On Becoming Anti-Bernie
Robin Alperstein
3.2K1,099

Naive…that is my overall impression of this essay. I appreciate the effort, but here was the deal breaker for me:

  1. The author forming opinions of anyone’s congressional record by looking ONLY at sponsored bills that were enacted is either very naive, or willfully ignorant.

Sander’s volume of legislation is not much different than most long serving members. The author doesn't seem to grasp that legislating is more about quality than quantity, and that no one makes legislation happen alone. Coalitions and co-sponsorships are how progress is made. Looking only at the number of introduced/sponsored legislation doesn't paint an accurate picture of anyone's congressional record. Look at Elijah Cummings, Dick Durbin, or even Edward Kennedy. You'll see a lot of post offices and amendments, with fewer landmark legislation milestones in between. Getting one piece of landmark legislation enacted is a career watermark. Having several is only possible for those in office for a long time. You can look up anyone's legislative record, for example, Hillary Clinton https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/browse?sponsor=300022#enacted_ex=on

Other problems:

2. The sexist claims. Sources please, otherwise it didn’t happen. Also, I know this may be hard for younger adults to understand, but most emotionally intellectual people do evolve their way of thinking throughout their lifetime. Also, there is collective consciousness of any particular era. A 32 year old man in 1973 will not have experienced the same collective social consciousness of a 32 year old man in 2016. Case in point, John Lennon was an abusive, misogynistic, homophobic, racist, ableist rock star who is remembered for an idealistic song about world peace. One could argue that he would have hopefully evolved on social perspectives like many men of his generation who have lived on to present day.

I don’t think exactly the same as I did in my 20s or 30s as I do now in my 40s. I imagine that I will also think differently in my 50s and 60s than how I think now. I feel the same about this when people say the same things about all candidates, no matter what side of the aisle they sit on. Sanders makes the same “look at the distant past” arguments about Hilary. So, my point here is, people use this type of argument all of the time, and it doesn’t hold water, unless the person in question hasn’t changed or doesn’t have actual actions to support statements that they have indeed changed, which is a valid debate. But, just pointing at stupid shit people have said in the past, and completely ignore how they have evolved over time, and have actions to prove it, is a ridiculous argument.

3. Overall, this author seems to want to hold Sanders to some kind of “perfect” candidate / perfect world validity test that absolutely no candidates would be able to pass. We will never have a perfect world. We will never have perfect humans running for political office. We all choose the candidate that best matches our personal views as best as possible, and hopefully is electable. We all choose to prioritize, and look past things we don’t agree with, when they are not deal breakers for our personal values.

4. I can’t grant unbiased credibility to this author, who is a lawyer that defends hedge funds. We all have our own biases and agendas. I’m pretty sure someone in her line of work would inherently fear the financial industry reforms proposed by Sanders.

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