With the 2016 Election drawing closer, the animosity between the die-hard supporters of rival Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton has become so intense that people who don’t know better would perhaps be shocked and surprised to learn that the two are affiliated with the same political party.
For example, Hillary supporters have accused Bernie Sanders and his supporters of sexism, particularly after Bernie Sanders sternly responded to Hillary Clinton interrupting him during a debate with “Excuse me, I’m talking.” Madeleine Albright has also said in reference to women who support Bernie Sanders, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”
By the same token, Bernie’s supporters have taken a harsh view of Hillary Clinton’s support for her husband Bill Clinton’s punitive approaches to welfare reform and crime reduction during his tenure in the White House. These measures, which precipitated a spike in incarcerations during the Clinton administration, had a detrimental effect on non-whites in the United States, particularly those living below the poverty line. Considering that specifically, Bernie Sanders’ more uncompromising supporters have been critical of black people who have gotten behind Hillary Clinton’s campaign, accusing them of not knowing how to vote. Being that the majority of Bernie’s hardcore supporters offering that same claim are white, racism has been imputed to them. However, passionate support for a political candidate is not necessarily a matter of skin color, as many black voters who support Bernie Sanders have also criticized the blacks who favor Hillary Clinton. Case in point, Joseph “Jazz” Hayden, a civil rights activist based in Harlem, New York, scolded the Hillary-supporting Congressional Black Caucus for having a “Stepan Fetchit mentality.”
Of course, one has to wonder if the die-hard, Hillary-hating Bernie Sanders supporters are aware that their candidate, despite his impressive track record as a civil rights activist during the 1960s, also voted in favor of the harsh anti-crime that Bill and Hillary Clinton supported. Are these folks aware that Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton agree on far more issues than on which they disagree? Do they know that during Bill Clinton’s administration, the median household income in African-American households grew by 25 percent, twice as fast as it did for all households nationwide, and unemployment among blacks plummeted from 14.1 percent to 8.2 percent?
Because neither Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders has a perfect voting record and given that each candidate has taken numerous progressive stances, hardcore supporters of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton need to be less emotionally invested in their respective individual candidates and cut out the petty animosity, as this will only hurt either candidate’s chances in the 2016 Election. Regardless of which of the two secures the Democratic Party’s nomination for President and considering the Republican candidates’ vow to repeal the Affordable Care Act, there is too much at stake for Democrat voters to turn against each other and subsequently sabotage their party’s chance of victory in November.
Featured image via blackstatenews.com