On Becoming Anti-Bernie
Robin Alperstein

Although I can appreciate the time and effort you put into this piece, I feel as if your opinion was not communicated in the most beneficial way. This is quite a lengthy post and I think your message can be conveyed in a better manner if you did a video instead. Medium is a microblogging platform. Long-form posts are certainly allowed, but we are in the digital age so people typically do not want to read for 40+ minutes. However, it is great that your post has gotten so much recognition even as a long-form post.

Additionally, I checked some of your links as I was going through this article and sometimes I felt as if you chose links that were not necessarily the best reference for the statement you made. For example, when you reference Sanders’ “promises” (which I feel are more like plans or proposals) your references link to MSNBC articles. Although MSNBC is known to be more on the liberal side and pretty pro-Obama, I think referencing Sanders’ own campaign site would be better. In this paragraph you seem to be introducing his “promises” and then you get more into the criticisms later on. There is no need to jump ahead of yourself and start with the critique and the introduction all in one.

On the other hand, I found your sources about Sanders and the bills he got passed through Congress very useful and appropriate. Your criticism that he proposes legislation that is essentially the same as other previous bills makes sense and is probably a true statement. However, even if laws are made with good intention it can still fail the people especially if the law is unclear or difficult to advocate. For instance, The No Child Left Behind Act was one of the biggest pieces of crap I had to deal with in K-12. It was pretty much a joke that gave abusive special education programs to not actually teach their students. I was one of the lucky ones who was able to succeed despite being carried by such a terrible bill. However, I do know of a few people who were not as fortunate.

With that said, I do not think Sanders is just an all talk no action leader. I think he does what he can to promote change, but it does get difficult to make that change a reality. Sanders’ relationship to the establishment reminds me of a gifted child in a potentially traumatizing environment. Just as the gifted child’s harsh environment (whether family or peers) becomes his biggest obstacle in achieving his personal best, Sanders’ “outsider” status makes it pretty difficult for him and other legislators to agree. However, based on Sanders’ public persona and his consistency as a candidate, I feel like he is more like the resilient child rather than the child who loses himself to the crazy world.

When you go into your own opinion, it may be wise to base your opinion on factual information. For example, you mention he makes a $200,000 paycheck. I’m assuming you got that number from his 2014 tax returns (which was not cited). Although it is easy to think he made $200,000 in 2014, that is actually the Sanders’ family tax return. This means that it is based on the total of what he AND his wife made in 2014. So he really does not make that much for a senator especially when you compare the Sanders’ income to the Clinton’s.

When mentioning the 1994 crime bill, I began to notice a significant bias toward Clinton both through your writing and your reference. For one, you criticized Sanders for attacking Clinton’s support for the bill. However, you fail to reference evidence of his attacks and within what context. Your reference for how he has disregarded his support for the bill is a very weak and biased source as it does not cover Sanders’ hypocrisy. Instead, this link focuses on Clinton. The only relevance this link has to your point is the quote by Clinton mentioning that he voted for the bill as well and wanted the moderator to question him about his appeal to black voters. I know you aren’t a reporter, but it is a bad reporting practice to make a reference that is not exactly relevant to your point. Additionally, your reference that Clinton did not vote for the bill contradicts this claim. The link refers to the 1994 crime bill as a big disaster for former President Bill Clinton. Hillary is mentioned as having “aided” its passage. I was confused by your statement because I was pretty sure the 1994 crime bill was under Bill Clinton’s presidency. I would expect his wife would support the bill as well.

As far as your comments on Sanders’ response to his stance on the crime bill, your reference determined that Sanders’ support for the bill was due to the ban on assault weapons is half-true. The article goes on to explain how it is a messy situation to describe. I think I would really have to sit down and read through both the articles and legislation carefully to understand this problem to a degree I am satisfied with. However, it confused me as you seem to be interpreting this as if the article declared Sanders’ stance as false. Politifact describes their truth-o-meter with “half-true” implying that “the statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details or takes things out of context.”

Although it is true that Sanders’ has accepted money from PACs. He has made it loud and clear that he does not and will not accept money from super PACs. Your link shows us his PAC supporters from 2006. These do not seem to be super PACs. Just as bluetooth implies wireless connectivity, super PACs implies PACs. However, this analogy is only a one way street. https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacfaq.php

Although I would like to review the rest of your article, the plethora of statements that lack insight and the consistent void of providing sources that appropriately support your stance is a let down for me. I really would like to understand your perspective, but this article does not help me very much. Also, it is getting late and I would like to go to bed soon.

Regardless of our differences of opinion, your voice is valuable. No matter what people may post online or even say to you in person that fact that you spoke up and represented yourself is wonderful. Although I’m pretty sure you can tell I’m a Bernie Bro to the end, I do not want you to feel like you will vote for Bernie only if you have to. I am not a fan of #VoteBlueNoMatterWho. I feel as if it implies supporting a tradition or organization rather than supporting community and people. Other Bernie supporters may kill me for this, but we are American. The essence of America is freedom. Although right now Clinton is in the lead. If Sanders does become the Democratic nominee, do you really want to support the Democratic party or do you want to support your independence as an American and vote for what you support and believe in?

Thank you for reading. Much appreciated!