Burning Yourself At The Stake
Turns out this week's post needs yet another book's worth of research, In the meantime, I want to touch on the topic of the closing primaries.
The Bernie Bots have decided they want to push for a brokered convention. Considering that they've decried superdelegates as undemocratic for the length of the primaries, banking on them is delicious irony. Of course, that would require a bit of self-awareness.
Sanders should have been a watershed moment in Democratic politics. The far left of the party had a candidate that put them back in the conversation, after two decades of safe centrism. Bill Clinton's attempt to appeal to social liberals and Wall Street had delivered some solid electoral wins, a formula that Obama repeated with a stronger emphasis on social progress. Sanders was never going to win, but he did show there was an appetite in the part for more than a winner. The economic liberals wanted policy to show for those wins.
It appeared to be a slightly less destructive version of the movement on the right that gave rise to Trump. The Sanders legacy is not going to change in policy. It won't even be Hillary Clinton's concession to income inequality.
Instead, Sander's legacy is going to be a group of voters on the left every bit as conspiracy-minded as the right wing weirdos sharing every meme about Jade Helm and FEMA camps. Not that the left was free of irrational hysteria, just not the same rampant paranoia. Now we see insinuations that the election was stolen, and Elizabeth Warren has sold out to the billionaire class. Missing the part where Sanders' appeal was to a limited demographic of voters, and he didn't do much to reach out beyond that.
Meanwhile, in Trumpland. There's an endless array of stories about how protesters have turned violent on Trump supporters. It's not that his people are violent, they're only defending themselves. Of course, that's not what happened.Two of the most shared examples of "violence" were from TV shows. Sidestepping the obvious comparisons to European fascism, this ties to the Sanders supports in more interesting way.
There has been a lengthy discussion about the Internet creating bubbles of information. Where one can believe that Saddam Hussein personally escorted the 9/11 Hijackers to Logan Airport, or that Monsanto is sneaking into your grocery store injecting cancer right into the bananas. We're seeing the extremists on both wings bringing the baggage of a created reality Each with their narrative of oppression and fear.
Dan Carlin recently pointed out we're dangerously close to a point where these two groups could end up brawling in the streets. Considering the rhetoric about a revolution or a New Civil War if a specific candidate loses, Carlin supposes we need to find a way to reconcile or reconstruct without the war. It doesn't help that one of the candidates is a muppet who blindly shares memes.
Social Media and the Internet have made us all able to shape the national conversation. At this point most of us are the drunk girl at the party, shouting at anyone will listen. Everyone's an asshole who doesn't let us do what we want when we want to. At least the violence is still pretend, but how long can that last?