The FCC voted to repeal net neutrality rules on December 14, in a decision that will hurt consumers and ruin the internet forever unless congress steps in to oppose the decision. Eric Boehlert, a ShareBlue writer, formerly of Media Matters, blamed Susan Sarandon for the repeal.
CauseWired Founder Tom Watson tweeted on the same day that Sarandon, “callously abandoned marginalized Americans and the entire progressive agenda.” CAP President Neera Tanden invoked a similar sentiment by comparing black voters supporting Hillary Clinton to Sarandon voting for Jill Stein, which apparently is the key cause of Trump’s Victory.
Sarandon voted for Jill Stein in New York, and committed the crime of expressing a political opinion in an interview during the election that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were awful candidates. That criticism has been heavily conflated, always without citation, that Sarandon viewed Clinton as worse than Trump.
Sarandon was one of few high profile celebrities who didn’t offer unabated praise and endorsement for Clinton during the 2016 election. Others didn’t express political views at all and actors Viggo Mortensen and Tim Robbins also voted for Jill Stein. But it’s been Sarandon who has served as a proxy target for childish Clinton supporter rage over every single awful thing the Trump Administration and Republicans do in office.
In their minds, it was Susan Sarandon that caused Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — states that went to Barack Obama in 2012 — to vote for Trump last year. Even under the Clinton revisionism that Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan were the only states Clinton performed poorly in that were easily winnable, Clinton still benefited, under the same logic, by Libertarian Candidate, former Republican New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson outperforming Stein easily in all three states and possibly taking away some voters from Donald Trump.
In Pennsylvania, conservative Constitution Party candidate Darrell Castle received over 21,000 votes and Johnson received over 146,000, compared to Stein’s 49,000 votes. In Wisconsin, neo-con Evan McMullin received 11,000 votes, Castle received 12,000 votes and Johnson over 100,000 votes, while Stein received just 31,000.
In Michigan, McMullin received 8,000 votes, Castle received 16,000 votes, and Johnson over 172,000 votes, compared to Stein with just over 51,000. Conservatives had more options to choose a third party candidate in states across the country and did so in much higher numbers than those on the left, yet Clinton still managed to lose. But its easier to shift blame toward a proxy than reconcile with the severe flaws of Clinton’s candidacy and the lazy arrogance that her campaign was built on.
Ignored by Watson, Tanden, and other Clinton obsessives’ recent invocation to weaponize black voters as a cudgel against Sarandon is the fact that voter turnout among African-Americans decreased from 66.6 percent in 2012 to 59.6 percent in 2016. Among those who voted, Clinton’s share of the black vote decreased by 5 percent from Obama’s in 2012.
The running theme from Doug Jones’ upset victory over Roy Moore in the Alabama special election senate race is the Democratic Party shouldn’t take black voters for granted, but instead focus resources and efforts to boost voter turnout in black communities and promote policies that would help these marginalized communities. This lesson is being ignored in this criticism by Clinton loyalists who once again treat black voters as a demographic that will unequivocally support Democrats, with nothing given in return.
Clinton focused more on lavish fundraisers and high profile endorsements, which even Barack Obama criticized shortly after the election by noting Clinton avoided grassroots campaigning in Wisconsin, Iowa, and other areas that he won in 2008 and 2012 by making appearances and engaging with voters. What Alabama should teach centrists is that a campaign that focuses on grassroots organizing, knocking on doors, and demonstrating through messaging what’s at stake can help Democrats win statewide elections even in places like Alabama that have been written off by the Democratic Party for decades as unwinnable, and unworthy of party resources.
Sarandon has little political power, even with her large platform as a celebrity. But Clinton fans continue to need a scapegoat for her humiliating and Sarandon is yet one more, and allows them to 2016 smear progressives in general. Evan McMullin ran for President against Hillary Clinton, but the same people who criticize Sarandon have no reservation about praising his empty neo-conservative critiques and even supporting his problematic policy stances and political ideology.
Scolding voters and blaming Susan Sarandon — and one can’t help but feel that she’s being used in this regard because she’s seen by Hillary fans, like Fox New, as an empty-headed bimbo — will never work to win over disillusioned voters. The constant use of this tactic, especially as it’s often reserved for hyper-partisan takes on social media because a full op-ed trying to substantiate the argument would only serve to demonstrate how crazy it sounds, is reflective of a Democratic Party whose self-proclaimed leaders prefer to shame voters rather than offer them ideas.