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Fri Oct 23, 2015, 10:15 PM

 

Rant: Something I realized about Bernie and Hillary Supporters

I know a lot of people probably won’t listen, but I just want to give everyone something to think about:

We at DU are not “typical” voters. We represent those that are incredibly engaged in politics and research candidates and issues very deeply. When we make our decision on a candidate to support, it is based upon months if not years of information. That means that for the 95%+ of us posting on this board that have chosen a candidate to support for the democratic primaries, we are NOT going to change our mind unless something very drastic happens. These endless posts from both sides playing concern troll (“I don’t understand how anyone can vote for Hillary when she supports X” or vice versa with Bernie Sanders to a lesser extent) do NOT change a single mind. I can almost guarantee not a single person has ever read one of those attack threads and thought about switching candidates.

What it DOES do, however, is strengthen resolve. When people feel attacked, they naturally become even more set in their ways – this is basic psychology. Think about all the Bernie supporters (and even some republicans I spoke to) who suddenly felt less negative toward Sec. Clinton last night as she was being grilled. Because she was being relentlessly attacked, her supporters became even more enamored with her and even her enemies started hating her less. This is not different than the way we feel when someone posts another “She is bought and paid for and will destroy America!” post. It doesn’t change our opinion of Hillary, it just makes us want to elect her even more.

Likewise, I think many people see a candidate’s supporters as extensions of that candidate. Before I started lurking on DU, I didn’t mind Bernie Sanders. As I started reading the vitriol from his supporters towards Hillary, I started hating Bernie even though he had nothing to do with it. I started to feel like if he ended up winning the nomination I would vote 3rd party just to spite him. Last night, when I saw the endless threads of Bernie supporters showing solidarity with Hillary as she was relentlessly attacked, I started thinking about how I wouldn’t mind supporting Bernie if he won the nomination. It’s just basic psychology! If we feel like we’re competing an on teams, we start to root against each other.

I know this is a long-winded rant, but I just want to get to the point: you catch more flies with sugar than vinegar. Attacking Hillary or Bernie or making rude comments about them won’t change a SINGLE mind here at DU, but it will strengthen resolve among supporters. We shouldn’t be flinging out insults like angry children, as that just makes us look like the disgusting Republicans with all of their bizarre factions and infighting. I think we can all agree that at the end of the day, we would rather spend the next 4-8 years under President Sanders or President Clinton rather than President Cruz, Trump, or Bush. While my request may be futile, I will ask anyway: can we all please work to elevate the level of discourse here and only post comments we would feel comfortable saying to someone in public? This goes for supporters of all candidates – I am not directing this at either side specifically.

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Reply Rant: Something I realized about Bernie and Hillary Supporters (Original post)
CheshireDog Oct 2015 OP
liberal_at_heart Oct 2015 #1
Agschmid Oct 2015 #3
PatrickforO Oct 2015 #12
Bluenorthwest Oct 2015 #19
Chemisse Oct 2015 #2
reformist2 Oct 2015 #4
artislife Oct 2015 #8
The Velveteen Ocelot Oct 2015 #5
RiverLover Oct 2015 #17
treestar Oct 2015 #23
Dems to Win Oct 2015 #31
riderinthestorm Oct 2015 #6
Thinkingabout Oct 2015 #7
KT2000 Oct 2015 #9
Aerows Oct 2015 #10
Leith Oct 2015 #11
liberal_at_heart Oct 2015 #14
Leith Oct 2015 #15
Kentonio Oct 2015 #28
Leith Oct 2015 #33
liberal_at_heart Oct 2015 #34
Bluenorthwest Oct 2015 #22
workinclasszero Oct 2015 #25
Armstead Oct 2015 #13
Bluenorthwest Oct 2015 #24
Armstead Oct 2015 #27
cui bono Oct 2015 #16
Art_from_Ark Oct 2015 #18
treestar Oct 2015 #21
Maedhros Oct 2015 #30
treestar Oct 2015 #20
BainsBane Oct 2015 #26
DemocratSinceBirth Oct 2015 #29
The Velveteen Ocelot Oct 2015 #32
Dem2 Oct 2015 #35

