Bjorn AgainstBjorn Against's Journal
Over the past few months there has been an aggressive effort to smear Bernie Sanders supporters. Many broadbrush attacks have been made, sometimes even going so far as to suggest that his supporters are white supremecists. The attacks are often not even consistent, sometimes his supporters are portrayed as the far left fringe, other times they are compared with right-wing Ron Paul or Donald Trump supporters.
Anyone who actually knows any Bernie supporters in real life however knows that these attacks against them are nothing more than smears. The vast majority of Bernie supporters are not white supremecists, they are people who are passionate about civil rights issues and want a candidate who has spent his career fighting for equality. The vast majority of Bernie supporters do not hold fringe political beliefs, they are people who believe in universal access to health care, better schools, environmental protection, ending wars, and raising the wages of workers. These are not "far left" fringe views, these are positions that are held by tens of millions of Americans.
Most of the smears that have been made against Sanders supporters have been absolutely false, yet there is a small group that continues to make broadbrush attacks. But why target Bernie's supporters and not the candidate?
The answer seems obvious to me. The Bernie campaign is about more than a candidate, it is about building a movement to shake up the status quo and bring about real change. Bernie did not achieve the level of success he has had in this campaign on his own, he achieved it because tens of thousands of people got involved in his campaign. Bernie has been clear from day one that this campaign is not about him, it is about starting a political revolution to challenge the billionaire class.
This terrifies those who want to maintain the status quo, they do not just need to stop Bernie but they also need to bring down his supporters as well because they don't want to see a political movement grow which challenges their power.
Already Bernie's supporters have shown how effective they are at organizing for change. Bernie's campaign has far more volunteers than any other, he has more small donors than any other candidate, his supporters turn up by the thousands and even tens of thousands for his events, no other candidate has a group of supporters that are as organized and motivated as Bernie's.
Bernie's supporters are just as much a threat to the status quo as Bernie himself is because they view this campaign as being about something much bigger than their candidate, they view it as a real opportunity to change the political system as we know it and eventually that is going to spill off into downticket races as well. I have no doubt that Bernie is going to inspire many new people to run for Congress, it will inspire them to run for local offices and judicial seats, it will inspire them to organize community groups to advocate for change, it will inspire a major change within the Democratic Party and across the political system.
Those who want to protect the status quo are desperately trying to stop this from happening so you can expect more attacks on Bernie supporters in the future. It is going to get nasty, but the people who are engaging in these smears will be shown to be on the wrong side of history and they are going to be the ones who end up looking very bad in the end.
Bernie will win because most Americans worry far more about health care costs than they worry about socialism
They tell us that Bernie can't win because he calls himself a socialist, well I am here to say that those people are full of shit. Bernie will not be hurt by the socialist label, he will be helped by it and this is why.
Bernie's opponents seem to think that Americans will run for the hills the moment they hear the word "socialism", but the fact is that word has already been used against Bernie countless times but instead of running for the hills voters are running to the arenas to hear Bernie speak.
Here is what Republicans and the third way Democrats who like to "reach across the aisle" don't understand, the average American spends a lot more time feeling pissed off at the political establishment than they spend reliving the Cold War. The typical American thinks that our Congress is made up of a bunch of corrupt assholes that care more about themselves than they do about our country. Americans spend a lot more time thinking about how frustrated they are with our current political system than they do about the names that are on our modern day Joe McCarthy's list of suspected socialists.
If the Republicans go after Bernie on socialism then Bernie can use the same argument that he has already very effectively used, he can move the discussion beyond the single word and on to the issues. Bernie is a Democratic Socialist because he believes everyone has a right to health care, everyone has a right to a good education, everyone should be paid decent wages for their labor, and everyone should be able to get Social Security benefits when they retire. These are all ideas that most Americans find attractive and a person can not make these ideas unattractive simply by screaming "SOCIALISM!!!!111!!!" at the top of their lungs.
Every time that the Republicans and Third Wayers do scream socialism Bernie will remind them that he supports health care for all, they support a system that denies people access to health care. Bernie supports a system that increases the wages of the workers, they support a system that benefits the CEOs and screws the workers. He supports a system that allows any qualified student to go to college regardless of income, they support a system that leaves students with crippling debt. The average American worries far more about their access to health care than they do about socialism and if the Republicans think they can defeat Bernie in a debate on health care by saying the word "socialism" over and over again I think they are in for a shock.
If Bernie's opponents think they can effectively attack Bernie for being a Democratic Socialist I got three words for them: BRING IT ON!
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