I support Bernie Sanders, and I’m not stupid or unrealistic

Today I read for maybe the 10,000th time an assertion that supporters of Bernie Sanders are unrealistic, that Bernie Sanders supporters will all be disappointed if they elect him because he won’t be able to bring the change he’s promising, that Bernie Sanders’ policies will be “just another example of Democrats making promises they can’t keep,” and so on and so forth. And I’d like to briefly dispel a misconception about people who support Bernie Sanders as the next president of the United States:

We’re not stupid.


I have a college education and a good job, and I’m guessing I’m not the only Sanders supporter who does. Now, this doesn’t necessarily make me smart, but it is at least an indicator of having achieved some level of learning that would indicate that I’m capable of coherent and independent thought.

And guess what? I don’t expect any of Bernie Sanders’ major proposals to take effect in the next 2, 3, or possibly even 4 years. I don’t support Bernie Sanders simply because I think he’ll magically overturn Citizens United, fix our indisputably broken campaign finance system, legalize marijuana, eliminate privately owned prisons, pass a single-payer healthcare system, crack down on Wall Street, or pass most of his other proposals within his first year of office.

Allow me to let you in on a little secret: I, like presumably most Americans who support Bernie Sanders, do not expect miracles.

What I do expect, by electing Bernie Sanders, is to have an honest president whom Americans can trust at all times to be completely sincere, and who will work as hard as he can to represent the interests of the American people. By electing Bernie Sanders, I expect that the leader of our country will actually represent me and not just major corporations who are cutting him big checks. And no, I don’t get the sense that Hillary Clinton possesses any of those qualities. Decidedly.

And you know what? Maybe the “political revolution” Bernie Sanders keeps talking about won’t happen. Maybe electing Bernie Sanders will put him in office for 4 years, nothing productive will happen, and once his term is over, we’ll be back to “politics as usual” and huge corporations like Comcast and pharmaceutical and insurance companies and huge financial institutions will go right back to doing whatever they want because hey, they run things and they have money, so who’s going to stop them, right?

But if Bernie Sanders is elected president, then maybe, just maybe, things will change. And that’s worth a vote. That’s worth trying.

(Not to mention: the Affordable Care Act was never “supposed” to make it, and remember what happened there? Also worth noting that Bernie Sanders helped write it. Implementation has been far from perfect, but he still got it passed.)

And if Bernie Sanders is elected president and this whole “political revolution” thing we all keep talking about actually does happen, then think of the possibilities. We are at a point in our history when we, as citizens this country, can legitimately make the United States of America the indisputable greatest country on earth. We have the rare opportunity to lead the world by example in showing what a government can do when it isn’t corrupt and solely focused on making a handful of individuals disproportionately wealthy.

THAT is what I’m voting for. I’m voting for the hope, the possibility, that things will change—realistically, over time. And electing Bernie Sanders will send a clear message—to corporations, to the media, to our current elected officials, and to anyone progressive who’s thinking about running for office but doesn’t believe in getting support—that enough is enough, and that it’s time to start listening to the public and not just to a board room full of campaign donors.

Electing Bernie Sanders is pushing a snowball off the top of a mountain and seeing how far it will roll.

So stop assuming that Bernie Sanders supporters are unrealistic or stupid, because we’re not. Call us hopeful, call us idealists, call us optimists, but don’t call us unrealistic or stupid. And stop underestimating us.

As a supporter of Bernie Sanders, I fully recognize that this whole “political revolution” thing is not a guarantee. But right now, the opportunity to start one is a whole lot more appealing to me than the status quo.


Learn more about where Bernie Sanders stands on the issues at http://feelthebern.org/

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About Cody Gough

Cody Gough is a podcast and digital media executive and award-winning producer. Among his accomplishments, most notably he spent more than a decade on-air at Chicago's WGN Radio, and later produced and hosted more than 1,000 episodes of Discovery's award-winning educational podcast, Curiosity Daily. Cody is a podcast professional specializing in audio programming and production. What sets him apart is that he's a terrestrial radio professional AND a digital native with a social media marketing background. This means he's able to combine the radio industry's 100+ years of learnings with digital content expertise to make superior podcasting strategies and content. As an established radio veteran, Cody spent more than a decade producing and hosting shows on Chicago's prestigious 720 WGN Radio. There, he helped launch the WGN Plus podcast network, where he hosted their first and only dedicated video game podcast, Game/Life Balance U.S. In addition to his broadcast experience, Cody has written for various outlets, including Curiosity.com, the GonnaGeek Network, and HuffPost. He's also a graduate of several improv programs in Chicago (including the Second City Conservatory) and has written and performed for a variety of theater, film, and web productions, as well as industrial/commercial videos.

632 responses to “I support Bernie Sanders, and I’m not stupid or unrealistic”

  1. Lisa Heineman says :

    Awesome – I could not have said it better myself! (52 yr old mom, wife, married 29 years, real estate broker, engineering and MBA degree, two kids in college, one addl next year,, take government issues and civic involvement very seriously. Travelling 300 miles to Iowa this weekend to support the volunteers in Iowa)

    • Cody Gough says :

      That is so amazing! Thank you for the kind words and thank you SO MUCH for going to Iowa. Anxious for Monday!!

      • Diana Hanford Demarest says :

        Bernie supporters need to remember one important thing: The pundits said we’d never elect a black man to the White House. We did that trick TWICE. I’m smelling a rerun of 2008. Great post! #FeelTheBern. 3:)

      • Cody Gough says :

        Thanks, appreciate it! See you on Election Day! 🙂

      • camilobarahona says :

        I’m actually more worried about him being able to follow through on his policies. He wants to invade Syria and continue the U.S. imperial conquest that has caused the death of hundreds of thousands throughout the Bush and Obama administrations. He continues to parrot the U.S. Nato narrative of what’s happening in the Middle East which means he’s either ill-informed or blatantly lying. Look at the horrific devastation Obama brought to Libya – what was once a fully functioning modern society is now a wasteland overrun by terrorist groups. Bernie wants to bring that carnage to Syria, and go to war with Russia in the process. Nothing new here, just another imperialist.

