10 Questions I Need Bernie Sanders Supporters to Answer

While many Bernie Sanders supporters like to accuse me of “hating” Sanders, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I have maintained, since the very beginning, the belief that Sanders is simply best suited for the Senate and he stands a very little chance at winning in the general election. Not because I dislike him, but because I’m not emotionally invested in a candidate. I’m emotionally invested in giving Democrats our best chance to win in November – though I’m well aware that’s completely subjective.

Now, I know what Sanders supporters will say: But the head-to-head polls have him doing better than Hillary! He’ll win in a landslide! 

First, this far out from the election, head-to-head polls are mostly worthless. To show you what I mean, here’s a Quinnipiac poll I saw from a few months ago when people were bragging about Sanders leading Trump. Great news, right? Except in that same head-to-head poll – he lost to Chris Christie. So, tell me, how reliable are head-to-head polls many months before an election when one shows a candidate beating the overwhelming frontrunner – but losing to someone whose national poll numbers were hovering around three percent at the time?

I’ve also been concerned with how biased the pro-Sanders information bubble has been. This is how poll numbers work with pro-Sanders blogs and Facebook pages:

  • When a poll comes out showing Sanders ahead (or gaining) on Clinton – it’s posted everywhere.
  • When a poll comes out showing Clinton performing well – none of these pro-Sanders pages post a single thing about it.

And that’s a problem. When people are surrounding themselves with nothing but pro-Sanders confirmation bias, they’re creating an alternate reality that’s not based entirely on facts. That’s why a large part of what I’ve been trying to get Sanders people to do over the last few months is to take off the Bernie goggles, step away from their infatuation with him and think rationally based on facts.

Which brings me to this: While I fully understand why many Sanders people like him (and I like him, as well) I’ve noticed there’s a whole lot of misinformation and empty talking points being thrown around because, well, that’s the sort of rhetoric that drives what I call the “Bernie Sanders Bubble.”

So, I thought I would try to get some answers to a few questions I have. Though I know, for many, no matter what I ask or what facts I state (sourced facts, by the way – that’s what the blue words with lines under them are, sources to support something I’m saying) I’m still going to be slammed as a “shill for Hillary,” accused of being paid by her campaign and called a fake progressive.

By the way, calling someone a “fake progressive” because you disagree with them is the antithesis of what it means to be a progressive – an ideology based on diversity, acceptance and a wide range of ideas and beliefs. Calling someone a “fake progressive” because you don’t think they’re “progressive enough” is no different than the idiotic “RINO/not a true conservative” nonsense tea party Republicans use for anyone on the right who doesn’t subscribe to what they think is “true conservatism.” In other words, you’re basically acting like the liberal version of the tea party.

Alright, now to the questions.

1. Why is it when Bernie Sanders points out factual statements on Hillary Clinton’s voting record, that’s simply him “pointing out the differences between the two.” However, when she points out facts about his voting record (such as his votes against the Brady Bill and his vote to protect gun sellers from any legal liabilities even if they were negligent) that’s her “going negative”?

2. Considering Cornel West has repeatedly question President Obama’s “blackness,” even going as far as to call him “n*ggerized,” do you really think he’s the best person for Sanders to have in his corner reaching out to African-American communities? How exactly is West’s often bombastic, radical and extremely controversial (and divisive) rhetoric going to improve race relations?

3. Are you aware that Bernie Sanders voted against immigration reform in 2007, using the typical Republican line of “it would drive down American wages”? And if so, why aren’t you – his avid supporter – questioning him on why he sided with mostly Republicans to kill the immigration bill?

4. A claim by many Sanders supporters is that Hillary Clinton is a fake liberal or that she’s basically “Republican lite.” If so, then why was she ranked as the 11th most liberal senator in Congress (ahead of President Obama who came in 23rd)? Also, how is she “Republican lite” when her and Sanders voted on the same side of the issues 93 percent of the time when they served together in the Senate? Are you saying that the difference between Bernie Sanders and “Republican lite” is 7 percent of a voting record? Also, if Clinton is “Republican lite” – even though she was ranked more liberal than President Obama – wouldn’t that basically make Obama a full-fledged Republican?

5. With there being almost zero shot that Democrats reclaim a majority in the House this November (keep saying the “surge” he brings to the polls will make it happen – it’s not going to), and the fact that there’s practically no chance at getting a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, exactly how will Sanders get through Congress legislation that’s much more radically far-left than anything President Obama tried to get passed? Do you honestly think any Republicans are going to support free public college, huge tax hikes on the rich and a middle class and small business tax hike to pay for health care? If so, have you not been paying attention to the Republican party for the last, I don’t know, let’s say – four decades? 

6. While Bernie Sanders likes to brag about not having a super PAC, seemingly looking down upon anyone who might dare have one as someone who’s disingenuous about getting money out of politics, are you aware that Senator Elizabeth Warren had one? If so, are you saying she’s a sellout and beholden to rich donors?

