Let Me Address One of the Biggest Bernie Sanders Conspiracies I Encounter From His Supporters

hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-debateFollowing a recent article I wrote where I addressed H.A. Goodman’s misleading anti-Clinton propaganda, I was inundated with pro-Sanders folks calling me a “hack for Hillary” or a “shill for Hillary” – even though the article had less to do with Hillary Clinton and more to do with calling out awful journalism. It’s absurd to use polling data from months ago for claims against Clinton, as Goodman frequently does, when new polling data exists which basically debunks the claims.

The reality is, I don’t particularly care what H.A. Goodman thinks about either candidate. But I do care when someone is blatantly spreading false and/or misleading information – no matter what the subject might be.

But this is what happens every single time I write anything related to Hillary Clinton that might remotely be positive – I get hammered by Sanders supporters for being a “fake progressive,” a “shill” or any number of insults for daring to support her. Hell, I’ve been accused multiple times of being paid by her campaign. I’m still waiting on that non-existent check.

The funny thing is, I’ve actually written more positive Bernie Sanders articles over the last 6+ months than I’ve written about Hillary Clinton. That’s odd, considering many of these pro-Sanders folks are certain that I “hate” Bernie Sanders and that I’m nothing but a propagandist for Clinton.

Simple math and reality will debunk this “shill for Hillary” nonsense.

Here are the Clinton-related articles I’ve written from June 1, 2015 thru December 23, 2015:

Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Have to Apologize to Donald Trump for a Damn Thing (December 22, 2015): While this one could be considered “pro-Clinton,” it’s actually more of a slam on the absurdity of Trump demanding she apologize for factually saying that terrorists are using his anti-Muslim rhetoric to recruit terrorists. But for the sake of argument, since I defend Clinton here, I’ll consider it “pro-Clinton.”

Megyn Kelly Throws a Fit on Air After Media Claims Hillary Clinton Won Benghazi Hearing (October 24, 2015): Some might call this a “pro-Clinton” article, but it’s actually a knock on Kelly’s live freakout over the fact that most pundits – including many conservative ones – claim Clinton got the best of Republicans during her 11-hours of testimony.

The Day Republicans Spent 11 Hours Making Hillary Clinton Look Very Presidential (October 23, 2015): Clearly this is a “pro-Clinton” article. This was also a direct jab at Republicans who spent 11 hours making their whole party look like fools.

Let Me Address the Ridiculousness Surrounding the Hillary Clinton Email “Controversy” (August 22, 2015): I’m such a bad “shill.” Two months between pro-Clinton articles? Geez, no wonder I haven’t received that check from her campaign yet. While this is “pro-Clinton,” it’s also more a knock on the idiocy that’s driven the “controversy” over her using a private email server – something Colin Powell did while he was Secretary of State. If this article makes me a “shill for Hillary,” then I guess Sanders is too considering he’s also tired of hearing about her damn emails.

5 Things Hillary Clinton Must Change About Her Campaign (August 8, 2015): This was actually an article critical of Clinton during a time where her campaign was performing terribly. While it’s not overly negative, I do point out several flaws she needed to fix.

Hillary Clinton Writes Powerful Message to Gay Boy Afraid About His Future and Being Accepted (July 5, 2015): Gosh, another month passes between Clinton articles. This one I really don’t consider “pro-Clinton” as much as it’s “pro-humanity.” She wrote a fantastic message to a young boy who said he was terrified of what his future may hold being that he’s homosexual.

Hillary Clinton Just Completely Exposed the GOP’s Constant Efforts to Disenfranchise Voters (June 10, 2015): Look at that, nearly another one-month span between Clinton articles. I seem to be a really bad shill. And even still this wasn’t as much “pro-Clinton” as much as it was her slamming Republicans all over the country for trying to disenfranchise voters.

Hillary Clinton’s Skilled Move on Voting Rights Just Put Republicans in a No-Win Situation (June 5, 2015): Again, while it’s an article that speaks positively about Clinton, it’s actually more of an article where I explain how she put forth her proposal to increase voter turnout knowing that Republicans would likely bash her for it, exposing them for being a party that’s actively trying to get people not to vote.

And that’s it.

In more than six months I’ve written eight articles related to Hillary Clinton – eight – and one of them was critical of her campaign this past summer. But to many Sanders supporters, I’m nothing but a “shill” for Clinton apparently since I’ve written eight articles about her over a 6+ month timespan.

Now let’s see how many articles I’ve written critical of Bernie Sanders. Since, you know, I’m a “Sanders hater” and all:

The Overlooked Quality That Bernie Sanders Has Brought to the 2016 Presidential Election (December 20, 2015): For a Sanders hater, that’s certainly odd for me to write an article praising him for being a good man and helping make the 2016 Democratic presidential race one headlined by adults rather than circus clowns like we’ve seen on the Republican side of things.

Rand Paul Challenges Bernie Sanders to a Debate After Comparing His Policies to Jim Crow Laws (November 13, 2015): There I go again, defending Sanders against Rand Paul’s ridiculous assertion that his policies are comparable to one of the worst times in our nation’s history. I also go on to profess my belief that Sanders would “tear Paul apart” on virtually every issue in a debate.

