Daily WTF: Faulting Bernie Sanders for a Virtue

Bernie Sanders is not a perfect candidate. He’s loud, cantankerous, doesn’t seem to be able to finesse anyone, won’t address a situation he doesn’t have control over, and is a pretty staunch defender of the 2nd Amendment. And that’s coming from a liberal. Conservatives say a lot worse.

But he’s still a decent candidate. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, “The Fanaticism of Some Bernie Sanders Supporters,” he’s often on the right side of history and espouses progressiveness. He’s been a supporter of the Civil Rights Movement, voted against the Iraq War, refuses corporate donations, and won’t mudsling against Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, or anyone. He’s a decent candidate and a decent person.

And yet, some people are trying to take that decency and turn it into a flaw. Take this article from the New York Magazine, which tries to fault Sanders for doing his job while at work, focusing on wealth inequality, and, as one colleague says, is “consumed by… the struggle for equality.” Sounds horrible, right? I mean, who would want a representative who does their job, goes after a problem until it’s solved, and tries to create equality?

I’m struggling for the right word to describe this kind of biased reporting, but the closest I can get is “silly.” It’s laughable to try to turn determination, egalitarianism, and professionalism into a vice, and it displays severely prejudiced reporting. It’s not something I would tolerate being said of myself, so why would I condone it being said of someone else? Why would anyone?

The fact is that many Hillary supporters are afraid of Sanders. They’re afraid that he’ll oust her. They’re afraid that his cantankerous, no-nonsense, no corporate donations stance will shake loose all of Hillary’s supporters. So they find information about Sanders, whether it’s this or having been rude to a couple of staff members or being kind of old, and they spin it so hard that they give themselves rug burn. “Sanders is a monster!” they scream. “Look at how unapproachable and mean he is! He’s about to die any second! He’s worse than Hitler!”

Look, you don’t have to spin some weird BS about Sanders to want to vote for Hillary or try to convince others to vote for her. That’s just disingenuous and will drive away a lot of people. Rather, focus on Hillary’s record. Focus on her command of foreign policy. Focus on her cool head in times of crisis or interrogation. Focus on her ability to moderate between the parties. Focus on her international experiences. If you do that, it will be enough. Hillary is enough, and she has to be. If she’s not, if she’s only good when everyone else looks like shit, then why vote for her? So be confident in your candidate and leave the mudslinging to the Republicans. You’ve got actual issues to discuss.

* Image taken from http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/01/bernie-sanders-only-cares-about-inequality.html

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