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Robert #Resist Sandy @frodofied
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Those who have followed me for a long time can vouch for the fact that I remained neutral to positive about Bernie long after many others had taken on more negative views.

And I maintained strong relationships w/ persons most would now call 'Bros' well into the Fall of 2015. 1/
I'd sent small donations to the crank from VT several times over the years. Like many, I found him endearing, especially since so few seemed to take his far-left tilted rhetoric overly seriously.

He was that embarrassing uncle whose heart always seemed in the right place. 2/
And though his criticisms of the Democratic Party were often pointed, it felt as the years went on, like part of his schtick that he didn't know how to let go of. His own Linus's blanket.

I wasn't even put off by his inclusion in the Dem primary at first, for a few reasons. 3/
First, if you look back at early interviews of Sanders and staff it was clear that the intention was not to win the Democratic nomination, but to simply infuse the conversation Democrats would be having with some nice, non-offensive progressive populism. 4/
In fact, it was his preference for a populist approach that worried me. I never really questioned his intentions or his motivations.

When Bernie said that he and his friend Hillary Clinton would run a positive, issue based campaign that would benefit everyone I believed him. 5/
Everyone forgets that throughout the summer of 2015 Bernie Sanders was hardly taking himself seriously as a candidate, so it was hard for others to. For her part, Clinton remained fairly positive about Bernie for much longer than was probably smart. 6/
But how does a progressive openly criticize the cranky grandpa who just wants everyone to get free healthcare and free college and have money not be the evil it is in politics without seeming mean (at best), and, gasp, not a progressive (at worst)? 7/
The answer, especially if you're Hillary Clinton (Clinton Rules are ALWAYS at play), is you don't.

I challenge anyone to find any comment Clinton made during the first half of the primary that can be considered truly negative about Sanders.

At worst she seemed exasperated. 8/
And she, and increasingly, we, her supporters, had reason to feel and be exasperated. Not only was the media in full adulation mode, but his native populism was attracting Howard Dean like mobs of enthusiastic supporters. And Sanders loved all of it. 9/
People did what they always do in this scenario which was to view crowd size as some sort of working political abacus. But the mountain of political careers that have died on the promise of crowd size is impressive: McGovern, Perot, Paul, Dean, Bradley.

The list is long. 10/
Sanders' team was most guilty of this misreading of the tea leaves, however, a sickness which they passed on to his supporters.

But most people know that crowds do not mean actual votes. If they did, politicians wouldn't spend half the time reminding/begging people to vote. 11/
The danger with populism is that to create the perfect image of a populist hero means you have to cultivate and promote some pretty extensive exaggerations/fabrications about both yourself and your opponent.

Populism features a strong WE vs. them ethos. Always. 12/
I/WE see what's really wrong and "they" ARE what's wrong. There was no way that a now partly fuelled Sanders could do anything but what many on his staff had been doing for weeks which was to go completely 360 degrees negative.

And that's where he lost me, and forever. 13/
For political expediency Sanders and team latched onto and promoted ideas that they KNEW we're false, and did not ever think of the long term consequences.

Partly, I think that Clinton's reputation as a political survivor ironically played against her here. Big time. 14/
Hillary Clinton has been called Satan.

And in the mid-1990s that was one of the kinder insults conservatives used against the woman they considered the most dangerous liberal of influence in the country.

Another irony of 2016. 15/
So, TBH I am not sure that Sanders and team really thought the atrocious things they were saying about Clinton and The Democrats would be repeated long after the Democratic primary had been mathematically decided.

But social media was a monster with too many heads. 16/
If anything proved it's power in 2015 and 2016 it was not really Russia, Putin, Trump or fake news, but really social media and those who understood it's full potential and we're willing to both use and exploit it to their benefit.

Enter the infamous Bros. 17/
Again, I think Sanders was largely caught up in a political groundswell that was truly a shock to him. To his eternal discredit he let that influence his ego and actions in ways that flew in the face of the person and candidate he claimed to be in the beginning. 18/
The things he let happen and be said in his name were dangerous, damning, and most often baseless. He & his team knew what was happening & they ignored it or downplayed it to the very end.

The bro mob was given too much power, too much time, & too much faux moral authority. 19/
Why most of us didn't just collectively ignore/block them instead of flailing against their well sharpened micro aggressions & pedantic sophistries I'll honestly never know.

They literally maintained groupthink mentality forums, decided the day's attack & then went to war. 20/
And they were extremely successful. People took to a criticism by hacks like Sirota as if it had come from a prophet instead of a hack like Sirota.

The bros made certain that they either controlled the conversation or were the subject of it.

And Sanders let them. 21/
Sanders committed many sins during the primary but his absolute worst were his embrace and morally reprehensible articulation of the media's "both sides" false equivocations. 22/
In fact, on any given day, listening to Sanders pontifications, you would have been hard pressed to not think that if anything the Republican party was less evil and less corrupt than the Democratic Party. Toward the end it felt like an undeniable inference. 23/
There is no way to accurately measure the long-term damage Sanders did, but I believe it was considerable.

Next, his play to the white working class crowd he considered his people, led to an exhausting and damaging debate about the place of "identity politics" in the party. 24/
There were actually people saying things like "I hate to say it but if you took black people out of the equation we'd have President Sanders for sure," OUT LOUD. "If women thought with more than their vaginas Hillary Clinton wouldn't stand a chance," again, OUT LOUD. 25/
For his part Sanders was clear that ANYTHING that distracted the conversation away from economic inequality was considered peripheral. This despite mountains of data that showed racial and gender bias often overrode people's economic concerns. 26/
That he convinced so many young people that this was true is also unforgivable.

His next great sin was the classless, mean, small, and protracted way he exited the race that always included the inescapable asterisk of "if she loses, I told you so, and would have won." 27/
Or worse, that if she won it was only b/c he'd forced her left or b/c he had begrudgingly endorsed her.

In truth Sanders made every endorsement look as though he was ingesting a known poison. He never had the class or equinamity to quell the boos or chants from his crowds. 28/
At best his endorsements sounded to me something like "Trump is the Devil, and Hillary Clinton is probably related but is definitely not the Devil."

His final great sin was inserting the absurd notion that it was perfectly fine to demand sincere & equal consideration to lead a lead a party you were not a part of & had often said needed to be destroyed.

To me the ulimate madness of 2016 & it's most dangerous legacy. 30/
I still cannot even state his claim without feeling physically revolted. The whole idea is just irrational and flies in the face of everything I consider fair or just.

It's not just an unusual way of thinking or even foreign. It's completely alien. 31/
"Hi, you suck. I know you have all worked really hard to build this thing but I don't like how you built it so now it's me and my friend's. You no longer get to decide because you suck too and you really just need to sit down and shut up."

That's what Democrats were told. 32/
And anytime we questioned the justness of this concept we were treated as if we were the crazy ones.

So before you literally tell me Sanders is a Saint or a hero please know that my reasons for disagreeing are very specific and pretty damn provable.

I'm sorry to my followers who have heard my arguments ad nauseum.

This thread was written for the handful of Sanders supporters who have been DMing me recently. Whether any wanted my sincere critique I don't know, but this is it, such as it is...


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