Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Decline and Fall of Bernie Sanders

I have been truly dismayed with the rise of Donald Trump and the complete hijacking of the Republican Party by those most motivated by hate, bigotry and a under current of greed.  Over the last month or so, I have likewise grown increasingly dismayed by Bernie Sanders and the worsening conduct of his followers.  In some ways, Sanders is trying to ride a wave of resentment akin to Donald Trump.  Worse yet, he is proving to be just as big of egomaniac as Trump.  He once boasted that he had never lost and election and the fact that he is losing to Hillary Clinton appears to be more than his psyche can handle.  He seems only too willing to trash the Democrat Party and throw the election to Trump simply to appease his damaged vanity.  What respect I once had for the man is gone and he needs to get out of the presidential contest.  A piece in Mother Jones echos my concerns.  Here are excerpts:
So tonight's Democratic primaries basically ended in a tie. There's really nothing of interest left anymore: Hillary Clinton will win the nomination, as we've all known she would for at least the past month.
The one thing I do keep wondering about is what happened to Bernie Sanders. Before this campaign, he was a gadfly, he was a critic of the system, and he was a man of strong principles. He still is, but he's also obviously very, very bitter. I wonder if all this was worth it for him? By all objective measures he did way better than anyone expected and had far more influence than anyone thought he would and he should feel good about that. Instead, he seems more angry and resentful with every passing day.
I know this happens all the time in presidential primaries. Everyone starts out promising to run high-minded campaigns, but the attacks always come sooner or later—and the targets inevitably believe the attacks are unfair and slanderous. As a result, the losers develop a deep personal disdain for their opponents.
That's what's happened this time, and I suppose there's nothing unusual about it. I don't even blame anyone in particular. Maybe Hillary's team played too rough. Maybe Bernie's team is too thin-skinned. I just don't know. But it's sort of painful to see a good person like Bernie turned into such a sullen and resentful man. And doubly painful to see him take his followers down that path too.
Usually these things fade with a bit of time. Politics is politics, after all. But for Bernie, it's always been more than politics. I wonder if he's ever going to get over this?

As for the behavior of Bernies' followers - which he has yet to adequately condemn - a piece here from the Nevada Democrat Party underscores that Sanders is by default condoning behavior akin to the mobs at Trump rallies.  It is ugly, disappointing, and speaks very badly of Sanders.

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