Snarky liberals, late-night comedians, and Donald Trump detractors, like me, had a field day attacking Trump for saying he loved the “Poorly Educated.” We chortled with glee at the image of the bearded, pot-bellied, gun-gripping, redneck men and the Casino ladies with puffy hair and raspy cigarette voices, ranting their blind loyalty to their dear, demented Donald.
Well, we’ve missed the other half of the story.
On the other side of the political spectrum, I’ve been dumbfounded by the depths of contempt which Bernie Sanders’ proudly “Partially Educated” smug, storm troopers have for the facts, experience, qualifications, history and humanity. Trump’s “Poorly Educated” are convinced that their personal failures can seize power by electing—who else?—a YUUUUUGE failure. In the case of Bernie’s arrogant, “Partially Educated,” they know what they know in “real time” (aka, from the internet) and don’t know much about history, or real people, nor care. All they know is that they’re right, and we’re wrong. Especially if we, like the New York Times Editorial Board, believe Hillary Clinton is the most “broadly and deeply qualified candidate for President in our time.”
This week, Bernie Sanders told the Editors of the New York Daily News that he did not favor the strict liability approach to gun manufacturers which the parents of the children slaughtered in the Sandy Hook gun massacre were testing in court. Bernie’s words were his own, not someone else’s, not filtered through an editor, nor a columnist. They were not something his supporters could blame on “corporate media”, as they love to do, when they are unable to refute the facts presented. They were Sanders’ own words–entirely consistent with the anti-strict liability position he has held for years, and consistent with his six votes against the most famous gun-control legislation of his time in Congress, the Brady Bill. Plus, the Daily News has become a crusading, muckraking publication, unleashing a new generation of fantastic front-pages devastating to Right-Wingers and hypocrites, including Trump and Ted Cruz. After his insensitive Sandy Hook comments, add Bernie to their list.
None of that “history” matters with Bernie’s “Partially Educated,” but fully privileged supporters, most of whom are white, progressive, well-off, and have, fortunately, never lost a child to gun violence. In a dialogue about the actual text of what Bernie said on the Sandy Hook case, one of his supporters told me that I was “letting the fly wag the ointment” by focusing on gun violence and not on the “bigger issues” Bernie was advancing.
Stunned by this Sanders’ supporter’s abject arrogance and inhumanity, I responded that “ the significance of the lives of the children of Sandy Hook parents blown apart by weapons of mass destruction is FAR more important than any political campaign.
His response? Are you sitting down?
“Oh, rubbish,” he said. “How about he slaughter of hundreds of Palestinian children in the Gaza war at the hands of Israel.”
The Bernie advocate compounded his horrendous, ignorant insult to the Sandy Hook parents whose children were ripped apart by bullets in an elementary school, not a war zone, with this screed:
“If you’re gong to blather on about the sacredness of children, as if they are the sole currency of the future, try to take a more global view and recognize that our government underwrites the slaughter as a matter of routine…To say that the Sandy Hook parents are FAR more important than ANY political campaign is just stupid.”
Yes, he actually said that.
This particular “Partially Educated” Bernie supporter, whom I later discovered lived in Montreal and posts photos of his beloved cat all over his Facebook page, then told me to “ease up on the sentimental, heterosexual, American exceptionalist claptrap,” and concluded our conversation by calling me an “idiot.”
I told him that I hoped to meet him in person someday so I could have the pleasure of punching him in the nose. At that, he folded up his pseudo-intellectual credentials and hid in his kitty’s litter box, never to be heard from again, but reeking from the odor of his own stench.
Now, I understand this inhuman piece of excrement does not respresent Bernie’s views, nor most Bernie’s supporters. However his arrogant, pseudo-intellectual, holier-than-thou, intolerant, ideologically rigid, “Partially Educated” behavior is representative of too many Bernie supporters I have encountered.
If any of Bernie’s backers care to know why there’s a backlash in this country against people with a real-world experience, a sense of history , a respect for evidence-based learning and solid education, and why Trump’s nihilistic appeal has resonance , they can stop searching for answers. The “Poorly Educated” and the smug “Partially-Educated” are indistinguishable from each other.