Frankly, the Republicans are the only ones who benefit from the constant re-articulation of a narrative that puts the blame on Secretary Clinton’s loss on the 12% of Sanders primary voters who went with Trump in the General Election.*
What is particularly tiresome about this line of argumentation, although it possesses a kernel of truth to it, is that there absolutely would have been a significant number of Clinton primary voters that would not have cast their ballots for Bernie-as-D-nominee (and gone as far as voting for Trump) in November. Would it have been 12%, probably more like 6%-8%, but I would argue that 1) Bernie would likely have not have turned out as many white Democratic women as Clinton, 2) the GOP corporatist machine (functionally aided by many New Democratic-inclined well-heeled fundraisers who would have sat at home) would have decimated Sanders with a predictable (read: socialist-baiting) and brutal line of attack in the Fall campaign, and 3) many of those Sanders primary voters-Trump general election voters possessed an anti-neo-liberal worldview (which, at times, seemed to be closer to where Trump stood on trade, if you believed what he said). Without Sanders or a similarly situated candidate, most probably would have sat out the primary election entirely.
The current-day finger-pointing and blame-shifting is painful to witness when the threat to our Republic is so abundantly clear. Outside of personal ego trips, it does the Democratic Party (no matter where one resides within this noble faction) little good to criticize a substantial percentage of the Party’s 2016 electorate.
Frankly, with high-profile Democrats, including potential 2020’ers like Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Elizabeth Warren, announcing their support for Medicate-for-All legislation, those who belong to the Party of the People should be overjoyed that we might be able to run on a coherent and compelling platform against what is likely to be a weak GOP nominee.
Yes, Virginia, the ’20 Democratic nominee is likely to be someone with backing from Establishment players. Yes, this person will probably not be a social democrat. But, given what our nation has experienced since 1/20/17, I for one would gladly take a half-loaf for stable, moderately progressive governance in the Executive Branch. Right now, given the President we have, he makes Congressman Delaney and Governor McAuliffe look like very appealing options.
In short, let us bury the unproductive arguments of 2016. The stakes for the 99% are too high to worry about the past actions of the 12% of one sub-set of voters. The right candidate, with the right message, can bring them into the fold.
*For the record, I voted for Senator Sanders in the primary. It was not an easy decision but ultimately, he was closer to where I stood on a variety of issues. And yes, I “came home” for the general election and voted for Secretary Clinton, as she was, at the very least, qualified to hold the office, sufficiently progressive on enough issues, and not demonstrably insane like the GOP nominee. So don’t refer to me “Bernie Bro.”