‘Splaining Bernie to Charles M. Blow

Dear Mr. Charles M. Blow (chblow@nytimes.com),

This letter is in response to your Op-Ed piece in the New York Times, on 10 February 2016,

Stop Bernie-Splaining to Black Voters
10 February 2016

[The NYT endorsed Hillary Clinton on 31 January 2016]

In response to your article:

Younger people of all types are not as tied to the political traditions and habits of the past as are their elders, primarily those over 45, and today’s high-earning professionals for whom the status quo is just fine. There are many young black faces in the enthusiastic crowds Bernie Sanders draws.

Young blacks are most likely to think for themselves as regards candidate appeals, as is true of young women, who overwhelmingly support Bernie (most recently in the New Hampshire primary), despite the “instructions” given them by Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright, because for today’s young women the point of women’s lib was to free them to think and act for themselves instead of robotically obeying old programming that required them to vote solely on the basis of gender (and more generally, to submit to instruction from “authority”).

So, I agree that it is counterproductive for Bernie supporters to “splain” to black Americans: the young ones don’t need it (and most of these will vote for Bernie, I bet), and the older ones (supporting Clinton) aren’t going to be convinced and contradict a lifetime of political habit. Unfortunately for the country, the Clintons have been able to exploit that traditional black political loyalty, which you described in your article.

My hope is that older people will think of their children’s and grandchildren’s futures when considering how to vote. To me, Bernie Sanders is the obvious best choice based on that consideration. But, I have come to realize that it is impossible (at least for me) to convince anyone about anything political because everyone wants to “think” for themselves, and because I have found that people, generally, believe what they want to believe, regardless of logic and facts.

You might find the following article interesting, about the different potentialities to the American political economy that Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton represent. Forwarding this article is as far as I’ll go in “splaining” Bernie.

Why Bernie vs Hillary Matters More Than People Think
5 February 2016

Kind regards,


Update: an interesting new article by Benjamin Studebaker

Why Bernie Sanders is More Electable Than People Think
by Benjamin Studebaker
10 February 2016


2 thoughts on “‘Splaining Bernie to Charles M. Blow

  1. Barbara Jean Lee is the U.S. Representative for California’s 13th congressional district, serving East Bay (Oakland & Berkeley, CA) voters; she has been in office since 1998. While most of the Congressional Black Caucus has endorsed Hillary Clinton for the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party, Lee has yet to declare herself. The news story about that by Joe Garofoli (San Francisco Chronicle) and my response to it follow.

    Rep. Barbara Lee among top African Americans waiting to endorse.
    by JOE GAROFOLI (San Francisco Chronicle)
    February 11, 2016

    Sent to jgarofoli@sfchronicle.com, 12 Feb. 2016:

    It must be tough for Barbara, caught between the pull of her entrenched colleagues to support the figurehead of their apparatchik class, and her own career, and the opposite pull of the worker-student masses in her district (and nationally) who want a decent future and are flocking to Bernie Sanders and away from the neo-liberal status quo that Barbara’s colleagues in Congress, the Administration and the management of the Democratic party (as opposed to the rank-and-file) so slavishly maintain. It’s a devilish time for people like Barbara Lee, they have to decide if they’re now only part of the past, or part of the future: comfort vs. principle. Bernie Sanders is generating a political tsunami because he has no hesitation on the matter.

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