Someone knows how to make a powerful speech

I do favor Elizabeth Warren for president, but I keep seeing this fierce energy from the Sanders side that bends me in that direction. Also, my wife is definitely going to keep pressuring me to vote for Bernie in the primary.

Now that is a campaign ad and a half.


  1. Bruce says

    The “someone” speaking in this ad is Michael Render, a rap artist from Georgia. Fans said he made “killer” rhymes, so he performs under the name Killer Mike in the group “Run the Jewels”. He interviewed Bernie Sanders extensively down in his barbershop in Atlanta in 2016, and more in 2019, which can be seen on YouTube. Based on his analysis, I think Sanders will do better than expected, even in Southern states where he has not been so well known. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that one of his national co-chairs is Sen. Nina Turner of Ohio, and that one of his other surrogates has been Dr. Cornell West. These speakers bring a lot of respect.

  2. Bruce Fuentes says

    Wow! That is the most powerful ad I have seen this cycle. I also am a Warren supporter as is my wife. I can easily support Sanders. Either of them are much better than Biden or Buttigieg. Buttigieg is not republican light his political views fit the Republican party very well. The only reason he is a Dem is because gays are not acceptable to the GOP. I will be posting this ad on all my social media. Thank you for sharing.

  3. says

    I’m grudgingly voting for Sanders if he’s the nominee. It’s sad that no one wants to explain how we got here but there it is.

    I would happily vote for Sanders if someone can explain how he can achieve something like Universal Health Care through: An intransigently obstructionist GOP, a backsliding Democrat party that thought the Obamacare public option was political suicide, an electorate (that is under-educated and misinformed to begin with) that witnessed the slow-motion clusterfuck that was the Obamacare roll-out (with the Democrats desperately faffing around trying to explain it all) and the (predictably unintended) negative impacts it had on that same electorate and a media that believes that apathy is objectivity.

  4. DanDare says

    Susan, no one can give you the explanation you seek.
    That is not the choice you are faced with. You are faced with a decision between some Democratic success or total Republican success. Its prety stark.

  5. petesh says

    @4: I sympathize with some of your concerns, though I do think that Obamacare has overcome that early glitch to become pretty popular. I definitely think that Sanders over-promises, especially in light of the Congress that he is likely to have — I think he would have a Democratic Senate as well as House, but both including many small-c conservatives. (If the Dems dont capture the Senate and keep the House, no way will Bernie be elected.) I was and am a Warren supporter. My score on this Washington Post quiz pretty much reflects my position:
    I got Warren 17, Sanders 14, Biden 4 and I didn’t bother remembering the others. But I’d vote for Biden over Trump &/or Pence, in a heartbeat.

  6. says

    I’m pretty certain that if Sanders gets the nom, he will get Warren in as VP and/or in his cabinet. Not so sure if Warren will do the same back. She’s competent and smart, has realistic plans and a cutthroat attitude towards corruption, but sometimes she’s a little bit too politically minded, it seems.

  7. says

    @6 You know those quizzes are used for data mining, right? Regardless, yes, Obamacare is better thought of now. Although, that’s likely due to the fact that most people don’t actually know that it is Obamacare. But any legislation of such scale is going to cause short-term dislocations and UHC is most definitely not going to be an exception. And I don’t think there are any rabbits Bernie can pull out of his hat in the next 4 years that will make the Dems brave enough to face the fallout from those glitches.

    @5 My choices are 1) support the Democratic nominee grudgingly or 2) support them enthusiastically. In other words, my choices boil down to how I want to say yes. Fine. Whatever. Essential to figuring out how to turn things around from here is figuring out how we got here in the first place. And I increasingly suspect that the answer is not one that we are unable to give but one that we are unwilling to give.

  8. Elladan says


    Literally no democratic president is going to get a single legislative thing done with the GOP senate.

    The question is, do you want a president who supports policies you support, or do you want one who does not? Do you want a president people are excited about who can take action against the democratic establishment, or not? Do you want someone who’s anti-war, or pro-war?

    These policy agenda statements are always about who the person is, not what’s actually going to happen.

  9. Porivil Sorrens says

    Presumably, you keep up the momentum leftover from the general election and push to primary everyone who opposed the legislation you were after in the first half of the term.

    That said, there’s an insane amount of stuff that could be done literally within hours of inauguration with executive orders alone, so the senate isn’t a complete bar to getting anything done.

    Just off the top of my head, any prospective president could unilaterally: direct the DoJ to legalize marijuana, cancel government contracts with companies that don’t pay minimum wage, cut the border wall project in its entirety, declare a climate emergency, kill crude oil exports, and radically change the US immigration guidelines.

  10. Porivil Sorrens says

    Rather, primary or replace, depending on the seat. Cutting out the blue dog democrats from congress alone would be a big step in the right direction, as well as the senators that seem more than willing to collaborate with trump as long as the republicans attach some token concession to a conservative bull.

  11. says

    @12 All well and good, but how? Not that they’re bad ideas but unless we start to deal with the underlying cultural rot any political gains will be very temporary. Trumpism didn’t just come out of nowhere. The Alt-Right didn’t just come into existence ex nihlo overnight. What has been happening over the last 50-60 years to bring us to today and why didn’t we see it coming?

