Thursday, 19 May 2016

Bernie Supporter vs Hillary Supporter Conversation

This is a mock conversation between a Bernie supporter (blue text) and a Hillary supporter (red text). It includes parts of real conversations I've had with Hillary supporters, and it hopefully exposes a few of the logical fallacies and biases they exhibit.

“I won’t vote for Hillary if she's the Democratic nominee, and about 50% of Bernie supporters are with me.”
“You should vote blue no matter who. I’m going to pick Hillary. Do the math!”
“OK, but if you only care about the blue team winning, you'd pick a candidate who won’t be abandoned by 50% of Bernie supporters. Furthermore, you'd pick someone who doesn’t have an unfavorable rating of 54%; who isn’t hated by around 80% of independents; who isn’t anathema to young people; and whose primary victories aren’t predominantly in red states that will vote Republican anyway. Your candidate is hated outside your party, and the places that like her will vote full red in the national; not the half red Hillary offers. Nominating Hillary could easily cost Democrats the election.
“None of that matters. Once the Republicans get their teeth into Bernie, he will be seen unfavorably too. The independents will hate him then.”
“So you’re going to base your decision on a hypothetical scenario rather than a real scenario? That seems awfully risky for the blue team's chances.”
“Listen, I’ll vote for who I want, and you vote for who you want. Just vote blue in the national election, ok?”
“That's a little contradictory. You're saying I can vote for who I want now, but not in the general?”
“I'd rather vote for who I want all of the time. That's what democracy means. If Hillary is the nominee, I’m going to write in Bernie or vote Green."
"Don't be stupid. If you don't vote for her, you are actually supporting Trump. Is that your intent, to help elect Trump?"
"Republicans tell me that if I don't support Trump, it's actually a vote for Hillary. So which is it? How can not voting for either of them somehow be a vote for both of them? Do you see what being a tribal partisan does to the logic centers of otherwise sane minds? Please snap out of it."
"You're the one being ridiculous. Hillary is a much better choice."
"Hillary doesn’t represent me or any other progressive. She’s the establishment. She stands for corporate power and embodies everything I dislike about modern politics. I think her well-documented warmongering will lead us into a war, and that’s something I cannot have on my conscience. Hillary is actually worse than Trump on a number of issues. He's worse on others, but even if voting for a lesser evil made sense, Hillary wouldn't be guaranteed my vote. Many other progressives and independents who’ve also done their research feel the same.”
“Oh be quiet. Everything you've just said is Republican lies and trickery, courtesy of Karl Rove.”
“The Republicans didn’t make her do all of those things. They made a big deal out of some of it, but they can’t take credit for her votes, positions, flip-flops, unethical behavior, and corporate servility.”
“Whatever. You’ll come around when faced with the prospect of Donald Trump.”
“That sounds like another hypothetical scenario grounded in wishful thinking. What if we don’t come around? Independents have no loyalty to the Democratic Party, and they represent more than 40% of the electorate. Bernie supporters also seem adamant about not supporting her. You’re taking a big gamble, and, if you only care about the blue team winning, it looks like a completely unnecessary one too. There's a candidate who is far more electable.”
“Look, do you want Donald Trump? He’s going to be like Hitler. He’ll take away our rights and fill the Supreme Court with Republicans. What’s wrong with you? Are you a Republican troll trying to split the Party?”
“Did you hear any of what I just said? No amount of shaming or fear-mongering is going to make me vote the way you want. I don’t want Trump, but I don’t want Hillary either. That’s the way I’m voting. I'm sorry that irks you, but it’s Bernie or bust.”
“Then say hello to President Trump.”
"Really? So you admit you'll lose the election if your far-fetched hypothetical scenario doesn't pan out?"
"What? No... I'm saying it will be your fault if we lose.
“Oh I get it: you're preemptively blaming me for a Republican victory, and at the same time voting to nominate a Democratic candidate who millions of people despise and have pledged never to vote for?"
"You just don't get it. Trump is hated more than Hillary." 
"Oh, that's a comfort. She might win a contest of who's hated the least! Then again, she might not. So the question is: do you think her defeat will be the fault of people who hate her, or the fault of people who nominated her despite that widespread hatred; rejecting a better liked candidate in the process? I mean, you must know she's not liked, right? So, how about using this real data instead of relying on wishful thinking? Then, you could make a decision based on logic and numbers instead of fantasy and denial."
“Whatever. Hillary will be the first woman President, and that’s more important than whether or not some people believe she got paid by Goldman Sachs to do some damned speeches.”
“She did get paid, and we still don’t have the transcripts for those speeches.”
“She’ll release them when the Republicans release theirs.”
“So we’re supposed to hold her to the same standards as Republicans, who, even you would admit, are probably accepting bribes for political favors?”
“No, well yes, everyone should have to follow the same rules.”
“OK, then I won’t vote for the Republicans for the same reason I won’t vote for Hillary: because I don’t trust them.”
“You’re being stupid. Hillary will be the first woman President, and that should be hugely important to any liberal.”
“Did you really just ask that? Wow, you’re obviously sexist and I can no longer talk to you.”
“Oh do grow up. Equality is about recognizing everyone equally for their merits. Making one gender automatically more meritorious than another is not what I would call equality. Furthermore, despite wanting to see a woman President, I’d like to see one who isn’t a disaster. I’d like a President who inspires millions of women to want to follow in her footsteps, and millions of men to respect their aspirations. Hillary would set back perceptions of female leaders decades.”
“Whatever. You’ve proven you’re a sexist. I have it in writing. You should go vote for Trump. He welcomes bigots like you.”
“You want me to vote for Trump now? That contradicts your earlier statements. However, by nominating Hillary, you’re effectively saying you don’t want my vote or the votes of millions of others who've already said we can’t support her. But, that’s your prerogative. You can go it alone if you want. I won’t vote for Trump, but if your close-knit group of Hillary supporters lose the national election, don’t go blaming me or others like me. We gave you plenty of time to see what would happen.”
“You’re an idiot. Get lost.”

***It’s August, and the worst has happened: Hillary has won the nomination.***

“I’m really worried about all these Bernie supporters, independents, and young people who won’t vote for Hillary.”
“Are you serious? Now you're worried? You just started getting worried about that now?”
"Oh, shut up!"

***It’s November, and Hillary has lost the national election to President Donald Trump. The young people didn’t vote for her. The independents voted more in favor of Trump. The Bernie supporters wrote him in.***

“It’s all your fault! You didn’t vote for Hillary and now we have President Trump. I’m going to blame you for every life he ruins or ends!”
“I expected nothing less from the likes of you. Now, where’s that Facebook block function…”