      • Cody Gough says :

        Your comment is factually incorrect. Bernie’s policy on Syria has three facets: address the humanitarian crisis created by the war; end ISIS; and phase-out Assad, the main party responsible for starting and continuing the war. He does not want to invade Syria. Read a detailed explanation of his policy on Syria, with sources, here: http://feelthebern.org/bernie-sanders-on-syria/

        In addition, Bernie does not want to go to war with Russia. Please check your facts!

      • Chris Phoenix says :

        camilobarahona says: Nothing that’s actually true. I wonder who fed those lies to you? They are lies. They are NOT hard to spot.

      • John Foughty says :

        camilobarahona says: *Troll alert* A discordant smattering of fiction and FOX News parroting. Move along…

      • Katy Powers says :

        Can you change the Stewart meme to say Bernie Sanders is not a crazy pants cuckoo bird ? Like to share your wonderful article

      • Cody Gough says :

        It should be updated on Facebook now!

    • Charles Marslett says :

      And Lisa, you’re really awesome yourself!

    • Raymond Bryan says :

      The “revolution” that Sanders is talking about is that “we the people” actually get engaged in all levels of civic life in our own country and make the changes happen, maybe in small incremental steps, yes, but in the direction that the majority of people want not the direction of the Oligarchs that OWN us and (U.S.) want!

  2. Cornelia Gibson says :

    You nailed it in this article. The status quo is just not appealing anymore and we have to give this an all out try! My 65 years of life experience tell me that this is a unique opportunity. Let’s run with it, we have nothing to loose!.

  3. Steve Johnson says :

    That is exactly why I am voting for Bernie Sanders. Very well said and thanks for writing this.

  4. Stevie says :

    Took everything and put it in words for me. thank you for the post!

  5. Sam Baker says :

    How would you know you’re not stupid?

  6. Althea says :

    Jon, we all love Bernie.. but it’s NOT about him. It’s about an electorate that we can’t depend on when 500 million dollars of attack ads start coming his way. He will be crushed by the Republcan Machine and we can’t take that chance. President Obama’s policies are in jeopardy and only Hillary can beat back that machine!.. Please don’t mess things up. Don’t trust the people are so excited now . 2 years ago 82% of young people and 66% of adults did not vote. Go figure!

    • dancinsqueak says :

      I’m sorry, I’m not seeing a lot of Democrats that are excited about Hillary, but we’ve already seen a *massive* amount of vitriol towards her. Bernie, on the other hand, is getting people actually excited, across the spectrum. Really, there are very active “Moderates/Republicans for Bernie” pages, because he’s so clearly for the common people.

    • Nisa Deeves says :

      Are you kidding me? You ARE kidding, right? Because, uh, it’s common knowledge that Hillary HAS HER OWN BIG MACHINE, which is yet another reason we are working to get Bernie in the WH! She is a big part of the problem WAKE UP, girl!

      Thanks for the article, Jon, you nailed it. Sharing with all my FB friends and millions of others in Bernie groups/pages.

    • KittyP says :

      Althea, I respectfully disagree. The rise of Bernie as well as that of Trump and Cruz prove that not just Dems, but America is sick of the status quo and will not vote for another establishment candidate. No more Bush and no more Clinton. Period.
      Bernie will get cross-over GOP voters who won’t vote for Trump, but that same voter would not vote for Hillary – they would just as soon write in Bush. Every poll shows Bernie doing better against Trump and Cruz than Hillary – with Hillary we might just get President Trump. How scary is that?
      Two years ago no one went to the polls, but that is typical for mid-terms, Dems always show up for POTUS elections, so that argument has no merit, In 2008 I was a delegate for Hillary, this year I am campaigning for Bernie. I am doing table events every weekend, registering voters, we will get them to the polls and when Bernie wins the nomination, I hope we have your support.

    • Chris Phoenix says :

      If you think money is the only driving factor of results you must be a very strict consumer who buys only name brand everything. Sorry, but more than half of the people in this country have experienced more than just that lifestyle. Hilly is part of the machine. You might want to dig your head out of the sand and stop blaming others for what you can’t see.

    • Huddyup says :

      Please unplug from the matrix. Don’t despair like the herd. Rise up and feel the joyful fear of truly living. Everything will be fine.

  7. Martee Hays says :

    President Obama was supported by Super Pacs and he has worked as hard as he can to represent the interests of the American people including unions, vets, LGBT, women, voters, immigrants and minorities, gun control and so much more.. He has been a sincere and honest President. All three of the Democrat nominees will do the best they can to eliminate Citizens United and represent the interests of the American people Bernie And Hillary have pretty much the same goals for our countries … it’s their methods to achieve that differ. Bernie wants to go straight to perfect, Hillary understands that change in this country is slow and requires reaching across the aisle in Congress to compromise, negotiate and twist arms. And when it comes to foreign policy, Hillary is ready on Day 1, Bernie has a long way to go. Having said all that, if Bernie wins the nomination I will certain support and vote for him. Many of Bernie’s supporters are vowing not to vote or write him in which will help get a Republican into the Presidency. And those are undeniably “stupid” Bernie supporters. And yes, there are Hillary supporters vowing not to vote for Bernie; they, too, are stupid.

    • Marionumber1 says :

      Just because Bernie Sanders has more extreme ideas, that doesn’t mean he’s incapable of compromise. Having been in Congress for years, he understands how governing works. He’s done this in the past, passing the most bipartisan amendments of anyone in Congress for several years, and working with Republicans on VA reform. In fact, I believe that starting from a more idealistic position puts you in a stronger negotiating position than compromising early on.

      As for foreign policy, Obama arguably had less experience than Bernie Sanders, being in the national government for far less time. He was able to leverage the experience of his advisers and learn when he got in office, something Bernie can also do. And despite not being Secretary of State, Bernie has made foreign policy decisions in Congress, and I believe he’s shown good judgement.

      Overall, the decision is yours, but I hope that addressed some of your concerns about Bernie Sanders. I agree that supporters of either candidate unwilling to vote for the other one in the general election are stupid: we have to unite by then.

