Bernie Sanders Is My Quarterback, And I Hate It

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 12.06% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

I’m really starting to hate rooting for Bernie Sanders.
Not because I dislike Bernie’s politics – I do, intensely, so much so that I’m a regular donor to his campaign.  Nor is it because of the way he’s getting hammered by the Black Lives Matter movement – he’s moving to try to acknowledge black people’s concerns, and if he can’t manage it properly, well, as I said before, he probably doesn’t deserve to be the Democratic candidate.
But I want Bernie to get the nomination.  And as such, I’m following all the stupid headlines that tell me who’s ahead.
“Who’s ahead” should be the least interesting thing about this goddamned campaign.
I hate the way that the news (and now Twitter) treats elections like a sport – BERNIE IS AHEAD BY 4 PERCENTAGE POINTS IN THE SECOND QUARTER OF POLLING, CAN HE PULL IT OUT?  Because in emphasizing the victories and defeats and “Can Bernie win?”, what gets lost are the reasons that Bernie is popular in the first place.
What’s the difference between Bernie and Hillary?  Hillary has more money. Bernie has a better social network. Hillary has better numbers against Trump. Bernie has finally pulled ahead in New Hampshire.
What the fuck do any of them have to say on the issues?
Doesn’t matter.  What matters is their position in the polls, not their position on today’s concerns.
And slowly, we boil away the difference until we’re more concerned with DAT VICTORY, and the story is not “Bernie Sanders is making a push to reduce student loan debts,” but “Bernie Sanders is gaining momentum!”
Which is exactly what happens in sports. As someone who doesn’t follow sports, I know Cleveland lost in basketball, heartbreakingly, at the last moment – but I don’t know why.  There were doubtlessly many mechanisms that went into the reasons why Cleveland wasn’t favored in the finals, but those very important reasons why Cleveland’s skills mattered (or didn’t) got obscured by the WE WON GAME 1 ZOMG NOBODY SAW THIS COMING and NOOO WE LOST GAME 3.
And in being concerned for Bernie Sanders, I feel that victory-tide washing over me – ZOMG HE SCORED – and that emphasis on the reasons he scored being buried deep in the lede.
I wish the emphasis was on how these people’s policies differed.  I wish when they discussed Bernie Sanders vs. Hillary, it’d be “Hillary wants to do this, Bernie wants to do this – which is more likely to succeed?”
Instead, what’d we get with the recent Republican debate? TRUMP WON. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR TRUMP?
No.  What I’d like to know is, “If Trump wins, what’s that mean for us?”  And I don’t see enough of that analysis on any candidate.

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