Friday, April 1, 2016

Berniebots Unfriending Hillarybots

I don’t have a problem unfriending people in Facebook. It doesn’t matter if I know them in real life or not. It doesn’t matter if they’re family, female or male. It doesn’t matter if we’ve been friends forever or have friends in common. If they’re churlish, condescending, childish or combative, they’re gone.

I’ve decided that at my age – I turned 54 two weeks ago – I shouldn’t have to suffer fools gladly or tolerate behavior from adults that I don’t allow my own children to display. And because this is a particularly divisive political season, with a seemingly gigantic chasm separating Clinton and Sanders supporters, I find myself rubbed the wrong way by some folks almost daily. Well, guess what? I’m done.

As the following video clip conveys – much more eloquently and precisely than I could – it’s not the fact that some folks are behind Clinton and not Sanders. It’s the condescension, the dripping sarcasm and belittling and better-than-thou posturing that are so infuriating. I’ve been in or around politics for over three decades now and I can’t remember the last time I felt this insulted, this patronized and disregarded by people on my supposed side of the aisle. I expect this kind of intolerant, unacceptable behavior by GOP clowns but the fact that vitriol and ridicule are being leveled by my supposed allies is surprising and downright depressing.

I concede that some in Sanders’ corner are shrill and strident. But downright rude and bulldozer-like? That’s coming from Clintonites. This Facebook status is a case in point:

You should care, folks. You should care that thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, are flocking behind Sanders and joining his “revolution.” You insult and ignore us at your peril. And listen to this: I started out respecting those in the Clinton camp even while I didn’t share their preference in candidates – see “Why I’m Not Voting for Hillary Clinton” – but I’ve been mistreated and had my feathers ruffled to such an extent that I can’t envision myself voting for her should she indeed be coronated by the Democratic establishment. I’ve gone from “If she becomes the nominee, I’ll hold my nose and vote for her” to “Screw her and let’s let the chips fall where they may.” You can thank yourselves, Clinton supporters, for turning dedicated Democrats into disgruntled observers who would sooner sit on their hands than turn out for the “lesser of two evils” on Election Day.

I do not want to see a President Trump or President Cruz. I’m not embracing the “Maybe what we need is catastrophe to shake things up” belief that actress Susan Sarandon and others have shared. But I’m tired of the “Either of these candidates would be better than a Republican so let’s keep our eye on the prize” and “Let’s not let the perfect be the enemy of the pragmatic” memes that pop up on my Facebook newsfeed.

I’m tired of hearing about how important potential Supreme Court appointments would be and how Sanders won’t be able to get anything done and how it’s time for a woman to occupy the Oval Office. At the risk of sounding like a middle-aged white guy, no, it’s not. It should be about voting record or policy positions, not penis or vagina. I would like to be able to vote for a female candidate, in fact, but not this one. Not this pro-establishment, pro-corporation, pro-status quo female. Not this two-faced, flip-flopping, disingenuous, unlikable, war-mongering individual who actually does women a disservice by running the kind of campaign that she’s run and allowing her surrogates and supporters to take swipes at her progressive opponents instead of defending her positions.

Think she’s not unlikable? Watch this:

It’s fitting that this piece is being posted on April Fool’s Day. Why? Because only fools would allow Facebook “friends” to malign and marginalize them for leaning toward a guy who’s been fighting the good fight for decades rather than someone who regularly changes positions and chastises those who point this out. Instead of warning me not to sit on my hands, Hillarybots, how about not making me want to?

If it’s wrong of me to act pissed off and petulant, so be it. At 54, I’d rather retain my self-respect than tell my kids that I didn’t do what I should have done because my Facebook friends didn’t want me to.


  1. Anybody who supports poisoning the environment through fracking, exporting jobs through horrible trade agreements, accepting huge donations from tyrannical governments that practice Sharia law, and being gung-ho for the apartheid, racist nation of Israel -- is NO FRIEND OF MINE.

  2. Agree with some of it. Don't agree with some of it. One thing that I haven't seen from Clintonites is the, 'I'll never vote for Bernie", or, "If Hillary isn't nominated, then this country deserves Trump or Cruz", comments that I see on a regular, daily basis from the 33%ers of the Bernie folks. But yeah, people are forgetting that we're on the same friggin side. It would help if Bernie's folks would quit pretending that Hillary is just a Republican-lite.

    1. There is no pretention. She is beholden to the 1%, she tries her best to portray a grassroots agenda. but you and I both know she will never be allowed to act as such.

  3. "I’ve gone from “If she becomes the nominee, I’ll hold my nose and vote for her” to “Screw her and let’s let the chips fall where they may.” You can thank yourselves, Clinton supporters, for turning dedicated Democrats into disgruntled observers who would sooner sit on their hands than turn out for the “lesser of two evils” on Election Day."

    I'm sure you imagine that Hillary supporters don't feel exactly the same about Bernie. I used to like him. Now I know more about him--I don't. And I will never support him. I might vote for him--but only as a defense against Armageddon under Trump or Cruz. And I'll push for a primary opponent in 2020.

    1. I'd love to know what "facts" you learned about Sanders that made you not like him. Because those of us who are his supporters know everything about him there is to know. So hit me--what are these things you know about him, pray tell?

  4. I really want to disagree with you. I want to, but I can't. I have not, in my efforts to support Bernie Sanders, called names, talked down to, or bashed Clinton or her supporters, expecting the facts to speak for themselves. I detest the level of incivility to which some seeming progressives have stooped and I highly resent being called a Berniebot or other derogatory term by someone who has no interest in why I support Bernie and not Hillary. I refuse to be bullied and browbeaten and have no use for anyone supporting any candidate who feels that that's the way to change somebody's mind. Grow up is entirely appropriate in those circumstances.

  5. It's amazing to read this just now, shortly after I unfriended a hillary supporter for the first time. I considered it for a long time, because I felt conflicted about the concept of free speech, fair play, being open minded, etc.

    But then I realized that this person kept showing up on my posts about Bernie or Hillary in ways that never advanced any real understanding. It was always to defend, cry, whine, and blame.

    My 14 year old daughter kept saying, mom, unfriend her -- why do you allow this to go on?

    She is so right. Your commentary is so right. My facebook page is my own, and as such, I retain the right to decide if anyone posting on it is out of bounds and/or violating important personal principles.

    Also, Hillarybots are closed to any discussion of her corporate ties, her war-mongering record, her long history of corrupt political machine building (the same machine keeping her in the race right now despite SO many reasons to abandon her).

    Thanks for writing this piece...It says even better than I could why it is time to give ourselves some peace from the war of words and unfriend the tone deaf.