This Is How Bernie Sanders Lost My Vote

"Sure, I'll friend you on Facebook, Bernie."

“Sure, I’ll friend you on Facebook, Bernie.”

The day Bernie Sanders lost my vote was last Sunday during the debate with Hillary Clinton before the Michigan primary, which he narrowly won.  Good for him and next Tuesday is the Ohio primary.     On most issues my heart is with Bernie, but because of his inelegant ineptness on race, my vote will be with Hillary.

I don’t have an overarching political/philosophical preference for Clinton over Sanders and there’s no great policy position between the two which moves me to favor one over the other.

In a general election the Republicans and their well-oiled attack machine would blast Sanders into unrecognizable tufts of hair, broken glasses and brain matter. Hypothetical polls in March how he fares well in hypothetical matches against Trump or Cruz don’t impress me in the least. Sanders hasn’t convinced me he can win in November.

There are two Independents in the Senate who caucus with the Democrats. One is Angus King and the other is Sanders. Which begs the question why is Bernie Sanders running as a Democrat when he isn’t one?

Sanders isn’t a Democrat and has never supported the Democratic Party until he decided to run for president as a Democrat. Yet he still maintains his status as a declared Independent in the Senate. Good for him for remaining independent even if he has ideologically contaminated himself by throwing in with a political party he’s always held in low regard if not outright disdain.

Sanders could have run as an Independent but he wanted the advantages, ballot access, higher profile and being taken seriously that comes with being on the Big Stage with the first team. I’m really baffled why Hillary hasn’t nailed Bernie on his 11th hour conversion. It looks so calculated and it is.

What it comes down to is while I don’t like Hillary Clinton so much more than Bernie Sanders, I’ve begun to like him a lot less when he says stuff like this during the debate in Flint, Michigan:

Hillary Clinton, seeking to cement her lead among black voters, released statements from the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis on Tuesday criticizing Bernie Sanders for saying white people “don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto.”

The Vermont senator, who has struggled to persuade blacks to support him, made the statement during a debate in Flint, Mich., on Sunday. The CNN moderator Don Lemon asked both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders to describe their “racial blind spots.”

“When you’re white, you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto — you don’t know what it’s like to be poor,” Mr. Sanders said. “You don’t know what it’s like to be hassled when you walk down the street or you get dragged out of a car.”

The remarks provoked an immediate online backlash from people who pointed out that many whites also live in dilapidated housing and in low-income neighborhoods.   Mr. Sanders clarified his statements on Monday in comments to several reporters in Detroit.

“What I meant to say is when you talk about ghettos traditionally, what you’re talking about is African-American communities,” said Mr. Sanders, standing near his campaign’s chartered plane.

On Tuesday, the Clinton campaign released statements from Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Mr. Martin, and Lucia McBath, the mother of Mr. Davis. The two black teenagers were killed in separate shootings in Florida that became racial flash points.

“Senator Sanders is wrong to suggest that the concept of the ghetto is inextricably connected to black America,” Ms. Fulton said in the statement. “We need a president who understands black families don’t all live in ghettos — and who has a plan to end the racial violence that too often plagues families like mine.”

Putting aside the Clinton campaign enlisted the mothers of two murdered Black youths to zing Sanders, he comes across as a classic, condescending White liberal wringing his hands over those poor, poor Black people suffering in the ghetto.

If I had to put my finger on the one thing that bugs me about Bernie, his cluelessness on race would be it. Even his “what I really meant” follow-up was full of shit. When you’re talking about ghettos you’re traditionally talking about is African-American communities?

The Hillary and Bernie Show rolls on and on and on….

Says who? Says you, Bernie! Here’s what Merriam-Webster says:

plural ghettos also ghettoes

  • 1 : a quarter of a city in which Jews were formerly required to live
  • 2 : a quarter of a city in which members of a minority group live especially because of social, legal, or economic pressure

You can find a ghetto in many places including Jewish ghettos like those in Poland during WWII or spread across Europe in the 17th century designed for one purpose:  to keep the Jews trapped in poverty and hopelessness.    Ghettos aren’t confined to bombed-out neighborhoods in Detroit.  You can find a ghetto in the Appalachian hills in West Virginia or a trailer park in Columbus, and I guarantee there will be a lot of White faces wondering what you’re looking around there for.

