Many will recall the classic 1969 animated film “Bambi Meets Godzilla” by Marv Newland; if not, take a look:
I am irresistibly reminded of this timeless story when today’s most-frequent rationale for supporting Bernie Sanders is uttered: ‘Polls show that Sanders beats both Trump and Cruz by a wider margin than does Clinton.’
The claim gets posted here quite a bit; a recent appearance is typical of many:*
And of course Sanders himself has been uttering the claim:
It’s possible that Sanders really does know better and is pushing this claim out of pure cynicism; it’s also possible that he’s begun to believe this foolish assertion. I take no position on that question.
But foolish it is. Or perhaps “delusional” is the more apt designation. And anyone who cherishes this particular illusion is–quite inevitably–going to have his or her heart stomped on conclusively and irrevocably. It will be Bambi meeting Godzilla all over again.
Who is Godzilla in this metaphor? The fact that the GOP is refraining from saying critical things about Bernie Sanders because they are delighted at the way he is damaging Hillary Clinton.
The GOP is not refraining from saying critical things about Bernie Sanders because they respect Bernie Sanders. That should be obvious, but apparently is not, to many Sanders fans. How many instances can be found on the Internet alone of people saying things like ‘Bernie is going to be a great President because he’s respected by friend and foe alike!’ (An example of this on this very board is what convinced me that I had to bring up Bambi’s fate when meeting Godzilla, as a matter of fact.)
Yes, there are people who actually believe the proposition The GOP isn’t criticizing Bernie now; therefore the GOP will not criticize Bernie if he becomes the Democratic nominee.
These people are wrong.
It’s understandable that the idealistic desperately want to believe in a politician who is Respected By All, and who is so good and noble that even enemies can find no harsh words to use in criticism. But that politician is NOT Bernie Sanders.
(Spoiler alert: this brand of idealism is always going to be crushed. Politicians are more respected or less respected, more noble or less noble…but not one has ever been found to be a shining idol of gold, pure and unsullied by compromise. The illusion that such can exist will always meet the foot of Godzilla. Demand transparency, yes–that is our best hope of good government. Demand a strong press, yes. But don’t expect to find a pol that *no one *will disparage.)
Polls showing hypothetical matchups of Sanders or Clinton versus any GOP nominee are fatally flawed, because they compare the chances of one person who has been slammed for years, with another who has benefited from his opponents’ wish that he get as far as he can.
*No link here as it’s not my intention to target an individual, but merely to illustrate a frequently-posted sentiment.