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‘Bernie Bros?’ Lazy Smear Tactic Paints Sanders Voters As Sexist

Bernie Bros: Why Voting Against Hillary Isn’t Inherently Sexist

It’s kind of hard to steer clear of all the dramatic mud-slinging that goes on between the Pro-Hillary and Pro-Bernie crowd. And yet my efforts must be proving successful because the “Bernie Bros” label is one that I’d never heard of. I’ve never heard it used in conversation or seen it included in thought piece blog posts.

Yet, Glenn Greenwald penned an article for The Intercept that claimed that the phrase “Bernie Bro” was being tossed around at an alarming rate.

“The concoction of the “Bernie Bro” narrative by pro-Clinton journalists has been a potent political tactic – and a journalistic disgrace.

It’s intended to imply two equally false claims: (1) a refusal to march enthusiastically behind the Wall-Street-enriched, multiple-war-advocating, despot-embracing Hillary Clinton is explainable not by ideology or political conviction, but largely if not exclusively by sexism: demonstrated by the fact that men, not women, support Sanders (his supporters are “bros”); and(2) Sanders supporters are uniquely abusive and misogynistic in their online behavior.”

To get an idea of what Glenn was talking about, I did a quick search of “Bernie Bros.” What I saw was that over the last couple of days, a slew of popular online journalist and social media watch sites put out a bunch of think pieces talking about “Bernie Bros.” There is one prominent article from the Atlantic published in October on this subject, which is curious given what they unearthed about Clinton’s disastrous 2008 run — but we’ll get to that later.

Meanwhile, let’s familiarize ourselves with the “Bernie Bros” concern troll narrative via Buzzfeed.

“Writing in her endorsement of Clinton this week, progressive writer Joan Walsh complained of harassment from online supporters of Sanders that the Vermont senator’s campaign aides have been aware of for months. Walsh called them “the Berniebot keyboard warriors,” but they’re more commonly referred to as the Bernie Bros.

In fact, top Sanders campaign aides have quietly reached out to senior officials in the Clinton campaign and women like Walsh personally to apologize for Bro behavior. Online, aides are pushing their digital community to police itself and keep the Bros quiet. And some volunteer members of Sanders’s digital army are scrambling into action, reporting offenders and moderating bro-y posts.”

That sound you heard just now was my epic eye roll. I’m sorry Walsh, but you’re not a special snowflake. I’m still waiting for the Clinton campaign to send me balm and ointments after I was shouted down for suggesting months ago that Bernie Sanders might be “Obama 2.0” and that Clinton should take his campaign seriously .

The reality is that there are people out there with very strong political opinions. Disagree with them and they’ll come down on you like the wrath of a vengeful God — The Old Testament version. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a reflection of the person they support. That Sanders’ camp is actively tackling such trolls would suggest to a logical human being the complete opposite. I’m genuinely baffled that journalists are working overtime to sell a “Beware the Bernie Bros! Sanders is gathering the most sexist voters on the web!” narrative in a world where Donald fucking Trump exists.

It’s a laughably bad attempt to paint the Bernie Sanders campaign as in danger thanks to the antics of a minority of voters. It’s especially humorous because these articles actually ACKNOWLEDGE that the Sanders campaign is proactively working to deal with the sexist idiots that do exist among its ranks any way they can. This is almost as boggling as that time the DNC locked Sanders out of the voting data bank over a breach caused by the man they recommended to his campaign.

Once again, we have a non-story generated among the ranks of those who really should know better. I don’t want to call it a desperate attempt to stall Bernie Sanders’ momentum ahead of the Iowa caucus. I’ll instead say there are a couple of reasons why I’m not buying into the “Bernie Bros” hype.

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Toni Matthews is a writer who often blends unapologetic bluntness with playful humor. If you are willfully ignorant of matters that affect disenfranchised citizens while often declaring yourself a good and proud American, she WILL hurt your feelings.

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