“Bernie or Bust” is a movement of Americans dedicated to presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. If you are part of this movement, it is implied that your vote will go to anyone not named Hillary Clinton. Recently, A-list celebrity/activist Susan Sarandon (dedicated supporter of Bernie Sanders) has not made it clear whether or not she is part of the “Bernie or Bust” movement. The actress has enjoyed a long and successful career in show business, and she is now enjoying her 15 minutes of fame in American politics. In the past 30 days she’s been seen on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes, as well as HBO‘s Real Time with Bill Maher. Both hosts who make a living talking about politics were shocked to hear that she might consider an alternative outside of Hillary Clinton if “The Bern” flames out.
The x-factor lurking outside the “Bernie or Bust” movement is the Republican who is most likely to net a significant number of Democrat defectors if Sanders can’t beat Clinton, and that is none other than Donald J. Trump. So far, Sarandon is not ready to consider anyone outside of Bernie Sanders for the presidency, and she spoke passionately to Chris Hayes explaining why.
“I really wanna be on the right side of history, and this is a shot that we’re not gonna have again in my lifetime, to have a candidate that is so moral and consistent, makes decisions who’s judgment proves to be true, but does it at a time when it’s not popular when it’s not comfortable, a candidate who’s not taken any money from fracking or Monsanto or Super PAC’s or wall street… so to have a guy who’s that consistent, that is that clean, is just not going to happen again.”
Hayes came back by summing up the “Bernie or Bust” movement,
“I think in certain quarters there’s growing concern that the folks that are into Bernie Sanders have come to despise Hillary Clinton or reject Hillary Clinton, and that should she be the nominee – which is as yet undetermined – they will walk away.”
Sarandon agreed with the summary, calling it “a legitimate concern”.
Barring a major misstep by Clinton (Emailgate or otherwise), there has not been any credible polling conducted that suggests the “Bernie or Bust” movement would swing the polling numbers which currently show her with an average margin of 9.9 points ahead of Trump in the hypothetical general election according to RealClearPolitics. There has been a call-out by The Guardian that might. The Guardian called 700 voters, 500 of which said they would consider switching their vote from Sanders to Trump. One 34-year-old male IT technician had this to say.
“Bernie and Trump agree a lot on healthcare, Iraq war, campaign finance and trade. I really want to move on to something new, new ideas from outside the box. Maybe Donald Trump can provide that.”
There is a connection between Sanders and Trump that Trump would surely try to capitalize on if he became the Republican nominee and Sanders failed to do the same in his party’s candidacy. The anti-establishment drum and revolution that Sanders has spoken about plays to the tune of Trump’s campaign. There are many instances where Sanders has pulled Clinton more left of center, but anti-establishment does not seem to be a note Hillary Clinton can sing.
If Trump could accumulate a substantial number of Sanders voters, Clinton’s current hypothetical lead in the outcome of a Trump versus Clinton contest could shift by a few points if not more. Not to mention the sticks Trump has shown he’s willing to try and jam into his opposition’s wheels in seeking an edge. Head-to-head against Trump, Clinton could be in for a bigger battle than she’s let up. So far no other presidential candidate has shown to be better than Trump at exploiting their opponents’ faults.
Clinton clearly has the most experience out of all the remaining candidates, but perhaps she also has the worst voting record. Trump has the least experience among all the candidates, but perhaps he is best suited to compete against a candidate with the worst voting record. Some might say Clinton versus Trump is a match made in heaven – or hell. If John F. Kennedy and his campaign used dirty politics to win the presidency, it would be naïve to think Donald J. Trump would be too righteous to go down that route. Perhaps the exploitable aspects of Hillary Clinton’s past and Trump’s proven ability to exploit his opponents’ faults (regardless of whether they are factual or not) is part of the reason why Sanders versus Trump has Sanders leading the real estate mogul by a seemingly insurmountable average margin of 16.3. Outside of the word socialist, Trump could be in for an uphill battle if his presidential campaign against Sanders relied on attacking the former Brooklynite and current senator.
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