Us Versus Them

“Love it or leave it.”

I was told that often when George W. Bush was president while making valid critiques of his presidency.

This us versus them mentality that plagued the Bush presidency was infuriating. There was only one way to be patriotic. And that was by supporting Bush. In my view, protesting a war that would harm our country and other countries was an act of patriotism. America was founded on dissent after all, and standing up to tyranny. By protesting tyranny in the form of Bush, I was the definition of patriotism.

But in the view of Bush’s supporters, the only way to be patriotic was to support him unquestioningly.

Bush’s supporters could not grasp that there were other ways to be patriotic.

And Sanders can’t grasp that there are other ways to combat corporate greed. This line in the sand he drew with the Democratic party is a study in us versus them thinking.  Further, it’s a slap in the face to every Democrat who has fought for election reform, Wall Street regulations, the ACA, CHIPS, and the myriad of other issues that help families such as paid family leave, reproductive freedom, etc.

This mentality has concerned me greatly about his campaign. It was a big reason I did not vote for him.

Us versus them is polarizing. Us versus them shuts out viewpoints, when we need to listen to people who do not agree with us and weigh the merits of their concerns. Us versus them is authoritarian my way of the highway thinking. This characterized Bush’s presidency. This is why I worry that Sanders would be a liberal Bush president.

This us versus them polemic was wrong during the Bush presidency, and it is wrong now that Sanders is employing it. I am on the side of working families, but I do not believe Sanders’ plan will work. Thus I voted for Clinton. And I am tired of a vote for Clinton being painted as a vote for Wall Street. I extensively researched Clinton’s platform. Nowhere did I see that she would fight for Wall Street over families.

I am also furious to learn that he is attempting to steal Clinton’s superdelegates. Sanders is trying to make a case that polls show him doing better against Trump in the general election to use that to convince the party to back him in a contested convention.

First. Clinton has 3 MILLION more votes than he does. Clinton also has more popular votes than Trump. Hell, Clinton has more popular votes than any candidate in this race. I voted for Clinton. I would be furious if he stole the nomination from her. I would also have a hard time seeing this as anything but a white man stepping in and saying he could do it better than a woman. A woman whose resume is a lot more accomplished than his. With this in mind, how could I possibly trust Sanders to fight for my rights?

Second, political scientists agree that polls that show match ups between two hypothetical contestants are to be taken with a grain of salt. But Sanders is asking Democrats to bet on that flimsy piece of evidence. Further, Clinton has been continuously attacked by right wing Republicans. Sanders hasn’t. I wonder how well he will fair once he is in their cross hairs?

Third, Sanders has built his campaign off fighting corrupt politics, but if this is the tactic he is going to take, how does this not make him just as corrupt? More people have voted for Clinton than him. That’s democracy. Further, considering one of the uninformed critiques people have about Democratic Socialism is that it’s taking something that someone earned and giving it to someone else, well, he’s proving the stereotype and hurting his cause.

This is just confirming the fears I had about a Sanders presidency. It confirms my fears that people who don’t agree with him will have their voices marginalized. It confirms my fears that he would take an obstructive my way or the highway approach to government. It confirms my image of him as a liberal Bush.

 

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