September 29, 2016

The Sanders supporters: Where are they now?

After yet another "Bernie rally" that drew only hundreds rather than tens of thousands -- most of them paid elderly seat-fillers, not cheering young people -- it's worth taking a look at what has happened to the other anti-Establishment uprising of this season.

Like all broad political movements, the Bernie phenomenon was not a monolithic mass. It was a coalition of distinct groups whose only commonality was being ignored, taken for granted, or abused by the senior partner of the party -- the Establishment, controlled by the allah-gahkey.

Although these various groups would have enthusiastically voted for Bill Clinton in the '90s, by now the mask has been removed from the face of Clintonism. This year they all joined together to try to replace the Clintons and even the Obamas with something new. But now with no single Bernie movement left to invest in, they have chosen four separate paths among the existing candidates, according to Emerson's national poll.

The largest group were the well-meaning partisan Democrats, who have gone to Clinton, and who made up around 60% of Bernie voters. They wanted desperately to change their party for the better, after getting regularly kicked around by the callous corporate senior members. But they are fundamentally hopeless and depressive, so they always come crawling back after yet another beating from their wicked stepmother (sometimes referred to as Crooked Hillary Clinton).

To reduce cognitive dissonance, they rationalize this undeserved loyalty as not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, AKA never complain no matter how hard they beat you. They are akin to the cuckservatives on the Republican side, who had kept depressively voting Republican no matter how awfully they were treated by the Establishment.

Then there were the working-class and other populist whites whose main concern is job-killing trade agreements, corporate elite control over the economy, and basic material security. Making up 20% of Bernie voters, they have defected parties to Trump -- who they don't even consider a "real" Republican anyway, and so not the greatest leap in the world to make.

These voters want no part of a party that pushed and defended NAFTA, let alone the TPP which would only further de-industrialize our economy and make working-class people even poorer and facing chronic uncertainty. The only problem was that the Republicans had been equally strong cheerleaders of de-industrialization -- "We found six-figure careers in the knowledge economy, so why don't you?" Now that Trump has promised to re-industrialize our backward economy, it is an absolute no-brainer for them to ditch the Dems.

Next are the ideological progressives, who made up 10% of Bernie voters and are now voting for the Green candidate Jill Stein. If someone was into the Bernie phenomenon because of his positions on major issues, there is only one place for them to go to. Bernie and Jill come from roughly the same background ideologically, only differing on strategy -- attempt a hostile takeover of a major party in order to win and govern, or run on a third party in order to raise issues and make a statement.

Back in the '80s, these types were languishing in a climate of three consecutive Republican victories -- and not liberals like Nixon or Eisenhower, who they might have tolerated. Once the Clinton coalition came a-callin' in '92, they were champing at the bit for a chance to finally win and get something done. But as with the labor-oriented voters, they quickly learned that they'd only been used for their votes, and would receive nothing in return. They were similarly taken advantage of by the Obama coalition, after two terms of another Bush, when they were desperate to unseat the Republicans again.

This time, however, they haven't been suffering under multiple Republican administrations, so they don't have that desperation to join the Democrats in order to knock out an incumbent conservative President. The situation now is more like 2000, when they voted for Nader instead of Gore. (In general, as I discussed in this earlier post, third-party movements split off from the incumbent party, as a way of punishing their senior partners for mistreatment and to deter such mistreatment in the future.)

That only leaves the 10% of Bernie voters who say they're voting for the Libertarian Gary Johnson. They "say" they're voting Libertarian, but this group has the weakest commitment -- just 40% of Johnson supporters are certainly going to vote for him, compared to about 90% of Clinton and Trump supporters having made up their minds, and 75% of Green supporters.

Who are they, and what brings them to the Libertarian candidate? These are the only group of identity politics voters from the original Bernie coalition -- and their identity is young-ish white slackers who have triple-digit IQs and related levels of education. They're largely male, along with girls who can hang with guys. They are the answer to, Who would South Park vote for? Why, naturally it's the goofy white stoner dude who can't be bothered to do his homework about Aleppo.

