A meme recently popped up on my news feed, purporting to compare Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’ views on the important issue of Radiohead. Sanders gave an intricate and considered evaluation of the band’s superlative years, describing the consecutive release of OK Computer and Kid A as “one of the defining moments in rock history”. Hilary offered the less considered appraisal, “I love ‘Creep'”.
It would perhaps be suitable for Sanders to be a Thom Yorke enthusiast, as he is in many ways the Radiohead of American politics. In both cases I like their output: coated in authenticity, Sanders has a refreshing take on American values drenched in what Ron Swanson would call “the foul stench of European socialism”. His on-message diatribes about universal healthcare and climate change are especially appealing. I also like ‘Paranoid Android’, ‘Just’, ‘No Surprises’ and ‘Reckoner’.
A pity then, that I can’t stand the army of block-headed, whinging millennials that are ‘feeling the Bern’. A fawning procession of unthinking loyalists as terrifyingly narrow-minded as the most ardent Thom Yorke groupie, they’re as blind to potential pitfalls in Bernie’s economic plan as the groupies are to King of Limbs just not being very good.
Take the series of interviews by BBC reporter Anna Bressanin in a video entitled ‘Sanders fans want “bold ideas” not practical politics’. “I’m ok with him not being so realistic” says Heather Bruton, yoga instructor, “sometimes you have to dream bigger”. This is a common theme: “we’re allowed to believe in a dream” says Chiara, student. Do you think Sanders can keep all his promises? “I guess I don’t care” says James Shoruy, horticulturalist.
Furthermore, poll aggregates suggest that Sanders has a national lead on Clinton of 5.2 per cent when pitted against Trump, despite the gaping chasm between them on the political spectrum. This implies that a decent chunk of Sanders voters would rather throw their toys out of the pram and vote for Donald ‘I’d bomb their families’ Trump, than admit for one second that #theyrewithher. Throw in recent rally disruptions and the somehow-still-enduring ‘liar’ myth (on Politifact she has the highest truth-rating of all five remaining candidates), and you have the most bizarre smear campaign this side of the GOP.
The poor grasp of political realities reminds me of that gloriously quirky poll in which 67 per cent of Corbyn supporters concurred with the statement: ‘you may say I’m a dreamer’. Just like John Lennon. Who got shot. Back down to Earth with a bump, chaps.