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Joe BidenCongratulations to our presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden!

Response to zonkers (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 23, 2020, 11:15 PM

40. Is Bernie Sanders responsible for his supporters' behavior? Is Trump?

 

A key feature of Bernie's campaign is to demonize the Democratic party and suggest that it is no different from the Republican party:


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Bernie does not merely push a false equivalency, but he actively campaigns against the Democratic party as thought they were the enemy in order to elevate himself. Bernie does not merely disagree with his opponents. Instead, he has not been shy about accusing his political rivals of being corrupt or motivated by greed.

https://www.topmags.com/magazine/16700/the-week?offer=GOOGSHOP&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=16700&utm_campaign=1830424018&offer=googshop&ref=646&gclid=CjwKCAjwvOHzBRBoEiwA48i6AkTm06Zvjpk1Co2AGkAnLW2n77JdcWSmixG7EIAiMpp80QM3qeH4FxoCCAoQAvD_BwE

Do politicians' bear responsibility for these unwanted attentions? I don't think we can give a universal yes or no, but perhaps a few guidelines for parsing that responsibility may be drawn.

First, blanket condemnation of the candidates on the receiving end of unwanted endorsements from reprehensible people is unfair. In Gabbard's case, Duke explicitly indicated that the appeal he saw was her noninterventionist foreign policy, which has been central to her campaign. That appeal doesn't make Gabbard's foreign policy bad. It doesn't make her a white supremacist, because sometimes white supremacists like things that are not themselves white supremacist. (As I noted recently about a proposed executive order concerning federal building design, the fact that Nazis liked Greek columns doesn't make the columns inherently fascist.)

That said, Buttigieg's argument that "at a certain point, you got to ask yourself: Why did this pattern arise?" is fair. It may be that the answer, as with the Greek columns and Gabbard's foreign policy, is there's simply an innocent overlap for which the candidate deserves no blame.

Yet assignment of responsibility becomes increasingly justified if a more substantive connection exists, whether unknowingly or not. In Trump's case, the author of the Crusader article about Trump told The Washington Post the president's appeal was "his nationalist views and his words about shutting down the border to illegal aliens" which is to say, the racists like him for race-related reasons. Likewise, Trump's history of praising violence against reporters and offering to pay the legal fees of supporters who fight protesters at his rallies creates a substantive connection between him and violence done in his name which cannot be so easily replicated with most public figures across the political spectrum.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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diva77 Mar 2020 OP
msongs Mar 2020 #1
zonkers Mar 2020 #2
TwilightZone Mar 2020 #5
Gothmog Mar 2020 #66
LineLineLineReply Is Bernie Sanders responsible for his supporters' behavior? Is Trump?
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