They were not drawn to the Bernie phenomenon because of his policies, else they would have gone to either Trump or Stein. Their counterparts back in 1992 would have been the incipient slacker culture, who viewed the Republicans as too stuffy and genteel. But now that the Party of Clinton has become so moralistic (social justice warriors), and so focused on hoovering up the mega-donations of limousine liberals, the youthful / man-child underachievers with no PC filter feel out of place voting Democrat.

Since their main concern is the cultivation of their persona, and expressing that through their voting behavior, they were projecting such an image onto Bernie when they first started noticing him. He certainly was a slacker, not having a real full-time job until he was around 40 years old. He probably did drugs. He made meta-ironic jokes about his appearance (hair), about pop culture (Trump-isms like "yuge"), and generally gave off a high-IQ prankster vibe. He came off as a man-child, albeit more of the absent-minded professor type. And he's a white male who despite being on the Left did not drone on about racism, sexism, homophobia, bla bla bla -- at least, not until he became a ventriloquist dummy for Crooked Hillary.

Transferring these identity traits onto Gary Johnson has not gone as successfully as they were hoping. He's a slacker, druggie, and white male who doesn't obsess over PC. But he also comes off more juvenile than young-at-heart (that creepy tongue thing he did in an interview with Kasie Hunt), and as more of a dull moron than a quick-witted jokester (this is your brain on drugs). Johnson doesn't do pop culture irony very well either, even though his supporters keep trying to make dick jokes a thing with his name.

If they're unsatisfied with Johnson, and 60% of his supporters are still open to other candidates, they will not go for Clinton in the end -- totally wrong persona for them to identify with. And probably not for Stein either -- too earnest, purposeful, and ideological. Some will see enough of themselves in Trump to identify with him -- no filter, down-to-earth, white male bored by PC. However, he also represents middle-aged and older people who are high-energy go-getting over-achievers. Left with no cerebral slackers to vote for, perhaps they will just say "fuck it" and stay home, in order to preserve their identity.


  1. Who are these Bernie supporters you know? Living up here in the rustbelt, all of the bernie supporters I know are even more PC and easily Triggered by disagreement than the hillary shills. The Hillary shills are openly in it for status and money.

    Both groups are horrible, yes but I'm not seeing a hidden wave of edgy populism from Bernie's fans. Maybe we'll see it in the future as "values"-based politics starts declining but that's for 2020 or late.


  2. For all the crap Trump gets about how you are not supposed to alienate groups of people, what about Team Clinton? They've gone all in on ID politics. Using diversity totems to attack Trump (like the Khan family and Machado), as though many white people care about what foreigners think. Or what fags think, or feminist harpies think, or hipster twits think.

    Hell, even some non-whites don't care. Just look at how she can't resonate with Millennials, the least white American generation ever. Fact is, the culture war era is nearing it's end and a lot of people are turned off by a carrerist/opportunist/war criminal/traitor haranguing everyone about various isms.

    Trump is sewing up a vital vein of security and common sense that's been hemorrhaging way to long. A lot of people are too blinded by partisanship and the corrupt elite's narrative to appreciate that Trump is a defender and builder while Hillary is a parasite who's made millions while doing almost nothing that's discernibly productive.

    Fortunately, Hillary is such a repulsive package that many don't want to vote for her. Non-Clinton voters and no-show voters will include a lot of cynical pessimists and Millennials, most of whom are too young and apolitical to feel an allegiance in the decades long culture wars for which so much X-er and Boomer blood has been shed. Besides, Millennials, unlike young Boomers, don't have something like a draft to energize them. Bernie would've been a decent spark for young turnout, what with his rebellious persona, but blacks and party hacks who didn't want "their" party to be co-opted took Bernie out.

    BTW, Washington mall shooter brown guy turns out to have voted several times in spite of not being a citizen. Can't make this stuff up. I mean, the provincial mania and gullibility that's necessary for any white "man" to defend the Dems at this point. The party that welcomes invaders, terrorists, criminals, sluts, and sexual deviants to a hive of decadence . Mind you, the GOP in most respects was as bad or worse, often sweeping sleaze under the rug while taking a stand on a handful of symbolic culture war issues like guns and abortion to stay on the right side of die-hard GOP voters. Trump, the not a real Republican, had to intervene to give life to the populist side of the party to the growing angst of the conceited and prissy nerd wing of the GOP that's still stuck in the 80's and 90's (keep in mind that some Dems voted against NAFTA!). Economically, the Dems could credibly claim to be more populist prior to the 2000's. But the Dems growing need to pander to weirdos, elitist strivers, and blacks alienated a lot of lunch pail whites.