  12. nomdeplume says

    Oh come on PZ, just vote for Bernie, you know you want to. Then, “Warren in 2024”!

  13. says

    First off, I want to point out that it’s more than 3 months until I get to vote in a primary so I assume there will only be 1 or 2 presidential candidates left at that point.

    Second, I love Killer Mike He’s one of my favorite all time rappers. His song about Reagan is a classic.

  14. binaryfission55 says

    Vote for Bernie, he has the movement and the theory of change to make possible what needs to happen.

    Question for Susan: the only way change happens is if mass movement organize to make it happen. Bernie has the ability to excite the masses of people who have checked out of politics, no other candidate does. Why do you dislike him? He’s the only shot to avert a climate hellscape. He might fail, but the others will definitely fail, if they even try.

  15. says

    @#2, Bruce:

    Sanders did badly in 2016 in the south mostly because so many southern primaries were so early, and therefore were mostly controlled by name recognition. There were a few polls in southern states later, and the overwhelming majority — 70% to 90%, depending on the poll and the state — of Hillary Clinton’s “firewall” of black support in the south reported that they would not have voted for her had their primaries been redone later. (And IIRC some of those leaked e-mails confirmed that the decision to hold so many southern primaries so early was specifically made to protect establishment candidates, with the understanding that it was Hillary Clinton’s turn to be the establishment candidate.) Sanders may or may not do well this time, but a lot of the expectations of his performance are based on things which were true in 2016 and are no longer true.

    (Oh, and incidentally, here’s a little cheering news: Bloomberg is apparently doing horribly in Iowa. He might as well be withdrawing his campaign funds from the bank in cash and setting fire to them.)

    @#10, Susan Montgomery

    You haven’t actually given any reason for not liking Sanders which doesn’t actually apply much more strongly to all the other candidates.

  16. says

    @18 You noticed? That puts you ahead of all too many people on the left. It’s the needlessly messianic attitude of his core supporters – that he’s some Magic Beatnik who will descend upon Washington on a pillar of rainbows and clouds of incense and Make America Groovy Again with a stroke of his mighty pen and phone – that I’m picking on more than Sanders himself.

    I do recall saying a few months ago here on Pharyngula that whoever becomes president next won’t make much of a difference. It’s not the policies or politicking of any given politician that’s the problem. The problem is a deeper, systemic cultural breakdown which we’ve yet to acknowledge, much less begun to address.

  17. Roi Du Voyageur says

    @19 Susan, from the outside looking in (I’m Canadian) I’ve mostly observed a drastic shift of the Overton window in the U.S. waaaay over to the right. What we do up here would probably be viewed as fiercely radical-left to quite a number of your fellow citizens. The spread of the alt-right doesn’t stop at the border though. A few of our more high-profile conservatives have been floating hard-right test balloons, and thankfully they have all so far been harshly rebuked by the vast majority of the Canadian electorate.

    I don’t know what’s going to happen next to you guys, but I am hoping that come November the turnout will shatter records and the GOP is swept into the dustbin of history. And in quite a number of cases, behind bars as well.

  18. says

    @#22, Susan Montgomery:

    So, Hillary Clinton deliberately tries to smear Sanders in public, even though she is no longer running and he backed her without any reservation after she was declared the nominee last time, but nobody is permitted to boo her for that? Why not?

  19. says

    Yeah, that “without reservations” bit seems a bit fishy but it’s too late for fact-checking, tonight. I will say that they could have chosen to boo Trump and the Senate GOP today, but somehow, they wound up cheerleading boos against a Democrat who condemned the aforementioned senate.

    Draw your own conclusions.

  20. says

    @#24, Susan Montgomery:

    Yeah, I have.

    They sensibly booed the person who has spontaneously trying to divide the party and hobble the potential nominee, rather than the people who are doing exactly what everybody knew all along they would do and are therefore not even noteworthy.

    Traitors are worse than mere enemies; ask Dante.

  21. Elladan says

    Susan @ various:

    Did people not see this coming? I mean, people have been calling out the ever growing fascism, the corporate state, and the ever-growing gulf between the rich and everyone else for as long as I’ve been alive. The Democratic Party has become reviled by its own supporters through its politicies, to the point where you had union members looking to Trump for change in 2016.

    Trumpism looks new, I guess, in as much as it looks like the growing storm of fascism finally got to the point where people can’t just ignore it any more.

    Yeah, OK, the alt-right and evangelicals are in the news, but these same people have always been here: remember The Bell Curve? Some cretin was pushing his love of racism hard at the very first atheism meetup I ever went to. In Seattle, in the ’90s.

    There’s certainly a leftist analysis for why this is all happening: the massive increase in power of the bourgeoisie due to wealth inequality. The rich just love fascism, and here we are.

    You keep asking what’s next regarding Sanders and so on, but his message seems pretty clear to me: we solve the problems in society by building a massive democratic socialist movement made up of working class people and force the political institutions into line through party organizing, elections, unions, etc. The presidency is just one piece of that vision, and his campaign is very clear on this. I mean, just look at their slogan.

    I think we all know the odds of anything good ever happening again, but hey, there is a plan there.

  22. mvdwege says

    You know, I’m disappointed, but not surprised at the cultish devotion to Bernie Sanders.

