Wednesday, February 20, 2019

On Bernie Bros and Textbook Insanity

Over the last few days I'm seeing a resurgence of the old stereotype about Bernie Bros. I'm always disappointed when people roll out stereotypes. I learned about them when I was very young. I was the only Jewish kid in my elementary classes and my fellow students were more than happy to demonstrate what they were. I went home and asked my father why we weren't Catholic like everyone else. That question cost me ten years of religious instruction that didn't really take.

Bernie Bros, when I first heard it, suggested thuggishness and intolerance, particularly intolerance of the decidedly mediocre Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton. I was pretty surprised by that. I was besieged with messages that I hadn't learned anything from the 1972 loss of George McGovern to Richard Nixon. This was a remarkable argument, since we now know that everything McGovern believed about the Vietnam War was correct, and we would've saved many American lives if we'd chosen him.

I'm critical of Democratic candidates, and as a result people have told me how risky that is. I don't want to see Trump elected again, do I? In fact I don't. Maybe it's time we stopped tossing out 1972 as a cautionary tale and updated our collective barometer. It's ironic, because despite being called a Bernie Bro, whatever that means, I voted for Hillary in the general. It didn't much matter that I wasn't fond of her policies. Trump is delusional, racist, and juvenile. He's the worst President I've ever seen, and he makes GW Bush look like Albert Einstein in comparison. (The quote in the photo is often attributed to Einstein, by the way, but there's no evidence he actually said it.)

The takeaway for some of my Hillary-supporting friends is we must not question any Democratic candidate. That's an odd conclusion. The fact is that Hillary managed to lose the election to one of the most unpopular politicians on the planet. And no, it doesn't much matter that she garnered more votes than her opponent. Donald Trump is President of the United States anyway. Why is that?

Quite simply, it's because a whole lot of people didn't deem it worth getting off their asses and voting for her. So what can we conclude from that? Does it mean that we should keep our mouths shut when Democratic hopefuls are unsuitable?

For me, that's already impossible. Cory Booker is no different from Betsy DeVos in educational philosophy. I will not vote for him, ever. The fact is, of the other Democrats, none are great on education. All should be. I'm being turned off by several candidates eager to distance themselves from Sanders. His ideas are widely supported by Americans, and polling shows that.

2016 gave us a "safe" candidate, a candidate who didn't stand for universal health care, reasonable wages, taxes on those who can afford to pay them, and college for all. In case nobody noticed, she failed. Setting us up for another so-so candidate who stands for status quo and not much else will be a catastrophe. So go ahead, call us Bernie Bros. Show your ignorance.

But let's leave it at that. It's important we get a candidate who can pull Americans off their couches to vote. I voted for Hillary last time, and woke up the next day to find Donald Trump was President. I don't intend to do that again, so let's look carefully at the candidates, and nominate someone worth voting for this time.

Forget 1972. Let's make sure we don't repeat 2016.
blog comments powered by Disqus