    We're finally in an era in which at least one party is offering something besides:
    -a supply side doofus
    -a pious charlatan
    -or a PC pansy

    The Trump wing of the GOP has escaped the clutches of nerdy outdated economic ideas (securing the borders and enforcing pro-native employment laws will have an immediate benefit regardless of tax/regulation arcana) and alienating religious fundamentalism (Trump will never be accused of such pandering).

    Meanwhile, Hillary is drawing from the worst aspects of the ugly and bitter culture war era, in which it's impossible for ordinary folks to find comfortable footing since officious and inept elites are too busy scoring for their favorite team to care about the well-being of the spectators.

  3. "Who are these Bernie supporters you know?"

    I don't know too many irl but my brother's one, and several of his friends, whose discussions show up in my Facebook feed. They fall into the South Park / Johnson camp.

    The Stein types are familiar from my student activist days.

    Democrat partisans are the most visible -- Al Franken, Michael Moore, Nomiki Konst, really anyone you saw during the primaries, including Bernie himself who has lined up behind Crooked Hillary.

    Berners for Trump I've only seen on Twitter, but there are lots of them -- second-largest bloc after the partisans.

    In the Rust Belt they're not so much in the major city's county, but the surrounding metro area -- white flight voters. In Ohio, for instance, Clinton won Toledo but Bernie won several counties in the surrounding metro area. He won all of non-urban counties in New York. All of West Virginia.

    West Virginia is not full of easily triggered shitlibs.

  4. "They've gone all in on ID politics."

    Moralizing is addictive, especially after so many victories have convinced you of your side's superiority.

    This addiction to moralizing is preventing them from reaching normal people, now that their moral hysteria has gone overboard. They just can't help themselves, and need further and further extreme stimuli to give them the same rush as before.

    They used to be able to feel the rush from scrawling PRO CHOICE on their arm during a performance on MTV Unplugged. But that's so 20 years ago. Now they need to glibly accuse all people including the cops of being unconsciously racist, therefore in need of intense psychological re-programming.

    Being pro-choice kept them within the mainstream of society back in the '90s -- now they're off into outer space lecturing everybody for being racists, misogynists, xenophobes, etc. just because they don't want to see their neighbors get blown up by Islamic terrorists who only snuck into the country by cheating the immigration visa system.

    But after decades of addiction, they can't just go cold turkey on culture war moralizing. The withdrawal would be lethal.

  5. Random Dude on the Internet9/29/16, 10:58 PM

    Machado is a non-starter and unlike the Khans, Trump did not go for the bait. It seems like every couple months the Democrats try to trot out another non-white bait attempt and he has fallen for it every time except this one. Bannon and Conway seem to be doing their thing here; that or it was a little too obvious and Trump was able to sidestep it. Nobody really cares about this nontroversy. I think this was Hillary's October Surprise and it fell flat. Now she needs to find something else between now and the second debate to distract the public from noticing she's doing little campaigning these days.

  6. Miss Piggy isn't even non-white to Americans.

    They should have made her a dark Amerindian, not a white girl with a thick accent. How does she fall under "dass rayciss"?

    And they should have made her ugly, not Miss Universe. The whole point was to tug at the heart-strings of fatties (OMG, Trump made fun of weight gain!), but fatties hate nothing more than hot skinny chicks bitching about how they now weigh more than 110 lbs!

    Then again, everyone on her campaign is a homosexual with an AIDS-rotted brain, so how would they be able to relate to fat housewives? They were projecting themselves into beauty pageant contestants, typical homo drama queen instinct.

  7. That's why I don't gaf if Crooked Hillary was wearing an earpiece at the debates, if she had verbatim copies of the questions in advance, if her team colluded with NBC to put a wireless transmitter into her podium, or whatever else.

    If the end-result of all that trickery is that she tries to appeal to fatties by bringing up an aggrieved Miss Universe, who da hell cares? Technology cannot save incompetence.

    It's cargo cult campaigning for a cosplay candidate.