      • Donna Sublett says :

        Yes, BS has been in congress for 24 years and has little to show for it. yes, I’m aware of his Amendment King status. Amendment’s tweak laws, as far as getting those across the isle to actually pass laws he hasn’t been very successful. He is NOT that progressive, at least, his voting record doesn’t show that.
        Vote Ratings Bernie is 37 out of 54 for Democrats. NOT real strong.
        People who point at Obama don’t have the memory capacity of a gnat.
        because people who believed Obama’s promises were disappointed we got the Tea Party in 2010, and in 2014.
        Democrats are their own worst enemy.
        Don’t fall into the rut that the GOP is in. Voting in more and more extremist.
        The GOP, like the extreme left, are disaffected because the GOP hasn’t fulfilled their base dreams. They keep voting more and more extremist in office to get to those dreams when the majority of Americans are in the middle.
        If the extremist in both parties takes over NOTHING will get done EVER.
        BS’s pals with who he normally work KNOW him. THEY are supporting Hillary.
        Sherrod Brown isn’t corporate at all, neither is E. Warren.
        All the college education in the world doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t have common sense.
        Ex. Ben Carson.

      • Marionumber1 says :

        I’m replying to Donna Sublett here, because apparently I can’t reply to the post.

        I also mentioned the VA reform, which is a pretty important achievement. As far as I’ve been able to tell, Hillary Clinton has passed very few laws either. Regardless, amendments and debate are where much of the more serious work gets done on a bill.

        The National Journal vote ratings are corroborated by almost no other sources. Crowdpac has Bernie Sanders as the second most liberal, That’s My Congress ranks him as a strong liberal, and DW-NOMINATE had him as the most liberal in 2006-2008.
        Keep in mind that even Elizabeth Warren, considered to be very progressive, was at 31, casting doubt on these National Journal ratings. Regardless, I think you’ll find it hard to argue, based on specific votes and platforms, that Bernie is not very progressive.

        I was not talking about Obama’s campaign promises, just about how he didn’t have much foreign policy experience either. The fact is, though, that people will always be disappointed if they believe all the promises of a politician. That goes for any politician.

        The difference between the extreme right and the so-called extreme left is that the extreme left (which you seem to consider Bernie Sanders part of) isn’t actually that extreme. Most of his policies have majority support.
        And keep in mind what I also said, namely that holding extreme views doesn’t mean you can’t compromise. Bernie Sanders has shown that he can.

        It’s not that surprising that most Democrats are endorsing Hillary, who is favored by the party leadership. It makes sense to go along with the rest of them. They may say Hillary Clinton is a better leader, but I believe the bandwagon effect is more of a reason.

      • Marionumber1 says :

        I’m replying to Donna Sublett here, because apparently I can’t reply to the post.

        I also mentioned the VA reform, which is a pretty important achievement. As far as I’ve been able to tell, Hillary Clinton has passed very few laws either. Regardless, amendments and debate are where much of the more serious work gets done on a bill.

        The National Journal vote ratings are corroborated by almost no other sources. Crowdpac has Bernie Sanders as the second most liberal, That’s My Congress ranks him as a strong liberal, and DW-NOMINATE had him as the most liberal in 2006-2008.
        Keep in mind that even Elizabeth Warren, considered to be very progressive, was at 31, casting doubt on these National Journal ratings. Regardless, I think you’ll find it hard to argue, based on specific votes and platforms, that Bernie is not very progressive.


      • Chris Phoenix says :

        I don’t see anything accurate here, but hey… not everyone knows when they are fed b.s. information. I guess you will just believe what you want and not look at what’s actually been going on. Cool. At least no one will trust you, so there is that. 😀

      • Cody Gough says :

        Care to specify or just make broad assertions with no intelligent reasoning?

      • Martin Hornung says :

        Hillary’s foreign policy, this administration’s foreign policy has been largely inept and ineffective overall. Hillary is a warhawk, Cheney in a skirt.

        Hillary will pander the soundbite liberal causes smiling every step of the way and in the meanwhile she won’t do a damned thing to right the wrong that Wall Street has so brazenly imposed upon our society.

        Hillary is a divisive lightning rod who will only serve to galvanize GOP opposition for many more years enabling even more right wing radicalism to hold sway.

        Bernie has respect from both sides of the aisles as a sensible, good faith, working partner.

        He has the makings of a non-nonsense executive who could possibly engineer real common ground from which to close the ideological divide being leveraged to pull the wool over the eyes of the citizenry in this country while those in government and those who buy them rip the rest of us off.

        Hillary is more of the same plutocracy slowly but inexorably driving the American Dream into the grave.

      • brandon okamoto says :

        Bernie definitely knows how the political process goes, and has had to do what he is able to do, and knows he wont be able to always get everyone to go straight for what he says we should do. he often says in his speeches, that we the people need to get more involved, we need to let ourselves have more of a voice.

    • Marionumber1 says :

      I’m replying to Donna Sublett here, because apparently I can’t reply to her post, or my own.

      I also mentioned the VA reform, which is a pretty important achievement. As far as I’ve been able to tell, Hillary Clinton has passed very few laws either. Regardless, amendments and debate are where much of the more serious work gets done on a bill.

      The National Journal vote ratings are corroborated by almost no other sources. Crowdpac has Bernie Sanders as the second most liberal, That’s My Congress ranks him as a strong liberal, and DW-NOMINATE had him as the most liberal in 2006-2008.
      Keep in mind that even Elizabeth Warren, considered to be very progressive, was at 31, casting doubt on these National Journal ratings. Regardless, I think you’ll find it hard to argue, based on specific votes and platforms, that Bernie is not very progressive.

      I was not talking about Obama’s campaign promises, just about how he didn’t have much foreign policy experience either. The fact is, though, that people will always be disappointed if they believe all the promises of a politician. That goes for any politician.

      The difference between the extreme right and the so-called extreme left is that the extreme left (which you seem to consider Bernie Sanders part of) isn’t actually that extreme. Most of his policies have majority support.
      And keep in mind what I also said, namely that holding extreme views doesn’t mean you can’t compromise. Bernie Sanders has shown that he can.

      It’s not that surprising that most Democrats are endorsing Hillary, who is favored by the party leadership. It makes sense to go along with the rest of them. They may say Hillary Clinton is a better leader, but I believe the bandwagon effect is more of a reason.

    • Maureen says :

      I believe the idea here is that Bernie has a vision much the same as MLK and Kennedy. Kennedy said,”we’re going to the moon.” Who believed that? It took years but it happened. Vision. MLK’s vision and leadership is still evolving but we’re on the path. Imagine this country without a civil rights movement or a women’s movement. Bernie is giving us a vision, something to strive for.
      And Sanders has a good record of creating and passing bills. The latest was his Vet bill he cowrote with McCain providing clinics, education benefits to vets. He gets things done, but he asks us to be a part of a movement for clean government where we all participate. He gets the incremental change idea. He’s not afraid of us and doesn’t manipulate us. That’s worth a vote.

