appease Republicans, spending all of his time trying to pass healthcare reform. Therefore, Democrats lost the House — which they had just gained back in 2006 — during the Tea Party takeover. In 2014, upset at the number of moderate incumbents and candidates on the slate, they sat out again, allowing the GOP to retake the Senate and gain even more seats in the House. All the while, Republicans made more and more gains in state and local legislatures and executive branches.

And it is this sort of all-or-nothing, my way or the highway, I’ll take my ball and go home approach that makes it impossible for the Democratic Party to make sustainable gains. There is a certain core group of voters who feel that unless the United States immediately embraces someone who will make the country one large Portlandia, then they’ll stick it to the party, by either not showing up or making it clear that they’re going third-party.

The thing is, this ain’t you supporting your favorite indy band, pointing out how much you can’t stand mainstream music. This isn’t you only going to the art house to see Jim Jarmusch films. This is the future of this country, and how non-white, non-heterosexual people will be treated going forward. If you declare yourself as being fully for social justice, then you have no choice but to vote Hillary in November. Otherwise, you ain’t nuthin’ but a Trumpkin.

Justin Baragona is the editor and publisher of Contemptor. Prior to starting the site, he worked on the editorial staff of PoliticusUSA. During that time, he had his work quoted by USA Today and BBC News, among others. Justin began his published career as a political writer for 411Mania. He currently resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and pets.
9 Comments on this post.

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  • Jacqueline Church
    25 July 2016 at 11:34 pm

    Good points, but don’t forget Asians and women – both of which I am. This entitled group of Bernie or Bust voters sound like children willing to take the whole country (and women in particular) back to the dark ages, if they don’t get their way. It’s like a toddler holding their breath. So ridiculous.

    Leave a Reply
  • XaurreauX
    26 July 2016 at 3:35 pm

    The Bernie or Bust crowd is mostly privileged, narcissistic white kids who are so impressed with themselves they’re willing to ignore the needs of the disenfranchised who won’t be able to ride out a Trump presidency on principle.

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  • Lynn
    27 July 2016 at 1:00 am

    Then there are white educated women in their 50’s who have lost everything due to the big banks shenanigans in 2008. I’ve seen what Clinton & her banker friends have done first hand, not to mention all of the corporations she’s beholden to who paid for her campaign. Maybe those HRC supporters, instead of blaming and shaming those of us who saw a chance to elect a politician with integrity, might give us some better reasons to vote for someone we don’t trust. You could have voted for Sanders when the polls showed he’d easily beat Trump. Instead the Democrats did everything in their power to keep Bernie out. So who is it that created this mess?

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    • Mike
      27 July 2016 at 8:37 am

      Don’t lie.
      You don’t care about any reasons to support Hillary.
      You’d rather rely on all the gossip you’ve swallowed about her, despite the fact that Bernie supports her.

      Leave a Reply
  • Steve Body
    27 July 2016 at 10:09 am

    Ho-hum…more smarmy, self-satisfied bullshit. You have NO idea what you’re talking about here. Don’t let that stop you from commenting, though. Heaven forbid anybody should have to bestir themselves from Mom’s basement to actually go out and research something.

    Leave a Reply
  • BlackNAtl
    27 July 2016 at 11:40 am
  • Tod
    27 July 2016 at 1:16 pm
  • Yams
    27 July 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Im having trouble understanding how voting for someone who actively destabalized latin america and the middle east is going to protect minorities. Actions speak a lot louder than words, just because HRC says something doesnt mean she is going to follow through with it, are you really that naive to ignore that ?

    Leave a Reply
  • Suzanne Robson
    27 July 2016 at 5:57 pm
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