    All week all participants were quiet when Bernie threw women and LGBT voters under the bus by accepting the Joe Rogan endorsement.

    But a single speech: Bernie is the Messiah!

  23. lotharloo says

    Regarding booing Hillary: I fucking hate the privileged white above middle class feminists. They don’t care about economic injustice because they are benefiting from it, they don’t care about racial injustice, they only use it as a prop to advance their shallow white wealthy feminist (Hillary Clinton). Their only main agenda is to serve themselves. That’s why they also hate the squad even though the squad is a collection of very powerful women with extremely inspiring stories.

  24. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    I think that there could be a winning strategy. First, enthusiastically support whichever candidate you prefer through the primary process. A strong showing even by an unsuccessful candidate shows support for their ideas and positions. Jay Inslee is out, but he did infuse the climate crisis into the discussion. A smart party candidate will craft a message that has broad appeal from those that worked for his opponents. The primary is the only place where minority views can be aired. It’s a shitty system, but at least there’s some chance to raise your voice.

    Second, when the primary is over, it’s time to support the nominee, no matter who. They may not be your favorite, but they are INFINITELY preferable to the disaster currently occupying 1600 Penn. Ave. in DC.

    Third, down-ticket races matter. By dismissing the charges against the orange shit gibbon so lightly, the Rethugs have given us an issue. We have to convince as many people in as many states as possible that they cannot be trusted to exercise the responsibility of government responsibly. Given that the election is going to be close and that Darth Cheeto managed to steal it in 2016, it is absolutely imperative that Dems control both houses of Congress, with at least a majority. The scare story we have to get into peoples’ minds is “Can you imagine how unhinged Drumpf will be when he doesn’t even need to worry about re-election?” It has the advantage of being true, and the House can keep a steady drip, drip of stories of corruption and incompetence in the Administration up to election day and beyond–also all true.

    In the best of worlds, we get a Dem president in while at the same time electing a more responsive Congress as a check against DJT. OK. It’s optimistic, but it’s doable. And we can work to make it more likely.

    Don’t despair. Before we can make things good, we have to first make things better.

  25. Porivil Sorrens says

    Ah, shit. Bernie didn’t repudiate support from someone with a massive fanbase who occasionally has very shitty takes. Guess I have to stop preferring his policy positions, now.
    Imagine making your political decisions based on what celebrities support which politician, lmao.

  26. Porivil Sorrens says

    Like, I support Bernie because he’s the only candidate whose policies are remotely near my own. I couldn’t really care less about anything else. I’ll vote for whoever gets nominated, but only as harm mitigation.

    The idea that I’d make my vote based on something completely aesthetic like which celebrities support him or how aggravating his fans on social media can be is just insane to me.

  27. says

    @25 “They sensibly booed the person who has spontaneously trying to divide the party and hobble the potential nominee” No, they were booing Hillary.

    @32 Rogan operates on the premise that minorities must graciously accept second-class status until such time as the majority graciously grants them something resembling full civil rights. A gracious boon which may be revoked if the minorities are insufficiently grateful or the majority is insufficiently entertained. His regurgitation of right-wing talking points (ranging from uncritically to approvingly) about LGBT people flows from that premise.

    And Sanders, accepting support from Rogan and his fans, is saying that LGBT rights – or anyone else’s – take a back seat to his rather unlikely-to-succeed agenda. And I’m not sure I’m going to trust any part of that agenda if he’s courting the support of someone who’s openly opposed to every bit of it anyway.

  28. mvdwege says


    Bullshit. Bernie did not just ‘not repudiate’ Rogan’s support, he accepted it, publicly.

    What, do you pray five times a day in the direction of Burlington? Is it really so hard for you to accept that he is not Saint Bernie, but a normal politician who makes fuckups like everyone else?

  29. kurt1 says

    “And Sanders, accepting support from Rogan and his fans, is saying that LGBT rights – or anyone else’s – take a back seat to his rather unlikely-to-succeed agenda”
    It’s saying no such thing. Sanders did not endorse Rogan, Rogan endorsed Sanders, who has been fighting for LGBTQ rights before that acronym existed. Seriously, you people will drive me insane, just look at Sanders activism, politics and public statements. His agenda is compassion and humanism, it always has been.

  30. Porivil Sorrens says


    Is it really so hard for you to accept that he is not Saint Bernie, but a normal politician who makes fuckups like everyone else?

    Politics is dirty and sometimes requires building a coalition with unpleasant people to achieve your goals. I don’t agree that receiving an endorsement from somebody who I admit is shitty with a massive fanbase is a fuckup.

    That said, even if I did accept that it’s a fuckup, I’m not about to drop the only candidate whose policy positions even remotely mirror my own just because he got an endorsement from someone that I agree is a shitty racist and transphobe.

    There is not another candidate who is running on a single issue that is anywhere near to my stance outside of Bernie, so it’s going to take more than that to make me settle for someone that I have essentially nothing in common with politically speaking.

    Especially given that Sanders has supported racial and LGBT rights for his entire political career, even back at a time when most of the alternatives were part of the republican party. It’s going to take more than a Rogan endorsement to overcome that in my mind, and I’m speaking as a bisexual nonbinary person of color.


    And Sanders, accepting support from Rogan and his fans, is saying that LGBT rights – or anyone else’s – take a back seat to his rather unlikely-to-succeed agenda.