Sanders has a problem with race as how people of color experience in 2016:   He doesn’t know much about it.  I’m told by Sanders supporters he’s the best candidate for real progress being made, but I’ve grown weary of Bernie’s shoot-from-the-lip remarks about Blacks.   At this point in his life he doesn’t get it, can’t get it and won’t get it that he doesn’t get it.

Trump has made a series of stupid quips over the years  well he gets along with “the blacks” and  that’s him doing Shit Donald Trump Says.  However, Sanders is so awkward and forced when he says anything about Blacks it comes off like he’s never met any before he ran for president,   It’s taken as fact Trump is a pompous and conceited con man, but that’s his schtick.  Sanders seems to want to emulate the Trump swagger and be sanctimonious while doing it. That’s just aggravating.

I fail to see why its asking too much to expect an actual Democrat running to become the de facto leader of the Democratic Party.   I wouldn’t call Sanders a DINO (Democrat In Name Only) but…oh wait…yes, I would.

When you want all the benefits without paying any of the dues, it’s hard to trust Sanders is a Democrat or will stay a Democrat should he fail to win the nomination. He’ll just go back to being the same independent Socialist who has always held the Democrats at arm length until he needed their legitimacy to run for president.

There’s a name for that sort of slick move: opportunist. Sanders is working a hustle and I’m baffled how  Clinton gets slammed as an insincere panderer while Sanders gets a pass.    For these reasons and more,  it comes down to  Hillary didn’t win my vote so much as Bernie has lost it.

“…and how many Black people do you know, Senator?”

22 thoughts on “This Is How Bernie Sanders Lost My Vote

  1. I don’t know, Jeff, you may be a little too hard on Bernie. I can’t say whether Bernie will be a good president for blacks, or whites, but I can say this: I trust him more than I trust Hillary, despite his willingness to ride the opportunistic coattails of the Democratic party.

    It’s what Hillary will do in the backrooms that have me leery of her. Whereas Bernie has some built-in restrictions, I think it’s all “GO” with Hillary.

    Where we saw President Obama’s willingness to enter into a Grand Bargain with Republicans, I don’t see Bernie stooping that low and trading our Democratic values. Hillary will, though.

    Were it not for the Tea Party element in the Republican party, the Grand Bargain between Obama and then-Speaker of the House, John Boehner, would have taken place.

    I agree: Bernie is a klutz when it comes to matters of race, but Hillary is too smooth, too willing to tug on our heartstrings to entice our votes.

    And then there’s this, which I can’t get out of my head:

    “In a speech on Iraq policy delivered Monday at George Washington University, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recalled facing “sniper fire” on her 1996 trip to Bosnia to visit U.S. troops on a peacekeeping mission. But reporters traveling with the then-First Lady made no reference to any “sniper fire” at the time, and pictures of Clinton arriving at the main air base in Tuzla (see attached video) don’t show anyone ducking or covering.”


    Liked by 1 person

    • What’s trust got to do with it?

      Hillary may be too smooth, but Bernie is too rough, too inexperienced and too incapable of even faking interest in the issues of Black people. It’s not a matter of trust for me. I don’t choose candidates based upon whether I “trust” them. I’m not loaning them money. I’m giving them my vote and expect they won’t make me regret it. I know it’s popular to look back at the Clinton Administration as Slick Willie and Shrew Hillary and how they stuck it to Black folks, but I gotta say, financially speaking, I made my most money when Bill Clinton was in the White House.

      As far as remarks go, I can’t get over these from Sanders out of my head either:

      “You don’t change the system from within the Democratic Party.”

      “My own feeling is that the Democratic Party is ideologically bankrupt.”

