Back in September of last year, I wrote, Hillary Clinton vs Bernie Sanders? Really?! It was about Clinton’s new book and the chapter where she complains that she lost because of Bernie Sanders. I think it’s well established that Clinton lost by such a small amount that almost anything you could mention changing would have put her in the White House.
But the truth of the matter is that Bernie Sanders was a very good surrogate for her. And in the end, as many Sanders supporters voted for her in 2016 as Clinton supporters voted for Obama in 2008. So to blame her defeat on Sanders is outrageous and makes her look small. Even though I’ve always been a Bernie Sanders supporter, I’ve also been a supporter of Hillary Clinton. And I’ve written a great deal about how from a practical standpoint — from the standpoint of getting laws actually passed — there wasn’t much difference between them.
Thoughtless Twitter Responses
But every time I publish an article, it automatically gets posted to my Twitter account. And I was none too pleased to see that I got this reply:
It is true that I mentioned Hillary Clinton’s authenticity. But I mentioned it in the same way I mentioned it regarding Al Gore. These candidates have all their advisors telling them not to be the liberals who they actually are. I was not making the argument this twitter critic thinks I was: that Sanders was the authentic liberal and Clinton was not. What’s more, that whole point was a sidenote. It wasn’t what the article was about. Vastly more time was spent ridiculing people who think they must be politically pure.
The Article Was Against Purity and Authenticity
I even wrote:
That’s an attack on both sides: the true socialists like myself who won’t vote for the Democratic Party, and the conservative Democrats who won’t vote for a Democratic Party led by Bernie Sanders.
Most Twitter Users Don’t Read the Articles Linked
My conclusion is that the twitter critic didn’t even read my article. (I will shortly publish an article explaining in some depth based on what I know from being an internet professional and knowing the research on how people “read” things online.) But that’s between her and her conscience. I’m more interested in what she thinks she’s accomplishing. I am a strong supporter of the Democratic Party. But she just labels me “a white male” as though that means anything. That’s just an ad hominem attack that doesn’t engage at all with what I wrote about.
Is Hillary Clinton right to complain about Sanders when he was a good surrogate for her? Is she right to complain about Sanders supporters when they voted for her as much as her voters voted for Obama in 2008? The answer is clearly no.
The Deeper Issue: Political Consensus
But there is a deeper issue that I made pretty clear: Democrats should be fighting Republicans, not Democrats they disagree with slightly on the issues. And it clearly isn’t just Clinton because this twitter critic thinks it’s most important to insult me as “a white man” as if that’s going to help the liberal cause any more than Hillary Clinton is going to help it by attacking a man beloved by the vast majority of American liberals.
The truth is, I’d probably like this twitter critic, and it would probably reciprocate. But Twitter makes it so much easier to dismiss and insult me than it does to engage in a discussion. But there was a lot of discussion in the comments on the article. But comments push people to think what they want to say. And Twitter let’s you act like a teen yelling out of a passing car.