Put it on Ice, Bernie!

Please Retire These 4 Lines

I don’t think either candidate did badly in last night’s Democratic Town Hall in South Carolina. Yes, Senator Sanders sounded a bit like he was the spokesman on a goofy infomercial, and Secretary Clinton sounded like a mom that was kind of distracted trying to negotiate between giving us advice, and worrying that what she left on the stove might be burning. BUT, I think both candidates had some honest and hopeful moments, in spite of the bizarro tone CNN set for them with Chris Cuomo, who I suspect was on mushrooms. (Full Town Hall available on YouTube in parts).

Bernie even used part of his 30 second closing, to issue some kind words for Hillary and zing the Republicans. Those two things may be self-serving, but they are also are important. They not only remind his sect of negatively-amped supporters, who have been getting a lot of criticism for bad behavior, that Hillary is the opponent, not the enemy — but reminds us all of that. And, all of us, on the Democratic side, especially as Trump handily takes Nevada, benefit from this reminder. Same team — different special-teams.

That being said, I think as long as Bernie is vibing in that positive direction, I feel comfortable making requests in the same spirit. That spirit is one of decency and honesty that unifies us — and will ultimately work to bring us together to AT LEAST keep Trump from being president. And should Bernie be the nominee, I want him to have success in doing that. Many of his supporters are mostly useless for criticism — and I won’t get into that — but it doesn’t give him the loving, but constructive advice that he needs (Hillary supporters are well used to floating pointers to her). I want to help. I want to let Bernie know that there are some things that have made me cringe — that stick with me. Those are the kind of things that gots to go. I’m not saying these are all of them — but I feel confident these four would be uplifting:

  1. Bernie’s ‘Maybe it’s the color of my skin, I don’t know!?’ line is definitely not my favorite. Especially this 2nd time hearing it — but I didn’t like it in the Nevada Town Hall, either. I don’t know how often he says it in rallies, if at all. That’s not a punchline. That reality is a gut-punch, for many. I think it should be handled more respectfully and thoughtfully. Describe your assessment of the differences in the particular situation you are presenting — the privilege you have. Be careful, and honest. Don’t have a canned line about it. It’s not very nice. I know he wouldn’t want to get to the valid point he is making in a tone-deaf way. I know what’s behind this. Bring what’s behind it, to the forefront. That’s the good stuff. Not the line. Scrap it, B-dawg!
  2. Let’s get past this ‘establishment’ crudolla! It’s not the right word or theme. Bernie’s 25 years in congress ESTABLISHES his political experience. That actually gives me faith in his qualifications! A woman in the audience called him a ‘career politician’ in her question. Yes. He is. Trying to fool the American people that somehow you have worked in the government, where you are well liked, and are known to get along with others, and are simultaneously an anti-establishment bad boy, rebel is just ridiculous. He, like Hillary, learned the power for change they wanted to make, was within the government. Playing the game for positive change. I thank him for it. He may be atypical in party association, but he has been in there voting with congress, and tying himself to ‘the establishment’ for a very long time. So listen, here: the ONLY real ‘non-establishment’ candidate is Trump. Does that descriptor still seem crucial? Does it seem like it’s a positive, by definition? I feel it is crapolla. If you stress that too much, you’ll lose voters to Trump on the other side of the primary when they look for the real no-ties-to-Washington candidate. Say you know the system, you know how to work it, and know how to make it better — to work for the people instead of the system. UNLIKE a billionaire business man who admits to being greedy.
  3. The answer to every gun control question can’t be ‘the NRA gave me a D-rating’ — that is not meaningful enough. My friend Josh really liked this girl Julie — went out of his way to gain her favor. But when Julie was asked what she thought of Josh, she gave him a D- rating. When Josh wanted to work on this one job, he found out the manager hated Julie, so he said — ‘Julie. Yeah. Well, Julie gave me a D-rating — so you can imagine our relationship.’ But I know Josh gives Julie like an A+! What a backwards answer! What grade does Bernie give the NRA? F? B? What does he really think? What does he feel? What gun-loving things did he do to not get an F? Tell me more! Don’t make me imagine what that D- means. I remember when I first looked at the ‘issues’ section of Bernie’s site and there wasn’t a ‘gun control issues’ section — I tried after the very first time he tried this D- rating line in a debate months ago, to look for an elaboration, and it wasn’t there. Still isn’t. Unlike his opponent (Hillary has a dedicated Gun Violence Prevention section). I give this answer a D-!
  4. Finally, this request is about a canned line of thought, not a canned line. We ABSOLUTELY need to talk about mental health & making improvements to the system, but bringing it up when questioned about guns is not that awesome. That’s what the GOP candidates do, every time, to deflect from the issue of gun control. Please bring up this topic. Bring it up when we talk about healthcare or schools (where teachers like my mom, first see the signs of serious problems — in Kindergarten). Please don’t suddenly bring up mental health while speaking about guns. Those two issues deserve their own spotlight and respect. Do you know people with mental health issues? I do. Some support Bernie and are disgusted by guns. They deserve a better mention. PLEASE TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH AND THEN DO ALL THE THINGS — JUST NOT WHEN TRYING TO DISTRACT FROM UNCOMFORTABLE SUBJECTS.

Again, I thank Bernie for his kind & positive moments last night. I care what is said not only because it could be crucial to our future, but because people are listening. Even if just for those reasons, it would be cool as ice if he ditched or improved these lines. Just a suggestion, from an avid listener.