On Wednesday, April 8, 2020, at 12:41 PM, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders finally suspended his campaign.
Bernie was in the race for 414 days. I only tracked his emails since May 21, 2019, however, so 323 days. During that time, he sent 646 emails to me as a non-donor and 603 emails to me as a donor, for an average of exactly 2 emails every day.
Bernie liked to send emails on Tuesday and he didn’t like to send emails on Mondays. Other than those two days, he was fairly consistent with his emails, sending more during the week than on the weekend.
Debate emails came late at night, but for the most part, Bernie kept his emails to normal waking hours for most people, between 11 AM and 8:59 PM.
The bulk of Bernie’s emails were asking for money. He also liked me to say I agreed with him. Only in recent days, this past month, did he really start pushing for charitable donations to outside organizations in his name. Emails without an ask at all were few and far between.
Despite being a man of the people, supposedly, Bernie absolutely never held a contest where anyone had a chance to win a meeting with him. This was apparently a corrupting influence. What it actually meant was that someone living where I lived, in Southwest Michigan, would have to decide if a three-hour trip one-way on a work night would be worth it to get a chance to meet Bernie in person. I couldn’t even hold onto the hope that if I donated $2.70, Bernie’s preferred donation amount, I might maybe get so much as a phone call, a moment to feel special.
Bernie doesn’t seem to like people having any reason to feel special.
Bernie also almost never did anything digital or virtual. His huge campaign events were huge, and frequently featured free musical guests of some reputation, but if you didn’t live nearby, you were out of luck. Instead, we were treated to a constant litany of how Bernie would never dare ask anyone in person for their money and relied solely on email donations of $2.70 at a time to pay for his campaign. Why $2.70? Well, for starters, 270 delegates was how many you needed to win the electoral college and thus the election. However, he also made sure his supporters were very aware that the amount donated did not matter at all. What mattered was the act of donating, or specifically, how many times you donated.
If you were going to donate $10, it was better to donate $2.70 four times. That showed you were FOUR TIMES as supportive of Bernie as someone who merely donated $10 once.
If you scoff that nobody would do this… the FEC has sent Bernie letters after every FEC deadline with over 500 pages of campaign finance violations, of people who have donated thousands of dollars more than the maximum $2,800 allowed by law… in small increments of $2.70 at a time. Bernie loved to trumpet his low average donation amount (just $18, woo!) and his incredibly high number of total donations (over ten million, woo!) as a sign of how strong his campaign was… but in actuality, he was artificially inflating those numbers and actually costing his campaign a small fortune in credit card transaction fees.
Of course, you don’t say that in a 45-second rebuttal on a debate stage. You say you’ve received ten million donations, and none of them from billionaires.
Bernie was the best “Democratic” candidate when it came to attacking other Democrats. No one else attacked other Democrats as frequently as Bernie (though Tulsi Gabbard did attack more viciously). Despite being a self-proclaimed champion of things such as affordable healthcare, affordable tuition, living wages, and equal voting rights, Bernie found it easier to attack other people who also cared about those things (but not as deeply as Bernie, you see) than it was to attack other people who very clearly did not care about those things.
Even Donald Trump was spared Bernie’s vitriol. No one was more dangerous to Americans than a Democrat who believed we shouldn’t dismantle our existing systems before trying to replace them, not even the man shitting on the Constitution daily.
Bernie said “Thank You” directly the most out of every candidate, which was a nice thing. However, he also liked to send me emails going “I owe you an explanation,” in which he’d talk about how important it was that he raised money through emails.
I know that, Bernie. You don’t owe me an explanation for why you keep asking me for a donation. Please stop thinking you do.
Bernie also liked to tell me what the truth was, about as much as Donald Trump liked to tell me what the truth was. Like with Donald Trump, I started tuning Bernie out whenever I saw a sentence that began with “The truth is…”
Bernie’s emails were boring. When he wasn’t using a tired bit of rhetoric, he was rambling on and on, hiding his true meaning behind a flood of words that made you think he was being proactive, but really was just that: a flood of words that didn’t actually have action behind them. He did not believe in being concise, ever, and was constantly padding his word count.
I’ve made no secret that I dislike Bernie Sanders. I have read every single email he sent, and I have watched him in every single debate this cycle. I’ve kept an eye on his Twitter. After Mike Gravel dropped out, Bernie was the oldest person in the race. His campaign strategy relied too heavily on keeping the vote split until the very end, which is why he made sure to be especially divisive toward the candidates who were the most unifying. Ultimately, we ended up with a race between two old white guys
So farewell, Bernie Sanders, and thank you for eventually seeing the writing on the wall, despite literally everyone else in the country seeing it a month ago.