Response to CheshireDog (Original post)

Fri Oct 23, 2015, 10:25 PM

1. This is a message board on the internet. You will find vitriol on every single website on the

internet. People hide behind the anonymity of the internet and go crazy attacking anyone they don't like. I just put them on ignore. They are not the reason I don't like Hillary and yesterday did not make me dislike her any less. I didn't even watch the hearing. I am not concerned with Benghazi. I am concerned with income inequality, wages, unions, climate change, education, civil rights, single payers health care, and many other important issues. You will never get rid of the vitriol. Like I said it is there on every single website on the internet. The best thing to do is ignore it.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 23, 2015, 10:28 PM

3. Yup.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #1)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 12:26 AM

12. LOL, yeah, this site is hugely tame.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #1)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 12:33 PM

19. And yet this site claims to have objectives such as electing Democrats, most sites do not make

 

such high blown claims about themselves. This is a site that claims to have standards.

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Response to CheshireDog (Original post)

Fri Oct 23, 2015, 10:28 PM

2. Very good 'rant.'

We are not the typical Democrats. We are here because we're interested in politics, we are Democratic (obviously), but also because we are dissatisfied, and thus want to discuss. That explains why the Bernie supporters are present here in a much higher proportion than among Dems in general.

As an undecided voter, I have a couple of observations related to all this:

1. I have been aghast at the mean and hate-filled posts on DU. Both sides do it, but the Bernie supporters by far drown out the Hillary supporters (that may be a function of the numbers). It's VERY unpleasant.

2. My heart was warmed by the coming together of all Dems during Clinton's hearings yesterday. It made me feel that once we have a candidate, and a common 'enemy,' we may become united again.

3. The arguments between Hillary and Bernie supporters do not sway those who have hardened positions, but they do have an impact on those who are undecided, like me. I can list pros and cons for each candidate, mostly based on what I have learned on DU.

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Response to CheshireDog (Original post)

Fri Oct 23, 2015, 10:31 PM

4. Actually, these boards are very useful for learning new reasons to support/oppose a given candidate.


Take Hillary for example.

Her opponents learn more about all the things she has done over the years to support Wall Street and the pro-war crowd.

Her supporters learn all about the latest poll results showing her in the lead.

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #4)

Fri Oct 23, 2015, 11:20 PM

8. *chortle nt

 

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Response to CheshireDog (Original post)

Fri Oct 23, 2015, 10:31 PM

5. Good points.

It's been kind of frustrating to read DU lately because of all the unnecessary animosity. However, the excessively zealous and occasionally obnoxious supporters on both sides are not really very numerous - I can't think of any more than about a dozen of each. When I see their names as thread authors I generally skip the thread altogether because the OP will probably contain snark, concern-trolling or outright misrepresentations. I do not believe these posters are sincerely trying to convert anybody - maybe they are just trying to rack up magic internet points. Or maybe they are deeply offended that someone might have an opinion different from theirs.

But I think it's good to keep in mind that the blustery a-holes are not numerous; they just post so frequently and so annoyingly that they carry more weight than they deserve. Most Sanders supporters are not mean and obnoxious and neither are most Clinton supporters. If somebody is being a d*ck just put them on ignore or trash the thread. They do not represent the majority of DUers. And don't let a few a-holes influence your opinion of their candidate. While that basic defensive psychology is understandable, it really isn't logical to let a dozen strangers on the Internet affect your choice. So, go Bernie. Go Hillary. Don't forget who the real adversaries are.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #5)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 06:32 AM

17. The real adversaries

The real adversaries are the Moneyed Interests buying off our representatives, inserting their own people to work for our legislators, giving our "representatives' cushy jobs & highly paid speeches when they leave office, and writing their own legislature & laws.

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #17)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 12:46 PM

23. the average voters, the ones needed to win

Do not respond to that stuff. How are you going to convince voters to vote for Bernie or indeed anyone with this idea that your vote is meaningless as you are too dumb to know you are being bought off?

