I know it’s just how politics works, but it drives me crazy to see Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton supporters tearing each other apart right now. It does us all a disservice. In this article, the case for staying focused on the goal.
This is a problem
I think the most consequential thing a president can do is appoint justices to the Supreme Court. Trump has said that he would try to roll back marriage equality if given the opportunity. Ted Cruz would love to eliminate reproductive rights. Say what you will about Bernie or Hillary, but it’s clear to me that things like this are not even remotely a concern with either of them.
So when I see people on the left disparaging the other Democratic candidate, talking about how terrible they’d be, I think: Really??
If I see the words “Shillary” or “BernieBots” one more time, I’m gonna lose it. It doesn’t do any good to tear each other down. If you look ahead to the November election, it makes no sense to discredit the candidate who has a 50% chance of being on the ballot. You don’t want to create a situation where people who agree with us on the majority of the issues refuse to vote for the nominee, essentially handing the election to the Republicans to undo Pres. Obama’s legacy.
On top of being unproductive for us, it’s mind-bendingly backwards. Most of the common attacks against Hillary, for example, such as her being dishonest and untrustworthy, were talking points invented by Karl Rove and the GOP. I cringe when I see progressives parroting those same lines. It’s not good when I can’t tell the difference between a troll and an ostensible ally.
Eyes on the prize
Back in October, I noted a refreshing moment of sanity during the first debate: Instead of hurling insults at each other like the Republicans did, the Democratic candidates were focusing on the issues. We can’t afford to lose that focus.
It’s like The Hunger Games, except I won’t use the word ‘enemy’: Remember who the real opponent is. I see two candidates on our side with different ideas for achieving worthwhile goals, and then there’s this other group that seems set on the reversal of virtually all modern progress.
So yes, support your candidate of choice, with all the passion they deserve. But tell us why you’re supporting them, not why you think the other one is the worst person in the world. Because they aren’t. Also, you might need the majority of the country to vote for that same person later this year.
The primary season is always intense, but the general election — the real goal — is coming soon. With such high stakes, it’s smarter to stick together.