File Under: Conspiracists likely to engage in conspiracy, projection, and media interface.
Pre-Errata: This article attempts to say that Bernie Sanders supporters are the same people as 2008-2012 Ron Paul supporters, this is not likely to be the case in a significant number, but rather shows that conspiracist ideation is more common (especially with a polarized political climate) than previously understood.
Archive: From Daily News Bin.
The first democratic party debate went well for both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, but by any objective measure she was more ready for prime time. Most political pundits of all stripes concluded [that] Hillary won. And accordingly the overnight professionally-conducted poll from Gravis showed that about two-thirds of democratic voters also believed Hillary won. Yet the online self-service polls on the websites various news outlets showed that Bernie won the debate by absurd scores like 82-13. And when that happens, everyone knows why.
If you peeked into online groups of Bernie Sanders supporters on Facebook the night of the debate, you’d have seen the members coordinating their efforts to repeat-vote in these online polls from news outlets like CNN. Their goal: keep voting all night until Bernie was winning them all. It wouldn’t be the first time an overzealous group of supporters got too invested in an online poll. The news outlets saw the silly results, knew what happened, and decided not to bother reporting the severely manipulated polls as if they were legitimate. The result: Bernie’s supporters are now claiming it’s a conspiracy against him.
It appears to have taken the Bernie mob all of twelve hours to forget that they themselves manipulated the online polls to comic effect, and now they’re claiming that the refusal of the networks to “report” that Bernie “won” these polls is evidence that every news outlet is part of some secret conspiracy to prop up Hillary or suppress Bernie. And this isn’t mere outlier behavior. So many of Bernie’s supporters have gone down this bizarre conspiracy road that they’ve launched a petition with tens of thousands of signatures on it, insisting that CNN “admit” that Bernie “won” the online poll. Here’s the weird part: none of this crazy paranoid behavior is in any way compatible with what Bernie Sanders stands for or is trying to accomplish.
During the course of the two hours in which Bernie Sanders was on stage during the debate, and in fact during the six months he’s been in the race, we’ve never once heard him suggest that the party or the media is somehow in a conspiracy against him. In fact he consistently swats away anything that he feels is a distraction from the real political issues of the campaign. We all heard him ranting about how he’s sick of the “damn emails” because he’s only interested in real issues. Yet so many of his followers appear to be lost in a such a haze of paranoid fantasy that they not only rigged the online polls to try to make it look like he won, they then claimed it was a conspiracy against them when no one took their rigged polls seriously.
You never hear Bernie talking like this, or even hinting it. No matter what you think of his politics, you have to feel bad for him that this time around, he got stuck with the paranoid conspiracy theory whackos who always latch onto one candidate each election cycle. To give you an idea of how little these loons care about what Bernie stands for, last time they latched onto Ron Paul, whose views on the issues completely the opposite of Bernie’s. They’re not responding to his ideas, they’re just responding to his indignance. So it’s not surprising that some of these crazies are insisting that Bernie wasn’t defending Hillary on email, but rather he was somehow attacking her. They just can’t accept the idea that Bernie doesn’t think Hillary is some kind of corrupt cartoon character conspiring against him.
Perhaps simply because he speaks of a metaphorical political revolution, in their minds Bernie Sanders is somehow the one who can expose the conspiracy theories that they think are plotted against them. And as soon as it sinks in for them that he’s not crazy like they are, that he’s just a politician with some different ideas, they’ll bail on him in favor supporting someone who is crazy. In the mean time, to paraphrase the good Senator himself, the American people are sick and tired of your damn conspiracy theories.