Bernie Talk

Here are some observations I want to make about Bernie.

1. I’m really over the people who say that Bernie got a lot fewer votes in NH than back in 2016. Of course, one gets more votes running against one person than running against five million candidates. What kind of an idiot takes that as indication of anything but that basic arithmetic works?

2. If Bernie is the nominee and he loses the general, everybody will say that it’s because he’s too radical and nobody buys into his program. But that’s crap. If he loses, it will be because the Democrats have worked extra hard to turn themselves into a poisonous brand nationally. Bernie polls better than a socialist than a Democrat. And it’s not because everybody is suddenly so into socialism. It’s because people break out in hives when they hear the word “Democrats.” I don’t think he’ll lose, by the way. But I do think that Democrats need to get their shit together and get to work.

15 thoughts on “Bernie Talk”

  1. You underestimate the toxicity of the label “socialist” to American voters. If Bernie gets the Democratic nomination, Trump will cruise to re-election. He won’t need my vote — and won’t get it even if Arizona is in question — to win.

    That’s why the panicked Democratic establishment is suddenly giving serious consideration to another billionaire fake Democrat New Yorker like Bloomberg.


    1. I’ve been asking students for a couple of years now what they associate with the word “socialism.” The answers are always 100% positive. This means they never heard anything about it at home.

      I think you underestimate how ignorant and lacking in curiosity about anything that is not strictly parochial Americans are.


      1. “I’ve been asking students for a couple of years now what they associate with the word “socialism.” The answers are always 100% positive..”

        That’s because you’re talking to children, who haven’t gone out into the wider world and actually worked for a living. They don’t vote in any real numbers. Talk to their parents — or to their grandparents, who are my age. We’re the ones who actually vote en masse.

        When I joined the military as a doctor in my early thirties, I noticed a distinct difference in the maturity level between 22-year-old officers (second lieutenants who had just entered service after four years of college ROTC, most of whom were still single), and 22-year-old enlisted personnel (junior sergeants, who had entered the service four years earlier right after high school, and who had married early and been supporting families for the past four years).

        Call me a cynic, but my experience has been that most young adults grow up when they have to, depending on the circumstances of time and fate. The longer you can hide behind academic walls, shielded from the real world demands of life beyond the campus gates, the more delayed your functional adulthood is.


        1. “my experience”

          OK Boomer….

          Young people who go into debt to get the educational credentials that are needed for most employment find that the era of relatively secure employment that allows people to make plans for the future is non-existent and end up living in communal pods and hustling between part time gigs with employers who use software to check their bathroom breaks…. with no better future in realistic sight because a cabal of well-connected conmen and failchildren are stealing everything that isn’t nailed down.

          You belong to the most coddled generation in human history and young voters…. haven’t.

          Bernie is the only candidate that speaks to the real concern of those reaping the harvest of the boomers (aka “the greediest generation in human history” in the words of Mark Blyth).


          1. “OK Boomer….”


            Pardon my laughter, Cliff, but I can’t help giggling at an educator like you who has either such poor reading retention or long-term memory lapse. In the past several years, there have been at least two comments by me in which I responded to some idiot calling me a Baby Boomer by specifically stating that I WAS BORN IN EARLY 1945, DURING THE WAR! Twice here on Clarissa’s website I have labelled myself a “War Baby.”

            On both occasions, you personally replied (correctly) that I was technically a member of the “Silent Generation,” the group of some 50 million children born between 1925 and 1945, who had to deal with the socially unstable period between the World Wars and the economic instability of the Great Depression that led directly into WWII.

            I fully agree with you that the Baby boomers (as personified by George W. Bush, the Clintons, Obama, and Trump, and, I suspect from much of your comments — YOU — “belong to the most coddled [and spoiled, and overrated]…and greediest generation in human history.”

            YOUR generation has lived through the most prosperous, peaceful time of uninterrupted economic and scientific growth in human history, and made a total mess of passing on the torch to the currently cascading ill-named generations (??Generation X? Generation Y” [aka “Millennials”], and the latest so-called Generation Z ??.) Sorry, I have trouble keeping up with all the generational alphetical soup.

            But don’t insult me by mislabeling me a “Baby Boomer!” I’m too old for that, been retired almost 23 years now, and the current mess in the world is definitely in your generation’s hands — AND YOU ARE WELCOME TO IT! 🙂


            1. “HA!HA!HA!”

