The internet is a scary place. In case you aren’t familiar with it, it’s the new home of opinions. For the most part, people in everyday life won’t tell you how they really feel unless pressed for their opinion or feel compelled. The internet however allows for both stream of consciousness and crafted statements. We’re all guilty of both, I know I am.
This is an especially tough environment for supporters of Bernie Sanders to navigate. Not only is our guy the target of dismissive and sometimes downright disrespectful or misinformed statements and opinions but we have to spar with supporters of some of the most outspoken candidates in recent memory. It can be really hard to keep your cool. Sometimes you want to call someone’s remark idiotic or worse, but you know what helps? Ask yourself, as I’m sure the man himself has all to often in his 40 years of political dealings, what should I say that will get my point across while not shutting this person down or disrespecting them?
That is they key difference in Bernie’s political career, the man does not go negative. He may strongly disagree or honestly feel like something is idiotic, but he endeavors to frame it in a way as to not alienate people. This is what we must strive for in our support of the Sanders campaign. Ask yourself, “what would Bernie do?”. Would he attack this person? Would he call this person a name and throw their vague or fallacious statement back at them? Likely no, and this is what we need to start doing if we want a real dialogue with our fellow Americans, like Bernie is fighting for now.
Here’s some examples:
“He’s a socialist who just wants to give everyone stuff for free, so of course you like him, I’d like something for nothing too!.”
This is a common theme. The misconception about the differences between communism, socialism and what Bernie strives for, Democratic Socialism is rampant. The sad fact is that we have been conditioned to think socialism is a dirty word, even though it has been working for many nations in Europe for decades. Research this deeply. Look at the things people neglect to think about (everyday things that are “socialist”) and highlight the success of Democratic Socialist nations. This is how we tear down this misconception that D.S. is akin to communism or is “just something for nothing”. Great video example for easy digestion.
“He’s too old and boring”
Now this one is boiled down, but is none the less encountered often. Concerning age, well, both Bush’s and Reagan were in their 60’s, Hilary is 69, Biden is 73 and the republicans run the gamut so really it’s an irrelevant point. Bernie walks to work and acts like he’s full of nothing but energy. Something tells me he’s going to be one of those old men who is walking around in his 90’s and you almost hate him for being so awesome. Concerning this “he’s too boring” angle. Well what can I say, the facts aren’t sexy sometimes and I appreciate that the man is more concerned with the facts than talking point or soundbite. Mass appeal is one thing, but not at the cost of sacrificing your values and passion for what you believe is right. He has been full of passion for decades however…… many just don’t know it.
“He’s a career politician, how is that any different from business as usual?”
This one I love. Why? Because these people might actually listen to your argument. People right now desperately need the kind of politician that Bernie is, but there’s that word again, “politician”. It’s almost as bad as “socialist”. The difference I like to make is that Bernie has truly been a public servant. That’s what a politician is. They serve the public that elects them into office. We forget this sometimes but in Bernie’s case, it absolutely applies. He has served valiantly on many committees in office and currently is on the following committees:
- Ranking Member, Senate Committee on the Budget
- Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
- Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
- Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
- Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
The man has been a politician for a long time and that for once is a good thing. He is pragmatic but sticks to his guns. He has and will work with others to achieve the greater good and his record speaks for itself. I encourage you to spend some time getting to know the man and the facts that back him up.
Let me know what arguments you encounter and we can construct a conversation that answer the question, What would Bernie do?
Next segment in WWBD – technological armor: How to quickly back up your arguments for Bernie with the facts.