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THREAD: I wasn't active on Twitter during the 2016 election. Any followers of me know can figure out where I stand but I feel compelled to explain how I went from an unabashed Bernie Sanders supporter to someone who rolls his eyes at him now. /1
I call myself a Pragmatic Progressive: I am generally to the left of most mainstream political candidates (and way more left than the average 50-year old white man). I generally support the most liberal candidate available to me on my ballot - primary or general. /2
When 2016 turned into a two-way battle between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, my choice was obvious: I had followed Bernie for years before then and was glad that someone was there to help move Hillary further left. /3
I didn't think he had a real chance and the fact is that he never really did: He ignored the southeast which allowed Hillary to run out to a big lead. Any time that it looked like Bernie might actually get back into the race, he would lose a bunch of important states. /4
The exact moment Bernie was done was March 15th. He had a huge surprise win in Michigan the previous week and the idea was he could follow it up with a big week in other Midwestern states and show some staying power. /5
Instead he got swept. Forget losing Florida by 30 points; he lost Michigan, Missouri and Ohio, the heartland states he needed. This made it obvious that Michigan was a glorious fluke and that he would never be able to come back. /6
I knew this because of math & demographics. /7
I started accepting Hillary as the nominee and just wanted Bernie to pull the Overton window to the left. His surprisingly solid showing would allow him to help dictate the direction of the Democratic platform. I was okay with that. /8
But then Bernie lost his mind. I don't share the school of thought of some that it was calculated. I think he came closer than anyone thought possible (including him) and as a result he failed to lead when he really had to. /9
I actually think Jeff Weaver was the main instigator of the worst things to come from the campaign, but at the end of the day Bernie hired him and he was in charge and he is responsible. /10
I didn't hold him responsible for some of his most ardent supporters for a long time. I spent a lot of time on Facebook trying to make nice between the two factions. I did such a good job I was often accused of being a Bernie Bro and a Hillary shill in the same threads. /11
That all changed with Nevada state convention. The facts showed one thing and Bernie and Weaver helped promote an alternate reality to what actually happened. They fanned the flames by encouraging conspiracy theories instead of stifling them. They let me down. /12
Please note that this was in mid May. Bernie was toast two full months before. Again - math and demographics. /13
All that time Hillary could have turned her attention to Donald Trump. Instead she, despite having the nomination all but sewed up, had to spend money, time and energy against someone who was already lapped and be respectful so as to not alienate his supporters. /14
Despite all of this, I voted for Bernie in the useless Pennsylvania primary. I never thought he would win my state or the election. It was a purely symbolic vote for the fat left underdog who I hoped would still do the right thing. /15
His other supporters became insufferable. They were screaming about how things were rigged, screaming about superdelegates that would never decide the race, screaming about conspiracies, screaming #NeverHillary. /16
(The fact that it's still a somewhat trending hashtag now, when she is not running for anything and Donald Trump is doing his worst to trample everything that a supposed liberal would decry is telling.) /17
I don't buy into the "Bernie is a Russian stooge" extremism of some; honestly that's as inflammatory as anything Bernie supporters did (though it sure has a lot less of an impact two years into Trump's reign). /18
I don't scream about his rape stories from decades ago, his lack of tax returns now. I don't worry about his houses, I don't worry about his wife. /19
I have enough legitimate reasons to distrust Bernie Sanders. When he should have been uniting us to beat Trump, he was wasting everyone's time. A basketball player fouling when his team is down by 35 points is not a warrior competitor, he's an asshole wasting everyone's time. /20
The fact that even now many of his followers still cling to discredited conspiracy theories, blaming his loss on malfeasance when there is zero evidence of this, and whatever mistakes were made weren't disenfranchising four million Hillary voters. /21
It's unfortunate he announced he is running again. Part of me wishes the DNC would tell him he can't be one of them - not because he hasn't been one of them, but because all he does is attack them - but I realize that won't happen. The DNC isn't rigged so he can run. /22
He will do so without any support from me. None. All his good will is gone. The fact that it took three months of him doing his best to put his ego ahead of the country means I likely gave him ten weeks too much latitude before. But not again. /23
I still love lefty candidates. Fortunately there will be a ton to choose from. The biggest centrist of them all will still be someone I agree with over 90% of the time. It will be easy to find someone to support who isn't Bernie Sanders and I welcome that choice. /24
(One day I hope that AOC puts all of her talent, passion, and smart policy ideas together and is able to run in an election that I can vote for her. I'm just smart enough to know that will be easier if Republicans lose than if they win.) /25
But I am don with Bernie. /26
Should he win the Democratic nod against all of my wishes, he will get my vote in the general election because Bernie - with all of his flaws and blind spots - is still better than Donald Trump. /27
So I will make one last overture to everyone to do the same thing: Support whomever you want in the primary, but vote for whomever has a D- by their name in the general. /28
People are dying. Marginalized groups are being further attacked. This needs to end. If Mueller can't or won't do it, we have to. So let's do it. /29
But Bernie will not get my support in the primary. He had that once and he blew it. /FIN
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