With Hillary Clinton’s Lead Growing, Now Bernie Sanders Cares About Her Damn Emails (November 5, 2015): This was clearly a knock on Sanders for saying that Clinton’s emails did matter after saying at the first debate that they didn’t. Thankfully, this whole thing was put to rest during the second debate.

Explaining Bernie Sanders and “Democratic Socialism” in a Nutshell (October 23, 2015): Before Bernie Sanders gave his speech devoted to explaining what “democratic socialism” meant, I wrote an article blasting the ignorance many seem to have about the differences between “socialism” and “democratic socialism.” Not only that, but I go on to say in this article that I don’t even consider Sanders’ policies to be “democratic socialism” as much as a return to the capitalism of the 1950’s.

Larry David Steals the Show as Bernie Sanders on SNL (October 18, 2015): Wow, it’s been two months since this hilarious sketch? Yes, following Larry David’s almost flawless impersonation of Bernie Sanders, I wrote how this sort of public exposure was great for Sanders because it helped him appeal to a wider audience. But there I go, “hating” on Bernie Sanders again.

Bernie Sanders Claims His Supporters Aren’t ‘Anti-Clinton’ – Many Proceed to Prove Him Wrong (August 31, 2015): This could be construed as a jab against Sanders, but it was really focused more on his supporters. He had recently made comments where he said he didn’t think his supporters were anti-Clinton, and many on the Internet proceeded to literally say he was wrong, and that they were, in fact, anti-Clinton.

Bernie Sanders Blasts Reporter for Asking Him Ridiculous Question About Hillary Clinton (August 18, 2015): In this article, not only do I say that I’m a fan of both Clinton and Sanders, but I applaud Sanders for ripping into a reporter for asking him about Clinton’s hairstyle.

Bernie Sanders is Great, But Some of His Most Vocal Supporters Are Becoming a Problem (August 12, 2015): Irony: Writing an article debunking the pro-Sanders crowd’s assertion that I’m a “Clinton shill” and “Sanders hater” that includes an article where I call Sanders “great” and had to previously address the irrational nature of many Sanders supporters.

Why are Elements of “Black Lives Matter” Targeting Bernie Sanders? The Answer is Actually Really Simple (August 10, 2015): This was me defending Sanders after two of his speeches had been interrupted by BLM protestors.

No, Bernie Sanders Did Not Refuse to Say if He Thinks Hillary Clinton is Honest and Trustworthy (August 3, 2015): For months (but especially last summer), the media has been trying to get Sanders to bash Clinton. To his credit, he had mostly avoided doing so. During an interview he was asked if he thought Clinton was “honest and trustworthy” and he responded by saying he wasn’t going to be suckered into discussing personal issues and he wanted to remained issue-focused. I praised him for that and called out the websites trying to turn this non-story into something it wasn’t.

5 Pros and Cons to Bernie Sanders the Presidential Candidate (July 17, 2015): I guess you could call this a “neutral” article considering I outline an equal number of pros and cons to what he brings as a presidential candidate.

That’s all of the Bernie Sanders-related articles I’ve written between June 1 and December 23, 2015 – all eleven of them. Three of them could be considered “negative,” but of those, two were more about his supporters and not Sanders personally. One was obviously negative against Sanders himself, but the issue was put to rest shortly after that article came out.

But, wait – I thought I was a “shill” for Clinton? How can I be that when I’ve written more articles about Sanders over the last 6+ months – the majority of them being positive? In fact, looking at both lists, I’ve written an equal number of “negative” articles about both candidates: One.

To put my numbers into perspective, I decided to count up the amount of Sanders and Clinton articles my very pro-Sanders colleague Manny Schewitz has written during the same timespan. Between June 1 and December 23, 2015 Manny has written 28 pro-Sanders articles and zero calling him out on anything. How many pro-Clinton articles? One. He debunked the misguided and inaccurate assertion that Clinton works for Monsanto. If you want to call that “pro-Clinton” you can, but I honestly consider it  more of a neutral fact-check.

To be fair, he hasn’t written any negative Clinton articles, even if he does often talk about voting for her like someone who’s being force-fed broccoli seconds after being waterboarded.

Meanwhile, being that I’m a “Clinton shill” and supposed “Sanders hater,” I often profess that, if Sanders wins the nomination, I’ll proudly vote for and support him for president.

Will these facts change the minds of these Sanders folks who think I’m nothing but a “shill” for Clinton? Probably not, but I did feel the need to address the flat-out inaccurate assertion that I’m nothing but a cheerleader for Hillary Clinton and a “hater” of Bernie Sanders.

So, these folks can believe what they want – which is what I’ve noticed they tend to do – but that doesn’t change reality. The reality is, over the last 6+ months I’ve written:

  • Eight articles about Clinton, only one being mostly negative about the candidate herself.
  • Eleven articles about Sanders, only one being mostly negative about the candidate himself.

In other words, I’ve been fairly equally positive and fair in my coverage concerning both candidates, though I really can’t say the same for many pro-Sanders writers. It just seems that a certain set of supporters only sees what they want to see and believes what they want to believe.

