Justice Politics US Election

#BernieOrBust Is a Credible Movement Thanks to Disenfranchised Millennials

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The #BernieOrBust hashtag surfaced on Twitter sometime at the end of 2015. It’s taken on a life of it’s own. #BernieOrBust turned into a movement within political revolution and it appears to have gained enough momentum to be taken seriously.

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[Image Credit: Sun Times]

Make no mistake about it: Bernie Sanders is a historical candidate. He’s been fighting the establishment literally his entire life. He protested with Martin Luther King Jr at the March on Washington. At a University of Chicago segregation protest, Bernie handcuffed himself to a black woman, which got him arrested for civil disobedience. Years later, as the mayor of Burlington, Vermont he supported his constituency’s plan for a Trans rights march. He wasn’t just for gay marriage; he was accepting of the most marginalized communities. He’s always been in favour of women’s rights. Bernie was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War and he voted against the invasion of Iraq. Did I mention the Pope just invited him to the Vatican?

 

Mister Sanders has always been on the correct side of history. Plus, he’s been hard at work in the Senate getting bill provisions passed. Hillary “gets things done” but Senator Sanders got more done.

 

It’s easy – very easy – to understand why Millennials support Bernie. His populous message is motivating and inspiring Millennials: the most politically apathetic demographic. In primary after primary (or caucus), Bernie has received an average of 80% of the millennial vote. Years of voter data prove that young people, the most difficult voters to mobilize, do actually come out to vote during historic elections. In fact, they are credited with Obama’s 2008 victory.

 

Millennials are busy working two or three low wage jobs to survive despite belonging to one of the most educated generations in American history and their potential is being squandered away because of a dicey economy dependent on perpetual war. Obligations and distractions have made for a confused generation.

 

– Millennials live in the richest country in the world. Yet, their wages are stagnant.

– Millennials are accused of being greedy, entitled, and even lazy. Yet, the social programs that helped their parents are largely unavailable today.

– They are told that, “Freedom isn’t free.” Yet, each time the US invades another country to “spread democracy” and “freedom,” that country is left in turmoil.

– Millennials were told that Iraq was invaded using faulty intelligence, weapons of mass destruction, and to seek retribution for 9/11. Yet, Millennials still don’t know why Iraq was pre-emptively invaded. They weren’t even old enough to vote in 2001 and have to bear the burdens of a war they didn’t want.

– Millennials are told to take out loans to go to college because that’s the “American way.” Yet, they end up in a hopeless job market, straddled with debt.

– Millennials are told they know nothing about the world. Yet, they can find out almost anything in seconds because they use Google.

 

At the start of Bernie’s presidential run, establishment media called him a fringe “socialist” candidate. He was so far behind in the polls that the media’s assessment of him wasn’t so unbelievable. But as word got out about Bernie’s policies, his crowds swelled. Bernie’s crowds made Trump’s crowds look like child’s play. Yet, Trump received hundreds more minutes of airtime than the mere seconds allocated to Bernie.

 

Obviously, the media was biased in favour of Trump and Clinton. Establishment media was accused of a #BernieMediaBlackout, which started to trend on Twitter. Even Facebook wouldn’t use Bernie’s name when he was trending. Instead, news about Bernie was under “Hillary Clinton.” See screen shots below:

 

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In the next screen shot, Bernie Sanders won Wyoming is a trend but it is under “#WyomingCaucus.” The very next trend is insidiously titled “Bernie Sanders.” Americans are notoriously pro-Israel. This trend was sinisterly meant to drum-up controversy under his name. Why wasn’t this trend under Israel? This one screen shot definitively sums up FB’s bias against Bernie Sanders.

 

It is true that the problem is the algorithm. One has to ask, why was the algorithm designed this way? Why wasn’t “Bernie Sanders” trending for his Wyoming Caucus victory? Who controls this algorithm?

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Slate’s Amanda Hess wrote an article that stated FB had changed its Trending algorithm to display less content based on user preferences and more content based on current events. Anyone following American news knows how extraordinarily biased that kind of news can be towards Bernie. So, it could just be that the bad press Bernie gets is swept up and translated biasedly into the Trends. But that still doesn’t describe why Bernie Sanders was not the Trend for winning Wyoming but was the trend for a contentious Israel-Gaza issue. Something more nefarious is likely at play here but not much is known about the exact process of FB’s algorithm designs.

 

In the next screen shot, “Washington, DC” was trending instead of Bernie Sanders. Notice just above that “Donald Trump” was the title for his Trending abortion statement. If FB can use Donald Trump’s name for a mere statement, then why can’t FB use “Bernie Sanders” as the title for Washington, DC leaving out his name on the ballot? This continues to happen over-and-over and it becomes more certain the Media, even FB, is burying Bernie. This is the kind of thing you’d expect from Fox, CNN, or MSNBC. This is not what you’d expect from FB.

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Similarly, in the next screen shot Robert Reich posted an article about a difference of ideas. It is Robert Reich’s ideas against Paul Krugman’s and the subject matter was Hillary versus Bernie. FB could have chosen, Reich, Krugman, Clinton, Sanders, or even the author of the piece, Steve Weissman. Instead, it all got swept up under, you guessed it, “Hillary Clinton.”

 

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Then, there was that time – March 13, 2016 at 9:00 pm, to be specific – when “Larry David” was Trending for his impression of Bernie Sanders! Why wasn’t Bernie trending?

 

Some time later, I personally published a FB post about its refusal to state “Bernie Sanders” was Trending — and even that post Trended under “Hillary Clinton.” See screen shot below:

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Millennials have been driven away from Mainstream Media due to its biased reporting but they can’t even find solace on FB, which is supposed to be part of a free web.

