Despite all the evidence and simple logic that Bernie Sanders and his supporters (bots) own the responsibility for the Election of Donald Trump, most—if not all—deny their culpability. Whether due to shame at the realization, smug self-righteousness, or the latent delusion of Bernie’s viability had he been nominated instead of Hillary Clinton is not clear. What is clear is that they lack the pragmatism to understand democratic politics.
Among the surest indicators that they lack the capacity is illustrated by their universal disdain for any choice that constitutes what they call “the lesser of two evils.” It is an expression of their “Puritanical” absolutism that has made the 21st Century a disaster from the beginning to the present. The truth that they are incapable of understanding is the pragmatic outlook that their choices are always which of the candidates promise the greatest possible good—which includes consideration of the candidate’s chances of winning.
When seeking a scapegoat to justify their superior sense of morality, they generally revert to conspiracy theory. He lost, they claim, due to some imagined—and totally unconfirmed—treachery on the part of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). In fact, not only was Bernie’s campaign the only campaign to engage in illegal subterfuge—the hacking of Clinton’s database on the DNC computer—but his bots so lacked the most basic understanding of the political process that they failed to win the nomination for him!
Then, albeit Bernie belatedly encouraged them to back Clinton, his core bots either abandoned voting at all, voted third party, and one in ten went so far as to vote for Trump.* Many did so while assuming their purity of purpose, and expressing their disdain for Bernie’s betrayal of their revolution. Whether they were thus directly responsible for Trump’s win is a moot point in consideration to the extent to which they had damaged Clinton’s brand during the primaries. The combination of increased third party votes and decreased turnout for Democrats carried the Electoral vote for Trump.
The simple facts are that Hillary Clinton did not deserve the attacks the liberal purists levied against her, and the American public deserved a more thoughtful approach to selecting a candidate than the character assassination in which Bernie and his bots engaged. Then, basic logic escaped their self-righteous pretensions of ideological purity.
* Update: Over 20 percent of Sanders’ supporters either did not vote for Clinton, or voted for other candidates, including the 12 percent who voted for Trump.