    As mentioned, I do not think that it is unlikely to succeed. A significant amount of his platform can be achieved unilaterally through executive orders. He could make my job as an immigration lawyer literally redundant overnight by removing the Obama and Trump era immigration restrictions.

  31. Porivil Sorrens says

    Like, these are primaries, the entire point is to vote for the candidate that I think best reflects my political leanings to represent the party in the general.

    Given that I’m a socialist, there is not really any other candidate who is even in the same neighborhood of my beliefs aside from Bernie. I’ll still vote for whoever gets the democratic nomination, but it’ll be nothing but a harm reduction settle pick, not a reflection of the policies I consider important.

  32. Mobius says

    That was a powerful speech.

    Like you, PZ, I favor Warren but would be happy to vote for Sanders as well. I will grudgingly vote for any Democrat for president since I think Trump is a real danger to the US and (small d) democracy. We can see that latter in how the Senate impeachment trial has played out.

    @1 and @20 (and maybe others since I didn’t read all the posts), this is in part why Trump got elected in the first place. If you don’t vote for a Democrat, no matter who it is, you are saying you are satisfied with Trump even if you don’t vote for him. I was not happy with Clinton in the last election but I voted for her anyway since she, IMHO, was vastly better that Trump.

    Even if you aren’t happy with the candidates, vote for the lesser of two evils to limit the harm done to your country.

  33. says

    @36 Putting this on PZ’s comment section may trip an irony meter, but, here goes.

    “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

    Matthew 16:26

  34. mattandrews says

    WMDKitty — Survivor @26:

    Warren is the better candidate, hands down.
    Bernie might have half a chance if he can get a handle on his rabid fanboys. They’re what’s driving people away.

    Pretty much this. The whole “Killary wuz mean to my Bernie, JUST LEAVE HIM ALONE!!!11!” tantrums are really emblematic of this. Fucking get over it. The only folks flagellating themselves over this are you guys. No one who’s taking voting seriously is weighing what Clinton said.

    I only know a few Bernie supporters personally, but goddamn; everyone of them is “You can only fail Bernie. He can’t fail, and if he does fail, it’s because there was a conspiracy that prevented him and the people from victory.”

    Sound like someone else’s following?

    I’ll vote for him if gets the nom, but I’m really surprised everyone’s looking over things like Bernie’s crew’s propensity for doxxing “uppity” women. This site and its readership is the last place where you’d expect shit like that to be overlooked. Hashtag-Not-all-Bernie-Bros and what not, but it’s hard to believe that shit would be tolerated with other candidates the way the Bernie-verse apparently is.

    Just out of curiosity, if Bernie doesn’t get the nod, how many of his supporters here plan on going electoral suicide bomber either by staying home with their thumbs up their asses or casting a “protest” vote for Trump? Kinda of problem last time.

  35. mvdwege says


    Sanders has supported racial and LGBT rights

    “No identity politics” ring any bells? Thats far from support. That’s about as good as his ‘support’ of Hillary, which came down to saying on the eve of the Election that it’s totally not racist to vote for Trump.

    Aka: tone deaf at best.

  36. Porivil Sorrens says

    Could not care less. Even if I did believe that this was a fuckup, and even if he did nothing but roll back the immigration rules, not having to go to overcrowded detention centers every day and witness the abject misery of the thousands of abused people I have to try and protect would be worth it. I literally can’t afford to be picky when there are people being tortured right in front of my eyes on the line.

  37. Porivil Sorrens says


    “No identity politics” ring any bells? Thats far from support.

    Hard disagree. Not only is he literally on record protesting for racial and LGBT rights when that was a veritable career death sentence, at a time when most of his opponents were registered republicans, Bernie’s policy positions would do far more to improve my material conditions as a trans bisexual person than any of the alternatives.

    Sorry, you just aren’t going to sell me on this. He is the candidate that best reflects the policies I consider important. Until we get an alternative candidate that is even a tenth as close as he is to the policies I support, he has my vote in the bag, irrespective of who he gets endorsed by.

  38. says

    @42 More Copypasta:

    “‘Sometimes,’ she said, ‘they threaten you with something — something you can’t stand up to, can’t even think about. And then you say, “Don’t do it to me, do it to somebody else, do it to so-and-so.” And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn’t really mean it. But that isn’t true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think there’s no other way of saving yourself, and you’re quite ready to save yourself that way. You WANT it to happen to the other person. You don’t give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself.’” 1984

  39. Porivil Sorrens says

    How on Earth does that apply here? Me not wanting to find out that another client killed himself because the guards said they’d find and murder his family if he took them to court is akin to Winston Smith confessing under torture?

    Legit, sorry, but no. It takes more than an endorsement to make me give up on every political position I hold dear.

  40. Porivil Sorrens says

    Having a candidate preference makes me a Bernie Bro, despite being willing to support whatever democrat wins in the general? Man, the term has changed since 2016.

  41. lotharloo says

    Hillary Clinton made up “Obama boys” too and accused Obama’s supporters of using sexist attacks. It’s the typical game that’s played by corporate puppets. And white lefty idiots fall for it.

  42. jack16 says

    @11 Porivil Sorrens

    Reinstall the fairness doctrine, nominate judges, enforce antitrust, etc.

