Pretty fascinating interview from yesterday’s All In With Chris Hayes, where actor Susan Sarandon—a strong and visible advocate for Bernie Sanders this primary season—defended those progressive voters who claim that they won’t vote for Hillary Clinton in a general election if she wins the nomination.
Sarandon herself hasn’t made up her mind on the issue (“I don’t know…I’m going to see what happens”), but her arguments to Hayes suggest someone who is very sympathetic to the idea of abstaining. This is interesting in the narrowest sense—a celebrity with a thoughtful/controversial political position—but it’s newsworthy from a broader standpoint because it’s one of the first times this a serious discussion of this burgeoning issue has made its way onto national television.
The topic itself inspires strong feelings, as I found out after writing a recent piece that Charlie Pierce at Esquire called “one of the dumbest pieces of political analysis I’ve ever read.”
Sarandon and Hayes hit many of the same beats, with Sarandon asserting that Sanders supporters find Clinton to be dishonest and compromised, with Hayes responding that surely she’s the lesser of two evils when compared with Donald Trump.
“Some people feel Donald Trump will bring the revolution immediately,” Sarandon said, sharing a growing idea that in order to fuel the progressive movement, it might be useful to jolt the status quo in the opposite direction.
“Don’t you think that’s dangerous?” asked Hayes—a common retort, making the point that theoretical future gains might not be worth the damage someone like Trump could cause in the short term.
Sarandon’s response, that the status quo isn’t working, set off another round of debate. Watch the video below, and prepare yourself—this is going to be an increasingly common argument as we approach November.