  8. R.M.P. says :

    No, his supporters are unrealistic when they ignore the fact that he doesn’t want to do the job. He wants to reform the economy, but he doesn’t give a damn about any other aspect of the presidency. That’s MOST of the job. Paris is attacked, his people have a screaming fit because the next debate won’t be about the economy, which is ALL he wants to talk about. If he’s elected, what happens if we’re attacked and the commander in chief doesn’t care because he doesn’t want to give up what HE wants to do.

    • Steven Overstreet says :

      Bernie Sanders doesn’t want to do the job except for that one little thing of his- reforming the economy?
      That argument is simplistic and specious.
      First, let’s just eliminate the notion that Bernie’s only driving interest.
      Then I’ll write about why economic reform should be at the top of everybody’s list.
      Just reviewing the legislation that Senator Sanders has sponsored, makes it clear that he has taken action on many issues:

      Equal rights. That’s another of Bernie’s passions. He has supported equal rights for everyone his entire life and backed up his convictions with legislative action.

      Veteran affairs. He has introduced more bills to protect the rights and well being of Veterans than any other issue,including the economy.

      Climate change.
      Health care.
      Voters rights.
      Clean Energy
      Clean Water
      These are some of the other passions of Bernie Sanders.

      Then there is his voting record…

      • Steven Overstreet says :

        The reason that Bernie talks more about the economy is that the economy underlies just about every issue you can think of.
        It all costs money.
        Defense costs us a lot of money.
        Infrastructure, Health Care, Food, Water, Transportation, Communications, Crime control, Foreign relations, all cost money.
        We can’t expect our nation to survive if we don’t preserve our wealth.
        We have lost trillions to corporations that privatize their profits while they pay politicians and lobbyists to make laws that let them socialize their costs.
        More trillions have gone to prop up a corrupt banking system that has fallen into the hands of sociopathic robbers who use the money they have swindled from us to buy themselves immunity.
        When I use my hard earned money it goes back into circulation and supports the whole economy.
        As the top 1% watch the money gush in, a very tiny part of it gets spent the rest is hoarded and taken out of circulation.
        That is what’s draining our nation’s treasury. It’s not the undocumented immigrants or welfare recipients or any of the other downtrodden people who are sapping the vitality of our nation.
        It’s the money addicts who will never have enough to satisfy their greed.
        The poorest pay every cent they make back into circulation where it can be used by you and me to better our lives.
        Each of the Koch brothers gained, from their investments,
        $6 billion in one year.
        How much of that will Charles Koch spend? Well, let’s see.
        If he spent $500,000,000 on a huge shopping spree, he’d have to be pretty quick about it because in a month he’d have a lot of stuff that would not have improved the quality of his life at all and he’d have another five hundred million dollars of pocket change to spend again.
        Yet he can’t stand the thought of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour because he has an addiction to feed.
        So the money that he couldn’t spend all gets hoarded and stays out of circulation and the economy suffers.
        That’s why Bernie talks about the economy so much.

    • Chris Phoenix says :

      The economy drives, uh, the country and uh… things that we can do. Like all the things we can do.

      Uh… did you know that? Yes, it IS the bottom line. The easily distracted tend to not see very simple things like that because “oh, look an explosion!”. Quite literally.

      • Cody Gough says :

        CNN has created a culture of fear that has frankly crippled the judgment of many Americans. ISIS is not coming after your family tomorrow. Big banks, bill collectors, insurance agencies? There’s a chance.

  9. David says :

    67 yo marine viet nam vet. I support every thing you’ve posted . Bernie must win in 2016. The fact that we elected Barack Obama proves that we as a country want to do the right thing, Bernie will see that we do, as President Obama has done. Love, kindness, empathy, compassion that is the future I want for my grandchildren and the world.

  10. sandy says :

    You really did hit the nail on the head…this is truly an opportunity to change the direction of our “ship of state” and it will take time, but it must happen!!

  11. Catherine Barnes says :

    Let’s be THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I know I can!” until Bernie Sanders is elected President.

    Remember President Dewey? Nobody does! Because the impossible happened and we voted for Harry S. Truman, who presided over the rebuilding of most of the Earth after WWII, and we had PEACE for a while.

    Remember the vitriol thrown at “that Catholic who would give our country to the Pope”? We elected President John F. Kennedy despite the animosity of some, and he avoided a nuclear war with the Soviet Union.

    These, as well as Obama, were really long shots! So, as I’ve repeated many times this electoral cycle: if YOU want to see a President Bernie Sanders, register and VOTE for him and not who “they” think will win.

    Bernie became Mayor of Burlington because of 10 voters bothering to show up. So, LETS ELECT BERNIE SANDERS to be OUR PRESIDENT as well as other honest people to a Congress that will work with him.

    BTW ~ On Saturday,January 30 from 3:00 to 6:00 PM at New York City Union Square Park South Plaza we’re having a peaceful parade to support Bernie. ALL ages are welcome. I’m a very physically fit and energetic 75 years old and I’ll be there! We can do it!

  12. Donni Slater says :

    THIS THIS THIS is exactly, word for word, how I feel. Thank you for having the ability to put into words what is in my heart!

  13. Gene Siedlecki says :

    Lifelong Republican and Bernie has my support for all the reasons folks have stated. I believe we are at a tipping point in history, if we fail at this we may never have another chance to get our government back. I, as the author is, am also a college educated person who isn’t stupid and I posses at least a smattering of common sense. I really believe if people actually get out and vote and dont just sit around talking about it we can send a huge message to the power structure that we, the people, have the true power

  14. Kevin Mergel says :

    Hillary’s campaign is to become President.
    Sander’s campaign is to change Government.
    If Hillary wins the General Election (with my vote, i might add), she might bring in some Democrats ‘down ticket’ but with the filibuster rules they will pretty much be in a ‘check-mate’ with the Republican Congress. She might get a few things done if she’s willing to compromise enough…
    Sander’s is aiming for not only the Presidency, but for a Revolution in Congress as well. If he wins the Primary, he will have the voter enthusiasm behind him to sweep many ‘down ticket’ races into office with him.
    A Democratic/Progressive Congress will have the freedom to enact some major changes, and Sanders will be in a stronger position to enact his ideas without having to compromise as much.
    Also, many polls show Sanders winning against any of the Republican candidates the General Election at higher margins than Hillary would. Voting for Bernie in the Primary is the more pragmatic choice, but Hillary obviously deserves all of our support in the General- if she wins the Primaries.

