Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
When I talk about conspiracy thinking, I'm mainly talking about what I have seen from the Sanders supports I worked with, and blog wars I have skimmed where individuals post comments and arguments with a very similar-seeming mindset.

That the Democratic party is strongly pro-Clinton is not up for debate. That Clinton and her inner circle are insider hacks of the most mediocre sort seems pretty clear, and like all insider hacks of her generation she seems pretty damn neo-liberal.  I'm not making any arguments in that direction.

But one cannot jump from these facts to constant accusations of election fraud and vote rigging, in every single state, on the flimsiest of evidence.  For a conspiracy like that to take place, one has to demonzie far, FAR too many relatively well-intentioned folk at the local and state level.  One has to imagine far too many eager and enthusiastic activists, with whom I share far more in common than I share with the Republicans, as mindless drones who have been brainwashed into unthinking complicity.  No.  I refuse to do that, and the belief that all this is true and is taking place beneath our noses is conspiracy thinking.  Too many people aren't aware of the full complexity of the issues and can't accept that other people might not agree with them, and they explain it away by positing a dire Clinton Cabal with amazing powers to control everything secretly behind the scenes.

Which is bull.  If they have this power now, they would have had this power in 2008 as well, when Clinton was just as presumptive a nominee going for just as unchallengable of a coronation.  Hell, I've read a number of raving posts talking about Diebold voting machines and rigged E-Votes, like it was 2004 again. How exactly Hillary got the keys to the Evil Diebold Vote-Rigging apparatus is a bit murky, as is why exactly that Vote-Rigging apparatus failed to swing things R in 2008 and 2012 despite the avowed intentions of Diebold to do so.

That is conspiracy talk, of the UFO and 9/11 truther variety. It's main crime is lazy thinking, the same sort of lazy thinking that leads people into all kinds of damaging wrongness. Too many people I have seen in the Bernie camp have fallen into this.  This mindset primes people to respond in outrage to rather ordinary politicking and crowd-management, and to interpret every action in the worst possible light when it does not deserve it.

I can't be all that surprised at what the Clinton folk did in Nevada, because as Frank states elsewhere this kind of room-stuffing is a pretty common trick, with pretty common responses.  It was tried, it failed.  Oh well, and neither side should really be all that worked up over it.  It's politics, these things happen.  Likewise, I would not be all that worked up over disruptive activities on the convention floor, whatever they actually were.  Again, it's politics.  Heck, even if there was a full-on riot (which there was certainly not), or some degree of disorderly conduct short of rioting (which there probably wasn't), or a violent seizure of power (I could only dream of the Sanders team being this competent), I don't really care all that much.

What bugs me about it is the incompetence of it all. Bernie supporters were primed to interpet every action and every vote in the worst possible way, and went into full-on outrage at the wrong time and in a kind of pathetic manner.  It is unfocused and ignorant protest, which accommplishes nothing and just makes you look bad. Worse, it all makes perfect sense if you buy into the conspiratorial mindset, and cannot bring yourself to give the other side some credit.

You don't build anything by encouraging your new supporters to demonize everone who doesn't agree, and you aren't training them to be effetive political actors if you prime them to respond with raw outrage over everything. Some of this was going to happen anyway, but openly embracing it is bonkers.

by Zwackus on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 08:43:02 PM EST
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