Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Bernie and the danger of the single story...
Newsflash Bernie fans, in case you missed it! An awesome Nigerian-American once gave a TED talk: The danger of a single story -Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:
The Bernie Sanders (Bernie) campaign reminds me of the danger of a single story. What is the single story? I would say a partial aspect of an issue or story. In the 2016 election story, Bernie seems to be a proponent of the single story via two core arguments as he continues to campaign:
1. Wall Street and now even the Democratic party establishment is bad, maybe evil.
2. He has the millennial and Independents votes and those are the votes that counts.
Hmm... The problem is this "single story" does not tell the full or even the TRUE picture of the state of the 2016 Democratic primary race, and also does not tell us how he wins the nomination. Here are some things tot consider or reflect upon:
1. Much is being made about Millennials not supporting Hillary Clinton, (HRC) yes this is factual, but what is also factual is that millennials are not the only voting bloc that will determine the 2016 presidential election. There are a number of other core voting blocks that will have an equal or greater impact on the presidential race than millennials, and those are the female vote and the minority vote. In both constituencies HRC is just fine, she is doing absolutely great in the minority bloc and she is doing fine with the female vote despite her many hiccups. This will not change if Bernie is not the nominee. A bigger issue for HRC is the Independent vote and where that vote goes could determine the electoral outcome, the question is if Bernie is not the candidate do those votes got to Trump or stay home? Frankly right now it is unclear. (but keep in mind HRC still beats Trump in the general).
2. Despite that lack of Millennials support, HRC has far MORE total actual votes than Bernie as well! She has won a total of 12.9 million actual votes to Bernie's 9.9 million. So essentially 3 million more people support HRC, so isn't that an accurate depiction of whom the "people" at the grassroots support? And can you say that there are not a heck of a lot of millennials in those 12.9 million votes? This is the popular vote, no super delegates, no establishment politics or policies, these are the actual votes cast to date. So can Bernie close and overtake HRC in the 9 states remaining to close the 3 million vote disparity? It appears it will not and cannot happen.
3. If you use Bernie arguments that the system is rigged, as he has a problem with the delegate math as well as the delegate rules. Does he have a problem with the proportional allocation of delegates? It seems he does. So for the sake or argument as well as for illustrative purposes, let's suspend the rules! What do we find? How can we best determine who is winning this contest and who should get the nomination? I would say again by the total number of votes cast and contents won. Two results we get: First, as noted above, HRC has won 3 million, (3,000,000) more votes that Bernie: FACT. Second, HRC has won 26 (27 but Kentucky is yet to be called) contestants to Bernie's 21: FACT. Result, HRC has beaten Bernie in the contest to date. So why are he and his supporters upset?
4. Lastly, and very importantly, on the actual number of votes cast, does the Bernie camp realize there are 12.9 million plus people who have voted in the Democratic primaries who DO NOT like OR believe what Bernie has been saying and hence have NOT given him their support? In other words there are 12.9 million Democratic primary votes AGAINST Bernie. So it is not only the Democratic establishment that might be against Bernie, it is not only Wall Street that might not like him, there are 12.9 million votes within the party of whose nomination he seeks that do not support him. To put it simply again, there are more voters within the party that oppose him than support him. Keep in mind that number is despite the Independents who do not belong to the party but voted in the open primaries. The point here is in his speeches it appears he forget this very truthful and important FACT.
A segue here, a huge chunk of the Bernie's support is NOT with millennial but with Independents, there is an argument to be made why non-party members are allowed to vote in seither party primary. I fall into the category myself I am a non-party member but was able to vote in the Democrat or GOP primary in my state of Virginia, but should we really be allowed to determine the outcome of the party to which we do not belong? I can make arguments for and against that statement. After all the candidate who wins the party nomination should be the candidate that represents the majority support and ideology of the party members, or at least that is one way of looking at it. As we know several people both Independents and Democrats joined the GOP to vote for or against Trump so this is happening on both sides of the aisle.
Note: I am getting my current figures from RealClearPolitics.com 2016 Dem primaries
So what I don't get is why Bernie thinks he has the superior argument. I use the word "superior" deliberately as Bernie certainly has a solid and important argument he makes, the Country needs to be restructured. Most of us don't like Citizens United, most of us want better health care. most of use don't like Wall Street, however his arguments have not won over or are not shared by the 12.9 million people who have so far supported HRC and you might add the over 25 million GOP votes.
Another good segue to note that HRC also has more votes than Trump, currently Trump has 11.1 million votes to HRC's 12.9 million votes, she has 1.8 million, almost 2 million more votes than Trump. to go a step further, for clarity, Hillary Clinton has more votes than ANY candidate in the race today in either party and that is a FACT. It is worthy to note that despite all her OBVIOUS flaws, she is still beating the entire field! And somebody needs to say that which is why I am saying that here and now.
HRC's many flaws are OBVIOUSLY dragging her down. so we MUST ask ourselves is Bernie really that popular or is he benefiting from the discomfort of the electorate with HRC? The fact is many are upset about the Wall Street speeches, many have a hangover from her standing by her husband over the years, many still upset with her on Benghazi handling and then of course those DAMN EMAILS...potentially affecting her candidacy further down the line!
So it might not be necessarily true that Bernie has garnered all this super support, that a "revolution" is on the horizon. Yes he has a great populist message, in an anti establishment year. but he is also benefiting from the fact that HRC is not the out and out favorite of the Democrats and Independents due to her many flaws. by the way show me a politician who is NOT flawed in one way or another?
It is HIGHLY impressive that Bernie started at 3% support in a poll in January 2015 and is now winning races all over the country. But it is also clear he is not winning the majority of actual votes cast of those going to the polls, and for a man who says he wants to start a revolution, I presume he should be paying attention to the actual grassroots voices of those whom he is calling upon to start a revolution. Also something to consider, the total votes cast for the top 5 candidates in both parties, HRC, Bernie, Trump, Cruz, Rubio and Kasich amount to approximately 48.2 million votes. of that total number, Bernie's 9.9 million votes represents about 20% of the total votes cast, this means that 80% of the votes cast were NOT for Bernie and I doubt you can call 20% support a "revolution". To take this thought a bit further though, we must concede that this is indeed an anti establishment year, so I would argue we can add up the votes of the anti-establishment candidates: Trump, Cruz and Bernie, and that comes to approximately 29.1 million votes or about 60% of all votes cast for the top 5, now that speaks more to a revolution, but the problem is the revolution is split and majority of those votes (19.2 million) were cast on the GOP side whose voters I doubt will even or ever consider Bernie as their second choice candidate.
So for all those pundits who keep reminding us that HRC needs the millennial vote, this might indeed be true, but 12.9 millions votes also say that Bernie needs to be careful on what he says and does going forward as those 12.9 million votes won't automatically go to him in November.
It is high time Bernie and his supporters face the danger of the single story and decide if they will support the Democratic nominee, likely to be HRC or they honestly will sit out the election to see Trump climbing into Marine One and running up the steps of the newly gold painted Air Force One rather than his private jet...
Oh unless Trump and Bernie team up for voter bursting ticket...
Posted by Ajibola Robinson