Who’s Worse, Berniebros or Hillarybots?

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Kevin’s law of politics states:

Every candidate for office believes he’s been treated brutally unfairly by his opponent, the press, and his opponent’s supporters.

Occasionally this is even true. But usually it’s not. It’s just that candidates usually see only the abuse that’s been aimed at them. They never really notice the abuse hurled at their opponent.

For what it’s worth, I happen to have had a pretty good look during this election at the way both Bernie and Hillary supporters attack anything critical of their hero, and I have to call it a draw. I’ll confess that initially I thought the Berniebros were worse, but they’re not. The Hillarybots are every bit as obnoxious, and the condescension and contempt seem about equal on both sides. Bernie’s most avid supporters are convinced that Hillary fans are establishment shills, warmongers, and hate young people. And they are tired of being attacked as easily led, bro-centric cultists who have no clue about how real-world politics really works.

Likewise, Hillary’s most avid supporters are convinced that Bernie fans are naive, sexist, and in thrall to a cult leader. And they are tired of being attacked as corrupt, patronizing boomers who can’t stand the thought that no one cares what they think anymore.

But here’s the good news: As near as I can tell, this only describes, at most, about 5 percent of the Democratic electorate even if they get the lion’s share of the attention. The other 95 percent has an ordinary preference but that’s all. When the dust has settled, they’ll shrug and let the outraged 5 percent go off and vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson or whoever. The rest of us will forget the primaries and put our minds to work on the upcoming election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

This process of forgetting about the primaries will start tomorrow. It will finish within a week or two.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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