The Problem with Berniebros Gloating over Trump
First and foremost, Sen. Bernie Sanders is not doing any of the gloating. In fact, his spokespeople have said that the Senator has nothing nice to say about Trump's victory.
Some of the ideologues on the Left who supported his run for the White House, however, have found something awesome in Trump's victory. Namely, they are claiming bragging rights. If only "The DNC" had listened to them, Sanders would have handily beaten Trump, they say, and we would not be here.
I do not wish to reignite our own primary fight. Nonetheless, the ideologues are sadly mistaken.
Let's get a few things out of the way. It wasn't the DNC that cost Bernie Sanders the nomination. It was Democratic voters. Hillary Clinton won the total popular vote count in the primaries by 4 million votes, or about 13 percentage points.
Furthermore, Hillary Clinton won large, diverse population centers with primaries, while Sanders did extraordinarily well in heavily white-dominated caucuses.
This, by the way, turned out to be what cost Hillary Clinton the electoral college despite her victory in the popular vote. The white Trump vote came out in droves. So did Clinton voters of color. Hillary Clinton made large gains among the Latino vote in sheer numbers, and she barely bled any African American votes compared to the country's first black president. As I showed yesterday, had Obama's vote totals held for Clinton, she would have been the one meeting with the President in the Oval Office today. It was the white Industrial vote that cost Clinton the election - both from those who voted for Trump and those who were against Trump but did not vote or voted third party.
If the argument can be made that Clinton lost because a sliver of white liberals didn't support her, it could just as easily be made that Sanders would have lost a sliver of the vote from the core Democratic coalition of people of color even if he could have picked up some of the white rural vote.
It could be said that both white racism and white apathy put Donald Trump in the White House. It could also be said that the latter is a form of the former in this case. I think that would be correct.
And I think that before throwing anger at the DNC, white liberals who consider themselves saviors of our party need to look in the mirror. Just as it doesn't go over when when white people lecture us people of color about our issues, me barking intellectual theories about white complacency may not go over so well, either.
That is why it is essential that white progressives address apathy that held back the white liberal vote, as well as white racism within their communities. White progressives must take the conversation about racism - institutional and personal - to the kitchen table, to the family parties, to the neighborhood meetings.
To the extent we wish to unite the opposition against Donald Trump, gloating about how they were "right" in the primaries comes off not only inaccurate but arrogant and foolish. It will not do us any good for white progressives to tell people of color that we were wrong to pick the candidate we saw best fit. It will only embolden the image of know-it-all, listen-to-ME liberal that can cost us even more votes.
So today, if you supported Bernie Sanders, don't gloat. Those of us who supported Hillary Clinton do not wish to fight an old fight. We can both play a big part in what happens in resistance against Donald Trump in the next four years. We can show you how to build coalition with the increasing diversity of this country. You can show us how to be heard by the truly disaffected white people who are still willing to listen.
Let's learn. Let's fight. Let's go.
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