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.


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