    @19 Susan
    “The problem is a deeper, systemic cultural breakdown which we’ve yet to acknowledge, much less begun to address.”
    Yeah, the failure of the two-party system.

    The big dems have been attempting to snare Bernie contributions so take care.

    Warren has corporate support and she’s pro-war. (Voted for the military funding, 700 billion dollars, that Bernie voted against.)


  43. Porivil Sorrens says

    Thank goodness for tampermonkey scripts. This thread is much more readable now that certain people are hidden.

  44. John Morales says

    Porivil, that there is less to read doesn’t make it more readable, it just makes you more comfortable at the cost of being more ignorant.

    But you are correct that X acknowledging their endorsement by Y (given that Y demonstrably endorses X) does not entail that X likewise endorses Y.

  45. Porivil Sorrens says

    I find things that I’m not comfortable reading harder to read. Ergo, by making it more comfortable, I am also making it more readable.

  46. John Morales says


    Fair enough, Porivil. But not universal; I myself find it more comfortable to remain informed. I can always skim or pagedown the dreck, whilst becoming aware of it.

    Also, when people used to block me and publicise that, it encouraged me; I knew I could rebut and opine about their comments without fear of rebuttal from them, and best of all, were they to do so, they’d just demonstrate hypocrisy.

    (Point being that doing and announcing it are not the same thing)

    But sure, certain people — why so mealy-mouthed?

  47. brikoleur says

    Non-American here. I would rather see Trump get a second term than any other Dem candidate except Sanders or mmmmaybe Warren.

    All the others would simply be perpetuating a system that enriches billionaires and drones brown people in order to liberate them from their natural resources, while weakening any real opposition to it. Trump does exactly the same, except (1) the mask is off and (2) he’s completely incompetent at it.

    I.e. if the Dems decide to run with Biden or Buttigieg or whoever, I am going to urge my American friends to vote Trump 2020 (unless Sanders decides to run as an independent naturally).

  48. says

    And Poirivil further proves my point about Bernie’s fanboys.
    They literally refuse to even entertain the notion that they might be wrong, and are disgustingly obnoxious about it. They’re proud of being pig-ignorant and shutting themselves in a Bernie bubble.

  49. John Morales says

    brikoleur: Non-American here, too. I would rather see any Dem candidate [get a term] rather than Trump get a second term. Because I’m not exceedingly stupid.

  50. John Morales says

    PS brikoleur, a bit bored, so…

    Trump does exactly the same, except (1) the mask is off and (2) he’s completely incompetent at it.

    (1) however much the mask may be off, with the exception of BS you endorse him over “any other Dem candidate”, though he “does exactly the same”.
    IOW, you ‘ve just claimed that, all else being equal, it is Trump you endorse.
    He’s the second-best person to be POTUS, for you.

    (2) Such ignorance!
    Obviously, you haven’t been reading the news. Either that, or stuff such as the tax changes or the weakening of environmental regulations or the stacking of the judiciary or the extra money for the military (things which have demonstrably occurred) doesn’t bother you, apparently.


    (He might be personally incompetent, but he’s hardly been ineffective as far as his supporters and enablers are concerned)

  51. kurt1 says

    @58 “They literally refuse to even entertain the notion that they might be wrong, ”
    Wrong about what? Having a different opinion on, whether to build a large tent coalition with people you find disagreeable? Politics is not Math, there is no one right answer. If Porivil Sorrens not folding to your argument is toxic Bernie Bro behaviour for you, thats pretty weak.

    Sanders leads Warren by a lot in most polls for the early primary states and overall, as far as I can see. So if you want a lefty to be the candidate, better vote Sanders, otherwise you might get Joe.
    Whats even more important, Sanders is very successful at building a large movement of mostly young people, personally interested in changeing their material conditions. And if you really want big structural change, thats what you should support, because it’s the only thing that will be successful in mid-term.

  52. Porivil Sorrens says

    It might encourage them, but I couldn’t really care less, given that this person’s definition of toxic Bernie bro is “Person who supports Bernie and will not give him up over coalition building with a douchebag.”

    They’re free to make the same unhinged anti Bernie comments on literally every blog post on this site that mentions the man, but at some point it just becomes too annoying to want to read further.

    Indeed, this argument is all rather academic, Sanders routinely gets double the votes of Biden and two-to-three times the votes of Warren in polls in my state. He’s pretty much a lock as far as I’m concerned, at least insofar as my state’s nomination.

    But like, you know. Me preferring a candidate who mirrors my ideals over ones that don’t at all, despite my concession that I will vote for whatever Democrat is nominated is toxic Bernie Bro behavior.

    It seems like less and less of an insult every time it’s used.

  53. John Morales says

    From the gallery, I reckon “If Porivil Sorrens not folding to your argument is toxic Bernie Bro behaviour for you, thats pretty weak.” sums it up. Rather diplomatically, too.

    (But then, as noted, I’m not American)

  54. brikoleur says

    @60 I don’t really care about the US Supreme Court, as a non-American it’s none of my business.