      “We have to ask ourselves, ‘Why should we work within the Democratic Party if we don’t agree with anything the Democratic Party says?’”

      Good question. When is Hillary going to ask Bernie what’s the answer?


  2. C’mon Jeff, trust has everything to do with it. Hillary will hold the reins of the most powerful nation on the planet, and her policies, if implemented, will impact this nation for years to come, similar to the policy blunders of G.W. Bush. We’re still not fully out of the woods on the Great Recession, and we’re still fighting Islamist extremists on two fronts, and maybe three, if you count Africa.

    Hillary, for my part, is too chummy with Wall Street, and we see where that has led us with the repeal of Glass-Steagall, Bill Clinton’s policy blunder. And who will be Hillary’s biggest policy adviser? Bill Clinton, of course.

    And I’m with Bernie, the Democrats on key issues aren’t dissimilar to Republicans, hence Obama’s support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which he fast tracked and the Canadian Keystone Pipeline agreement that he would have signed had the new Canadian Prime Minister been in support of it. When he backed out, so did Obama. By the way, Obama and the First Lady, and the Canadian Prime Mister, and wife, are feasting on steaks tonight in the White House.

    Bernie’s right, you don’t change the system within the system. The oligarchs are pouring too much money into the political process to advance their causes, and not that of the people.

    We’re lending politicians more than our money, but our future, and the future of generations yet unborn. If we don’t get it right, many will suffer–on battlefields, searching for non-existent jobs, or perhaps something worse than a Great Recession, but a Great Depression redux.

    With the Supreme Court extending more and more power to corporations (“Corporations are people, too, my friend.”), the oligarchs in our midst will continue to wield undue influence over our democracy, and create for themselves a nation of their choosing–a nation of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich.


  3. Bernie is a man of many defects and blemishes and maybe a man who hasn’t really kept up with the times and still speaks as if its a 1970s college politics debate. But on the other hand he is largely honest and he is a what you see is what you get cadidate. Hillary on the other hand is dishonest, vindictive and calculating. I’d rather have the honest guy here, even if he struggles to define something that honestly, most of us would struggle to define if the question was sprung on us in a situation where we didn’t have the time to think..


    • Shirley Chisholm ran for president years ago under the slogan, “Unbought and Unbossed.” She later used the slogan as the title for her book. She saw then that a democracy is not a democracy as long as politicians put special interests ahead of the people’s interest.

      How many politicians running for office today can stand with Shirley and declare themselves “Unbought and Unbossed.” I think Bernie can do it, at least to a greater degree than Hillary.

      As I told Jeff, I don’t trust her to place the people’s interest above her interest and the interest of the oligarchs.

      We don’t have much time to reclaim “of the people, by the people, and for the people” democracy in this country. The oligarchs have too many politicians beholden to them, and for whom they call the shots.

      This nation has three branches of government. Gradually they’re coming under the sway of the oligarchs. Already we can make a strong case for the country being more an oligarchy than a democracy.

      I don’t think Hillary will be an impediment to this trend, but an accelerator of it.


    • I’d rather have the honest guy here, even if he struggles to define something that honestly, most of us would struggle to define if the question was sprung on us in a situation where we didn’t have the time to think…

      What does “didn’t have the time to think” mean, Andy? It was a debate. Sanders wants to be the POTUS and every word the president utters is scrutinized to the nth degree. It wasn’t a “gotcha” question. Bernie just gave a rotten response and for me, this is just the latest in a series of tone-deaf responses on race.

      You can’t hold Clinton to one standard and say it doesn’t matter when Sanders does it or that he needed more time to think about his response. Most of us if you gave us a day or two to respond could come up with a good answer–MAYBE.

      If you can’t think on your feet and handle the high hard pitches instead of the slow rolling lobs, maybe you’re not ready to compete in the Big Leagues.