I can guarantee that many of the Sanders folks who come across this article either won’t address it, won’t admit that they were wrong, they’ll insist that I’m lying or they’ll still believe I’m nothing but a “Clinton shill” even if the facts don’t support their belief. I’d really love to be proven wrong, but I’m not counting on it.

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

  • Hugo Mallen

    Honestly Mr. Clifton, from your synopses it does seem as if you favor Clinton over Sanders. Many of your Sanders articles seem (again from *your* synopses) like either very subtle back-handed compliments or like a quick little almost unnoticeable emasculating quip about Sanders.

    For example, in the Rand Paul piece, whether or not you actually defend Sanders (again, haven’t read the article) the title is misleading. You state Paul is attacking Sanders for such and such and leave it at that. You don’t mention at all how Paul could be wrong or how ludicrous the statement is, just that (the implication is) Sanders’ policies are worthy of being attacked. Okay, the reader *should* be able to surmise that the allegations are absurd, but how many readers would? As a writer you should know that you have to lead your reader in one direction or another, even if ever so slightly. Now, it seems like you’re on Sanders’ side in this article but your title is ambiguous.

    The second piece about the damn emails is clearly, even if slightly pejorative, both in the title and in the body. I shouldn’t have to explain why so I’ll just move on.

    Let’s call the third title neutral and it’s body positive for Sanders. You could have gone into more detail on why it is a good thing, but whatever.

    The title of the fourth article about Larry David isn’t necessarily a positive for Bernie either. In fact, many of us who watched SNL that night found that skit offensive towards Bernie, because despite being funny and a spot on impression, the insinuation that Bernie was sure to lose and maybe jump on the Clinton bandwagon after the primaries was insulting. I don’t see how this is a positive Bernie article.

    The fifth article speaks for itself. You, however, are sort of attacking Bernie by proxy. I said sort of, okay? But honestly, you can’t consider it a positive article on Bernie. Even if you go on to applaud Bernie for being Bernie (I haven’t read the article and I’m not going to for reasons) the title of your article isn’t a positive for Sanders.

    In the hair article you mention Bernie is good and add an exception. You shouldn’t paint yourself as Bernie-positive when you’re painting Bernie as good but comes with flaws. Good for you for saying how Bernie is good while at the same time making sure the article is also about Hillary. But whatever.

    The next article is about Hillary is a better candidate than Bernie. Anyway, that’s the article’s second main point, while, btw, slamming Bernie supporters. Still, the title and the article are riddled with general negativity tied to Bernie.

    The BLM article again ties the Bernie campaign somehow with negativity. The title itself can be called neutral but I’m kind of rolling my eyes too because you and I both know that the BLM carries some baggage with a lot of folks. It’s actually to Bernie’s credit that he is vocal in his support of them, but again, you don’t see it that way. But whatever.

    The last two articles are your most neutral but one of them is also an attack on Bernie and the other one is also about the media. Anyway, you said one good thing about Bernie and that’s about it. I’m not saying it doesn’t help but the focus of the article is all over the place, and not necessarily about Bernie. It’s title however is neutral.

    I mention the title of your articles because they reflect (or should reflect) what the articles are about. None of the titles show Bernie in any real positive light. They’re either neutral, milquetoast, or ambiguous. Compare that to your Hillary titles. Her name is associated with: presidential, powerful, winning, skilled, expose. All of your Clinton articles make her seem powerful, in control, and unbreakable. She’s none of those things, but you have the right to your opinion as I do mine, and I’m not here to talk about how Bernie is a better candidate or person or statesman than Hillary, but my point is this.

    You say you’ve written more positive articles about Bernie than you have about Hillary, but that just isn’t true. So for whatever reason you feel like you have to defend yourself from accusations, you’ve done a really poor job doing so. And frankly, I think this article you wrote makes you out to be a bit of a blatant liar trying to pull one over the people who just idly glance over it, not unlike your little faux heroine, Hillary.

  • ॐ peaceful_revolutionary

    I get slammed by Hillary supporters constantly because I say I could never vote for her. They’ve called me every name you can imagine and even wished me to suffer in hell for eternity.

  • mel2

    Being a 65-yr-old grandmother, I have lived through much. I watched in horror as Nader and the Green Party pulled environmentalists away from the Democratic Party and allowed George Bush to win in 2000. Nader still boasts to this day about stealing the election from the Democrats.

    I will vote for the Democratic nominee no matter who it is. I have admired Bernie for years and will vote for him in the primary; but if Hillary wins the nomination, I will vote for her.

    I ask the “Bernie or No One” voters:

    If a GOP candidate wins, will you walk about in public saying, “So what if we have a Republican president destroying this country, my conscience is clear! I stood up for my principles!”?

    But then you would be faced with actual people who lost their Obamacare, women who lost their right to abortion, and hungry children who got another cut to food stamps…all of which would be the fault of persons such as you who sat home and pouted because their guy did not win the Democratic nomination.

    Did you also vote for Nader and then enjoy the reign of George Dubya Bush?

    You ‘Bernie or No One’ voters are immature — dangerously so.