  8. Field report: came across another person wearing a Trump hat in public at the same time and place that I was. He was over 70, white, working/middle class, more gentle grandfather than gruff old shitlord demeanor.

    At: one of few remaining supermarkets that is not frou-frou, and does not have a separate frou-frou wing in it.

    The concentration of Trump supporters in this swing state metro area must be fairly high, if two of us ran into each other at random -- not attending a Trump rally, etc.

    That must have made an impression on the other customers and workers, too -- imagine seeing two people with Trump hats on in the store at the same time. And on people who don't appear to be fire-breathing Nazis.

    Wearing your Trump gear out in public helps to normalize what some bystanders might think are extremist positions. How extremist can they be, when his voters outnumber hers, and they appear to be normal people judging from the ones with Trump hats on in public?

  9. During the summer, wearing my Trump gear brought fear or confusion among minorities in stores-- clerks and such. They would serve me, but in a fearful, nervous way, worried about messing it up. Anyway I kept wearing the gear and now it's just cautious good humor. Whites mostly approve like they're cheering on a team or it's the stiff 'I'm too craven to SAY anything but I'll go home and blog stuffthatneverhappened about this!' tumblr type. I don't wear Trump stuff at church or school, only when I'm out running errands or shopping. The reactions are the same whether I'm with husband and kids or by myself or by myself with kid(s).

    I'm a black woman and my husband's white.

  10. Not even the "Syrian" refugees will give you any crap when you're wearing a Trump hat. You'd think they'd be offended, give you a dirty look, try to bait you into an argument about why they all gotta go back, etc.

    Nope. They're resigned. They can sense Trump is going to win, and that he's not the usual pantywaisted American President.

  11. Random Dude on the Internet9/30/16, 7:53 AM

    I wear a white and gold MAGA hat out in public and typically don't get any comments except from people who are/were in the military and the police, which are all positive. I don't get any negative comments. Liberals and hipsters tend to avoid eye contact. I live in a decent sized city in the cuck belt.

    Also looks like Trump continues to lead in the USC poll. He is now leading by 5.6 points. Seems to me like he is actually getting a boost from the polls and not Clinton. RCP is now suspect because they put Trump down as leading by five points instead of by six by mathematical rounding principles.

  12. Random Dude on the Internet9/30/16, 8:12 AM

    I know a number of Bernouts and most of them are still carrying the torch, even though Sanders himself is now a Clinton shill. That's because they're carrying the torch for his ideas, not necessarily the man himself.

    A couple of them are voting for Hillary just due to party affiliation and aren't real motivated to go and vote either. A couple of them are staying home. One guy I know is voting Johnson and a girl I know is voting for Stein. They tend to be more anti-Hillary than anti-Trump so if he makes a good case in the next few weeks, he might be able to convert a couple of them.

    All of them are kind of the same: people who graduated from college with poor job prospects. Most of them I believe wanted a traditional life where they get married, have a couple of kids, and work boring careers. They're not cut out to be strivers where they are willing to put their boot on someone's neck to get ahead. We're from the cuck belt where that type of behavior is considered unseemly.

  13. Trump is slipping in the polls and he took the Machado bait after all:

    1. Clinton elevating this woman is one of the most retarded things I've ever seen in all of politics. Whether they forgot to vet or were just hoping people wouldn't figure it out until too late, it doesn't matter. It was bone-crushingly stupid.

      Trump goofed when he went on Fox and Friends the next morning, but the media trying to pretend that Trump's bringing up that Clinton has bad judgment because she propped up a terrible person is the same thing as defending boorish behavior?
      And it's doubly rich their concern trolling. After all, most of them are implicated. The Guardian and Cosmo propped up this woman as a virtuous victim *before* the debate. Many others dutifully ran articles afterward...
      None vetted? They were all happy to keep the American people stupid for Clinton's benefit?

      They're squealing like stuck pigs. They've been shown up as stupid, corrupt, and complicit.

      But keep gaslighting, though.

  14. No he's not you depressive wuss

  15. My field report :)

    -Within 10 minutes of putting the Trump sign in my yard last week,before I had a chance to go back inside, a neighbor couple stopped to ask where they could get one and I hooked them up immediately :)

    -In just a week, there seems to have been an explosion in Trump signs and bumper stickers. I finally saw my first Hillary sign last night when visiting my mom's new home in a solidly middle class 55+ community in Lakeland, FL. But I saw at least a dozen Trump signs for that one. This is the largest ratio I've ever seen in my area in any election.
    The last time I saw ratios approaching this size was Bush's re-election in 2004.