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #5)


Response to CheshireDog (Original post)

Fri Oct 23, 2015, 10:53 PM

6. Welcome to DU! K&R for a great beginning here nt

 

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Response to CheshireDog (Original post)

Fri Oct 23, 2015, 11:18 PM

7. I have been following Hillary for a long time, have studied her stand on the issues,

Know she has been a life long advocate on women's and children's issues, she will continue these issues. Contrary to common belief she is a corporatist of which other candidates also have their corporate ties. There are other issues on her agenda also.

She did very well in the testimony, show poise and restraint, good presidential traits.

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Response to CheshireDog (Original post)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 12:18 AM

9. good comments

good advice about posting comments we would feel comfortable in public.
That is a good reminder for all things internet.

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Response to CheshireDog (Original post)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 12:20 AM

10. 21 posts in and you already

 

have commentary on how DU operates.

Interesting.

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Response to CheshireDog (Original post)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 12:22 AM

11. Many of Us ARE Listening

I once took a quiz to see which candidate matched my opinions most closely. Bernie Sanders came in at around 92%. Hilary Clinton was around 90%. The difference is statistically insignificant. I'm good with either one. Very good.

But I came on DU - which is my homepage and oasis from internet idiocy - just to find the petty sniping going on and getting worse.

This rift reeks of Republican tactics, the old Atwell/Rove scheme of divide and conquer. We should all know better than to fall for such vile manipulation. I am begging everyone to STOP!

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Response to Leith (Reply #11)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 12:29 AM

14. You may not see a difference between Hillary and Bernie, and you are entitled to your opinion.

I do see a difference. I try to stay out of the name calling. I have a lot of people on ignore, but I will not stop criticizing what I see as both parties taking lobbying money and creating laws that benefit the companies the lobbyists represent and not creating laws that help the middle class and the poor. I'm not the only one that feels this way. The majority of this country does not vote, and the reason they don't vote is because they know that both parties are corrupt.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #14)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 03:19 AM

15. I Understand

Of course there are differences. They are two different candidates with different views of what is more important at any given time.

I like how Clinton has worked her entire adult life for the betterment of women and children. She has already excelled at international relations and diplomacy. She fought a hard, but unfortunately unsuccessful, battle for health care for all.

Sanders' focus is on the middle class and poor. He has worked his entire adult life to make the lives of the 99% better. He fights the good fight for those that the rest of us have forgotten.

But that does not mean that Hillary will forget the poor. Bernie will not let women's and children's issues fall by the wayside. Both of them will do their damnedest to work for the ideals that all of us here have.

The differences are minor. They have the same goals. It's just that the order on their lists may vary. Both are very good at what they do and I believe that both will fight the good fight or die trying.

I get disheartened when I see Democrat against Democrat, liberal against liberal. I've said it many times: this is exactly the playbook that Atwell and Rove set into motion and chuckle when they see us fight among ourselves. Please don't let annoyances with politics sway you to attack your allies and friends. I see it happening way too often on DU. It happened on that other site (Discussionist). I am a regular there because over the years I got used to wrestling in the mud with the pigs and it's fun to expose them for the fools they are. But there is one liberal there who keeps opening one thread after another about how horrible Sanders is. It got so bad that I messaged her to tone it down. We used to have a good rapport, but her reply completely shattered it. Now all I can do is to try not open her threads and hold down the embarrassment I feel when the rethugs post gleefully in her threads.

Stop dwelling on minor points about who is better at one plank in the platform. They are all important and all will be taken care of.


On a humorous note, the list of posts where someone replied to me, this one read:
You may not see a difference between Hillary and Bernie, and you are liberal_at_heart
Which is true, but it was a cute mash-up of the thread title and your user name.

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Response to Leith (Reply #15)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 01:09 PM

28. I think the disconnect is..

 

That while there is indeed little real difference between the two on social issues, on economic issues they are basically worlds apart, no matter how much Mrs Clinton would like to pretend otherwise. For a lot of us, the world is currently at a point where the balance of power between the people and corporate interests is approaching what feels like the point of no return. That is not true of course, whenever the pendulum swings too far in either direction, it ALWAYS swings back. The danger however is that as with Newtons Third Law, the further the power moves one way, the more dramatic and extreme the opposite reaction will eventually be.

