The exchange between Hillary Supporters and Bernie Sanders supporters has certainly not been very nice at times. However complaining about how bad his supporters are while painting them all with broad strokes and refering to Bernie Sander’s movement as “the extreme left,” weakens your argument considerably. If you want mutual respect you can’t engage in this sort of villification.
I think many will find it insulting that you refer to their political movement as “extreme” left. By European standards what Bernie Sanders proposes is rather mainstream. In my native Norway I can’t really think of any of the policies that Bernie Sanders has championed as particlarly leftist. Even parties deemed extreme right in Europe would be behind most of these policies.
By labeling what is essentially social democratic policies as extermist, you are making the meaning of extreme left, devoid of meaning. Extreme left is essentially various forms of communism and socialism. We got political parties in Norwegian parliament who wants to end capitalism and close down the stock exchange. Now that would be exremist. Wanting free university education and higher taxation on the rich is not extremism.
I favoured Hillary Clinton in the Obama election, and I was sad to see the underserved vilification she has suffered. My opinion at the time was that Hillary Clinton was a tougher politician than Obama and that is what America needed. This became self evident when Obama tried to push health care reform. He naively assume he could cooperate with republicans. I think Hillary Clinton would have had a more realistic approach to this question given her previous failed attempt at health care reform.
However let us be fair, Hillary Clinton does represent the establishment. America would have had steady leadership under her but would have been unlikely to change. You can’t look at the momentous inequality that is been built up over various democratic and republican governments over the years in the US, and claim that mainstream Democrat policies is the solution. It has not worked in the past, why should it work now?
I watched a recent documentary by Bill Clinton’s secretary of labour Robert Reich. He showed statistics which showed that policies which the American public favoured had a 30% chance of getting passed, which was identical to the chance of policies they disliked getting passed. This contrasted with policies the rich favoured which got passed in the majority of the cases, and laws they objected to almost never got passed. It is stuff like this which lead Princton researchers to conclude that the US was not a democracy but a oligarchy.
The major influence or rich donors means that whether democrats or republicans are in power, it doesn’t make a big difference. Anyone who wants to be something in American politics has to get campaign financing and has to listen to rich donors. I do in fact think that Hillary Clinton wants to do the right thing. She has likely calculated, that to win and do good things, she simply has to accept the ill, which is campaign donations and rich donors. The flaw in her thinking is that when everybody thinks this way it utterly corrupts politics.
Somebody has to step up and say no to this. Otherwise this endless spiral of corruption will never end. I say corruption because that is what campaign donations are. It is essentially legalized corruption. Trump was honest enough to state publicly that he gave lots of money to both republicans and democrats, and that he expected favours in return. If that is not corruption, then I don’t know what is.
Bernie Sanders said a clear no to this, even though he likely knew that severly diminished his chances of victory. I think that ought to be applauded. Unfortuntaly the American system does not support coalition government and hence there can only be one winner. This poisions politics and made Hillary and Bernie fierce opponents when in reality they could have been good coalition partners and cooperated against republicans.
Which brings me to my second point. You can’t blame Bernie for not being a proper democrat or Trump for not being a proper republican. The American system is rigged in favor of just two parties. No new major party has arisen in the US in over 100 years. Anyone seeking a new political course thus face a dilemma. Should they form a new party and be guaranteed failure or work within the system that exists?
Democrats and republicans should stop complaining about movements such as Sander’s or the Tea Party and instead make the necessary changes to the political system so that these movements can exist as separate parties. The ideal way IMHO would be a parliamentary system with proportional representation. However that would likely be too big of a political change for the US. However a two step election process as found in France ought to be fully doable. The election of Macron in France demonstrates the ability of renewable within the French presidential system.
Look for solutions rather than simply attacking each other!