Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Bernie's Kids Run For Office and It's Fine Because Bernie!

It would irritate me a lot less that Bernie Sanders' son and stepdaughter are running for office if Bernie fans and white male pundits wouldn't have spent the past two years telling Chelsea Clinton to go away, never run for office, and join her mother knitting socks in the woods as if wicked witches in a Grimm Fairy Tale.

It would also irritate me less if the Twitter presence of Levi Sanders', who is Bernie's son, wasn't the epitome of what's so profoundly offensive about the unfortunate phenomenon popularly known as Bernie-Bro-ism, the predominate features of which are the pretense that it's somehow progressive to take offense at the phrase "white privilege," to disparage Chelsea Clinton for being in a news article, and generally coddling the bigotries and misogyny of the (white, male) working class.

Levi is running for US House of Representatives for New Hampshire's 1st District (in which he doesn't live). His Twitter commentary has been garnering scrutiny since he announced his campaign, as Aphra Behn breaks it down, on Twitter:
His commentary is cringe-inducing, really.

In an interview with Vice, Levi has stated that he is running on a platform similar to his father's:
"'The basic difference is that I’m a vegetarian and he’s not,' Levi said of his father, adding that despite their policy similarities he would run his own campaign. Levi said he has talked to his dad about the race but declined to elaborate."
I don't have any particular investment in the New Hampshire race as ultimately it's up to the people who live in that district to decide who they want to represent them.

For me, as someone who has been critical of Bernie, the juxtaposition of Bernie with Levi is interesting in that it taps into my fears about what Bernie is possibly really like when he's uncensored and off camera. That Bernie Sanders has a history of dodging questions he doesn't want to address doesn't help my perception of him as hiding really problematic views.

Finally, as the mainstream media largely uncritically accepts that "the Bernie wing" of the US is far left and that "Clintonites" and Bernie critics are "centrists," Levi is a good example of how, on many issues, that's simply not the case.

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