    -visiting with my mom and aunt was a big reminder how difficult supporting Trump can be for people who have status anxiety. By the time I left, I had my mom so chill. I love and fully embrace the "trashy". I laugh everyday. It just so happened that the anti-Trump commercial of Trump's "greatest hits" (bomb the sh** out of ISIS, etc.) came on and Mom got to watch me laugh and joke that they're just trying to get people to fall in love with Trump. Mom voted Rubio in the primary. To others, she's a shy Trump supporter. Aunt voted Trump, but almost voted Kasich; a Trump rally with so many low-brow people at the very beginning of the primary hugely turned her off... She is a solid Trump supporter for the general; not like me, but not hiding it like Mom, either.
    My mom and aunt grew up very poor. Not hyperbolic "poor", but the real deal. My grandparents' home was sold to migrant farm workers when they died. So, a little sensitive about that kind of thing, but innately soulful enough where they aren't crippled.

  16. BTW, haven't done any campaign work: been too busy helping Mom with her move and my aunt is still recovering from a liver transplant...

    It looks like it's going to be the weekend following this one when we'll be able to start; my husband has to go and put together some furniture for his in-laws.

    Can't wait! Have been wondering what we're going to run into and with whom when do that door-knocking...

  17. Well, well, it turns out Trump's instincts to hammer Hillary hard over the beauty queen were correct.

    Steve has a post up reporting that McClatchy(sp?) found that the Democrats had been prepping her and this story for one year. One year!!

    Had the limpwrist set and concern trolls gotten their way, no digging and calling a spade a spade, we could have looked forward to hearing about the drug lord's baby mama, the horrors of body shaming, and all the jazz that they'd cooked up til election day.

    Killed that baby in the crib.

    I don't think we'll be hearing too much more about this woman and hopefully that whole narrative has been tremendously wounded. Especially with the media collusion made so manifest (caught with their pants down).

    Even more should be done about the media's role, IMHO.

  18. Looks like my other brother is a Johnson supporter too -- even more in the South Park demographic than his twin. Don't know who he was for during the primaries, or if he's only been paying attention recently.

    It cements my hunch that Johnson voters are "expressive" voters who want to broadcast their social-cultural identity or persona (the South Park crowd), whereas Stein voters are "utilitarian" voters who want certain policies to be discussed and implemented.

  19. It also shows why the Johnson voters are "still open" to changing their mind. Broadcasting their support for him after the election is over has no value for marketing their South Park brand. They only get to enjoy that while he's still a candidate.

    So maybe they'll have it both ways -- "support" him until the election, and be part of the South Park voter phenomenon in their social and cultural spheres, then either stay home or vote Trump on Election Day.

    "I used to be a Johnson supporter, but I figured we need a change, and we're tired of PC bullcrap, so I ended up voting Trump." -- not so bad to say, when Trump is the winner, and you're on the winning side.

    Johnson voters are definitely not inclined toward Crooked Hillary if forced to choose between her and Trump. Just see who they bad-mouth more -- it's Hillary every time.

    The main thing to do with Johnson voters is be their friend, slam Hillary, and remind them of Trump's attractive qualities -- against TPP, against imperialism, against corruption, no PC censorship or identity politics, moderate on social-cultural topics.

    Just don't attack them for wasting their vote, or threaten them to get in line behind Trump, etc. That'll push them away. Enough of them will come around by themselves by Election Day. The ones who don't at least won't be voting for Clinton.

    Stein voters are not just trying to strike a cultural pose for their friends, so they've got their minds made up to vote for her. No point in trying to win them over, just slam the hell out of Hillary, the Clinton empire, and the Establishment, and they'll be pleasantly surprised what happens during Trump's Presidency, and in their interactions with Trump supporters.

  20. "Why, naturally it's the goofy white stoner dude who can't be bothered to do his homework about Aleppo."

    Why do you hate marijuana? Contrary to what you believe, it doesn't turn people into zombies. Obongo smoked that shit too, and he is less out of it than Johnson.


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