 

Bernie Sanders hasn’t only been burdened with a media blackout. Some other obstacles giving rise to the #BernieOrBust movement include:

 

(1) Cable television ignored, and continues to ignore, the Sanders campaign.

 

When Bernie was invited to a cable program for an interview, the questions were almost always seeking an answer that referred to Hillary. He’s been effectively barred from talking about his own policies.

 

(2) The Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) cut Bernie’s access to its database for short time because there was a firewall breach that a Sanders’ campaign manager “exploited.”

 

Sanders fired the manager and – in utter transparency – asked the DNC to investigate his campaign. The DNC refused. Yes, that’s correct. The Democratic National Committee, the core of the democratic establishment that loathes everything Bernie stands for, refused to investigate him.

 

Perhaps it declined to investigate Sanders’ campaign because the DNC would be forced to make a damning admission about itself after completing the investigation? Of course, this is mere speculation…

 

(3) The DNC’s Debate Schedule favoured Hillary when placed debates on weekend nights, holidays, and during huge sporting events.

 

Obviously, the DNC wanted as few people to watch the debates as possible. If the DNC thinks Hillary is the better candidate, why was there such a concerted attempt to make the debates inaccessible?

 

Remember that the chair of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was the co-chair of Hillary’s 2008 campaign. How can she be expected to be impartial?

 

Clearly, the DNC knows Bernie’s message resonates with the majority of the population. As more people hear his policies, the more votes Bernie receives. He just needed exposure. He’s won eight out of nine states. Bernie continues to gain ground while Hillary continues to lose voters and favourability ratings. Members of the Democratic establishment, like Senator Claire McCaskill, have even started to ask Bernie to change his campaign style to unite the party, instead of divide it. What a ruse! Hillary supporters have conflated policy discussion with mudslinging. The truth is that the Clinton camp and the DNC are worried about gaining supporters in the general election.

 

The newest poll says that at least 1 in 4 Bernie supporters refuse to vote for Hillary in the general election. If Hillary can’t get Bernie supporters to vote for her, there’s a very good chance the presidency could go to Trump or Cruz by default. Both of the Republican frontrunners would be disastrous for America.

 

That 25% is the #BernieOrBust movement, which originated online, and it’s growing. They rightly feel like the DNC has done everything in its power to propel Hillary towards her coronation. Former President Bill Clinton was photographed in various polling places in clear violation of electioneering laws. It seems as if the Clinton campaign is pulling out all stops. Millennials rightly feel robbed of their vote, voice, and deprived of democracy. States with the most evidence of voter suppression, like Arizona, are the states that Hillary won.

 

The Millennial vote is crucial to winning the 2016 presidency – just like it was in 2008. Millennials view Hillary as what she really is: a flawed candidate. The DNC is surely mistaken to think the Millennials it robbed of their perfect candidate would ever vote for Hillary after she pivots to the general election.

 

Clinton seems to be getting nervous. Recently, she tweeted this:

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It’s unclear why Hillary blamed Bernie. Hillary’s attack was ludicrous. Sanders voted to grant immunity to manufacturers for deaths caused by menaces who used gun  manufacturers’ products to kill. If that bill were to pass, how long would it be before Ford is held accountable for involuntary manslaughter committed by an intoxicated diver who drove a Ford Focus? That’s a wrongful death suit: not a products liability action.

 

The critique of this analogy is that cars are not inherently designed to kill; whereas, guns are (unless the conversation is about armoured vehicles, which changes the analogy entirely). To be clear, this analogy uses an intoxicated driver, which increases the degree of inherent risk. The degree to which each means of force that is used diminishes and the difference becomes intentional versus gross negligence. Shooting sprees are intentional in the same way that an intoxicated driver intentionally, or any driver for that matter, runs people over. Yes, that happens too and car manufacturers have never even been thought of as culpable.

 

But what are we really arguing about here? Are we arguing about the actor’s mental state or about the weapon itself? Is this about common-sense gun reform laws that require more comprehensive background checks and banning assault rifles? Nope. Hillary’s tweet proposed an argument about neither. Her argument is that by voting to immunize gun manufacturers for unintended uses of products, that Sanders prioritized gun-maker’s rights over parents’ rights. To punish gun shops, and many local economies, for crime(s) committed using a product it sold, is simply un-American.

 

Further, what should be said about Hillary’s State department’s authorization of arms contracts that are literally used for murder? What about the deaths of those killed by Boeing’s weapons? I don’t see Boeing being held accountable for the deaths caused by its products. Bernie isn’t tweeting about murders carried out using weapons made by companies that received arms contracts under Hillary’s State department and moreover that Hillary prioritized her “empire” over the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of civilians. Boeing was one of the largest contributors to the Clinton Foundation and in return it received arms contracts authorized by Hillary’s State department. This is arguably much worse than Bernie’s vote to immunize gun manufacturers. Bernie voted based on his own views not based on how much money his foundation received from arms manufacturers. Bernie doesn’t even have a foundation.

 

With Hillary’s tweet in perspective, it’s obvious Hillary is getting nervous about winning the nomination. She even went as far as to say she felt sorry for young Sanders supporters who just don’t know the facts about what’s really going on. Disenfranchised Millennials were rightly outraged. They immediately used Google for more research prompting the #HillaryResearch uproar on Twitter. Tweets about Hillary’s inconsistencies exploded. At this point, Millennials feel like they’re in an abusive relationship with the democratic establishment because it has ignored them, silenced them, insulted their intelligence, and degraded them – only to turn around and ask for their committed votes in the general election.

 

#BernieOrBust is gaining credibility with each new insult from the Clinton campaign. Hillary must tread lightly because Bernie’s supporters are ready for a political revolution. They’re tired of establishment sell-outs. Progressives aren’t a fringe part of the Democratic Party anymore. They’re big enough to form their own.

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