It goes without question that Bernie Sanders thought he could turn out the hordes of malcontents lurking in the shadows of our political system, but he erred on three counts. First, he seemed to believe he could win over the malcontents from the right as well as the left. Not only does such a delusion clearly demonstrate how little he understands about the electorate, but it brings his qualifications for office into question—as do the other two errors.
He also miscalculated the depth of cynicism that runs through the socialists and anarchists skulking in their mothers’ basements—the kind of liberals who more often finds the expression of their ideology covered by the media in the storefronts destroyed during riots. His third error was what appears to be an assumption that those who came out for him were savvy enough that they did not need to be led by the hand.
While Bernie’s campaign Web site did mention his revolutionaries need to register as Democrats—somewhere deep within his encouragement that they register to vote—Bernie failed to mention this factor in every public appearance. Instead, he and his drones resorted to their more typical political posture of grousing about the consequent outcome after the fact.
Let us not leave this to be regarded as a criticism of Sanders alone. It demonstrates just how unqualified his supporters are to vet a presidential candidate. There is no real distinction in this between the supporters who were not registered and registered as independents, and supporters who were long-time registered indies in states with closed primaries. Both are equally ignorant.
Registering as an independent voter to make a political statement is not just stupid. It is delusional. Like it or not, the two party system is fairly well entrenched, and all someone who registers as an indie can hope is that someone will notice that they are not fully satisfied with either main party.
You can bet that politicians take notice of the preferences of indie voters after general elections, but they do not usually consider their demands when shaping platforms. Indies need to face the fact that they are irrelevant to primary campaigns—except for the event of some spoiler like Bernie, possibly. Registered indies really need to step back from their smug assumptions about being an indie, and get in touch with the political reality of the democratic process.
When Tip O’Neill said, “all politics is local,” he did not intend that his remark be taken literally. Rather, he intended to stress the importance of involvement in politics at every level. Indies generally know whether they are liberal or conservative, and registering with the party, Democratic or Republican, that most represents their ideological stance will assure that they have a say in who is nominated.
You see, registering as a Democrat or Republican does not restrict anyone from voting for the Green Party or Nazi Party candidate, but it does give you a say in who will be nominated by the party most likely to win the general election.