CULTURE

#ILikeBernie, and the Cluelessness of Hillary Clinton

We are all nobodies in Hillary Clinton's eyes.

In the 2016 Presidential Election, Hillary Clinton dominated the endorsement race.

She had the backing of every prominent Democratic figure within moments of declaring her candidacy, while Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley made do with the scraps. For the campaign of a politician like Martin O'Malley, that was a death sentence. His term as Mayor of Baltimore was famously dramatized on HBO's The Wire in the figure of Tommy Carcetti—an idealistic politician who sacrifices his values in service of his ambitions and the political machine. A politician like that needs the support of as many establishment backers as he can get, and the fact that Hillary Clinton was taking up all the air in that exclusive room left O'Malley with about 0.5% of the Iowa Caucuses. A politician like Bernie Sanders is another story.

For Bernie Sanders, grassroots support from ordinary voters matters far more than the support of powerful elites. That was his strength in 2016 with #FeelTheBern, and it remains his strength in 2020 with #ILikeBernie, and his army of volunteers and small dollar donors. Just as in 2016, Hillary Clinton doesn't seem to know how that works, and the citizens of Twitter desperately want to teach her with a flood of scathing responses to her recent quote that "nobody likes" Bernie—including at least one from a former Clinton advisor.

Do endorsements even matter next to this kind of enthusiasm from supporters? Despite scant endorsements from traditional kingmakers and power players, Sanders' 2016 campaign won in 21 states, garnered 46% of pledged delegates, and took the race all the way to the convention. Meanwhile, in the Republican primaries, Donald Trump collected very few high-profile endorsements—and almost no newspaper endorsements—while easily besting his opponents in state after state.

Comparisons of Sanders to Trump are never far from the lips of many mainstream pundits, and while much of that tendency is built on a faulty "horseshoe" theory of politics (that the "far-left" and the far-right of the political spectrum bend toward each other), there is a kernel of truth hidden in there. Both Sanders and Trump built their political successes on a perception of authenticity. That's what made their fans so passionate, despite the lack of institutional support. But while Donald Trump is an erratic, unprincipled con-man who built that perception primarily on the basis of his shameless embrace of racist and sexist rhetoric—"he tells it like it is"—Bernie Sanders is seen as authentic because he's been consistently fighting for the same causes, with the same uncompromising vigor, for four decades.

Since he entered politics in the early 1980s, if not long before—the image of him as a young activist being arrested during a civil rights protest in Chicago speaks volumes—Bernie Sanders has been fighting for a vision of justice that most Americans have only recently come around to. A vision that embraces issues of race, gender, and sexuality, but also of class, and of the ways that those concepts interact. And it is precisely because of that commitment that voters love him while, within the political machine, "nobody likes him."

That's what Clinton said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, going on to claim of Sanders that "nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician." She was referring specifically to Sanders' role in Congress, but what she revealed is that she is still deep in denial about her 2016 loss.

While it's always important to point out that Clinton received nearly three million more votes than Donald Trump—and would have won the presidency if our electoral system wasn't holding onto a useless relic of our nation's worst historic crimes—it's still worth noting that her primary flaw as a candidate played a role in her poor performance in key states.

She was and is perceived by many voters as inauthentic. She plays the political games too well and too willingly, adjusting her public and private stances to her audience. Someone who doesn't play at all, who—in Sanders' own words—doesn't "tolerate bullsh*t terribly well," must seem like a strange creature. Her issue with him is not that he is a "career politician," but that he built that career on a foundation of grass-roots support, rather than mutual political aid within the institutions of power. Why doesn't he just play ball?

In other contexts Clinton has made it clear that she still blames Sanders for Donald Trump's victory. The fact that Bernie's firm principles threw her pliability into such stark relief may have made her flaws more visible and played a role in her failed candidacy, but her latest comments make it clear that she doesn't believe in another way for politics to work. The backroom deals and the focus-tested positions are politics to her. The idea of actually trying to build a better system—one that works for justice for all people—is "all just baloney" to her, and she feels "so bad that people got sucked into it."

We feel bad for you too, Hillary. You were a career politician too, and you may have gotten your name on more bills than Bernie Sanders—and I'm sure your fellow senators were impressed with your work—but none of us can name one. Your lack of vision, and the political strategies cemented in the 90s prevented you from pushing for the kind of change that might have been your legacy. People will remember Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All, whether or not the bill ever receives a floor vote.

Visionary change must seem like baloney to someone who had fully adapted to political stagnation. Bernie was no more responsible for you being branded "Crooked Hillary" than you were responsible for Barack Obama being labeled a Muslim. In both cases the slander was an exaggeration of the real story. And while political weaknesses are fair game, the fact that your staffers chose to distribute the image of Obama in a turban in 2008 points to the flaw in your character—in the character of the people with whom you surround yourself and in your entire approach to politics—that Sanders' biggest fans rejected in you. The flaw that Trump capitalized on with that nickname.

Obama Turban Picture

So yes, by the standards you built your career on, Bernie Sanders is a failure, and "nobody" likes him. His authenticity and his principles are incompatible with the kind of glad-handing and ass-kissing that could have won him some more endorsements. Luckily for him, there are a lot of us nobodies in the world, and we don't just exist on Twitter behind the explosion of #ILikeBernie posts that emerged in response to your interview. We vote.

So when you're asked if you would endorse in the case that he wins the nomination—that you're "not going to go there yet," it's tempting to point to your hypocrisy, but the more important point is: We don't care. We've moved on from politicians like you.