    My feelings about the USA are more or less like my feelings about the Roman Catholic Church: a most likely irredeemably evil organisation that’s also most likely to stick around for a while. So when examining American presidential elections, I have two things to look at: is there a candidate there who’s likely to make America noticeably less evil over the short, medium, or long term, thereby reducing its intentions to do evil? And if not, is there a candidate there who’s likely to make America weaker over the long term, thereby reducing its capability to do evil?

    In my lifetime America has only had one president who attempted to make America noticeably less evil, and he was a dismal failure: Jimmy Carter. Every other one — Reagan, the Bushes, Clinton, Obama — has either actively been making America more evil, or not done anything to make it materially less evil. Charismatic leaders like Obama were worse than the overt neocon imperialists like the Bushes, because they found it that much easier to get their evil stuff done. It was easy to protest the Bushes, but nobody wanted to protest Obama when he was doing the exact same things.

    Senator Sanders has been really consistent over his entire career. Therefore I would be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, that he could be another (but possibly more successful) Jimmy Carter. That he would do something that materially makes America less evil. I am much less confident about Senator Warren’s convictions in this respect, and I am almost certain that all of the other Democratic hopefuls would do exactly nothing. The best case is that they would maintain the status quo, after which another and possibly more competent Trump would emerge.

    Therefore, my second choice is Trump. If he gets a second term, the USA’s international alliances will be in tatters and the US will be well on its way to rogue state status. This puts significant limits on its capabilities to execute its intentions, even if said intentions remain as evil as ever.

  55. John Morales says


    Therefore, my second choice is Trump. If he gets a second term, the USA’s international alliances will be in tatters and the US will be well on its way to rogue state status. This puts significant limits on its capabilities to execute its intentions, even if said intentions remain as evil as ever.


    Biggest military power in the world right now, but hey, it’s OK, maybe it will go rogue and become a weakling, and Trump is likely to achieve that implicitly desirable outcome.

    Seriously, I don’t think you grok what a rogue state is, nor just how powerful the USA is, for that matter.


    My feelings about the USA are more or less like my feelings about the Roman Catholic Church: a most likely irredeemably evil organisation that’s also most likely to stick around for a while.

    Yeah, but it’s not currently got great temporal power, unlike the USA.

  56. brikoleur says

    @65 The cornerstone of US power was never military. It’s soft power, the ability to build up alliances to do its bidding — like starving out entire countries through decades of vicious sanctions regimes for example.

    And nobody has done as much damage to US soft power than Trump. With that gone, the US military will be about as significant as the Russian military was under Yeltsin — good for small-scale local disturbances only.

  57. says

    Seems to me that Rogan supporting Sanders is a good thing for the following reason:

    Sanders hasn’t rolled back his support for social justice. This is an example of a bigot (and hopefully his audience) coming to support a campaign/movement that actively supports full rights for everybody, despite that bigotry.

    Rogan isn’t supporting Sanders based on his social justice policies at all, but in supporting Sanders for other reasons, he is also supporting that pro-social justice platform.

    For my entire lifetime the Left has been supporting less than perfect candidates because some of their platform is better than none of it. This is an example of the reverse – someone more on the Right supporting what THEY view as a less than perfect candidate because of some of his platform.

    It’s Sanders pulling Rogan and his audience to the Left, and in doing so, he’s encouraging them to shift how they self-identify. Rogan, and everyone who supports Sanders because of Rogan, will now see themselves as people who fight alongside people openly fighting for social justice. If they vote for Sanders, they’re now voting for social justice, because as I mentioned, that’s still part of what he’s fighting for.

    That doesn’t make Sanders perfect. It doesn’t make Rogan suddenly great. What it does mean, is that a whole bunch of people who might otherwise have sat out the election, or even voted Republican (or for one of those libertarian idiots we always see), are now considering voting for women’s rights, trans rights, gay rights, and non-white rights, where they have no record of wanting to do that in the past.

    It doesn’t mean they’re 100% on the team, just that for now they’re willing to consider supporting what WE want to do, rather than opposing it.

    That seems like a win to me.

  58. Porivil Sorrens says

    See, that’s the thing. If there was any sign that Sanders was somehow reneging on his progressive platform or actively leaning to the right to get support from conservatives, that would be a serious blow against my support for him.

    Passively receiving the endorsement of someone with vaguely center right views on some topics (and fairly left ones on other topics) and then accepting that endorsement to activate a voting block that might have otherwise voted Republican is just a solid plus in my account.

    I believe strongly in the value of working class organization against bourgeois power structures, and sometimes that means making strange bedfellow coalitions because not everyone in the working class is woke. I’d rather get 7 million center-right voters to vote blue than let the republicans swoop up those same voters in the name of purity testing.

    That said, I’ll gladly eat crow if Sanders somehow decides to tank his campaign by adopting Rogan’s shit takes on LGBT rights. Doubt it will happen, but hey.

  59. says

    I mean, Sanders did do more than passively accept- he publicised it. I think that’s a good thing because, as I pointed out, he hasn’t changed his support for the rights Rogan has been bigoted about. More than passive acceptance though.

  60. Porivil Sorrens says

    Sure, what I mean is that he accepted it without further going on to reciprocally endorse Rogan or his views.

  61. lotharloo says

    Okay fair enough argument. If not Sanders then you want Trump elected so US is destroyed. The problem with that is that 1) as the prominent producer of CO2, We need US to come to its sends. More Trump means more fucked up US but also more fucked planet Earth. 2) The likely candidates for the next super power are very likely much more evil than US. Do you want the Chinese government to rule the world or the Russian oligarchy?

