Back in the 2009/2010 era, someone reading liberal blogs could be forgiven for thinking that the Democratic Party was sharply divided over whether to pass the Affordable Care Act. In reality, Obamacare was overwhelmingly popular among Democrats, with large majorities of them across the ideological spectrum, including left-wing single-payer advocates who had criticisms of the package, strongly supporting its passage. But that was not how it looked in the liberal blogosphere. “Kill the Bill” progressives were greatly overrepresented online.
Today, Senator Bernie Sanders is the most popular figure in the Democratic Party. A whopping four percent of Democratic respondents had an unfavorable opinion of Sanders. He has become the most prominent voice of the anti-Trump opposition, and the most sought-after endorsement among Democratic candidates. But online, leftover hostility from the 2016 primary from Clinton supporters is surprisingly common. Once again, a reader without outside knowledge could conclude that Sanders was a divisive figure in the party. In my experience, the most angry anti-Sanders voices come from the most left-leaning Clinton devotees – which is to say, the people who needed to violate their own ideological and policy principles the most in order to take her side.
Bernie Derangement Syndrome is self-loathing turned outward. It’s victims are few in number and at war with themselves. Don’t sweat the Four Percenters.