It's hard to believe looking at Mrs Clintons history and long time beliefs that she has any real interest in pushing back hard against the corporate interests that play a large part in funding her campaigns. When she talks about fighting them, we then read quotes from her backers saying they know its 'just politics'. To believe she is sincere in what she says on this issue appears to require the kind of leap of faith that many of us are simply incapable of. If you are primarily motivated by economic equality and opportunity for the less fortunate, her primary appeal seems to be that things might stay the same rather than getting worse. That's not enough any more for many of us.

Many of us truly believe that Senator Sanders will lead that fight back if he wins the primary. Whether or not it will do any good in a system where the Presidency is only one part of the power structure is yet to be seen of course. At the least however he might open the door and let in the light into a political process that is deeply corrupted. He let a reporter accompany him for a week when he first got into the senate, and that article is extremely informative about how broken the system was even back then. In order for it to change however, the American people need to actually hear about the disfunction and raise their voices against it. Having a president willing to use the presidency to spread that information could be a very powerful thing.

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Response to Kentonio (Reply #28)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 06:23 PM

33. Extremely Good Points

Yes, Clinton's economic policies concern me, as do her votes on the Iraq invasion. But she's not stupid: she knows why Sanders has such a following; it's because of his economic policies (and gruff, kindly, and absolutely no nonsense manner when he does not back down from a debate). She learned the lesson, but let's see how she does on the test. Don't forget that FDR was a member of the ultimate 1% tip-top club when he enacted economic reforms. I don't want to get into a debate on whether he could have done more. He did enough to make the lives of the disenfranchised poor better at the expense of his fellow country club members.

If you are talking about Matt Taibbi's excellent pieces on Bernie Sanders, it made me so angry that I could read only about 2 pages at a time (same for his reporting on the Katrina aftermath). Sanders has the right economics and the tenacity of a bulldog, but the personality that endears him to us rubs his colleagues the wrong way. If you think that Obama has had trouble with an intransigent Congress, you ain't seen nothin' yet - just send Bernie to the White House. We'll yearn for the good ol' days of the Obama Administration.

Getting back to the thread topic: both Clinton and Sanders are extraordinarily good people and candidates. Democrats, progressives, and liberals agree with the vast majority of both of them. It is just sickening that we are bickering over details that are being exaggerated into major disputes while conservatives pass the popcorn.

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Response to Leith (Reply #33)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 06:32 PM

34. Like I said you are entitled to your opinion. The differences between Bernie and Hillary may

seem insignificant to you, but to some of us they are significant and just as you are entitled to your opinion we are also entitled to ours. And Hillary will not have any less difficult time dealing with a Republican Congress than Bernie would. Geez, it would be like the Benghazi hearing for 4 years straight. And you know they are going to try and enact an impeachment process against her too.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #14)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 12:45 PM

22. Actually, about half the country's eligible voters vote and in some States participation is much

 

better, here in Oregon it averages 60.13 which is 8.5% above the national average, this is eligible voters not registered voters. Five other States do even better and in all 6 of these better than average turnout States there are clear reasons for the larger turnout. Oregon votes by mail, we automatically register voters via DMV, we offer registration on forms for some public benefits, etc.

So in 6 States, most of the eligible voters vote. Those States make it easier to vote than other States.
Lots of detail here which could and should be applied to the States which have long lines and Voter ID and video games as ballots.

"On average, about half (51.6 percent) of eligible US voters cast ballots, but six states averaged more than 60 percent. The policies and attitudes in these states may hold lessons for those trying to get out the vote around the country.

Here is a countdown to the top states in voter turnout.
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Elections/2012/1106/Voter-turnout-the-6-states-that-rank-highest-and-why/Oregon

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Response to Leith (Reply #11)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 12:56 PM

25. I totally agree with you

 

"The difference is statistically insignificant."

Course you won't get that opinion around here on the Bernie Underground but I agree.


"This rift reeks of Republican tactics, the old Atwell/Rove scheme of divide and conquer."

Yes I believe this is happening also.

