Five Things the Pundits Are Missing About the Sanders Surge

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“Bernie Sanders 2016” by photogism is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Myth of the “Bernie Bro


This sixty-three-year-old grandmother, retired elementary school teacher and wearer of a handmade pussy hat thinks that’s just hilarious. And I’m not alone in my support of the Senator from Vermont. The desire for universal health insurance hits older folks hard. A lot of us spend the decade before our Medicare eligibility worrying that we’ll have a stroke, a heart attack, cancer.

Many of us have watched our children struggle to pay for eye care, dental care, and basic healthcare. We’ve seen them thrown into debt by a broken bone or a tick bite.

We know how college debt has crippled them. We see them working full time and still unable to afford decent housing.

Some of us are still waiting for the grandchildren that our kids can’t afford.

And a lot of those who worry about these things are women. Kind, open-minded, thoughtful women. Like me.

Only young people support Bernie.

A lot of Bernie’s appeal to people my age is the fact that for decades we were laughed at for stating the obvious. The Democratic Party long ago gave up its progressive roots and stopped fighting to end income inequality. Every time someone like me suggested government funding for things like education, we were called “Commies” and thrown out of the room. Incrementalism became the mantra of the corporate Democrats.

Some of us are just plain sick and tired of waiting for things to change.

Bernie is appealing to people who just want free stuff.

Bernie is appealing to people who are more than happy to pay our fair share in taxes in order to protect the welfare of our communities.

Key phrase here: “fair share”.

If you think this is about handouts, then you aren’t royally pissed off to read that 60 of the biggest corporations in the US paid nothing in federal taxes. NOTHING. As in zero.

I know that this retired teacher and her psychologist husband paid a hell of a lot more than that. My sons paid more than that. They are both employed by a community non-profit that provides services to families in need. THEY paid taxes.

And none of us mind paying those taxes because we want to have decent schools for our local families. We want Medicare and Medicaid. We want to pay for clean air and water.

A fair share and key protections. That’s what we want.

That’s what we’re pretty sure we’ll never get.

Unless Bernie prevails.

“Nobody likes him.”

This is not a game. It’s not elementary school. This is not about electing someone who can glad-hand the donors, suck up to corporate party members or make backroom deals with the people in power.

We don’t care if Bernie is grumpy. We don’t care if he doesn’t get invited to the cool kids’ parties (Right, Hillary?)

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Bernie is not electable.

If he is the guy who gets the most votes, he will obviously be electable. He is leading in NH, in Iowa, and in more than one national poll.

Gee, doesn’t that sort of mean that a lot of people plan to vote for him? Which would make him, ya know, electable?

Bernie appeals to people who are tired of politicians who change their positions every time the wind blows. He appeals to people who look back at 30 years of old videos and see him saying the same damn things he’s saying right now, in the same grumpy Brooklyn voice.

He appeals to people who are sick of the lies, the spins, the evasions, the coverups, and the corruption.

The pundits are getting it all wrong.

We’ll see how this plays out.

Written by

A Mother, a grandmother, a progressive voter. I write because it’s getting harder to march and because words are my only weapon. I blog at

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