There’s a whole ‘nother swath of Trump voters: Bernie-loving Hillary-haters
I’ve realized, since the 2016 election, that one and only one thing is unforgivable among Dems (and no, it’s not fucking around with emails or cheating or lying or colluding or anything like that): Being a Trump voter. Being a Trump voter will earn you condemnation, threats of anthrax in the mail, in fact, by an Iowa school teacher (no, not kidding), the loss of 600 Facebook friends who thought you, a big-mouth progressive, were one of them (“them” being party-line-toers). But for a lot of us, there’s a little more to this story.
Once upon a time, the primary was over, and Bernie, beloved to a lot of us, had been fucked over by the DNC and Clinton and their crew. Pouring sweat and looking miserable, Bernie campaigned for Clinton. We then learned more about the DNC’s collusion against Bernie. Wikileaks clued us in on exactly how far the Dem establishment was willing to go to see Clinton anointed. We learned how the Dems/DNC belittled and mocked Bernie – and his supporters. It’s like it were yesterday.
Revenge is a dish best served cold, they say. Or, best served during an election cycle. Severely disgusted with the Dem establishment, hating Clinton – forever hating Clinton – I, a lifelong Dem, Demexited. Registered independent. Voted for Donald Trump. A revenge vote? Bet your sweet ass. A lot of progressives, like myself, claimed they voted for Stein or wrote in Bernie. Maybe they did. But what the hell good is a revenge vote if it’s a secret? I never denied my Trump vote; still don’t. It was necessary, for me. One I regret? Not yet. My Trump vote was my Democratic Party swan song; I said goodbye, and yeah, got even. Never looked back. The 600 lost Facebook “friends” was a small price to pay for personal integrity.
I have this running argument on Facebook with a guy, let’s call him Charlie (well, it is, in fact, his name). No matter what I post, he reminds me I voted for Trump. I patiently remind him that I was there when it happened. He tries to get me to admit I made a mistake by voting for Trump over Clinton. I will never in this lifetime do that. He tries to make me responsible for every bad decision or ill-thought-out Tweet of Trump’s because I’m a “Trump supporter.” He seems determined to convince me that all was going swimmingly in this country until November 2016, and I ruined it (sure, with my single vote in Kentucky, where Trump won by, what, 40%?). You know, here’s the thing a lot of Dems choose to ignore: They may think President Trump is the devil, but the worst devil of all was always Hillary Clinton. I never wore a MAGA hat, but I’d have bought out a MAGA store and draped myself in MAGA paraphernalia before I’d have worn something that said “Stronger Together.”
And since the 2016 election, I realized what the Dems’ biggest problem is: To them, it’s all or nothing. You’re with them 100% or against them. You’re a “pure” Dem or you’re impure. No 40/60 split, no “yeah, I agree sometimes.” 100%. If you’re not with them 100%, you’re – well, something else. In the case of a bunch of my social media friends, I’m now a “Trump supporter,” although in their heart of hearts they know I’m one of the strongest progressives ever. (Come on, what conservative supported Bernie “Socialist” Sanders?) What Dems and their loyal party-line-toers have blindly refused to acknowledge is that people like me can make a voting choice for calculated reasons, but maintain the progressive values they always had – in fact, I made the voting choice I made because of my progressive values. Clinton was never a progressive. She was bad news. She was the one person – the one candidate – who could have driven someone as progressive as I am, and have always been, to vote for Donald Trump and not regret it. The regret I have now is that, at one time, I was one of those progressive knee-jerk reactors who demanded purity from others. Won’t make that mistake again. Reasons, folks – -people have reasons for what they do.
Dems need to get off this progressive purity thing, because the harsh truth is that none of them – none of them who rammed Clinton down our throats and thought their sordid treatment of Bernie was okay – have a scintilla of progressive purity. Paying lip service to the policies that sound good to voters isn’t progressive purity. The Dem establishment, and their loyal soldiers in the field, are busy squandering any chance they have to claw their way back to some semblance of a party. They continually rehash 2016, play the blame game – and people like me, unashamed Demexiters and unashamed Trump voters, are low hanging fruit for their ire, bitterness and anger. What my social media pal Charlie (who for whatever reason frequents my wall, still) wants is for me to say I made a mistake, wish I hadn’t voted for Trump. He’s enraged that I admit it, own it, and am defiant in my righteousness.
The Dem Party will never get me back, but if they ever want to get my vote back – I am, after all, now a registered independent – they need to do better. Much better. And I see no sign of that happening. Call me crazy, but it doesn’t seem to me like insulting and alienating a whole segment of people who voted for Trump out of hatred for Hillary and the Democratic establishment and disgust at their treatment of Bernie is a good step in that direction.