I was *at* this speech of Bernie’s–the “identity politics” one. The minute he uttered his now-infamous answer during the Q&A, I thought, right on!–and then, uh oh. Not because he’d misspoken, but because I knew those words would get twisted.
The Democrats won’t get anywhere if we don’t get over this Bernie-Hillary divide. The vitriol is extreme on BOTH sides. If the Clinton wing continues to ignore income inequality in favor of look-I-overcame feminism (example: this much-shared piece* from yesterday that doesn’t even MENTION economics), then populists will leave in droves for the Democratic Socialists of America, draining the DNC of energy and vision, ensuring continuing losses in 2018 and 2020. If the Bernie wing continues to sully its criticism of Hillary with toxic misogyny, then the populist message will be lost, and so will 2018, and 2020.
IT GOES BOTH WAYS.
Here, Writer for Bernie Katie Halper lays out the willful misunderstanding of Bernie’s words on identity politics in clear and thoughtful detail. It’s disgusting, but not surprising, how the supposedly liberal media created and then jumped all over this story, stoking Democratic division–thus proving (again) that it’s about clicks, ads and profit, not ideology.
*It probably goes without saying that I disagree with item #200 on this list. Sanders “fortified the recurring narrative that Hillary was a corrupt neoliberal and part of a rigged system”? He was her political opponent. They had differing visions. That’s what happens in campaigns: opponents criticize each other. If the criticism sticks, it’s not moral malpractice.
This viewpoint is part of a particularly pernicious “feminist” take on the campaign, i.e. that everyone should have gotten out of Hillary’s way because she was a woman and it was her, and our, turn. Bernie, however, was the one who didn’t listen–and I’m glad. In my opinion, it was, rather, the least sexist thing he could do: run against her as a regular opponent rather than as the lady who had to be coddled.
I don’t think Hillary herself objected the challenge. She could take it. Would she have preferred to sail through the primary? Of course–but she has never complained about the way the political game is played. I have tremendous admiration for her strength, and I don’t think she has asked for special treatment because of her gender. Rather, it was her campaign that decided on it as a strategy, and her followers who took it on as religion.
Then, as reason #200 continues, Bernie “turned millions of young people against Hillary — and countless independents, no doubt, too”? Unless you believe that primary challengers are responsible for how the winners are ultimately perceived, this is absurd. And it also fortifies the narrative, if you will, that young people and independents aren’t able to think for themselves. As a fifty-year-old independent, that continues to bemuse me.