Circlejerk Stories: On Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Reddit’s inability to be reasonable about political issues
This is a slightly edited version of a post for the subreddit Circlebroke (here is the original post). And this will be the first in a series of short posts about the website Reddit and it’s culture called Circlejerk Stories. I don’t recommend reading this if you are unfamiliar with Reddit, or it’s culture.
When talking about the 2016 election on Reddit two things bother me about the way that the jerk acts. First, Reddit not only loves Bernie Sanders (which on its own is fine, I love him too) but completely overestimates his chances of beating Hillary in the primaries. To the point where they completely ignore the data. And secondly, have this huge hate-boner for Clinton. To the point where I’m seeing a primarily liberal site say things that sound like they’re from a fox news article. I want to discuss these two things and how they feed off of each other. First, for the Clinton hate-boner I’m just going to show it in action on various threads:
If you’re in the financial industry, largest corporations, or the military industrial complex, you should be super excited for Hillary. She’s right in the pockets of the 0.1%.[+3]
Clinton’s donor list reads like the invite list to the annual luncheon for “The Corporate Nazi Club”[+13]
Hillary will be the viper of virtue. The Machine will push her down our throats and almost without exception those who are decrying her will go and vote for Hillary.[+26]
You get the idea.
Now since people have suggested that the reason Reddit hated Hillary is because she’s a woman, and that may be part of it. But I think a big part of it is because of how the internet makes it hard to support something without hating its adjacent thing (you have upvotes, downvotes and nothing in between). And so because Reddit loves Bernie they must hate Hillary because that’s how the internet works. This brings me to my next point, the Bernie is the front-runner jerk.
Instead of showing multiple comments in just give show one that I think perfectly encapsulates this jerk
This subreddit is so jaded. Literally every poll that shows the widespread nationwide trend of Sanders gaining on Clinton is immediately dismissed for one reason or another. No one is saying the job is anywhere close to done, but there is no reason to be so cynical. Hell, just 8 years ago we saw a political nobody from Illinois totally dismantle the Clinton juggernaut so it isn’t like there isn’t some precedent for voters turning away from HRC.[+1291]
Yes, that person said that /r/politics is pessimistic about Bernie with a straight face. Goes to show how much Reddit loves to be contrarian. So fivethirtyeight has been hard on Bernie and well I think they should be a little less hard on him the data supports their points. But when confronted with this data most Redditors mumble something about Obama. I think the Bernie jerk and the anti Clinton jerk on Reddit sort of feed off of each other. “We love Sanders so now we have to hate Hillary for a compelling Us vs. Them narrative. Everybody around me hates Clinton so this must mean everybody must hate Clinton and Sanders is a shoe-in.” Is what I imagine going through people’s heads when they think about this. And that kind of thinking feeds off of itself when you have a bunch of other jerkers around you. Eventually turning it in the extreme Clinton hate and Bernie love that we currently see on Reddit.