After reading Joe Biden’s unimaginative, business-as-usual op-ed in the New York Times, I wondered, “How has the progressive left come to this?” In the end, it was Bernie Sanders as the progressive representative against Biden, and to be honest, I disliked both of these candidates equally. My dream candidate, Stacey Abrams, didn’t run, and my top choice, Elizabeth Warren, dropped out. I just couldn’t bring myself to support Sanders though.
After giving it some thought, here are the main reasons I didn’t support Sanders. Please, I DO NOT WANT people trying to convince me that Sanders really is awesome or that I was mistaken. The man has been running for president for five years- I have a pretty good idea of what he’s about from my perspective. This is simply why I did not support Sanders, if you want to know.
1) Back in 2016, both he and Hillary Clinton came to CT during that year’s primaries. Bernie held a large campaign rally, while Clinton visited the Wilson-Grey YMCA in Hartford. Clinton’s decision to visit my neighborhood was a gesture that spoke to me more than images from Bernie’s rally. That secured my Clinton vote in 2016.
2) Elizabeth Warren didn’t endorse him, which is a huge deal to me. It’s not only because she was my preferred choice, but because they were extremely similar in many policy ideas, and STILL she wouldn’t endorse him. I think it’s because Bernie was an asshole to her (see his comments to her about a woman being unable to win), and that makes me worry about his ability to actually build coalitions. As I noted above, I’m not that impressed by Bernie’s speeches. I would like a president who can actually get things done.
3) He had a heart attack. I was surprised that the media skated by that fact so quickly.
4) He’s still an old white man. Perhaps the craziest part of this entire election to me is that the right, the center left and the progressive left all ended up being represented by 70 year old white men. I keep being told that Bernie is going to be different, but that’s not what I see. What I see is that the progressive left is made up of young people, people of color, women and others who passionately care about the issues of the progressive left. I’ve seen them working hard since President Trump’s election. And in the four years since 2016, the same old voice was elevated. Again. I’m personally past the point of believing, “This guy is different! You’ll see!” as a matter of faith.
There really are more reasons, but I wanted to stick with the main ones. I just want to try to explain that people have actual reasons for why they don’t support Bernie.