The Dying Ember (Blog post 1)

The flames, although more akin to embers at this point, of Bernie Sanders campaign still flicker in the hearts of many Americans. Dissatisfied Americans across the nation placed their hope for the future of the nation on Senator Sanders’ shoulders during the democratic primaries. Some fled to his banner believing in his policies, but many more came believing his brand of politics promised a reform. Pages full of political commentary on twitter show how involved and passionate people have become during this election season. Despite losing the democratic primary Bernie Sanders still pulls a massive amount of twitter related attention. How or why the Senator manages to stay in the trend depends on the person asked. Supporters claim he should not have lost, and that his defeat is yet again only a further abuse and corruption of governmental power. His opposition claims it is because Bernie Sanders supporters are all very sore losers and cannot accept that not everyone believed in him as they once did. Despite the reason, one truth remains, Bernie in the twitter feeds does not seem to be going away. Navigating the feeds can cause issues due to the various handles and hashtags that continue to crop up. In order to better understand this issue this blog will break down the main reoccurring hashtags.

The official Bernie Sanders twitter worked under the simple #berniesanders. This worked mostly during the primary and in conjunction with hashtags such as #feelthebern, #bernieorbust, #bernie, and #bernie2016. These were largely positive supportive tags meant to spread the good word of the Sanders movement. These have persisted however with the Democratic National Convention and the official nomination of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party Nominee, new twitter handles have blossomed. Consisting of the passionate supporters still carrying the torch tags such as #neverhillary, #stillsanders, and #bernieactuallywon now dominate much of the Sanders twitter phenomenon. For many Sanders supporters, the senator, promised a way to move away from general dissatisfaction and anger at the government. Despite the validity, or lack thereof, in concerns to the nomination Sanders supporters believe that the government failed to protect the democratic process. In this, as with many other things, those in support cannot help but feel a sense of injustice. However, the fact that support has lasted so long seems to suggest either great passion for the man, or great dissatisfaction for the system.

Opposition to the movement revolved around the tweets from #hilllaryclinton camp during the primary, but has also seen several related tags since the official nomination. These consist of tags such as #bernielostme or #berniesoldusout. Interestingly these seem to fall into being connected to Hillary support or Trump support. Hillary supporters are connected to #bernielostme and #berniesoldusout seems connected more to Trump. Both seemingly a mix between people upset about the way in which Bernie handled losing the nomination, and people who were always with an opposing camp attempting to gain supporters. Those attempting to gain supporters seem to works via pointing out a weakness or flaw in Sanders while endorsing the opposing candidate. An example in the #berniesoldusout is the blatant use of the battle cry of the Sanders campaign about corruption being turned against Bernie himself. Those trying to garner supporters for Trump claim that Clinton managed to strong-arm Bernie for an endorsement after the nomination; this comes coupled with a promise that the one person who will not be corrupted by Clinton is Trump.

Along the lines of gaining supporters there are several tags that are showing a similar trend. Currently Clinton camp is attempting to cannibalize the Bernie supporters. However, discontent with Clinton seems to be spurring a movement for certain Bernie supporters toward Trump. The main tag consist of #bernersfortrump, but older tags like #neverhillary and #berniebros are also showing a trend for jumping ship toward Trump. Specifically, Hillary Clinton’s camp used #berniebros to imply that those supporting Sanders over Clinton were in fact being sexist. In the long run these men, dubbed berniebros, have now felt utterly alienated and abused by the Clinton camp. This coupled with her recent comments revolving around Trump supporters as a #basketofdeplorables have created a commonality between Bernie and Trump voters. Many have moved to support Trump simply because they could not bring themselves to vote for a person they claim to despise. This is the central rallying cry for the #neverhillary followers.

On twitter it can sometimes be nearly impossible to distinguish who seems to be winning the tweeting wars. The truth is that Bernie and his supporters are remaining longer than anyone expected them to in the shifting social media world. Despite this the flames that burned in the Sanders social revolution have begun diminishing. These passions still smolder, but for how long no one is certain.

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