  62. brikoleur says

    @71 I do not believe the USA will be destroyed any time soon. Four more years of Trump would be extremely unlikely to do it. My hope is simply that the USA will be sufficiently weakened that its capability to make mayhem around the world is significantly reduced.

    If we have to have a global overlord, I would very much prefer the Chinese over the USA; they are by far the lesser evil. I am hoping though that there won’t be a single global overlord, that it will be a genuinely more multipolar world.

    Russia is no kind of global superpower, and will never be again. They have a stagnant economy, an aging population, and a badly dysfunctional state. They’re completely harmless to everyone except their immediate neighbours — and them only if they’re in even worse shape. The fact that many Americans believe they’re any kind of genuine threat only speaks volumes about how effective domestic propaganda is.

    I do not believe any of the Democratic contenders would be capable or willing to make the kinds of changes needed to significantly limit CO2 emissions, Sen. Sanders included. Can you imagine any US government slapping a tax on gasoline that would price it at, say, a pitifully inadequate 10 dollars a gallon? There is a global transition ongoing to a post-carbon world; whether it’s quick enough to save us remains to be seen, but who sits in the White House will matter very little to speed it up or slow it down.

  63. says

    I’m not convinced China as a global empire would be better. Their methods of social control are scary, to say the least, they don’t seem to care much about women’s rights, and they’re clearly just fine with genocide/ethnic cleansing. The only real upside I see is the lack of a faction committed to bringing about armageddon.

  64. brikoleur says

    @73 Funny thing about China, they’ve never in 5000 years of recorded history fought /any/ imperialist wars or sought global domination through military means. If China wants to take over a country, they send civil engineers. If the USA wants to take over a country, they send missiles.

  65. says

    Other than the regions immediately surrounding them that they decide belong to them. Imperialist wars in the last 5,000 years are how the China we recognize today was “unified” in that territory, and more recently (and famously) how the PRC took control of Tibet. Not the same as what the U.S. has been doing, to be sure, but your assertion about their total lack of imperial conquest over the last few thousand years is blatantly false.

  66. brikoleur says

    @75 You’re stretching the definition of “imperialist war” beyond the point of usefulness in order to draw a false equivalence for propaganda purposes. Border provinces with a disputed status and occasional periods of independence are not the same thing as naked use of imperial power across the globe for the interest of the metropolitan power.

    China has never pulled off anything like the Gulf Wars or the intervention in Libya, to name just three of America’s more recent escapades, never even mind the genuinely pitch-black evil that Europeans did in their heyday. That alone makes it far more worthy of trust as a potential global overlord.

  67. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    So, the reason we should listen to you about our choice of President is because you hate our country? Wow! Way to sell it, dude.

    You do realize that even a weakened US of A would have enough nuclear firepower to reduce the planet to cinders and then rearrange those cinders multiple times over, don’t you? And if US power and prestige were significantly reduced, an orange toddler would be much more likely to use them than, say an adult. So, please fuck right off. We have enough problems without idiots like you stirring up animosities.

  68. brikoleur says

    @77 From where I’m standing your orange chimpanzee is a sight less warlike than your responsible adults. Somebody did trick him into whacking Soleimani, but the minute he realised he had picked a fight with someone who could hit back — even a little bit — he backed off like a timid little puppy. So no, I’m not worried about him in particular having nukes, any more than I am worried about the USA having nukes.

    So tell you what. I’ll fuck right off when /you/ fuck right off and stop fucking up our countries. Until then, try and make me. What are you going to do, drone me?

  69. logicalcat says

    Brikoleur. Your talking to the man who didnt understand why we couldnt nuke countries we dont like. I don’t know where your from but i dont think you realize how crazy this man is.

  70. logicalcat says

    Also to everyone else just because berniebros used toxic purity politics doesnt mean we get to now do the same to Bernie. Bernie has a lot of errors, still way better than the rest.

  71. brikoleur says

    @79 He talks a lot of smack. I’m going by what he’s done. As I said, I’m not worried on that score. Biden with drones and an alliance is a far more frightening prospect.

    Have you ever been at the receiving end of some good American liberation, I wonder? It might change your perspective a little.

  72. logicalcat says

    Oh i agree biden is awful but heres the rub…its getting worse.

    This country has been proggressively getting more and more right wing and militaristic since Carter. Thats why Biden exist because the dems have to push rightward in order to stay politicaly relevant. Two terms of Trump meams the dems have to continue that trend. If Biden wins at least theres a chance that this might not happen. Another trump term will make it inevitable. Voting in bernie makes much more likely that the country will start to go leftward.

    My point is that a trump second term will no doubt continue some of that good american “liberation”. Worse over time.

    Also also, some of the people here in this country have been murdered by trumps base. Telling another trump is better kind of a slap to their face. We all know what happens when fascists gain more power.

  73. brikoleur says

    @82 Trump has done more to energize the American left than anyone. If the Dems run with Biden and he wins, that will undo most of that progress in a heartbeat. Four more years of Trump on the other hand will allow AOC’s cohort to gain experience and strength, perhaps even more than with a President Sanders. Sometimes worse really is better, and this may be one of those times.

