[Sanders voters] are my natural colleagues, and most are as upset as I am by Trump’s victory. But they played a big role in the thin edge (not a landslide, as Trump would have us believe) that gave Trump the election. For while Trump supporters hooted and cheered for their candidate, forgiving him every lie, every crime, every bit of disgusting [behavior], too many young Democrats made it very clear (in newspaper and internet interviews, in polls, and in the mainstream media) that they were only voting for Hillary Clinton as the lesser of two evils, “holding their noses”, tears still streaming down their faces over the primary defeat of the person they felt truly deserved their votes. Some didn’t vote at all. And as much as I am in agreement with many of his ideas, Bernie Sanders splintered and ultimately sabotaged the Democratic party – not because he chose to run against Hillary Clinton, but because of how he ran against her.
… When Sanders denied that badge of [honor] to Clinton he wasn’t distinguishing his agenda from hers (their positions on most issues were, in reality, pretty similar), he was excluding her from the company of the good and pure – and in the process, limiting what counted as progressive causes, too. His list didn’t include the struggle for reproductive rights or affordable child care. Nor, at the beginning of his campaign, was there much emphasis on racial justice.
…Sanders gave Clinton no credit for her longstanding progressivism in [equal rights for women and minorities,] while identifying her with the corruption he was dedicated to cleaning up. …Portraying Clinton as the enemy of systemic change …was not only factually incorrect, but proved politically disastrous in the general election.
…Like progressive, establishment is a pretty meaningless term, particularly when lobbed at one Washington politician by another. Neither Sanders nor Clinton had been working outside the system.
Appearances to the contrary, Sanders was not a union organizer, but rather a longtime member of the Senate. And if Clinton had more support from the Democratic party, that was due in large part to the relationships she had cultivated over the years, working with others – something Sanders was not particularly good at.
…[Sanders later described] Planned Parenthood and NARAL as “establishment” and abortion as a social issue.
…[The media] posted pictures of him being arrested at a protest against the University of Chicago’s real estate investments, while making no mention of the work Hillary had done, when she was the same age, investigating racist housing practices with Marian Wright Edelman.