Thanks, Bernie. New evidence shows Sanders and his fans helped Donald Trump suppress the Black vote in 2016

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump

We have known prior to now that Bernie Sanders made it possible for Donald Trump to become president, by severely smearing and damaging Hillary Clinton during the 2016 primary, by giving aid and comfort to Trump voters by letting Trump off the hook for his racism and misogyny, and by inspiring so much hatred for Clinton that in key states, just enough leftists voted Green to have handed Trump the election.

But now, even more evidence has emerged that the Trump campaign took advantage of the damage that Bernie Sanders and the professional leftists did to Hillary Clinton to suppress the Black vote in 2016. In particular, the Trump campaign digitally targeted 3.5 million African American voters for suppression.

UK's Channel 4 News Investigations Team has obtained Donald Trump's campaign data files from 2016 - 5 terabytes of data in all - and they have found the Trump campaign, with the help of Cambridge Analytica, targeted Black voters and other people of color with surgical precision for 'deterrence', a tactic used to target ads on social media to people whom the campaign wanted to stay home, presumably because if they voted, they would vote for Hillary Clinton.

The Trump campaign targeted 3.5 million Black voters with social media ads that were lifted out of Bernie Sanders's playbook. The Trump campaign used Hillary Clinton's out-of-context remarks from 1996 in support of the major anti-crime legislation during her husband's tenure in office, honing in particularly on a remark where she had called gang recruiters 'superpredators.'

When Clinton's comments originally resurfaced, they were framed as her condemning Black youth, the increased incarceration of whom was an unintended consequence of the crime bill. Hillary Clinton apologized for the remarks in February of 2016, and her campaign noted that one Bernie Sanders was a key proponent of the legislation at the time, but Bernie Sanders smelled blood just before the South Carolina primary.

Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver immediately seized on the controversy, accusing Clinton of throwing young Black people "under the bus" while he defended Sanders's support for the same legislation as a vote for an assault weapons ban and the Violence Against Women Act, which were also part of the same legislation. Video surfaced later proving Sanders's support for the 1994 crime bill had everything to do with violent crime on the streets and not just VAWA or the assault weapons ban, but Bernie Sanders, his campaign, and his supporters carried on shamelessly their hypocritical deluge of disingenuous attacks against Hillary Clinton.

By the time the long, drawn-out, adversarial, ugly Democratic primary campaign would end in 2016 and Hillary Clinton would be formally nominated at the Democratic National Convention in late July, Bernie Sanders and his backers had made sure the 'superpredators' quote had become a mainstay of the road to the White House. Indeed, Donald Trump himself picked up on this in August.

By mid October, the Trump campaign was airing ads about it on television.

And as we have now learned from UK's Channel 4, the popularization of this smear played a particularly effective part in the Trump campaign's critically successful effort to suppress the Black vote in 2016. According to Channel 4,

In total, 3.5 million Black Americans were marked ‘Deterrence’. 
In Georgia, despite Black people constituting 32% of the population, they made up 61% of the ‘Deterrence’ category. In North Carolina, Black people are 22% of the population but were 46% of ‘Deterrence’. In Wisconsin, Black people constitute just 5.4% of the population but made up 17% of ‘Deterrence’.

[...] Overall, people of colour labelled as Black, Hispanic, Asian and ‘Other’ groups made up 54% of the ‘Deterrence’ category. In contrast, other categories of voters the campaign wished to attract were overwhelmingly white.

The Trump campaign was meticulous and precise. They spent $57 million on Facebook ads alone, much of it targeting Black voters to encourage them to stay home with a smear the Sanders team drew first blood with and popularized. It worked. 2016 was the first presidential election in which Black turnout declined in 20 years.

Make no mistake. Donald Trump used the Bernie Sanders playbook to suppress the Black vote and become president.