At a time when Democrats are doing everything they can to keep the health care law, a law many lost their seats over alive, Bernie Sanders decided it was a perfect opportunity to toss them under the bus. Last night, much like every time he is in front of a mic or television camera Sanders proclaimed to Anderson Cooper, “the Democratic brand is pretty bad” as well as many other hot takes.
I cannot stress what a dangerous game this man is playing. There are plenty of valid criticisms of the democratic party. It, like any other entity is far from perfect, but he is well past the point of valid criticisms. His game has a much darker psychological intent and purpose behind it.
Sanders is what is referred to as a protest candidate. He takes to the stage to tell you all of the ways in which things are broken and do not work. He neglects to ever mention the ways in which the system is working and the many positive impacts and things it has accomplished.
In doing so he paints a very dark and one sided reality. It’s a lot like the ways in which the GOP attack immigrants, they draw on the negative associations (crime, job loss, benefit fraud) and never bring up their positive impacts on culture, the economy and business. This rhetoric, this distorted reality gets you amped, gets you angry, gets you outraged. It’s designed to make you feel like a victim of this entity-whatever that is.
This also helps to build Sanders, the individual up by tearing those around him down. He’s not all of these horrible things that he accuses everyone else. He is above the fray. He is different and he is fighting these alleged injustices.
I guess because this is politics people don’t quite understand the long term psychological implications of what he is doing and how this shapes opinion, our perception and therefore our reality. So, let’s look at the behavior in a different way, a way many people understand it. Let’s look at it through the lens of domestic abuse.
We understand why a domestic abuser unjustly attacks their significant other. Why they are always chipping away at their sense of worth. We get the psychological harm it does to a person to constantly hear negatives. To never hear the positives. How that shapes their perception about themselves or a particular target.
We also understand that for the abuser, this creates an unhealthy power dynamic and helps to lift him up, build him up over those he/she is abusing. It’s good for the ego, good for the self esteem and great for perceived value.
This is exactly what Sanders is doing and has been doing. It wasn’t very dangerous on a small VT stage, but now he has an audience of millions and it is doing irreparable harm to the voting populace. Many of whom live in a world where Sanders take is the only true source, the only reality, however distorted and one sided it may be.
When I talk about Sanders people bombard me with what a great person he is and all the good he has done. They too remind me of those who are abused and how they like to explain away the bad by bringing up the good. How they like to throw praise upon their abuser. Like to point out that aside from the occasional negativities he sometimes brings them flowers.
This game Sanders is playing is a very dangerous one. The damage that it causes to our voting populace isn’t worth the free uni you may get. He takes to the stage day after day misrepresenting the democratic party, the realities of their policies, the reality of politics in general and creating false realities for his base.
He needs to be called out. He should not be involved in democratic outreach. He should be cut loose from the party in general. He is not our ally. We need to cut ourselves free from this abusive relationship.