By Craig McDermott, crossposted from Random Musings
Hi everybody! It’s been a while since I posted (work getting in the way) and an even longer while since I posted something that was pure commentary.
With the start of Democratic National Convention however, it’s time for some commentary.
To supporters of Bernie Sanders:
Don’t be asses.
Hillary Clinton won the primary.
Throwing a temper tantrum now, booing Hillary Clinton, booing Bernie Sanders himself after he pleaded with his supporters to support Clinton, isn’t going to change the results of the primary.
Look, we can support Clinton, or not, as our individual consciences dictate.
But, whatever we each decide for ourselves, it doesn’t help anyone to be asses about it.
To supporters of Hillary Clinton:
Let me be up front about it –
I am not Hillary Clinton’s biggest fan.
When I cast my vote for Sanders in the primary, I voted for the person I thought would do the best job of working for the people, *all* of the people of America.
I haven’t heard or seen any evidence that shows that criteria to be an incorrect one, or that my evaluation using that criteria was incorrect.
In short, I’m still a Bernie fan.
With that caveat/disclaimer out of the way, on to the “commentary” portion of the program.
As with the message for Sanders’ supporters, the message can be summarized thusly –
Don’t be asses.
Candidate Clinton’s biggest weakness is not her.
It’s not even her husband (he’s still great on the stump, though sometimes, his leash should be shorter).
There’s a certain arrogance in her camp. A rather off-putting arrogance.
A big part of that arrogance is manifested in a “How DARE you?!?” attitude toward anyone who isn’t wholly and unthinkingly in the Clinton camp.
I’ve heard this from people, Hillary supporters, who I’ve known, liked, and respected for years.
Speaking personally, I do NOT respond well to “How DARE you?!?”.
Not even people that I have heretofore liked and respected.
In this, I don’t claim to speak for anyone else, but something tells me that I am not alone in this feeling.
Oh, and another thing that I don’t respond well to: “By not voting for Clinton, you’re voting for Trump”.
That’s just a modern version of “if you aren’t with us, you’re against us”.
Which was complete crap when George W. Bush said it.
It’s still complete crap.
Among Sanders’ supporters, there are people who will never vote for Clinton, no matter what.
Among Sanders’ supporters, there are people who will look at Trump and then cast their vote for the Democratic nominee, no matter what.
Among Sanders’ supporters, there are people (like me) who want to vote for Clinton, but can be pushed away.
While I will never vote for Trump (he’s evil) or Jill Stein or Gary Johnson (they’re ideologues who fail the “will work for the people of America” test), I *can* skip the race completely (I’ve already decided to skip the CD9 race in November).
And while one person not voting in the race won’t make a big difference in the race, thousands or hundreds of thousands skipping the race could definitely impact the race.
Don’t gloat, don’t belittle Sanders supporters, don’t denigrate people whose opinions are different than yours.
Leave that to Republicans and other Trump supporters.
To the Clinton campaign (and her supporters):
Don’t *demand* the votes of Sanders’ supporters; *earn* them. Failing that, at least ask for them (without the guilt trip stuff added in).
Give people a reason to vote *for* Hillary Clinton, not just reasons to vote *against* Donald Trump.
Surrogates like Elizabeth Warren (and wiseasses everywhere) can handle that chore (let’s face it, Trump’s main contribution to pop culture is a steady stream of punchline material.)
Caveat: Trump will, a couple of times, offer up something so despicable, so egregious, that the campaign should take notice and make a direct comment. Pick those occasions wisely.
To everyone in both camps:
When you come across someone who is belittling one candidate or the other (or their respective supporters), when you are tempted to just classify them as a “Hillbot” or “Berniebro” and move on, ignore them.
Unless the vitriol is from someone you know personally.
Then ask them to do one of two things –
Explain, or pull their heads out of their asses.