      • Bernie was asked to describe his racial blind spots and he said, (I paraphrase) many people don’t know what it’s like to be at the receiving end of racism (let’s look past his particular examples for now). That’s a lazy statement. Firstly because its a platitude and secondly because its not actually an answer to the question asked. He was being asked about his blind spots, not those of others or of white people in general or of all people in general. Probably he was thinking, I don’t have any blind spots on race, but I can’t say that as it’d come across as so arrogant. So he took the lazy way out. I’d say the debate moderator failed here as he or she should have anticipated that response and hit back.

        But does that make me despise Bernie? No. We are seeing weasel repsonses from all the candidates. If we were to reject any candidate who slipped on a gotcha question we should abstain from the election as nobody has a clean vest on that. Bernie’s heart is in the right place. He wants to help disadvantaged people rather than kick them in the teeth.


  4. I, too, cringed at Bernie’s “ghetto” reference, and he clearly has much to learn – but I’m sticking with him during the primaries (changed my Independent to Democrat so I can vote in FL primary, then will change it back to Independent again). I look at his unfortunate ghetto comment as proving his true point – that no White person can know what it’s like to be Black. He’s not the most smooth talker, but his goals are fantastic, his Vermonters love him as shown in their voting, and when he’s president (and fighting to get there) he’ll have lots of people helping him over the verbal humps until he’s making as few gaffes as Hillary but continuing to head in a better direction. One thing I feel in my heart, Bernie’s an equal opportunity human.


    • I appreciate your honesty and I honestly want to say, I don’t think Bernie Sanders is a bad guy, I’m just not seeing any way how he can win in November. Enthusiasm is one thing, but millions of $$$ in attack ads blasting Sanders as a raving Socialist who wants to bring “revolution” to America will utterly decimate him.

      There hasn’t been a Democratic presidential candidate as far to the Left as Sanders since George McGovern in 1972. That didn’t turn out so good for McGovern and that was before Fox News, right-wing radio and a Republican Attack Machine funded by the Kochs, Sheldon Adelson and other billionaires. Enthusiasm isn’t going to be enough for Sanders to survive the assault.


      • I agree about Sanders chances, yet, by running, he’s highlighting and spotlighting this nation’s biggest problem–the infusion of large sums of unaccounted money into the electoral process and its impact on our democracy.

        It’s not that the other side, the Republican side, is bringing up the issue of money and its erosion of our democratic ideals during its several debates. I wonder why?


      • Your point is well taken for sure. At the same time, I think that in general, no Democrat is going to vote Republican this year (assuming either Cruz or Trump will be the candidate), and given the Republican candidacy, most Independents won’t either, whether the Democratic candidate is Bernie or Hillary. In addition to all the currently registered Democrats and Independents, Bernie’s campaign is drawing in millions of voters who haven’t voted before and, in fact, are ready for something of a revolution if that’s what it’s going to take to save this country from continuing on the road it’s on. I think the numbers are there. The test will be whether Bernie and his team can explain what Democratic Socialism is and why it’s probably the last best hope. I’m reminded of how Smucker’s turned around the laughter by focusing on the name, “With a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good.” Well, with a program like Democratic Socialism, it has to be awe inspiring. But, again, if Bernie can make it to the candidacy, I think the votes are there to bring him in.


  5. The “honest” candidate? I guess he gets a pass when his campaign stole proprietary data from the Clinton campaign, or when Bernie himself claims endorsements that never happened, or his staff sneaks into restricted areas by posing as union members in Nevada. He truly does get let off the hook for everything he or his campaign does, while Hillary is held under the microscope.

    As for racial ineptness, you forgot to mention that he responded to BLM criticism by saying his income inequality position will fix systematic racism (later honing that message after actually meeting with BLM. Wait, isn’t that “pandering”?) or dismissed a Latina DREAMer’s endorsement of Hillary as a “press hit.” He just can’t relate to people, regardless of race, if they aren’t talking about his favorite platform and any attempt to discuss another issue is arrogantly discounted.

    …And that’s how Bernie lost my vote.


