Anytime I post anything critical of Bernie Sanders random male acquaintances come out of the woodwork with their essay-comment posts or their “facts” about Hillary’s this or Tim Kaine’s that, and I have to ask myself why I bother to engage with a universe of people are hardly know in a debate that can’t be won because the issue is mine: I despise Bernie Sanders.
I am trying to figure out why I hate Bernie Sanders so much. Sure, he arguably assisted in the failure of the democratic party to unify after the primaries, treated Hillary with a baseless lack of respect (called her “unqualified”), lost by 3.7 million votes but still believes he could have won the general election, won’t deem Jon Ossof “progressive” but then endorses anti-abortion candidate Heath Mello (because “that’s what politics is about”). As a Facebook commenter said, the hypocrisy is staggering. That’s all good reason to doubt his reputation as some Great Democratic Leader, but why does he inspire so much loathing?
Who is Bernie Sanders? If you ask me, he’s just another guy with a big ego. A brand that appeals to white liberal people who see themselves as morally superior. That’s all fine, if he had not also preyed on the deep-seated ingrained misogyny in our culture to direct vitriol towards Hillary, and never made amends for it after he lost (again, by 3.7 million votes). He never apologized to her, women or democrats for his open display of contempt for this amazing, albeit complicated, and history-making woman. And I hate him because as a woman I continue to live in the misogynist society whose cultural attitudes he exploited to further his own ego. If Trump let the dogs out of open racism, Bernie jacked the already open door of hatred for highly competent and intelligent women. SO WHAT I’M SAYING IS THAT I THINK WE ALL LADIES DESERVE AN APOLOGY!
His endorsement of Mello literally made me want to throw up…But I know that my feelings — when they reach this level of rage — go deeper than said person. Just as extreme anti-Hilary people might project their own unprocessed rage mixed with misogyny onto her (or any other woman, public, or otherwise), I think he touches a nerve. I don’t think I am a misandrist (hater of men), but I do despise two types of men who wreck havoc on our world and, yet, can not be destroyed: the Narcissistic Alpha Male (NAM) and the Morally Superior Alpha Male (MSAM).
The NAM (Donald Trump) is the shamelessly entitled, sociopath, liar, who can do anything he wants. He can act generously or selfishly or whatever, it is justified. It’s almost better if he does a horrible thing and everyone acts like it’s OK, because it reinforces the basic belief structure of the NAM: he can get away with anything. He is the top dog. King of the jungle. While I stay away from these types, I have to respect the intrinsic matter-of-factness — not to be confused with honesty — of their attitude; in a way you know what you’re getting. If you expect anything other than rampant self-interest from a Narcissistic Alpha Male, then you are the one who was mistaken. Like Trump supporters, you may need to be woken up from a coma. And I realize that this is a “blame the victim” mentality, but it’s also a “survive in the world” life lesson that I hope I’ve learned.
But Bernie Sanders is a slightly different animal. And I say only slightly because while he contains all the entitlement and ego of any alpha male, he actually see’s himself as a “good person.” I like to think that I’ve reached a maturation process and/or seen enough documentaries about Rwanda to know that, for the most part, barring genocidal leaders, there are no “good” or “bad” people in this f-d up world. There are “reasonable,” “committed,” and “hard working” people. There are “insecure” people, and there are “scared” people who might follow genocidal leaders We are all human and capable of good and evil. I have acted in ridiculous ways in my past that mortify me now. Maybe it’s therapy or age, but if you go through a reflective process, you realize that the word “good” is really simplistic and best used in Disney films.
The MSAM doesn’t get this. Bernie Sanders convinced his followers that if they voted for him, they could see themselves as “good” righteous people who understand the true way. I understand why an educated liberal white person wants to believe that slavery happened so long ago that we don’t have to feel associated with it anymore. But it wasn’t that long ago, and it did build America to what it is today. But the MSAM (i.e., Bernie Sanders) is not interested in self-reflection, he wants to believe that we are, in fact, so good and right that we can bypass all the ways that generations of racism and misogyny still live and breathe in our systems. The Messianic complex gives free reign to general rightness. An MSAM like Bernie Sanders can ignore women’s rights, family rights, and abortion rights because as a morally superior alpha male, his set of priorities is without question, good.
I don’t hang around Christian Evangelists, but if I were raised in a small Texas town with more churches than stop signs, I would most likely loathe a Christian fundamentalists politician. For me, they are another world. But Bernie Sanders and his disciples are the evangelists that I have to deal with.
Note: I don’t believe that all Bernie Sanders supporters fall into the Bernie Bros stereotype.