In which I compliment Bernie Sanders for what some of his own supporters seem to think is bad for some reason

11 Feb 2016 03:28 pm
Posted by: Donna

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders had turned in two solid election performances in the first two states of the Democratic Primary. He nearly won Iowa and went on the next week to win New Hampshire decisively. Rather than simply be happy about it, some Sanders supporters (egged on heavily by pundits who really want to keep a “horse race” going for ratings) have taken to taunting those of us who support Clinton with graphics of Sanders’ support with young people (especially women) in Iowa and New Hampshire.

One possible reason that young people (in states that have voted so far) might be flocking to Bernie that is not exciting, and isn’t about how young Dem primary voters mostly believe Hillary is an evil hellbitch sent from Goldman Sachs to turn them into catfood for vagina voting old hags, is that the Sanders platform includes a proposal for tuition-free public college for all. Which, leaving aside considerations of its feasibility in being passed and implemented, is a great idea! I think progressives/liberals across the board agree on that. But when I and others have raised that as a factor in Sanders’ youth support, some people have become strangely upset over it.

Consider the following scenario:

1. “People on the Left agree that free college is a worthy goal.”

2. “Both Clinton and Sanders have proposed free college, with Sanders’ plan going farther on that.”

3. “Maybe young voters prefer Sanders in part because of the free college promise.”

and then

4. “What??!? Well, I never!! How DARE you accuse young people of supporting Sanders for “free stuff”, you monster!”

It’s bizarre, truly. I say it’s great what Sanders is doing, in making a point about how the government should actually be doing things to improve people’s lives, instead of collecting taxes from us and handing it over to the massive security state and other favored interests while services and infrastructure are starved! Hells yeah to free college! And all kinds of other “free stuff” too! Democrats are going to be accused of being the party of welfare and free stuff anyway so let’s start talking about all the “free stuff” we want to give people!

But instead, I see liberals who on one hand tout Sanders’ democratic socialist platform but on the other are acting like losing Best Supporting Actress nominees – It’s okay, it’s just an honor to be considered! – at the prospect of Democratic voters actually wanting what they are being promised! WTF? It seems to be both an indication of how effective the right wing bootstraps puritanical work-work-work-but-deny-yourself narrative is and also that some Sanders supporters assume everyone who isn’t voting for Clinton just purely hates her as much as they do and any “reasons” they offer are just for show.

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