Dear Bernie: What Happened to You?


You divided liberals and made a cottage industry of it: social media bots and trolls, fake news, now a book about how you and your angry followers can ignite a revolution, Part 2.

Clouded by mean ambition, you traded in your admirable principles for denigrating Hillary Clinton, a longtime public servant with a public record, books and Senate votes that shows a stateswoman at work.

Most of your “revolutionaries” settled lazily on being spoon fed lies and distortions that national media pop stars served up irresponsibly.

You’re still trying to sell Marxism to a country that barely accepts public schools.

You proclaimed the Democratic Party primaries as rigged, Hillary as unworthy, and her supporters as confused by “identity politics.” Sen. Sanders, 4 million more voted for her over you because she is smarter than you, more compassionate and really nice.

You only look forward when it’s convenient. You certainly didn’t want to look at 1994, when you voted in the House for the crime bill that led to mass incarceration.

Your stubborn ignorance of identity politics keeps you stewing in attack mode and confusion.

If this were not a country where your identity influences so much about your opportunities, there would not have ever been the Abolitionist Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, the Women’s Rights Movement, Affirmative Action, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the NAACP, the National Council of La Raza, the American Civil Liberties Union and many other advocacy agencies, movements and laws.

As you promote yourself as the savior of Democratic Party – the party you loathe – you show up on celebrity talk shows and online, like a once great Hollywood superstar selling dubious remedies.

In your world, economic justice alone should dissipate racism when a black man or woman tries to hail a cab; people of color only need opportunity to get a strong grip on the economic ladder. You acknowledge -isms and -phobias but only on superficial sexist and racist levels.

After your followers exploded in violence at the Nevada Democratic Party convention, you said: “Our campaign has held giant rallies across this country, including in high-crime areas, and there have been zero reports of violence.”

When Hillary triumphed over you in the South, strengthening a multicultural voting bloc, you belittled it, saying: “I think that having so many Southern states go first kind of distorts reality.” But when you won caucuses with majority white votes, you had no problem with that limited, foreboding support.

Days after the election, you disparage Hillary again, with the same old contempt.

You smile wistfully when a TV host repeats early polls in which you were ahead of the Electoral College winner.

Yeah, except that the GOP would have destroyed you. For the first time in your blessed life, you would have felt the lingering sting of being roundly bullied and ridiculed. You wouldn’t have withstood well a year of what Hillary has endured with grace for 30.

They would have attacked your honeymoon in the former USSR, your meeting and flattery of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, your friends and acquaintances and your votes from the time you became mayor of a hippie town 30 years ago to your long career in the House and Senate.

Once again, you are a snake oil salesman promising what you can’t deliver, intent on breaking up the Democratic Party along class lines. You don’t see that race and class are two roads that sometimes intersect and others run parallel to each other, depending on whether you’re selling single cigarettes on Staten Island or are the first African American president of the United States. Either way, the consequences are vicious to varying degrees.

You think you’re chipping away at economic injustice, but it is your once respectable and thrilling candidacy that is falling apart.

You still don’t understand the fault lines that torment this country that Hillary ran to bridge.

You still go after the woman who, against unimaginable odds to you, lifted the hopes of 65 million voters (at last count) who believed that with her in the White House we could continue threading the American story. It is a complicated story, scarred by unspeakable crimes even to this day. And it is also a story of hope and the hard work of forming a more perfect union. She generously represented what is best in us, what unites us.

But once again you’re a muckraker, robbing yourself of prestige by hitting Hillary with malice and lies.

This is the only link with your name on it that I would read: “Sanders Apologizes to Hillary.”

But that won’t happen. You are as tragically full of yourself as the other guy.

Natalia Muñoz is host of “Vaya con Muñoz’’ on WHMP 1400 AM.
This column appeared originally in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.