Recently, MSNBC host Joy Reid came under fire from Bernie Sanders supporters for her tweets comparing them to bad college roommates. Despite the Berniebros objections, Joy’s tweets were spot on. Bernie used the resources of the DNC to get a following he never had in his decades in Congress. Reaching people that he was never able to reach as a congressman from Vermont. And now that he’s built his following, he doesn’t care one bit about the Democrats who allowed him in their party. And his supporters keep threatening to leave the party they haven’t joined if the Democrats don’t give them everything they want and only nominate candidates that pass their purity tests.
Even as we are in the beginning of the Trump administration with Republican majorities in congress, Bernie and his supporters want to bash the Democrat party which may be the last wall stopping republican policies. Republicans want to cut over 600 billion (that’s billion) from Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. This cut alone will affect millions. They propose additional cuts to food stamps, energy assistance, and social security disability. They even proposed cuts to Meals on Wheels. They propose cuts to almost every federal agency, which means cuts to middle class federal employees and government contractors. It’s scary times for the poor and middle class in this county.
But instead of uniting, we get the woulda/coulda/shouldas from Bernie and his supporters, and the threats ― again ― of DemExit from a party they repeatedly claimed they weren’t part of. If the Democrats wanted Bernie, they would have voted for him. But he lost African Americans voters 77 percent to 23 percent. He also ran poorly among Hispanic voters. The only demographic that Bernie won was the under-25 vote, and millennials don’t turn out in the numbers needed to win elections.
The DNC even tried a unity tour with Bernie Sanders. But it was obvious from day one that Sanders wasn’t trying to unite. Most of these events could be tea party rallies, not “unity” tours. Videos of Hillary Clinton were booed; Tom Perez was booed. Bernie gave his usual spiel about economic justice while avoiding social justice. He talked about not accepting money (Bernie became a millionaire after this latest presidential run), and how Democratic policies are failing voters (Democrats are the ones fighting to keep Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security). All those events did was create an even bigger divide between the democrats and the Sanders supporters. The only thing it made abundantly clear was that Bernie loves the spotlight as much as Trump.
Bernie and his supporters are now pushing for more caucuses instead of primaries. After all, that’s their claim: that the primaries were all rigged where Hillary won, while the caucuses where Bernie won reflected the wishes of the electorate. But caucuses are dominated by the loudest voices and the people who have the time to attend these all-day events. They leave out people who cannot take off from their jobs, people who cannot afford sitters, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Switching to caucuses is not the way to be more inclusive; it is a way to make the smaller, louder factions have more power.
Right now, African American women have the highest voting turnout in the Democrat party. We vote; we organize; we donate; we volunteer; we are in the middle of it all. We have leaders like Maxine Waters and Kamala Harris who are out there calling Trump on his nonsense, day in and day out. Kamala Harris is an early front runner for 2020, so it’s no surprise that Bernie supporters are already claiming they can’t support her.
I get that Bernie supporters take his loss personally, but blaming Democrats for voting for a Democrat is getting tiresome. And following Sanders and his supporters down the rabbit hole in search of the ever illusive white “working class” voter at the expense of the people who are the backbone of the DNC is offensive.
Rural voters are never going to support the Democrats. That shipped has sailed and it’s not coming back. It’s Lucy and Charlie Brown all over again. Poor whites are holding the voting football and promising if you just don’t talk about their racism, confederate monuments, Islamophobia, and homophobia they will vote for the Democrats. If Sanders, who loudly claims he isn’t a Democrat, wants to line up to kick the ball, the DNC needs to let him do it as an independent.
And if Bernie Sanders, Nina Turner, and the rest of the Berniebros are going to do a DemExit, they should do it already. Then Democrats can get back to working on the midterms. And the DNC can focus on voter turnout, voter suppression laws, and their loyal base of African American voters.