Who’s Worse, Berniebros or Hillarybots?


Kevin’s law of politics states:

Every candidate for office believes he’s been treated brutally unfairly by his opponent, the press, and his opponent’s supporters.

Occasionally this is even true. But usually it’s not. It’s just that candidates usually see only the abuse that’s been aimed at them. They never really notice the abuse hurled at their opponent.

For what it’s worth, I happen to have had a pretty good look during this election at the way both Bernie and Hillary supporters attack anything critical of their hero, and I have to call it a draw. I’ll confess that initially I thought the Berniebros were worse, but they’re not. The Hillarybots are every bit as obnoxious, and the condescension and contempt seem about equal on both sides. Bernie’s most avid supporters are convinced that Hillary fans are establishment shills, warmongers, and hate young people. And they are tired of being attacked as easily led, bro-centric cultists who have no clue about how real-world politics really works.

Likewise, Hillary’s most avid supporters are convinced that Bernie fans are naive, sexist, and in thrall to a cult leader. And they are tired of being attacked as corrupt, patronizing boomers who can’t stand the thought that no one cares what they think anymore.

But here’s the good news: As near as I can tell, this only describes, at most, about 5 percent of the Democratic electorate even if they get the lion’s share of the attention. The other 95 percent has an ordinary preference but that’s all. When the dust has settled, they’ll shrug and let the outraged 5 percent go off and vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson or whoever. The rest of us will forget the primaries and put our minds to work on the upcoming election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

This process of forgetting about the primaries will start tomorrow. It will finish within a week or two.

THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot. That's what Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein tackles in her annual December column—"Billionaires Are Not the Answer"—about the state of journalism and our plans for the year ahead.

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THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot.

Please read our annual column about the state of journalism and Mother Jones' plans for the year ahead, and help us build an alternative to oligarchy by supporting our people-powered journalism with a year-end gift today.

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