All Berned Out


This website was not intended as a platform to express my political views, but you know what they say about the best laid plans. I’m looking forward to April 19, when I can cast my first vote for a woman president, and November 8, when I can watch her emerge victorious.

I’ve been following the presidential primary season with equal parts anxiety and disbelief. Now I am fully exasperated, particularly with Bernie Sanders. His campaign strategy revolves around centering white voters, disregarding states with large minority populations, and accusing Clinton of corruption without offering any evidence. He has yet to release his tax returns, which is customary for presidential candidates, and only Clinton has done so thus far, posting the past 8 years of tax returns on her website. Kind of shady for Bernie to run on transparency and financial reform without being able to produce his own tax documents, especially since he has attacked Clinton for her speaking fees—which he only found out about through her tax returns. What is HE hiding? Where are the incessant questions from journalists about this evasion, or is that kind of scrutiny only reserved for Clinton?

I also believe his progressivism is focused entirely on economics. Issues of racism, sexism, reproductive rights, LGBT rights, disability rights—are all so-called “identity politics” that take a backseat to campaign finance reform. His only litmus test for a Supreme Court nominee is reversing Citizens United. What about protecting Roe v Wade? What about voting rights? What about immigration? His unpreparedness and shortsightedness are on full display when he can’t even articulate how he will enact his farfetched proposals for breaking up the banks.

“We need a political revolution” is his knee-jerk response to any question about how he’ll govern. Meanwhile, he has not raised any money to support any progressive candidates down-ballot, candidates who would presumably be instrumental during a political revolution. Clinton actively campaigns for other Democrats in the interest of restoring a Democratic House and Senate; no wonder she has the support of superdelegates. Also, voter turnout for Sanders has not come close to voter turnout for Obama, or even Clinton for that matter. So it seems political revolution is only a rhetorical device used to rile up his supporters at rallies—and they don’t understand that revolution can be a very scary and unappealing concept for those who are already struggling to survive. People blindly calling for revolution at all costs (ahem, Susan Sarandon) are bloodthirsty and blind to their own privilege that ensures they would never suffer or lose anything in the event of social, economic, or political upheaval.

Yes, Sanders should stay in the race until his money or momentum wears off, but the longer he spouts anti-Clinton talking points lifted from the Republicans’ playbook, the more damage it does to the Democratic party, and to the person who will almost certainly be the nominee.