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Op-ed: Should Progressives Be Blamed For Sanders’ Sexism Smear?

We now live in a world where you can make allegations without evidence and shamelessly smear someone. And now it’s come to hit Bernie. Can’t beat him fairly? It’s okay, because you don’t need to – you can just accuse him of sexism and we’ll leave the media to do the rest and the crowds will go wild.

Good ol’ smear campaigns. It’s a tactic as old as politics itself. But most ad hominems typically reflect something that’s believable too…

And we now have the most progressive, populist and incorruptible candidate that America has seen in years, who has a long-standing record in his defence of both women’s rights and human rights in general, being accused of not believing that a women can be elected president, of being a sexist.

Video courtesy of CNN‘s YouTube channel

Now how exactly this story about a private conversation between fellow Democratic candidate, Elizabeth Warren, and Sanders himself, that took place in December 2018, came to light is not abundantly clear, but if I were a betting man, I’d put my money on it being a move from Warren’s staffers – and it’s only going to backfire. Why they would have done it is unclear. Perhaps they wanted to win over Bernie’s support, perhaps they wanted to show that Warren has teeth and can take Trump on… perhaps something else… we’re left with very few facts and one can only speculate.

However, what we do know is that this is a kick in the teeth when it comes to progressives. If anything, a fight between the primaries’ two front-running progressive candidates will not see voters move from one to the other, but rather across to centrists like Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg or Amy Klobuchar.

The advancement of progressive principals in a monumentally important presidential race that could define the future of the entire millennial generation has now taken a hit. Why? Because of progressives themselves.

Cast you minds back to September 2018.

Brett Kavanaugh Angry Anger
Brett Kavanaugh speaks at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on September 27, 2018.
Pool/Getty Images

Remember this guy?

Brett Kavanaugh was Trump’s nominee for the supreme court and amidst his confirmation hearings, a number of allegations pertaining to sexual assault were reported through the media. Professor Christine Blasey Ford was the first to testify against Kavanaugh and her testimony was quite compelling but was not grounded in evidence. Then there was a second allegation… then a third. The third accuser, Julie Swetnick, under guidance by prominent lawyer Michael Avenatti, accused Kavanaugh of being part of a group of young men that gang raped her.

Rather than face the music of having a Trump electee on the Supreme Court and dragging the hearing out, accusing Kavanaugh of being everything in the book… angry, sexist… it was a pure slug fest aimed at destroying Kavanaugh’s reputation. He still made it to the supreme court because this was all based on hearsay and had no grounding in facts or corroborating evidence… it was an attack on his reputation and progressives, or, more specifically, the radical left and self-described “fourth wave” feminists showed that they were willing to do whatever it takes to advance their own political interests. It didn’t work on Kavanaugh, because the Senate is Republican-dominated and their minds were made up before the hearings even began.

But, the whole world watched on and for a few weeks, all you could hear about was Brett Kavanaugh being a sexist and a rapist. What goes around comes around…

Now I’m a big Bernie fan, and, to his credit, he never takes the media’s bait. He never gets into debates packed with virtue signalling and has come to criticise identity politics, its weaponisation in the media and democratic politics. But, the same can’t be said for many of his supporters. We now live in a world where you can make allegations without evidence and shamelessly smear someone. And now it’s come to hit Bernie. Warren has used the same tactic here. Can’t beat him fairly? It’s okay, because you don’t need to – you can just accuse him of sexism and we’ll leave the media to do the rest and the crowds will go wild.

“War has rules; mud-wrestling has rules; politics has no rules”

Ross Perot

Bernie’s progressive supporters that were happy to throw Kavanaugh under the bus a year-and-a-half ago now only have themselves to blame, because they’ve set the standards for what could end up being a very messy primary… and all before Donald Trump enters the picture!

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