It was Sanders’ supporters who were tipping point for me when I made the game time decision to vote for Clinton in the New York April primary. As much as many Sanders supporters tried to claim the Bernibro and Berniebot behavior was an invention by the mainstream media, it wasn’t.
Back in February CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Sanders about it
“Have you heard about this phenomenon ‘Bernie bros’?” Tapper asked. “People who support you, and sometimes attack in very crude and sexist ways?”
“Yeah, I have heard about it. It’s disgusting. We don’t want that crap,” Sanders spit out. “And we will do everything we can, and I think we have tried. Look, anybody who is supporting me and is doing sexist things is — we don’t want them. I don’t want them. That’s not what this campaign is about.”
Sanders’ Rapid Response Director tweeted
Hector Sigala, Sanders’ digital media director, told Mashable
“We love our supporters, and we know we wouldn’t be here without you all, but it does add a layer of complexity when we have to track what you all do during some moments when we are shaping our messaging,” Sigala posted on the subreddit. “Above all: just know you represent our movement and be respectful with those who disagree with you.”
That last line jumped right out at me.
Back in 1984 I worked for the Gary Hart campaign in New Hampshire and New York. We had quite the wacky crowd in NH; hard-drinking and pot smoking enthusiastic kids. He was the dark horse against Mondale and wasn’t given a chance of winning the primary. When we would be bused to a campaign event we were always issued the standard warning
Remember, these people are normal and we need you to be on your best behavior. Feel free to drink and eat, but watch yourselves. Your behavior reflects on the candidate.
When we gathered to prepare for canvassing, we were also told be to be respectful, especially to those who did not support our candidate. Don’t argue and if you get a Republican household, thank them for their time and move on.
We listened. We didn’t go to Mondale rallies and make trouble. We stuck to our work. We managed the impossible. Our candidate upset Mondale by about 12 points. As much we liked Hart we had no delusions. The philandering rumors were making the rounds and we knew about them. But he was a smart. forward thinking politician . For those who don’t remember, or are too young to know, this is how a 2014 New York Times profile described him
Hart was invariably described as a brilliant and serious man, perhaps the most visionary political mind of his generation, an old-school statesman of the kind Washington had lost its capacity to produce. He warned of the rise of stateless terrorism and spoke of the need to convert the industrial economy into an information-and-technology-based one, at a time when few politicians in either party had given much thought to anything beyond communism and steel.
Compared to Hart, Sanders is nothing more than an angry, populist crank whose platform I happen to agree with. But I can’t see him as President.
Back to the present. I just came across this
They just can’t seem to help themselves. They have no sense of self-restraint. They have no clue how their behavior reflects on their candidate.
As a footnote: On primary night 1984 in NYC we were watching the returns at some hotel I can’t remember, I was asked by a Senator Bill Bradley staffer who I worked with during the NY primary if I wanted to come work for the Senator. I demurred since I had a big problem with him voting for Contra aid. I always wondered how my life would have changed had I said yes?