The Betrayal of Bernie Sanders

Bernie and Hillary may be at opposite ends of the political spectrum, but they do have one thing in common: they both want you to take Donald Trump very seriously. As do a lot of voters claiming they’re terrified of Mr. Solid Gold Dumpster Fire. Hillary’s only chance requires distracting us from her record by reinforcing just how terrified we should be. She’s even conned Bernie into fearing The Orange One.

But we’ve heard this same refrain every SINGLE election. We get served regressive neoliberalism on a platter. We’re told this is as good as it’s going to get, lest we waste our vote on some Third Party out of absurdities like principle or conscience.

It’s gotten damn disturbing lately, though. Hillary Inc. is scared of losing the presidency a second time. And now they’ve got Wikileaks and an army of hackers exposing their corruption.

So what’s their strategy to counter her growing unpopularity with independent voters? Copy Bush, of course. They’ve adopted his whole “You’re either with us or against us!” bullying tactic to mask how shitty their candidate truly is.

And this sort of peer pressuring does work sometimes. It can cause a backlask, too. The Bernie Or Bust crowd has faced outrage after outrage, and now has to contend with being accused of helping Trump by refusing to support Hillary – as if somehow refusing to support either candidate somehow magically helps one and hurts the other. That kind of illogic is laughably childish.

But then, logic does tend to get knifed in the back when Fear is the marching order of the day. Anyone who remembers Lord of the Flies knows what happens when you try to derail a good witch hunt with the truth.

So what are liberals truly afraid of right now?

Is it Trump’s rhetoric, or is it his planned actions as president? I have to believe it’s the former, not the latter. They hate his obnoxious, often hateful speech. Policies though – even the worst he’s mentioned – are hardly different than those carried out by Obama, who cheerfully renewed every portion of the Bush Doctrine he could lay hands on.

To review things a bit, here’s a quick refresher on recent events: In the last eight years, Obama and his Democrats have waged bombing campaigns in 7 nations, broken the record for deportationsescalated the drug war, rapidly militarized the US/Mexico border, failed to intervene in the closing of numerous women’s health clinics, vastly increased the CIA’s drone strike program, refused to prosecute a single criminal Wall Street bankerallowed the disastrous KXL tarsands pipeline to be half-constructed, failed to close the Guantánamo Bay prison camp, refused to resign the Kyoto accord or any binding climate treaty, demanded the renewal of the Patriot Actslashed social assistance programs, endorsed the misguided common core educational curriculum, prosecuted twice as many whistleblowers under the WWI-era Sedition act than all previous presidents combined, has defended the NSA’s domestic surveillance of all Americans, vigorously pushed for the new labor-busting TPP ‘free’ trade agreement, and unanimously voted to support apartheid Israel’s massacre of Gazan citizens.

So I must wonder, are liberals truly afraid of the things Trump will do? If they were, wouldn’t they have stopped Obama from doing them already?

There is a good chance Trump could win as a last gasp of aging, desperate white supremacy. If he does it will be with the slimmest of margins, and will trigger a wave of congressional Democrat victories in 2018 the likes of which you’ve never seen. And who knows! Maybe liberals may finally go back to being anti-war and pro-ecology after their decade-long hiatus from giving a shit about actual just cause.

Maybe the United States of Woke that Bernie’s sought requires a victorious Trump villain to sharpen their focus. But that hopeful future battle doesn’t make swallowing what Hillary and the DNC did to Bernie and his supporters any easier.

They lied to us in the face, told us we were delusional, paranoid – and it turned out we were right all along. Now they expect us to forget all that. They expect us continue to stay in this abusive relationship out of fear.

Sorry not sorry. Fuck that. Fuck the DNC, fuck Hillary, and fuck their politics of fear.

I’m done with it. And so is Bernie.

Despite his insistence that he’ll do anything in his power to stop Trump, he’s already left the Democrats to return to his life-long status as an independent, and has stated he will not be fundraising for Hillary Clinton, something that will definitely sting her, and rightly so.

If you saw his face in the rafters of Wells Fargo Arena as Hillary accepted her nomination, you could see the face of man relaxed, calculating, but seething. Not a man regretful for making a mistake, but a man who realized how close he’d come to taking down the most corrupt political dynasty of our lives.

Bernie Sanders isn’t done leading a movement. But he’s certainly done being betrayed. You won’t see him actively campaigning for Clinton. Even if he wanted to, it’s doubtful Jane Sanders would allow it.

What comes next for voters will be a lot of strained friendships, a lot of agreeing to disagree within families. Many who returned from apathy to join Bernie’s political revolution will go back to the movement building and social revolution they’ve always been involved with. Many will go back to being uninvolved altogether. Some will be guilted into posting ridiculous #ImWithHer hashtags on social media, eventually rationalizing why Hillary needed to cheat democracy in order to win.

My anarchist friends will laugh at it all, citing this fucking mess as proof of how the system has always been rigged, always will be rigged. They’re often correct. But even the most cynical will say vote when it matters, when there’s a real choice, when there’s a real difference.

There was a huge difference with Bernie. There’s no real difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. And that’s the biggest betrayal of all.

See you in the streets.

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blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-conversation=”none” data-lang=”en”>Liberals whine the Left won’t vote, then does everything possible to prove to them why they shouldn’t. @OmanReagan @mcmoynihan #DNCleak

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