The Bern Left Me Cold

The Bern Left Me Cold

Adrienne BoettingerFriday,20 May 2016

It was clear months ago that there were no more grown-ups left in the room. Presidential candidates seemed caught between being in their “terrible two’s” and the awkward bully stage of junior high school. So it shouldn’t be surprising that now not only do Republican campaign events end in violence and threats; now the Democrats have decided to aim low as well.

That’s what happened last weekend in Las Vegas when a healthy sampling of Bernie Bros didn’t think they were afforded the respect their candidate deserved.  They booed one of America’s few female senators, Barbara Boxer, cursed and screamed, spread graffiti on the state’s party headquarters and violently threatened the state’s party chairwoman and her grandchild (!!! SERIOUSLY??? HER GRANDCHILD???), giving out her phone number and home address so that other bullies and trolls could threaten her. This went beyond the typical online attacks against women in politics, media, or attempting to have any type of public voice. This included texts and voicemails saying she should be publicly hung.

In response to this disgusting display of douchebaggery, Senator Bernie Sanders quickly condemned the violence and left no doubt as to his total and utter disavowal of the nasty tactics employed by some of his supporters. Except…he didn’t do that — not even in the slightest. What he did was pander to his supporters’ hurt bunny feelings that the Democratic party in Nevada didn’t bow under to their spittle-flinging screams and he demanded the Democratic party, of which he has been a member for about 3 minutes, treat his followers with more respect.

The bulk of his statement in response to the violence in Nevada condemned the actions of the Democratic Party and somewhere in the middle said “it goes without saying that I condemn any and all forms of violence, including the personal harassment of individuals.”

No, Senator Sanders, it does not go without saying that you condemn any and all forms of violence. How you could make that clear is if you condemned the violence and told your supporters that this type of action is deplorable and doesn’t do anything for your cause. I didn’t support you when you first started your campaign but I respected you and what I thought you stood for. Now I don’t even know what you stand for anymore. Sure there are your repeated calls for a political revolution and taking down Wall Street but what does that actually mean? Harassing grandmothers and their grandchildren in Nevada? Threatening the Democratic Party and demanding respect when you don’t ask your supporters to show any respect?

Before the campaign got to this point, you talked a good game. I watched the Democratic debates and was proud of the level of discourse, the in-depth policy discussions that went on, and the relative respect that the candidates showed for each other (at least in comparison to the cannibalistic shitshow that was every Republican debate). And now I’m saddened that you and your supporters seem to be telling everyone else in the party and the country to go to hell. I wasn’t Feeling the Bern before and I’m sure as shit not feeling it now.

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Image Credit: Gage Skidmore on Flickr

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