              Touched a nerve? 1945 is within the late silent/early boomer range (some date boomers to 1944 and I think I’ve even seen 1943 as the first year).

              The main point is that you can’t expect younger generations to have your generation’s bogey words. “Socialism” doesn’t and isn’t going to scare people who’ve seen the scum of the earth (Blankfein, Singer, the Sacklers) grow fat off the blood of their victims in the name of capitalism and who have to use emergency rooms as their only healthcare and who face a future of hustling for part time gigs under control freaks with no hint of the kind of stability needed to plan for the future. 40 years of neoliberalism is enough.

              Technically I’m a boomer but out of disgust I’ve officially renounced my membership in favor of generation X to which I feel much closer spiritually. Also, technically some peel off late boomers like myself and early generation X into a transitional generation called the Disco generation which is kind of mortifying but also…. accurate.


              1. I love the Disco, and I’m not embarrassed to admit it. 🙂

                However, I have to mention that I don’t teach at Vassar. All of my students work. Many take care of families. Some are raising younger siblings or children of siblings because parents are incarcerated or addicted. Many of my students are from the opioid country up north. Quite a few are from the most crime-ridden areas of St Louis and Chicago. (Incidentally, these are the ones who hate wokesterism more passionately than even I do). We aren’t talking about coddled brats here. These are young people who hate Thanksgiving, and not because of some dumb wokey reasons but because they have to work night shifts.


              2. I agree with Cliff. The word Socialism isn’t a huge turn off for younger people. Younger people associate Socialism with the strong social welfare states of Scandinavia, Germany, France, the Netherlands, etc. rather than bleak images of cold war Eastern Europe.


              3. Going for more stereotypes, I hate the reactionary generation X, they wouldn’t stick their neck out for another person, and are very judgmental, religious, Clinton-voting, neoliberal, etc. Limited people. I only like myself, my grandparents and the millenials, and perhaps those younger than the millenials.


              1. Z, I’m surprised you perceive Gen-X as particularly religious. I’m near the middle of Gen-X myself and I 100% get the judgmental and unwilling to stick their necks out for others claims. But Gen-X is less religious than Boomers and Silent generation and survey data show a steady decline in religiousness with each currently living generations.

                Is it that the religious Gen-Xers are worse about religion than the religious of other generations. I’m not a believer myself and I generally don’t pay much attention to people when they talk about religion.


              2. TomW, I’m just trying to dispel this idea of generations, I think it’s ridiculous. Yes, there are people who are similar ages and so remember the same things. But that doesn’t mean same personalities, attitudes, values


          2. The greediest generation is the one born in the 1920s. They cashed in on depression / war and rolled high in 50s and 60s. Us, their kids born after the war, are poor because they elected Reagan. [This is not accurate but it is as accurate as or more accurate than blaming me, who started college in the 70s with the recession and has never experienced a good labor market, for current woes]


  2. Everyone acts like the word “socialism” has any fucking meaning in today’s American political discourse other than “a government program that gets money into the hands of people I don’t like who are not me.” In that sense it is interchangeable with “welfare.”

    It’s mighty rich for a bunch of old people whinging about “socialism” when they cash their Social Security and Medicare checks to a bunch of younger people who’ve been told repeatedly they should never expect any of that 7.65-15.3% of the paychecks to reach them in retirement. It’s easy to forget that Ronald Reagan campaigned against Medicare because wait for it…. “socialism!”

    Also, when Social Security was proposed it was called, guess what, “socialism” again!

    I mean, fuck it, wages are flat to stagnant, they keep raising the age of Social Security & Medicare, and I’ve been told in so many ways never to expect retirement, so why shouldn’t I get that 7.65 -15.3% (because ha ha so many people get misclassified as contract workers) now instead of it going to fund a bunch of old geezers who claimed they could pick great jobs off a tree during allergy season? So, many, many people think this way. You think a bunch of people who barely remember the Cold War if they were even alive then give a shit about hypocritical nonsense such as old assholes bleating about “socialism?”


    1. These are very real and serious issues. Who’s the political candidate, though, who’s promising to do anything about them other than bring in a population that has no idea of any of this history and will see what currently is as paradise compared to what it knows from its own, very different history?


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