7. Bernie Sanders has made it a point to call out big defense contractors and lobbyists, which is great. Wasteful defense spending is a huge problem in this country. However, isn’t it a bit hypocritical for him to call out these folks when he voted for, and defends, the $1.2 trillion F-35 project – a massive waste of money and the most expensive defense project in history – because it happened to create jobs in his home state?

8. Be honest, if Hillary Clinton’s campaign had been caught downloading confidential voter data from Sanders’ campaign – no matter what excuse they might have used for why they accessed the data – wouldn’t you have been all over her for being “unethical” and a “cheater”? Especially if she inexplicably went up in the polls a couple of weeks after accessing that important data? And wouldn’t you have slammed her even more for playing the “victim card” and raising a whole lot of money from that breach?

9. Bernie Sanders often likes to paint Hillary Clinton as being disingenuous concerning he support for same-sex marriage, frequently implying that she only came on board when it became politically beneficial for her to do so. Okay, that’s fine. But then wasn’t he doing the same thing during a 2006 Senate debate when he said that same-sex marriage should be left up to the states – a stance he now no longer supports?

10. Don’t you find it rather odd that Karl Rove’s super PAC (as well as a couple of other conservative super PACs) are/have:

  • Taken to using many of the lines Sanders says against Hillary Clinton in attack ads?
  • Been boasting about Sanders’ lead over Clinton in some polls?
  • Been sending out emails, including during the most recent debate, defending Sanders’s positions, including his health care plan?
  • Not spent a single dollar to attack Bernie Sanders?

Isn’t that a bit suspect that Republicans seem to be actively trying to undermine Hillary Clinton by attempting to manipulate liberals, promoting ideas from her opponent that they would never support, and completely ignoring any attacks on Sanders? Doesn’t that strike you as Republicans doing everything they can to sabotage Hillary Clinton because they want Bernie Sanders to be the Democratic nominee? And doesn’t it worry you that Republicans are actively trying to meddle in liberal issues to indirectly help pick their own opponent in the 2016 general election?

Again, I know these questions are going to cause Sanders supporters to blast me. That’s fine. Pretty much everything I’ve stated or listed here I’ve linked with a source supporting exactly what I said. These are nothing more than legitimate questions I have because I think they’re very important going forward with this election.

Though as I’ve said for months, my main goal this November is to defeat Republicans. If Clinton is the nominee, I’ll vote for her. If Sanders wins it, I’ll vote for him, too. At the end of the day, when the nominee is finally chosen, it is crucial that we all come together and vote blue, no matter who. Because there’s far too much at stake in this next election to let the White House fall back into the hands of Republicans.

As always, feel free to hit me up on Facebook or Twitter and let me know what you think.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • paulroden

    What about the amount of money and funding from Wall Street for her speeches and to the Clinton Foundation? What about her opposition to single payer, Medicare for All? When she was Secretary of State she was actively supporting fracking and the Keystone Pipeline. She is a “DINO” a Democratic In Name Only.” Bernie is outperforming her and has the enthusiasm and energy. The momentum is with him, not her. He is unbought and unbossed. He is raising more money than Obama did and has higher poll numbers going into the Primaries and Caucuses. Hillary is NOT the “inevitable candidate.”

  • David Reed

    Don’t patronize us with these imbecilic questions. Based on record and candidate position on the issues we know who is in for our interest over their own.

    • wagnerfilm

      If they’re such imbecilic questions you should find them easy to answer.

      • Jessicahneely3

        3❝my neighbor’s mate is getting 98$. HOURLY on the internet❞….

        A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn More right Here
        ➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsJobs/GetPaid/98$hourly❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦…

  • Po eM
  • masswaster

    Q9. Bernie Sanders often likes to paint Hillary Clinton as being disingenuous concerning he support for same-sex marriage, frequently implying that she only came on board when it became politically beneficial for her to do so. Okay, that’s fine. But then wasn’t he doing the same thing during a 2006 Senate debate when he said that same-sex marriage should be left up to the states – a stance he now no longer supports?

    A. Sanders said he voted against the DOMA because it gave states the right to not recognize gay marriages from other states. HE VOTED AGAINST DOMA. HE SUPPORTED GAY MARRIAGE.

    From an article of the time…
    A. Like his current Senate colleague Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Sanders deserves credit for opposing DOMA—then a popular measure with bipartisan support—while a member of the House of Representatives in 1996….Explaining his vote in 1996, Sanders’ chief of staff declared that it was motivated by a concern for states’ rights, not equality. Explaining that he wasn’t “legislating values,” she noted that Sanders believed DOMA violated the Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause by allowing one state to refuse to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in another. “You’re opening up Pandora’s box here,” she said at the time. “You’re saying that any state can refuse to … recognize the laws of another state if they don’t like them.”

    Q10. Don’t you find it rather odd that Karl Rove’s super PAC (as well as a couple of other conservative super PACs) are/have: Taken to using many of the lines Sanders says against Hillary Clinton in attack ads? Been boasting about Sanders’ lead over Clinton in some polls? Been sending out emails, including during the most recent debate, defending Sanders’s positions, including his health care plan? Not spent a single dollar to attack Bernie Sanders?