  15. greenguy415 says :

    Thank you for the great article – it really resonates with a lot of Bernie supporters. Have you seen the Bernie or Bust pledge? (I know it’s not for everyone, but will speak to those who have come BACK to politics just for Bernie) http://www.citizensagainstplutocracy.org

    • Cody Gough says :

      Thanks, I’m glad it resonated with people. I literally stopped what I was doing and wrote it after seeing a comment online and I was just sick and tired of seeing it. Glad people found it worth sharing 🙂

  16. Nathan says :

    While I agree with your broader points, I find it rather off-putting to place it in terms of American Exceptionalism. Electing Bernie Sanders will not show the rest of the world that we’re the greatest country on Earth. Bernie Sanders is a Democratic Socialist, a totally mainstream and viable political party in many rich countries in the world. In fact, many leading nations have a predominantly more liberal governing policy than we do. We’re the ones that have some catching up to do and I believe we have to be very careful when trying to define the larger meaning of this election. Claiming that we’d be a shining beacon on to the world just makes us sound like assholes. Assholes with no respect for anyone outside our borders.

    • Steven Overstreet says :

      I agree with the distinction you’ve made here Nathan.
      The biggest threat to the survival of our nation does indeed come from within.
      There is a parasite lodged in the heart of countless Americans. It crowds out our compassion and spreads to our eyes blinding us to the suffering that we inflict on the families living, then dying, in the places where we conduct our never ending war. Our vision has grown so dim; our hearts so numb that we can’t even see the suffering that we inflict on our own families as we send our sons and daughters to the front lines.

      Hubris is the parasite consuming us.

      As I watch and listen to the debates of the presidential candidates the only one who seems to have escaped infection is….

      Bernie Sanders.

    • Cody Gough says :

      Sure, I see your point. What I meant specifically is that if we have a government that is exceptionally representative of the wants and needs of its people rather than of corporations and billionaires, then that could inspire similar movements elsewhere, in places where that could be beneficial. When I wrote that phrase, I was specifically thinking of Argentina, where my girlfriend lived for many years, and of Latin American regimes, which from what I’ve learned over the years are extremely corrupt. My comment was intended more as a notion that it could have global implications of America (a decidedly high profile country) demonstrated to the rest of the world that corruption and corporate interests don’t have to be a foregone conclusion, but instead can be overcome. Agreed I could have phrased that better, thank you for pointing that out!

  17. Steve says :

    Hell yeah.

  18. Laura Moross says :

    Cody, I must have seen the same comment because yesterday I threw up my hands in frustration saying I’ve had enough. What you have written is exactly what I feel about this election and I only wish I had the ability to express it as well as you have. This country can’t take another “bought” politician and, at the age of 52, I truly believe this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to possibly change the course of this country. At the very least it will send a message to the democratic party that we are tired of republican lite and the interests of Main Street always taking a backseat to the interests of Wall Street. Thank you!.

  19. paxgirl says :

    Thank you for this, Cody. Very well said. I’ll be sharing this post on my Facebook page!

  20. Robert says :

    Ya still bankin’on that “hope and change”? Hasn’t worked for eight years, what makes you think another 4 will make it better? I learned that sometimes, you just need to cut your losses, and stop throwing good money after bad.

    • Cody Gough says :

      Just because you don’t win a war right away doesn’t mean you should stop fighting battles. I’m not going to lie down and surrender. When you have the privilege of being able to vote, it’s a responsibility to use that privilege to keep telling the powers that be what you really want, not what you think they want you to want.

  21. Elena Hart says :

    I couldn’t agree more. I am a well-educated person (2 Master’s degrees and a doctorate on the way), and I am voting for Bernie Sanders because he supports a number of ideas and values which are very near and dear to my heart (Free Public Education, Universal Health Care, Higher Wages, Dialogue over military intervention, sustainable development and environmental protection, etc) and which the Democratic Party has not done enough (In my view ) to defend. I don’t think that he will be able to put them in place in 4 years. Real change will occur over a long period, perhaps a generation. But when I majority of Americans stand up and say, “We want the situation to change” it’s already a step in the right direction, and I am confident that whatever changes Bernie makes, even if they are modest, will steer us down a better course in the long term.

  22. mattdm says :

    When shared on Facebook, the selected preview image is the Jon Stewart meme image with the top line cut off, so it prominently says “Bernie Sanders is a crazy pants cuckoo bird”. Perhaps change or reorder that?

    • Cody Gough says :

      Yeah I changed the featured image bro the other picture, I don’t know why the social share preview hasn’t updated :/ I’ll see if there’s a plugin or something I can install to fix it. Thanks for letting me know it’s still doing that!

  23. Bill Swanson says :

    Perhaps if you’ve read 10,000 times that you Sanders fans are unrealistic, perhaps you should consider it as a distinct possibility that 10,000 people are right about you. In any case, being unrealistic isn’t something you decide about yourself. It’s something other people get to decide about you.

  24. Joshua Lapidus says :

    Hey Cody – if you support Bernie, I think you’d like this free Chrome browser extension. You can set it and forget it, or share it to spread the word and help raise money (without spending a dime) https://app.standsapp.org/stand/42

    • Cody Gough says :

      Can confirm for other readers, this link / comment does not at first look appear to be spam. Thank you for sharing!

      • Joshua Lapidus says :

        Thanks for the confirmation. Stands isn’t spam – just new tech. I have to say, I’m very impressed with how quickly you respond to comments. If you have any questions about Stands, its pretty awesome, happy to help.

  25. candyliz2003 says :

    I’m old enough to remember the Civil Rights struggle and how this argument was used against THOSE desires for change. Imagine if Johnson and others had just given-in to the doubters…?