Music Features

Classic Mixtapes To Get Us Through Summer In Quarantine

Let's revisit some of the great summer mixtapes to help ease the pangs of summertime nostalgia

Bonfires with our friends, balmy summer days spent by the lake passing a spliff and sipping on a Corona, summertime love affairs—it all may feel like a past life now.

The rollout for summer 2020 is unlike anything before it. While Americans everywhere try to retain a sense of normalcy, it will be impossible to enjoy summer the way we want to. Bitter nostalgia for the summers of yore is rampant. Luckily, music has remained the one constant. To help unwind in these times of heightened anxiety, it helps to revisit some of the mixtapes that brought us childhood bliss, that pumped us up when school dismissed for summer, that blasted through our car speakers as we cruised with the windows down with our friends in tow. Here are a few of the greatest mixtapes of summers past, in the hopes it will bring back the fond memories that, right now, may feel distant.

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CULTURE

The 7 Craziest Things That Have Happened Since Trump Was Elected

It's Been Three Years Since Election Night, And It's Time Look Back on the Chaos

Three years ago today, The New York Times was still proudly proclaiming the near-certainty that Hillary Clinton would be our president, and we all pretty much assumed they were right.

But if you were Biff Tannen in Back to the Future 2 (which President Trump absolutely is), travelling back in time with your future-knowledge, you could have made some good money betting on the election upset.

BTTF2: Old Biff Gives The Grays Sports Almanac to His 1955 Alter Ego www.youtube.com

In the UK, where it's legal to bet on these things, gamblers made millions by betting on Trump's victory. Still though, Trump's win is hardly the most surprising thing that's happened in the last three years. If you really wanted to get out there with your gambling, you could make some serious cash predicting stuff like…

Kanye Is Going to Come Out as a Trump Supporter

Dragon energy! Less than two weeks after the election, Kanye began the horrifying saga that is still underway by announcing that, if he voted, he would have voted for Trump. This is obviously a strange turn for the man who once visibly broke Mike Myers by saying "George Bush doesn't care about black people."

Considering the fact that 80% of black voters consider Trump racist, and only 8% voted for him in 2016, and that Trump and his father were actually sued back in the 70s by the Justice Department for refusing to rent apartments to black people, you might expect Kanye to have similar concerns about our current Commander-in-chief. You would be wrong, because Kanye knows that Trump has "dragon energy," which is why he wears MAGA hats and says that being enslaved was a choice.

Trump's Press Secretary Is Going to Be on "​​Dancing With the Stars​​"

Spicer with his dancing partner on "Dancing With the Stars"

NBC News

Sean Spicer was bad at his job. He was easily flustered, combative, couldn't deliver a convincing lie, and was constantly distracted by having a colon literally packed to the brim with swallowed chewing gum. But once he'd resigned, it was time to start rehabilitating his image. The process began just a few months after he left the White House in September of 2017, when he made a theatrical appearance on stage at the 69th Emmy Awards—to the delight of Kevin Spacey—and joked about how he used to lie to America for a living. Since then, he's been a correspondent on Extra and finally achieved the pinnacle of his career in August of this year, when he was announced as a member of the cast of Dancing With the Stars season 28. Good luck, Sean!

He's Going to Give Omarosa a Job at the White House

Trump whispering to Omarosa

NY Post

Remember Omarosa Manigault? Back in 2016 the name might have rung a bell. She was the devious villain who lost the first season of The Apprentice and went on to have a successful career as "that awful woman from The Apprentice." Who better to work in the White House? After all, she recognized the importance of the office of the presidency as "the ultimate revenge", so… Actually, her addition to Trump's transition team in December of 2016 was pretty predictable. The only thing more predictable was the fact that she would eventually stab Trump in the back. The fact that she had to be physically dragged out of the White House is a nice bonus though.

An Adult Film Star Is Going to Describe His Mushroom-Penis

Trump, Stormy Daniels, and Toad

Everyone knows that Donald Trump has the best, classiest taste, so if he's going to cheat on his new wife with an adult entertainment star, you'd better believe that star is going to be a three-time "Favorite Breasts" award-winner, and the star of classic films like Trailer Trash Nurses 6 and Camp Cuddly Pines Power Tool Massacre. What might be a little less predictable is that said entertainer will write a book in which she compares Trump's weird penis to a mushroom.

He's Going to Compare "Button" Sizes with Kim Jung-Un

Trump and Kim Button Tweet

The Scottish Sun

Speaking of Trump's weird penis, you know what a dick-measuring contest could be a fun metaphor for? A series of reciprocated threats between two men comparing terrifying nuclear arsenals. What fun. You could definitely make some money predicting something so stupid, but what's really impressive is predicting that these two star-crossed madmen will then fall in love.

He's Going to Create a Sci-Fi Military Branch Called Space Force

Trump with astronaut toy

Reuters

Space Force? Okay, at this point your predictions are just lining up with what a ten-year-old would do with the presidency…which is actually a pretty good model for anticipating his behavior. Unfortunately, Space Force is not going to involve kickass, Starship Trooper space marines, but the ridiculous name alone is pretty great. What could be more childish than that? Other than…

He's Going to Look Directly at a Solar Eclipse

Do you remember being warned about solar eclipses as a child? It's like the number two thing about eclipses. Number one, the moon blocks the sun. Number two, don't look at it! Surely, no adult would be so stupid, right? In his ongoing effort to be a caricature of ignorant defiance, Trump ignored this warning and looked directly at the sun during the 2017 solar eclipse.

Now just remember this list when you hop in your time machine, and you should be all set. If you want, you could also cash in on some of the more predictable stuff, like appointing an "alleged" sex criminal to the supreme court and putting kids in concentration camps, but obviously the real money is in Space Force.