    A. Blaming Sanders for the actions of Rove? Really?

    These easily answerable questions, and the non sequitur and irrelevant ones about his supporters, are really intended just to smear Sanders and his supporters through innuendo.

  • Casper Leitch

    George H Bush and Lt. Oliver North shipped arms out of America and traded the arms for cocaine and then shipped the cocaine back into America – all of that occurred in and out of Arkansas….while Bill Clinton was Governor of the state:
    …to keep Bill quiet – he was promised the White House. George H Bush was in charge of the CIA…and later the Vice President of the United states for 8-years…then the President of the United States for 4 more years. Then, his buddy, Bill Clinton became President for 8 years after which Georges son became President of the United States – it was then to be passed back to the Clinton through Hilary’s last campaign – but, instead – the White House went to Dick Chaney’s 3rd cousin – Barack Obama (both men have admitted in many different news sources to be related.) The Puppet Masters intended to give the White House to Hilary for 8-years during this election – and during this election and the next – get Jeb’s problems under his belt and forgotten by the general public so he could then win the NEXT election and run the White House for 8 years.
    THAT’S A LOT OF YEARS OF REGAN/BUSH-BUSH-CLINTON-BUSH-OBAMA-CLINTON-BUSH for one group of people to OWN the White House. That’s a total of 52 years of Bush and friends running America. THAT’S what is fueling the HUGE support for Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. They are the ONLY TWO CANDIDATES that are NOT owned by the Puppet Masters and are NOT part of the Bush/Clinton clan.

    • dbattle

      I don’t usually say this…..but that has got to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read on the Internet.

      • David Nicholson

        Funny, since what Casper said is true.

  • Eric W

    On electability you can argue that Clinton is maybe just as electable as Bernie, since 1-4% doesn’t mean much, but to say she is more electable would simply be to ignore months of poll averages and just say that you feel in your gut she’s better. If that’s the case our guts disagree and we go nowhere. In terms of polls, we’re talking about the averages of polls. He’s consistently been within 1% of Clinton or doing better against Republicans. Check http://www.realclearpolitics.com/ for poll averages. He also wins Independents at twice the rate Clinton does.

    1. It’s not. They’re either both factual statements that are often negatively phrased. All records should be closely examined so long as the criticism is based in fact. For the most part both sides have done this and supporters from both sides have wailed about it.

    2. Cornell West is an activist who has fought for Black Lives Matter, his voice is well respected, he teaches right by my school at Columbia, and he should be treated with similar respect. Your like or dislike for a word that he is allowed to say is irrelevant.

    3. That bill brought workers in at “slave labor conditions” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Major no.

    4. Everyone has moved to the right, including Democrats. Many people do consider Obama to be a moderate and Clinton being more hawkish makes that extra difference, but its not much. Look at Sanders, on the far left, 40 years ago and he’s a normal democrat. Even Republican Eisenhower was more Left than most all liberals today.

    5. Sanders passed more amendments through a Republican congress than any other congressmen serving, including Republicans, chaired the Veteran’s committee through 13 major bills (way above average) many of them passed with Republicans like McCain, and created the progressive caucus, which rose from 6 members to the largest Democratic caucus today. He also is far more well-liked with independents, but all of that may not be enough, which is why he also has executive orders planned. But legislation is more durable, and Clinton certainly doesn’t have any better shot after the way we’ve seen them stonewall Obama. He is more liked with independents and Republicans (25% support from them in his home state), and will at least try, so cure-all? No. Better? Very likely.

    6. All Super PACs bad is simplistic, I agree. Is it raising money from billionaires who profit off of fracking, oil, and Wall St. like Clinton’s PAC? Probably not. Did she ask for it? No, but Sanders didn’t ask for support from the Nurses Union and we still welcome it. (You can put that big nurses support him. It’s true. Super PACs are very often not composed of nurses however, Unions are one of the few working class (kinda, some unions screw their members) PAC creators left).

    7. As Sanders said “No, and I’ll tell you why – it is essentially built.” He acknowledges that it was wasteful though, and a mistake, but its not worth scoring political points to scrap a project that has already most finished and start all over. That usually costs more and would be even more wasteful. However, dumb decision at first, I dont agree with it. That being said, its an exception to a trend. For Clinton that trend is a flood that continues to this day. No one’s perfect and thats a reasonable critique though.

    8. Clinton very well could have done so, as Sanders campaign manager starting reporting in October that their data was being accessed and the DNC did actually nothing. So if it got leaked, people would freak, but the DNC has consistently protected her and their overeach demonstrated that. If they had any foot to stand on and no dirty laundry to air, they wouldn’t have backed off when Sanders filed suit.

    9. He declared a gay pride day in 1980 and fought for it in Vermont, so it was certainly more than states’ rights that put him against DOMA, but that was part of it. Clinton declared that NY should not have gay marriage as a candidate for NY senate, demonstrating that her opposition to it was more than states’ rights. Again, a good point, but one you should hold Clinton to as well.

    10. No, they hate Clinton and haven’t yet come to realize that Sanders is the greater threat. They will find out if he wins.