  74. John Morales says

    brikoleur, you do amuse me.

    @66: “The cornerstone of US power was never military. It’s soft power, the ability to build up alliances to do its bidding”.

    @74: “If China wants to take over a country, they send civil engineers. If the USA wants to take over a country, they send missiles.”

    (Missiles are never military, gotcha)

  75. brikoleur says

    @85 The cornerstone is not the same as the course of action. If the cornerstone crumbles, the US can no longer launch those missiles without consequences.

    (I could also have said “sanctions” which would have illustrated the point better as they are America’s favorite weapon of mass murder and one that requires a coalition of packets to enforce.)

  76. simply not edible says

    For years now (I’m not as old as a lot of you, but certainly for as long as I can remember) the Dems have been pulling to the right to get centrists to move over, without success.

    Now in Bernie, a pull to the left seems to be achieving exactly that, if this Rogan endorsement is to mean anything.

    Sitting on the outside, I would much rather see a leftward pull. I mean, Our centre-right parties often still look left-wing compared to your dems. What’s going on now may help normalize your skewed Overton-window a bit.

  77. lotharloo says

    You conveniently ignored global warming and the fact that the world needs US come to its senses as soon as possible and not “be gradually weakened by series of dumbass Republican presidents”. We can’t afford that.

    And second … really you think a Chinese superpower will be better than an American war? How fucking ignorant are you? Maybe start by reading about the Chinese involvement in Africa:

  78. brikoleur says

    @89 I addressed global warming in message 72.

    Yes, as I said, I do believe that China as a superpower would be much less vile than the USA. There really is no comparison between economic colonialism and sanctions regimes that starve millions to death, regularly punctuated by wars that kill and maim even more millions.

    Look at American history over the past century. You have /never/ been the good guys. The one time you ended up finding an enemy that’s even worse, you had to obliterate tens of thousands of innocent civilians in a nuclear holocaust, then immediately when the fighting was over, you turned on your most important ally and waged a half century of cold and hot war against them. No sin China has committed comes within miles of that.

    Also, do not insult my intelligence by linking to a Forbes blog of all things. My interest in and involvement with Africa goes far beyond reading.

  79. brikoleur says

    @88 You’re still conflating actions and capabilities. Missiles and sanctions are actions. America’s capabilities howerver are determined to a great extent by its soft power — its ability to get willing partners for whichever course it chooses to embark on.

    Sanctions and wars are most definitely not soft power, but the USA would not be able to impose sanctions at all, and would find its options at fighting wars much constrained, should its soft power crumble. That’s what I meant by stating that the cornerstone of American dominance is soft power, not military might.

    Which brings us back to my core argument again: I would much prefer that the USA change its behaviour on the world stage, which is why I will be cheering for Sen. Sanders should he be the Democratic nominee. I believe his lifelong anti-war record gives grounds for hope. (I also believe he would be by far the best hope for a decent life for Americans, but as I said that’s none of my business, since I’m not American.)

    However, should the nominee be someone else, I see no reason to hope for such a change in behaviour. This means I will be cheering for Pres. Trump and urging my American leftist friends to vote for him: while he would not change America’s intentions either, he would certainly erode America’s ability to do harm much more, while at the same time his presence in the White House would continue to energise the emerging American left.

    I have not completely lost hope in the USA. Politicians like Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Tlaib, and Rep. Omar are a genuine hope for a more decent future, whatever happens in the next four years. I do think that things will have to get much worse before they get better, however — we would need to see a solid majority for the kind of politics Sen. Sanders and the others advocate, and we’re quite some way from that.

  80. lotharloo says

    The Chinese form of government is an extreme form of right-wing ideology that runs its fangs deep in the Chinese culture. It’s an extremely hierarchical where you are expected to suck up to those above you and shit on those beneath you. There is rampant corruption where if you know someone in power, you are golden but if not, you are fucked. You can believe a Chinese superpower, under the current structure of Chinese government, would be better for the world but that’s a stupid opinion that is not backed by any form of evidence.

    It’s funny that you claim you have “interest in and involvement with Africa goes far beyond reading”. So now I’m curious, what’s the Chinese government’s policy with regards to arms sale to Africa? How would that affect the continent if China happens to become the largest and most advanced military force in the world? I mean, US is criticized for selling arms to Saudi Arabia who is causing a humanitarian crisis in Yemen, please tell me in light of your answer to the previous question, how the Chinese policy would be better. Thanks!

  81. brikoleur says

    @92 Both China and the USA engage in economic exploitation, corruption, and arms sales, shady and otherwise. China would be much less likely to pile strangulatory sanctions, military encirclement, drone and missile strikes, and occasional ground invasions on top of that. That’s by far the lesser evil as far as I’m concerned. Because /almost/ anything is preferable to war.

  82. logicalcat says

    Your gambling with the most powerful military in the world. To repeat, we all know what happens when fascist get more power, don’t we? Another four years of Trump wont do shit except weaken the left. Thats how its always been in this country. The right amass power, the democrats drift to the right in order to stay politically relevant, and the left get left in the dust with no support structure. And I dont see this trend breaking with another Trump presidency. It wont break with another centrist presidency either. it needs to be left wing with Sanders or we are fucked.