He finally did it.
Progressives throughout the country were patiently waiting for Bernie Sanders to announce his run. Now, finally, he has. On the morning of February 19, Bernie launched his 2020 campaign.
All policy, no platitudes.
His launch video immediately hammered in on the issues. From Medicare for All to climate change all the way to ending the US involvement in Yemen.
The video was a perfect example of sticking to the issues and avoiding all the fluff that so many other politicians love to focus on in order to divert attention from their records or stances on policies.
Then something else unbelievable happened.
In just 24 hours, Bernie’s campaign broke records when it was announced that they raised $5.9 million. The $5.9 million came from 223,000 donors that are in support of the Vermont senator.
Still, not everyone was impressed with the fundraising that his campaign did in one day…
Hi, I donated to Bernie Sander’s campaign on its launch day.
I am not a well-off white guy by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t have tons of cash to spare, but I did make a $27 donation to his campaign because I truly support the policies that Bernie is pushing for.
It’s tweets like Amanda Marcotte’s that really drive in what the online conversation surrounding Bernie supporters is like for females.
The frustration and erasure becomes even more apparent when you take into account the ever popular “Bernie Bros” term.
Many of those who oppose Bernie have given his supporters the nickname, “Bernie Bros.” The term is supposed to describe the average Bernie supporter, which, according to those that coined and use the term, is a white, privileged male.
The term is inherently racist and sexist as it completely marginalizes women and POC who support him. A Gallup poll revealed that nearly two in three nonwhites (64%) have a positive view of Sanders.
Amongst women, Bernie has a favorability rating of 58% according to data from a Harvard-Harris survey.
However, the term is also a tactic meant to generalize progressives and insult us as idolators at the shrine of Bernie. Those that use the term assume that progressives had no actual political views before Bernie appeared on the scene.
Another big issue with the terminology is that it has also been used to vilify his supporters and group us in as online harassers and sexists.
There has also been talks of Bernie supporters harassing opponents online. I haven’t witnessed the harassment myself, however, I won’t deny its existence either.
Let me be clear and state that this is the wrong tactic to take.
Bernie’s supporters should not be harassing those that are opposing him. Instead, lead with facts and intergrity. You’re more likely to gain an ally or change someone’s perspective with that strategy rather than shutting someone down or bullying them.
Bernie has even spoken out against the issue during an interview on CNN and was explicit that he doesn’t support and, in fact, condemns the actions.
“I have heard about it. It’s disgusting,” Sanders said. “Look, we don’t want that crap. … We will do everything we can and I think we have tried.”
However, I also want to make the point that harassment has been an issue amongst many avid supporters of any group. Every group, no matter who or what they support, is going to have a small set of jerks that don’t represent the whole.
To say that this type of behavior is unique amongst Bernie supporters is unfair and also untrue.
Also let’s not forget that before there were Bernie Bros, there were Obama boys.
Yup, that was a thing.
Why Am I A Supporter?
I’m a woman and I’m a supporter of Bernie’s presidential run for one simple reason: I agree with him on the policies more than with any of the other candidates.
Here is a video of Bernie Sanders from 2003 discussing American politics with students in a classroom. Bernie from 2003 sounds exactly the same as the Bernie Sanders running for president right now.
Bernie’s record has been consistent and he has continuously advocated for progressive policies that I believe will help benefit the average American voter.
Some of these policies include:
- Medicare for All
- Tackling climate change
- Free college tuition
- A living wage
- Limiting corporate and interest groups spending in campaigns
Polls show that Bernie’s policies are also immensely popular with the general population.
Good paying jobs, quality healthcare for all, investing in education, preserving the environment, and restoring the Democratic Party’s pro-labor roots all through a grassroots movement — that’s what we want.
We want someone who will take a bold stand against the establishment and those in power. Bernie has been ardent about his stances and the people have noticed. That is how we shattered fundraising records with his campaign launch.
This is just a reminder that female Bernie supporters do exist and being erased through the term “Bernie Bro” is pretty dehumanizing.
I’m a feminist in support of progressive issues that happen to be in line with Bernie’s platform. I believe that our country deserves a president that will rally behind the people.
You don’t have to support Bernie, but don’t erase us in the process.
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