I choose to believe that she genuinely wants the answers to those questions and does not understand the position of those of us who are supporting Bernie Sanders in the primary election, so I thought I (along with a million other people) would try to answer her questions, at least on my own behalf since I can't represent the opinions of everybody who supports Sanders.
1. If Elizabeth Warren were in the race, most of you would be supporting her instead. If neither Warren nor Bernie were in the race, most of you would be supporting Martin O’Malley despite knowing nothing about him. How are we supposed to take your endorsement of Bernie seriously when you appear to be simply backing him because he’s not Hillary?
The supposition that Sanders supporters are backing him because he is not Ms. Clinton is a misapprehension. We are backing him because of who he *is,* not who he isn't. I realize that many people object to Ms. Clinton on the grounds that they consider her corrupt or otherwise unpleasant. I suspect some of that is because she is an assertive woman, and many people still have difficulty with that, but that has nothing to with Sanders' positive appeal.
Yes, many of us would support Warren if she were in the race rather than Sanders because she, like Sanders, represents our values and interests better than Ms. Clinton does. No idea who this O'Malley guy is, but I genuinely like Clinton and would vote for her if neither Warren nor Sanders were in the race because she represents my concerns and values better than anyone other than Sanders.
2. Do you honestly believe that Bernie would do well with foreign policy? Do you think he’d really be able to get congressmen of either party to vote for any of his initiatives once they see that he’s not willing to compromise even a little? Are you envisioning a scenario in which President Bernie would be able to get anything accomplished at all? Even his most prominent supporters like Noam Chomsky have acknowledged he would get nothing done in office. Are you so enamored with the very idea of a protest candidate winning, you wouldn’t care that he’d be ineffective?
As to foreign policy, yes I do believe that respect for difference is the foundation of good foreign relations. So is independence from corporate sponsorship where a president can make policy decisions un-influenced by the economic concerns of hungry corporations. For example, he need feel no pressure to declare war on Iran to satisfy oil barons who hope for greater control of resources in the Middle East. That is a very good basis for foreign relations.
I don't know how much Sanders would be willing to compromise, but yes, we do believe that with public support, he would be able to make inroads toward doing what we think this country needs—health care, education, infrastructure, environment (Clinton supports all these things as well, but she is more beholden to corporate money and special interest groups). We have no reason to believe that he would accomplish any less than Clinton, who is likely to have to take a compromise position from the outset before she even *starts* to negotiate.
No, this has nothing to do with his being a "protest candidate." He represents our values and concerns. It simply makes no sense to support an inferior candidate on the grounds that she is "more electable."
Pres. Obama was "unelectable" until he was elected.
3. Are you unable to understand national polls, or do you just like to ignore them because they reveal that your guy is losing by thirty-eight points within his own party?
4. Are you under the impression that the people showing up to Bernie’s rallies each get more than one vote? Is that how you think he closes the gap? Or have you intentionally saturated yourself so thoroughly with people voting for your guy that you’ve honestly forgotten the vast majority of the nation says they favor someone else?
5. Do you understand that Bernie’s refusal to take traditional SuperPAC money means that even if he did get the nomination, he’d be outspent ten to one by his republican opponent? Are you aware that moderates and undecideds make their decisions based primarily on television ads, which are the most expensive part of any campaign? Do you get that nearly every ad would be for the republican? Do you get that he’d almost certainly lose? Would you really rather Bernie get the nomination and lose, than Hillary get the nomination and win? Because that’s how it looks to the rest of us.
Polls have nothing to do with whether a candidate represents your values and concerns. It makes no sense to us to ally ourselves to the candidate who is highest in the polls simply because she is highest in the polls.
Yes, television ads are expensive, but yes, we do genuinely believe it isn't the number of ads that makes the difference, it's the content. Historically, and contrary to near-universal popular wisdom, the winner of any election is virtually always the candidate with the most charisma. On that count, Sanders is far and away ahead of anyone in the Republican primary. He has also had extraordinary success in fundraising without a SuperPAC.
On those grounds, no, we most certainly do not accept the proposition that he must inevitably lose.
6. Why do you spend more time pushing crazy lies about Hillary than you do talking up Bernie’s ideas? Bernie himself has made it clear that he thinks highly of Hillary, and he scolds any reporters who try to get him to trash her. If you’re primarily supporting him because you think lowly of her, have you considered the extent of the disconnect between you and your candidate? Has it occurred to you that if Bernie heard you talking about Hillary the way you talk about her, he’d angrily tell you off?
Yes, I have heard negative rumors and claims about Clinton, checked them on Politifact, and dismissed them. I, like Senator Sanders, think highly of Clinton, and if she wins the primary, will happily vote for her. However, again, we don't support Sanders for who he is *not*. Be support him for the values he represents.
7. Do you really think that Bernie’s strong showing in New Hampshire, a tiny state five minutes from where he lives, where he’s been locally popular for decades, is representative of the nation? Do you really think that New Hampshire’s four electoral votes will make a difference in this primary? And again, do you not know how to read national polls, or do you just like ignoring them because those polls reveal that your guy’s candidacy is already finished?
Again, polls have nothing to do with whether a candidate represents your values and concerns, and yes, we do consider him electable on his own merits.
8. Do you get that you’re supporting Bernie for essentially the same reason that conservatives are supporting Donald Trump? Do you realize that both men are basing their campaigns entirely on “government sucks, the system sucks, both parties suck, politicians are idiots and a trained rat could do better, and I’m just that trained rat.” Do you not understand the parallels between your desire to stomp your feet at Bernie’s generic indignance, and conservatives’ desire to stomp their feet at Trump’s generic indignance? Does that not embarrass you?
Yes, it is true that both Trump and Sanders appeal to followers because they are political outsiders. Other than that, their values are diametrically opposed. We don't support Sanders because he says the system sucks. We support him because he represents our values and concerns better than any other candidate.
Nor does it make sense to abandon a desirable candidate on the grounds that other people have some of the same reasons for liking *their* candidate.
9. Most of you supporting Bernie are also fans of Obama. Seeing how Obama has all but endorsed Hillary, and how Obama sees her as his natural successor, don’t you find it odd that you’re instead rooting against her – even as you still try to take credit for supporting Obama? How does that make you any different from the republicans who try to take credit for Obama’s accomplishments while insisting he should be replaced by republican?
Obama almost certainly made a commitment to Clinton to back her candidacy after his term. I respect that he appears to be honoring that commitment. However, Clinton is not Obama, and our loyalty is not, and never was, to President Obama but to the principles on which we elected him in the first place—the same principles that inspire us to support Sanders now.
10. And the only question that truly matters: when Hillary becomes the democratic party nominee, will you pout and stay home on election day and hand the nation back to the republicans? Or will you show up and vote for Hillary because you know she’s the far better of the two candidates? While none of us understand why you’re supporting a less-qualified protest candidate whose ideas aren’t realistic and who can’t win anyway, we’re really only going to judge you based on what you do on election day. So when it’s Hillary vs Jeb TrumpCruz, what’s it going to be?
If Sanders becomes the Democratic nominee, will *you* stay home and pout, or will you show up and vote for Sandars because you know he's the far better of the two candidates? We do understand why you are supporting a very good candidate who nevertheless doesn't (and can't) fully represent our—and quite likely your—values and concerns. I suppose some people *will* stay home, frustrated by a political system dominated by moneyed interests. That's a shame. It's always better to participate than to give up.
The bottom line is that the Democratic party is faced with an embarrassment of riches--*two* outstanding candidates, one of whom will be the next president of the United States. (insert winky face).