While the Republican race for the nomination has been settled with Donald Trump ascendant, despite the derision of most other Republican presidential candidates, the Democratic nomination continues to be a painful battle.
The rise of Donald Trump apparently is not simply an element of himself but the exacerbation of a deep frustration and hate among the people of the United States. While Sanders himself is a benign, hopeful and intelligent man, many of his supporters have all the ugliness within them that has defined the Trump movement. Some Sanders supporters proclaim that they will vote for Trump if Hillary is nominated, as if Trump’s presence as the most intolerant and disgusting figure ever in American politics mattered for not.
Jack Cameron, a professional writer based out of Tacoma, Washington, was an initial supporter of Bernie Sanders (he donated money and time). Now, he told Global Comment that he has harsh words for Sanders supporters who are reluctant to cede any ground to Hillary Clinton, thus making a Trump presidency a genuine, albeit bizarre and scary, possibility.
In most cases, Hillary will rally Sanders supporters to her campaign by becoming the Democratic nominee. In 2008 when she was running against Obama, Hillary supporters vowed that they would not support him, but the vast majority ended up voting for him in November. I expect the same will hold true for most Bernie supporters. There is a vocal minority that would rather watch the world burn than vote for anyone except Bernie Sanders. For those people, I do not believe there is anything that Hillary could do to get them to support her. That said, if she adopted a more progressive, liberal platform when it comes to for-profit prisons, fossil fuel companies, fracking, and big money in politics, she could sway those who might still be on the fence. However, if I am totally honest I do not see how anyone can look at Trump and not vote for the opposition whether that is Bernie or Hillary.
That vocal minority Cameron spoke about has made their presence felt. The Chairwoman of Nevada’s Democratic Party, Roberta Lange, said that she received threats of violence, including one threat that she should be publicly executed. She said to The Daily Beast, “It’s been threatening messages, threatening my family, threatening my life, threatening my grandchild.” Uproar at the Nevada caucuses was enough to warrant a denunciation by the White House. In addition to the White House, Dianne Feinstein warned Bernie Sanders about his supporters turning the Democratic convention into 1968, the tumultuous and chaotic election that brought on the election of Richard Nixon.
Daily Kos even ran an article in response to the behavior of Sanders supporters proclaiming “Bernie or Trump supporters? It shouldn’t be this hard to tell them apart.” That article documented the deluge of anger, resentment and hate that one Sanders supporter heaped on Nevada Democratic Party officials.
Ralph Nader, who has been compared to Bernie Sanders as Sanders has continued his quixotic quest for the presidency, has praised Trump’s campaign as “raising important issues.” It’s possible that a small minority of Sanders campaigners could swing to Trump’s side, giving him a victory in the general election. The tension between the left and the Democratic establishment is intense, with progressive media outlet Common Dreams going as far to say the tension is manufactured to quash Bernie Sanders’ candidacy.
The intersection between Trump and Sanders supporters, despite the two candidate’s rejection of one another, reflects a historical intersection seen in radical politics. The Nazis saw themselves as “National Socialists” and the fascists in Italy arose as much from the frustrations of capitalism as a reaction to the rise of Bolshevism. Both the Nazis and Russian communists presented themselves as “socialists,” attracting to people disenchanted with the economic order that brought on the Great Depression. It’s not good that such extreme attitudes are on the rise. It reflects social failure.
The reason for such extreme political feelings becomes clear when examining many in the United States. People here are neurotic, terrified, struggling and intolerant – looking for someone to blame all around them.
In a 2013 interview, Donald Trump said: “the people I resonate with are poor people and people that are really blue collar. That seems to be a base I have.” As was the case in much of the world in the previous century, fascism and socialism both are on the ascent in America in the wake of economic calamity, particularly the Great Recession. It is very conceivable that a faction of disenchanted Sanders supporters could power a Trump presidency. That looming situation would be offset by an olive branch effort by the Clinton camp such as nominating Bernie Sanders for vice president.
This election is not a joke. Trump is a genuine fascist, or at least is putting a great deal of effort in to appearing as one, and all the dynamics that made both socialism and fascism serious political ideologies in Europe almost a century ago are in the United States now. There are a lot of mirrors and bizarre games in this election, with nerve wracking possibilities for all involved. People must vote against fascism and, if Trump succeeds, may need to get their families out of the United States for their own safety.
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