  26. williambean2014 says :

    The efforts of well intentioned individuals often end in calamity. You find hope in Sanders, good for you. Many found hope in Obama and that hope was misplaced. Almost eight years of Obama has left us worse off in the world affairs, although Ms Clinton had much to do with that. Health care has become a monopolistic practice. We didn’t need a national insurance plan or a single payer system. The president and the state governours simply need to enforce the law against such practices that led to monopolistic pricing. But the Obama administration has not been big on rule of law. So let us say Bernie gets elected. Then what? Not much happens, he becomes a do-nothing president because he has no real plan that will accomplish through legislation what needs to be done for a “better future”. Four years wasted and an electorate embittered.

    Young man, if you want to change the world you must do it in one of two ways. The first is through dictatorship, force the changes you want and hope they will stick after your death. The second and more pragmatic is to start locally and make those many small changes that grow into the major new structures of good government and economies. You live in Chicago. Why do you keep electing Democrats who placate public unions with higher raises and defined health and pension benefits that eventually will bankrupt the city and the state? You want change? Well, here you are, a city that is beyond stupid. There is no free lunch, never will be. Yet people like yourself keep electing those who promise free lunches without regard for where the money comes to pay for such meals at the public trough.

    But more than that, Sanders, like Clinton and the Republican candidates, represent big government. That ever growing faith in bigger government is better just as we use to believe that bigger corporations were better. Economies of scale take on a “life” of their own and soon overwhelm those who seek to control them. A good life is learning how to do for oneself without resort to the efforts of others. The more others do for you the less you do for yourself and the more dependent you become on the good will of others. Big government creates the welfare state and it creates that sense of helplessness that deters those actions of self governance.

    So vote for Bernie. Why not? He will fix all your problems with his big government solutions. Can’t be any worse than any of the others. But at least do yourself a favor and fight the local political machines that make life a mess in chicago and the state. Vote the corrupt out of office for once. Then your vote for Sanders will have meaning and the man just might have a chance to make a few changes.

  27. Jeff Stallings, CPDT-KA says :

    I don’t think Bernie is bat shit crazy, nor are his followers. I am a bleeding heart liberal by all measures. But I am voting for Hillary. She’s a far more well-rounded leader.

    • magichourns says :

      Have you read her record on foreign affairs? Just because someone has been in office doesn’t mean they did a good job. No one seems to be quizzing her on her actual record of proposing, bringing to the floor or voting for legislation as a Senator, nor taking a close look at her record as Secretary of State. There’s a great Alternet article on the latter. But it is quite suspicious that you don’t hear her touting her own record in the debates. And I mean more than just saying “I held this position so that means that I know better…” Tell us what you successfully accomplished in those positions – because if you actually look-up what she “did” it’s either not much, or not so good. #Feel #The #Bern.

      Oh yeah, and the greatest GOP obstructionist – Inhofe, considers Sanders a friend and has great respect for him because he walks and lives the talk. If Bernie can negotiate with Inhofe, who is really better suited to negotiate with Congress? Hillary is polarizing, so that means Sanders.

  28. Jim says :

    Thanks for the article. On point. Bookmarked your blog for more reading. http://www.contentvirga.com

  29. Mollie says :

    I have never had the stomach for politics and, even though I’m 39, only started voting recently. I wanted to be an educated voter, but I could never cut through all the crap to find out anything true about any candidates. Until now. Bernie Sanders is the first politician EVER to inspire me, to encourage me to become engaged in political discourse, to spur me to read more, think more, hope more. I believe in him. And coming from me, that’s pretty high praise.

  30. kirby says :

    Nice Post Cody. It is not only the US citizens who are supporting Bernie. There are many thoughtful, intelligent and educated people across the world, including Canadians, who see Bernie as the hope for our world and our future. By electing Bernie, a true representation of the citizens of United States, the hope is that Bernie can open and lead dialogs with the world on matters that are critically important to our over all survival and well being. Bern baby Bern!

  31. ViaB says :

    This is the dumbest thing I have ever read and that fact that a college education is used to justify such non-sense shows what a waste of money higher education has become. I am going to assume world history was not part of the curriculum. 4 years of Bernie Sanders will take our meager labor participation rate and pummel it even more, will send more jobs overseas and leave the bottom rungs of our economic classes destitute as we will run out of money to pay for them when all the good jobs and wealthy people are gone. Check out what French president Hollande has said of the results of his socialistic policies on corporations and the wealthy. It has made everything worse in France for everyone. Honesty doesn’t pay the bills and nor does socialism. Take a look at Spain and Greece, govt supported everything with a strong anti-business climate. If you want that what Spain, Greece and France have I think you should go try before you buy. Socialism and forced fairness doesn’t take into account human nature and goal oriented people. Only the wealthy, ignorant or lazy will vote for Bernie. What do you have against corporations? If you don’t like what they sell, don’t buy it. And if you don’t want it, make sure the govt doesn’t force you to. There is a reason all the good jobs are moving to Texas. You mention you have a good job, that means you work for a corporation. To attack some corporations and not others shows your ignorance as to they way the world works. Your vote will certainly have meaning, the further destruction of the greatest country in the world. Quit voting for big govt as quality of life and prosperity is inversely proportional to the growth of govt.

    • contentvirga says :

      You must not be overly familiar with Bernie’s platform. We already live in a selectively socialistic country–military, fire departments, police departments, etc. The biggest socialistic checks ever written were to the big banks in 2008, when the rich did not want to pay for the poor decisions they made. Forced fairness? The public was forced initially under Bush and continued under Obama to pay for their mistakes and we are still paying to this day. —-He is not advocating a ‘government take over’ of anything. Single payer healthcare is very different than government run hospitals, and all hospitals are already de-facto government employees through EMTALA. We are already paying as a collective whole–look it up.—The hatred for corporations stems from a world where the rules are changed in their favor through massive political donations and crony capitalism. It is not as simple as ‘don’t buy what they make’. —No one is voting for ‘big govt’, just a government that represents and works for all the people, hence the growing support for Bernie.

    • brandon okamoto says :

      ok, what kind of ideas do you propose instead? Who should possibly lead our country, of those we are going to have a choice on through primaries?
      Some corporations abuse powers, abuse stashing money elsewhere so its less profit they have to pay tax on here. Others don’t. It doesn’t make sense to go after all corporations. Only the ones that bend the rules, use the loopholes, and do what they can to make their profit the most important thing. There is much that is so heavily influenced to only help those big or wealthy entities. Why not try and chip away at them?

  32. Jason Navarro says :

    This piece is awesome. Thanks for writing something that speaks to the heart of the matter. The status quo is broken and we need see what kind of statement can be made by showing our support.