    • Neither candidate is perfect, but of the two, only one will maintain the status quo, and allow the billionaire elites, the oligarchs, to continue their reign over this country, and that’s Hillary.


      • Earlier you said “trust has everything to do with it” but when confronted with Bernie’s verifiable lying and cheating, you say “neither candidate is perfect.” Thanks for proving my point that Bernie gets a pass on outright dishonest behavior while Hillary gets torched for word choice and (in hind sight) poor judgment.


      • @Erica: I’m always amazed how eager others are to mischaracterize another’s statement to justify their own. Are you saying that Hillary hasn’t lied and cheated?

        Of the two liars and cheaters, I trust Bernie the most when it comes to setting a trajectory for this country that will restore our democracy by returning it to the people.

        Now if you feel that Hillary is the woman to do that, then vote for her. For my part, I could care less.


      • @Bob Did I mischaracterize you or Bernie? I’m not sure what you’re referring to.

        You called him the honest candidate, I pointed out that he’s lied. I wasn’t saying Hillary hasn’t, just that she’s judged more harshly when she does. My goal was just to highlight the double standard. I suppose I’ve made some progress since you now recognize that Bernie is one of the “two liars and cheaters.”


      • @Erica: “You called him the honest candidate, I pointed out that he’s lied. I wasn’t saying Hillary hasn’t, just that she’s judged more harshly when she does.”

        Since you read my comments with such care, quote the passage where I called Bernie the “honest candidate,” those exact words, since you ascribed them to me, and not your misinterpretation of what I said.

        And if you can’t, you owe me an apology.


      • I think you’re reading a lot more offense into my posts than I ever intended. If I’ve come off as rude, I apologize. I have strongly held opinions and I like to discuss them, but I never mean to disparage another educated, conscientious voter.

        I’m not going to apologize for saying you called him the honest candidate simply because you didn’t use those two words exactly. I take great care to put direct quotes in quotation marks.

        My original post, questioning the label of “honest” to Bernie was more directed at @Andy than anyone. And then, only as a surrogate to the MANY people who call Hillary untrustworthy while placing Bernie on some pedestal. You responded to Andy’s post pretty favorably, stating you don’t trust Hillary. And you responded to my post argumentatively. I’m pretty reasonable in deducing from your own words that you think Hillary’s a liar and Bernie’s not. If that’s a misunderstanding, then that’s all it is. It’s not a mischaracterization.


      • @Erica: “You responded to Andy’s post pretty favorably, stating you don’t trust Hillary. And you responded to my post argumentatively.”

        Another mischaracterization of my comment. Here’s my first reply to you, and if it sounds argumentative to you, then perhaps you have a chip on your shoulders:

        “Neither candidate is perfect, but of the two, only one will maintain the status quo, and allow the billionaire elites, the oligarchs, to continue their reign over this country, and that’s Hillary.”

        To your comment, I merely restated my position, and you responded thus:

        “Earlier you said “trust has everything to do with it” but when confronted with Bernie’s verifiable lying and cheating, you say “neither candidate is perfect.””

        Of the two, your comment above appears to be the more argumentative, wouldn’t you say?

        And then this: “You called him the honest candidate, I pointed out that he’s lied.”

        Not only did I not call him the “honest candidate,” I challenged you to provide the statement that you alluded to, and I received this:

        “I’m not going to apologize for saying you called him the honest candidate simply because you didn’t use those two words exactly.”

        What do you think? The quote above, the one preceding this statement, appears argumentative to me. If I “didn’t use those two words exactly,” then you put words into my mouth, and fell back on your supposed deductive prowess as a seeming reason for not apologizing.

        “I’m pretty reasonable in deducing from your own words that you think Hillary’s a liar and Bernie’s not.”


  6. This is such a stretch. Bernie Sanders voting record, his past actions like participating in million man March with Martin Luther King Jr himself, is enough proof for me. Hilary, on the other hand, has mistakenly endorsed racist people and done other questionable things in regards to minorities. I’ll take my chances with the Jewish man, whose own people were target of prosecution for years.


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