The Five Stages of Feeling the Bern

A spark sets the fire.

1. Innocence. You’ve heard of Bernie from occasional appearances in the mainstream media, but you have a neutral or negative impression based on a New York Times or CNN piece. He looks so unpolished. He’s definitely unusual. You become curious.

2. Curiosity. Out of civic duty, a friend’s suggestion, or just boredom, you look up Bernie online. You go past the big media outlets and read a few articles at USUncut, TYTNetwork, DemocracyNow, Huffington Post, or one of dozens of smaller media outlets. You visit Bernie’s own website. You learn about his actual policy proposals and his impressive political history. He seems honest, his ideas are refreshing, and you find yourself agreeing with him.

3. Agreement. You’re drawn in deeper and learn about Bernie’s personal integrity, his longstanding and tenacious commitment to progressive change, and his ability to run for office and get elected without corporate contributions. Talking to people familiar with both Bernie’s and the other candidates’ positions, you realize Bernie is right on most of the issues that are important to you. You’re not just agreeing now, you’re ready to vote for him.

4. Commitment. You realize you’ve wanted political change for years, or maybe it was only yesterday that you realized what’s possible, but today you see that despite the bluster in the mainstream media, the other candidates really don’t offer much for improving our country. You’ve read through the various reasons out there not to vote for Bernie, and you’ve seen through them as disingenuous, conservative, or simply biased to protect the status quo. You’re going to vote for Bernie, and if that means being part of a peaceful revolution, so be it! You’ve made a donation or two to the campaign, and you’ve talked to some friends about him too.

5. Passion. Talking to friends, donating, and meeting new people in the movement, you realize Bernie’s campaign is amazing, based on love, hope, equality, democracy, and optimism, and that it’s one of the best political things that has come along in your lifetime. It has the potential to transform our country and even the world. You realize there might not be another candidate or movement like this again, and you become a “revolutionary.” Being a revolutionary means to you that you talk to all your friends and family about Bernie; or it means that you write articles, create memes, and utilize the full power of social media for the movement; or that you phonebank, volunteer, and donate every week; or that you drop everything in your life and travel state-to-state to canvas and meet other revolutionaries! You’re feeling the Bern now, and it’s marvelous.

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