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Response to CheshireDog (Original post)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 12:28 AM

13. Well, I agree that the animosity but criticizing is part of discussion and debate

 

There are reasons people do not support Clinton, many of which do not have to do with her personally, but what she represents. Can;t just ignore that, which does come out as criticism of her.

I guess Clinton supporters feel the same way about Sanders.

It'd be nice of these differences could be hashed out civilly, but a discussion board is a collection of individuals.

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Response to Armstead (Reply #13)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 12:49 PM

24. Jon Stewart criticizes everyone, everyone loves him. So it is not apparently criticism itself that

 

pisses people off, is it?

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #24)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 01:04 PM

27. It varies. Depends on the individuals involved.

 

I think it's totally possible to have vigorous disagreements without making it personal. All depends on how individuals choose to behave, or not behave.

In my own experience here on DU, there have been people who pissed me off -- not because they had a different view, but in the hostile, antagonistic or dismissive way they express it. And I guess there's people I piss off.

But there have also been a lot of people I've had mild debates or heated exchanges with, either once or on a regular basis -- but we kept it civil and even handle differences with good humor. Neither side took the disagreements personally. Not like: "You disagree with me on free trade, so you're an a-hole." or "You're a jerk because you support candidate X."

It also depends on how people respond to the simple act of criticism. Criticizing how a politician handles an issue, for example, is not automatically "hating" or "Bashing." It can be, if delivered in a nasty way. But the criticism itself is not the problem.





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Response to CheshireDog (Original post)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 05:35 AM

16. Yet another OP that claims to want unity but only calls out one candidate's supporters.

Color me surprised. The projection on DU continues to thrive.

And all this one-sided criticism by someone with less than 23 posts. Gee, wonder why that is.


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Response to cui bono (Reply #16)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 12:29 PM

18. Funny how that works, eh?

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Response to cui bono (Reply #16)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 12:44 PM

21. OP was just giving the example from their side

But it is a little different as I think anyone who hate Hillary probably did so before she had her supporters for this next election. But that's the history of the two candidates.

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Response to cui bono (Reply #16)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 01:47 PM

30. Disagreeing with Hillary = "vitriol"

 

Stopped reading after that.

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Response to CheshireDog (Original post)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 12:43 PM

20. True, the Republicans are the actual "enemy"

and even them we have to get along with. I don't think anyone in the US is really up for some sort of revolution or civil war.

Some people get their egos attached to their opinions. Not really necessary.

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Response to CheshireDog (Original post)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 01:01 PM

26. I have to disagree with the first part of your statement

I have not found many people operate based on internet meme and stereotype and don't look at voting records or stated policy positions at all. In fact, when I have linked to them some simply refuse to look since they don't want anything to contradict what they want to believe. People look for articles that express opinions they share. Often those opinions run counter to candidates' voting records and proposed policies, but it is the opinion that matters more than the record.

I would not mistake time devoted to discussing the election with level of information. They are not the same.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #26)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 01:09 PM

29. Folks look for evidence that confirms their world view and disregard the rest...

Without a major intervening event most folks go through life never really changing how they look at it.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #29)

Sat Oct 24, 2015, 03:24 PM

32. Yes, it's called "confirmation bias" and we are all susceptible to it.

That's why conservatives watch Fox News and we used to watch MSNBC. We all want to feel like what we already believe is correct, so we look for someone else who shares our views to confirm that "correctness." There have been studies showing that the harder you try to "convert" someone, the more they'll dig in their heels and refuse to be persuaded. The more emphatically I insist that your favored candidate is flawed (pick an adjective: a communist, a fascist, corrupt, stupid, etc.), the more defiantly you will defend your candidate. After all, I have just effectively insulted you by implying that you are foolishly supporting a bad candidate.

So all this poo-flinging is pretty pointless. If you really want to persuade someone, you first find out what it is that they really want or need, and then explain how Candidate X has a better chance of providing it than Candidate Y. If you just insult Candidate Y (and by extension, his/her supporters) you will get nowhere.

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Response to CheshireDog (Original post)

Mon Oct 26, 2015, 02:41 PM

35. I couldn't agree more.

It's unfortunate that posters naturally breakdown into factions.

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