  33. melissa says :

    Thank you for this wonderful article Cody………Feel the Bern folks!!!!

    • Scott says :

      And if the nomination does not go to sanders, will you all show up in November for the democrat and keep the creepy warmongering republican’s out of the White House ?

  34. David Smith says :

    I’m truly sorry, but supporting Bernie Sanders for the notion that he will somehow be able to effect change by virtue of his policies and ideology, is indeed both unrealistic and stupid. His policies are old, failed ideas. Supporting old, failed ideas qualifies as stupid. The idea that he’ll actually be able to get any of them passed is unrealistic, to put it mildly. The man’s ideas don;t even have the support of his own party.

    The only sensible reason anyone who is an American citizen could support/vote for Sanders is solely as a protest vote. That is, it’s a poke-in-the-eye vote to the status quo. But to think that his ideas might actually gain traction in this government or with the overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens is just nuts.

    It is, however, somewhat dismaying to see the few folks on here who claim to be well-educated yet support Sanders. As a former college instructor with a couple of degrees myself I can tell you that some of the smartest people I know went to college…and all of the stupidest people I know did too.

    • contentvirga says :

      I did not read one argument against any of his ideas. Just hot wind. Please explain to me how the government running and paying for the military is a good idea but ‘just’ paying for healthcare is bad. Please explain why the rich should never go to jail and the middle class and poor should be made to pay for their bad decisions. Please explain how this country has endless funds for tanks and bombs, but not school lunches and bridges. Please explain how the entire GOP field is not mature enough to except gay marriage, but is mature enough to be POTUS. http://www.contentvirga.com

  35. Todd says :

    Thanks for the article. Very well reasoned and helped me gain a better understanding of why some people are so passionate about Bernie Sanders. I will vote for whatever Democrat is nominated, but I have yet to feel any real passion for Bernie Sanders. I just can’t get excited about someone who sounds like an idealogue. I can tell that he is passionate about his ideas, but I just can’t get a handle on how he thinks he will bring any of them to fruition.

    I am trying my best to decide on who is the best fit. I like many people are more concerned about keeping a Democrat in office to ensure that the changes President Obama has made have time to become entrenched. I have read so many of these comments that say the “Hope and Change” has not materialized and that is just plain wrong. Obama has accomplished a tremendous amount in his 8 years in office including; reform of the health care system, student loan reform that we are only just beginning to see, work towards dismantling the for-profit college industry, major moves towards real climate change progress (Paris accord and coal-fired power plant reforms), creating a dialogue about race that had stalled prior to his election, expanding rights for Gays and Lesbians that extend beyond the miraculous inclusion of marriage rights, real financial reform for the banking system, tax reform and the beating back of tax changes proposed by congress that would only continue to fill the 1% coffers, turning around an economy that had fallen off a cliff, real infrastructure rebuilding (roads, bridges, schools, power, etc.), real investments towards alternative energy sources that has expanded that sector, increasing automobile fuel efficiency requirements, saying no to the keystone pipeline, telecommunications reforms to increase access to high-speed data and protecting innovation in the digital sector, major sentencing reforms for non-violent criminals, increase in overtime pay rules, beginning to add transgender rights, and on and on….

    The pragmatist in me just wants a Democrat to win so that all of these accomplishments can and will be protected and improved. If Bernie can win then he has my vote, but if Hillary has a better shot than I can get behind her. I just want all of us as Democrats to recognize that our President has largely delivered on his promises and to start to show some pride in what we have all accomplished. President Obama is not to blame for the dysfunction in Congress and his ability to realize his agenda despite their lack of ability to act is more than admirable.

    We need a Democrat that has the ability to win and continue to realize a Democratic vision for this country. I am trying hard to see how Bernie Sanders can do that. Your article has helped, but I’m still feeling quite skeptical. Thanks for letting me ramble.

  36. Marlin Johnson says :

    Seriously? More government is the answer??? Our politicians have put us $19 TRILLION in debt, High Unemployment, Economy Teetering on Recession, Open Borders, Amnesty, Obamacare, Unconstitutional Executive Orders, Benghazi, Muslim Refugees, IRS scandal, ISIS, BLM, etc… Socialism, Global Warming hoax, Corporate bogeyman, “Free Stuff”, Alternative Energy Scams, Go Green, etc Government is the problem…

    • nightrelic says :

      more government isn’t necessarily bad government. Yes, we’ve seen a lot of bad government in the last 30 years. Any increase in government has meant more wasteful spending. But there is such a thing as beneficial governance. It’s just that we haven’t seen it in so long, we forget that government can actually do good things. We just need to change the focus from money to people.

  37. Blaine Davis says :

    If only Bernie would care about “Americans” and close the borders, defend citizens and not give a dime or any time or advantage to other countries.
    Citing the affordable care act as a success is a joke for most of us who work and are single.
    I’m hoping for Trump or Bernie which means nobody likes my opinion because I won’t fit in one of the two pre made opinion boxes provided us.
    Sanders and Trump supporters all have one thing in common, we support the only two candidates that want to improve the lives of American citizens. Granted with two different methods. They are also the only two that possibly are not entirely bought and paid for.
    Imagine if common ground between the supporters of both could be found? It’d be a majority third party focused on improving the lives of Americans that could win elections in every state at every level.
    The differences are not really all that great if people open their minds to the spectrum of possibilities rather then just the divisive pre made fabricated opinions that we are told are the only way to believe.

  38. Jason King says :

    I love Bernie. I just don’t love him as president. I’m not into the idea of a 4 year protest of business having influence over politics. This country was started by wealthy aristocrats and has always supported business over the needs of people, and I don’t believe that can change or even be marginally affected by the will or influence of the president. The most important powers of the president, to me, are Supreme Court nominations, veto power and the power to approve military actions. I don’t vote based on content of character, I vote based on who I feel has the power to pass legislation that I care about. That’s why I’m reluctant to get behind the current version of the revolution.

  39. nightrelic says :

    You hit the nail on the head with your article. Yes, I’d love to see Bernie’s plans come to fruition, but it’s enough that it’s obvious when he talks, he’s saying exactly what he thinks. The wheels aren’t spinning behind his eyes, as he tries to edit what he’s saying so as not to alienate one of his large donors. I see that while almost every other candidate speaks, including Hillary. For me, Bernie is what I hoped Obsma could be when I voted for him. It became obvious as soon as he took office, he wasn’t. I won’t say he hasn’t accomplished a lot against all odds, but he’s done a lot of negative things too.

