Friday, May 20, 2016
Chill Out! Bernie Will NOT Split the Vote #SenSanders #FeelTheBern #Sanders2016
Bernie Sanders has already said he will not run as a third party candidate if he doesn't get the Dem nomination. He has already said that he will support Hillary Clinton because even if he disagrees with her on certain issues such as US interventionism, fracking, and campaign finance reform, she would still be better than a Donald Trump. Stop worrying about the Dem Party being horribly split. You can bet that loyal party Democrats will vote blue no matter who.
Now. Having said that, here is the ACTUAL issue to give some thought to. Independents in this country now outnumber the number of people registered to either the Dems or the GOP. It is going to be independents who decide the general election--will they choose Trump or will they choose Clinton, or will they write in Bernie, vote Libertarian, or vote Green Party? Or will they just stay at home?
We cannot know. The only data we have on this is what general election poll head-to-heads indicate. They have consistently shown that in a general election, Sanders beats Trump by a wider margin than Clinton, and in some key battleground states, the margin between Trump and Clinton is narrowing.
The Democratic Party will have a big decision to make. Does it risk putting Clinton forth (a weaker candidate, as polls are showing, and one who may face the scandal of a DOJ indictment--fair or not, doesn't matter--prior to the election in Nov), or does it put forth the candidate who would take not only the Dem vote, but ALSO a good portion of the independent vote, and the Green Party vote?
In my mind, a Clinton nomination would be more likely to split the voters who would otherwise likely vote Democratic this time around. That's not a good thing. She just doesn't have the appeal to independents because she carries too much "big money, paid for" garbage around with her and too many people dislike things she did as Secretary of State. She's vetted, all right, and the record is ugly to many folks. (Just like for many people, the fully vetted Sarah Palin is an awful choice.) This fact may be annoying if you like Hillary Clinton, but if you want to beat Trump, you need to accept that she is wildly unpopular. People who dislike Trump dislike Hillary every bit as much.
As for Bernie being too risky because he's a Democratic Socialist, that's a paranoid argument. You can tell Bernie has tons of support from people who know full well he's a Democratic Socialist because--look at the crowds he gets at his rallies! Clinton doesn't attract crowds like that at all. Bernie isn't that far behind her in pledged delegates, and very few people even knew who he was before the primaries began. Progressive minded people are not afraid of socialism. Nor do they even want to end capitalism. They just want to see more of their tax dollars being spent on them as opposed to being spent on subsidies and tax breaks for wealthy people and corporations. The ONLY people who would not vote for Bernie because he's a Democratic Socialist are people who would not vote for either Sanders or Clinton in the first place: diehard right wingers.
Let us also remember that this has been a Democratic primary, not an open one. In many states, independents could not even vote unless they changed party registration. The general election is a whole different ball of wax.
If, before the Dem convention, neither Clinton nor Sanders clinches in pledged delegates so that it's the super delegates whose votes will make the difference, the decision of "who is the candidate more likely to beat Trump" is on their heads and no one else's. The Democratic Party has an opportunity in front of it to win overwhelmingly if it nominates Sanders (Dem vote, indie vote, Green Party vote). If it nominates Clinton, as I've said, the party loyalists will get on board. And the party will have to hope that's enough.
Me? I'm hoping the Democratic Party chooses to go with common sense, and the common sense candidate is Bernie Sanders.