I support Bernie Sanders. In practical terms, for the moment, that means that I do not support Hillary Clinton. It means I’m going to tend to share information about Bernie as a way of helping get the word out about what he stands for. It also means I’m going to be vocal about the differences between him and Hillary, and I’m going to be critical of her in a way that I probably won’t be if she ultimately wins the nomination. The differences between Bernie and Hillary are important, especially when it comes to the choice of either coddling or challenging the corporatists and banksters who are ruining our country, but they are nothing compared to the vast schism between both of them and the parade of idiots campaigning for the GOP.
So, yes, I’m critical of Clinton, and I can be a tough critic of her policies and political behavior. But I never lower myself to insult, either of her or her supporters. You won’t find me calling her a bitch or impugning her because of choices in her personal life or mocking her appearance or dress. Nor will you find me making derogatory comments about those who want her as president. I respect Hillary Clinton and I respect her followers; though we disagree, we are ultimately on the same side. And eventually, however the primaries shake out, they and I will be voting for the same person in the general election.
So when I visit a friend’s Facebook page and see all sorts of derogatory comments about “Bernie-bots” and how stupid they are and how vile (and even misogynistic) their candidate is, all it does is make me not want to even bother talking to that friend. I already kicked one jackass off my friends list for getting riled up in a calm discussion about the candidates and accusing me of sexism (solely based on my choice of Sanders over Clinton), and after a couple of visits to his wall to check up on him, I’m glad he’s gone because his wall is full of venom and he’s an abusive prick who’s all too willing to resort to personal attacks to try to get a rhetorical advantage. Or perhaps just to be a bully.
On another friend’s wall, I see a shared post from yet another Hillary supporter, a long diatribe about Bernie Sanders’s history and positions that’s as nasty a piece of work as I’ve seen this election season. This is typical of the venomous spin in the post:
“[At university, Sanders] joined socialist organizations and dabbled in far-left communist politics, gaining national notoriety by petitioning the school to let students have sex in the dormitories. This was before birth control and abortion were legal, when there were still very serious repercussions for women if the condom broke, but that didn’t stop him from crusading against those silly rules that were an obstacle to his own satisfaction.”
So here we have a liberal harshly criticizing Bernie Sanders for fighting for people’s sexual freedom. Does the writer really think that legal adults at the time should have had their sexual activities interdicted by university administrators because condoms might break? Or is authoritarianism fine and dandy when it’s being fought against by the candidate you don’t like?
I’m sure there are Sanders supporters out there who are just as bad as these people. My point isn’t that Clinton supporters are abusive assholes, it’s that none of us should be. Not only does it lead to bad blood between individuals, I’m sure it turns at least some possible voters against your candidate enough that they won’t vote for that candidate no matter what happens.
Talk to me with respect and I’ll do the same to you.
(Of course, comport yourself like a bunch of racist, sexist, theocratic, clown car fascists and all bets are off. Just sayin’.)