I was wondering why this particular affliction seems restricted to Trump and Sanders voters when there is plenty of vitriol from everyone's partisans online. It's not like Clinton and Cruz voters are all nice and loving on the Internet, but for some reason they do not feel the need to make threats to reporters or harass delegates. I thought the Rolling Stones article
on the men who threatened the Nevada Democratic Party chairwoman online was very interesting for showing some of the thought processes behind the act of hunting down someone you don't know in another state and threatening them or their families. Do I think Trump or Sanders approves of these messages? Sanders, no, Trump maybe. But why do a small minority of Sanders and Trump voters do this when Clinton and Cruz voters do not?
Sanders and Trump will tell you they are pulling in outsiders and that is what they have in common. I would argue that they have something else in common - they both play the victim card as a major part of their campaigns. Both Trump and Sanders claim that the system is out to get them, that it is rigged, that the media is biased against them, that "the elite" is secretly working in back rooms to void the will of the people. This is something that can be directly laid at the feet of the candidate, and I think this persistent narrative is directly related to the violent behavior we see at the extremes of the spectrum. The Internet amplifies this by allowing people to cherry pick articles and editorials that they think supports their narratives while ignoring things that refute it. The Nevada convention is a perfect example. Long time political observers at the convention say the Democratic party and it's chairwoman did absolutely nothing out of the ordinary
in the way they ran the convention, but the losses that the Sanders team took (mostly due to their own incompetence) was painted as oppression from "the man" and the result was death threats against Roberta Lange by people who would probably never curse in front of their mother. Every news article by respected reporters critical of Sanders is an attack by the "establishment", every deceptively edited Youtube critique of Clinton is the God's honest truth. Does Sanders support violence against Clinton supporters - absolutely not. Does his continued claims of victimhood fuel an irrational rage in his supporters that at the fringes results in threats of violence - IMO yes. Even Sanders statement after the Nevada convention
continued this narrative. Yes, we condemn the violence, but we are the victims here. I think that is where Sanders contributes to the hostile atmosphere and why we see this behavior from his supporters and not from those of other candidates.