  40. Mike Hamilton says :

    I like Sanders and I support most of the policies that he is pushing. My problem is that I don’t see any way possible that those policies could be enacted. Single payer is the way we should go, no question. But…remember the battle over the relatively small changes that the ACA contains. Those fights are still not settled, and a majority of Americans are still convinced it’s a bad thing, in spite of its success. Does anyone think that a majority of American would get behind the complete dismantling and rebuilding of out health insurance system? Free college tuition? We can’t even get Congress to properly fund what we have now.

    I fear that if Bernie wins the Presidency, we’re in for one term of useless jousting at windmills, followed by a Republican President.

  41. Amy says :

    Reblogged this on Read What I Like and commented:
    Okay folks I’m going political for a moment. “What I didn’t sign up for this!?” you might say, but bare with me for a moment before you stomp off in a huff. Monday is the Iowa Caucus and being the left leaning political junkie that I am I must confess that much of my reading time lately has been spent following the circus that parades through my state every four years. I am a firm believer in the process, if not always the candidates or elected officials. I believe so much that when we participate we can bring about real change that I volunteer to work polls and even run my local caucus. Last election 63% of you stayed home. I say you because I know where I was, I waiting on you to come vote! When that many of us stay home it sends a message, that we are alright with our current fucked up system where those with the money have all the say. We deserve better than that, we deserve politicians that represent us and not special interest groups. This caucus night I’m standing for Bernie Sanders and this blog post that I found sums up beautifully why. So I hope you go read it and most of all I hope you go exercise your right as a citizen and vote. #FeelTheBern

  42. Dolly Dagger says :

    There is no shortage of graphs floating around the internet showing what the marginal tax rates look like under Sanders’ economic plan. I wonder how many supporters have looked at these visuals and actually thought about what their lives will look like when their take home pay is reduced by 30% (including *supposed* healthcare savings, that is).

    It is absolutely amazing to me that over the past decade we’ve witnessed socialist regimes across Europe fail miserably, have to be bailed out, but yet we still think the only answer to our problems is to elect a Socialist president. There is no difference between Obama’s attitude towards the ACA (pass it to find out what’s in it!) and the author’s attitude towards Sanders (elect him to see if maybe he won’t destroy the U.S. economy!).

    Maybe supporters are simply too dull to see the writing on the wall. If we elect Sanders, our collective futures are set in stone; a sharp decline in followed by stagnant real take home pay coupled with very dim future prospects. This is not to say that we should shrug our shoulders and vote for Hillary or any other establishment goon. What we know is that Socialism always fails, especially in large countries with incredibly diverse populations. Anybody who cares to debate that point simply isn’t intelligent enough to be involved in the conversation.

    • Mike Hamilton says :

      You DO know what the term “marginal” means, don’t you? If you look at the numbers for Sanders’ tax plan, no one making less than about $250,000/year sees any tax increase at all. Personally, I don’t think that quite realistic, but your comment is completely wrong about his proposal.

      And to say that anyone who disagrees with you about Democratic Socialism is “not intelligent enough to be involved in the conversation” is pretty darned supercilious, don’t you think?

    • Cody Gough says :

      Where specifically have you read that Americans would take home 30% less in savings? Could you provide a source? I’ve read that it would increase the take-home pay of the majority of Americans.

      Also, Bernie Sanders is not a socialist. He’s a Democratic Socialist. Equating the two is like saying that a pie is the same thing as a pie chart (you can’t eat a chart), or that a shoe is the same thing as a shoe horn. The premise of your entire second paragraph is completely false.

    • Belinda Birdsey says :

      To Dolly Dagger: I have been reading this article and the responses to gain information and opinions from others. I am not sure who my vote will go to at this time. As I read your opinion on this article I am so saddened that you only see negativity in this world. If you put as much emphasis on making our world better, you could be such an amazing advocate for something good. Just think about the positive impact you could have on this world. May you be graced with Love and Peace and the knowledge to use it wisely.

  43. Bunny says :

    What is he going to do when he gets “the talk”? The one where he is told about what he can push for and precisely what he cannot do? Presidents don’t run the country. Transnational corporations do. He won’t be approved for any security clearance that will tell him exactly whats going on at all levels of government. There are black ops people that have 35 security clearances above Obama. Clinton was smokin pissed when he was flat out told he did not have a right to know about the things he was asking about (black operations housed at skunkworks). will be interesting…

  44. Jeranium says :

    Cody, you TOTALLY nailed it in this post! Keep writing!

  45. Michael Bigger says :

    Eloquently stated. Thanks!

  46. alienredqueen says :

    I *heart* this so much. 🙂 People treat us like we’re stupid for wanting more, wanting better than what we have, because they are resigned to “politics” as usual. I for one am sick of the lobbyists and corporations being more important than the people, and even if he can’t accomplish all he’s promised, to me recollection, he’s the first candidate in years to even address the issue at all in regards to how bad it’s gotten.

  47. Landon says :

    What the Dems need to remember is that Hillary is fighting for a 12 dollar minimum wage. Bernie will fight for 15.

    I’m not naive either, and I know to compromise and get things done you have to be able to give up some things you want.

    Bernie is in a much better position to compromise because he has room to. Hillary will fight for 12 and get 10. Bernie will fight for 15 and get 12. Sure it’s not ideal, but in legislatures, you gotta be able to work with people. Hillary’s solution leads to gridlock because she has less room to compromise. Bernie can make both sides feel like they’ve won.

  48. Chris Bilodeau says :

    Bingo. Exactly how I feel. I listen to the Dennis and Callahan show (sports talk radio) during a.m. drive time. They are entertaining…but hardcore conservatives and they talk politics a lot. They dismiss Bernie on a daily basis as a “wacko” and claim all of his supporters are “young dummies.” It’s pretty frustrating because when I look at all the candidates…he seems the most clear-headed and rationale…and he has a track-record of being on the right side of history on major issues. I can understand concerns over bigger government but the people who are calling him and the folks who support his vision of a more fair and equitable political system and society “wackos” and “dummies…I think…are the crazy/stupid ones.

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