Generalizing all Bernie Sanders voters as bros erases the diverse coalition of supporters his campaign fosters.
I’ve been a supporter of Bernie Sanders for the past five years.
In 2016, I volunteered over 50 hours to his primary campaign. I vowed to be respectful when discussing other politicians and their voters, and I worked alongside dedicated volunteers who were nothing but kind and positive. So when I would see generalizations from the media or social media that all Bernie supporters were just angry white “Bernie Bros,” it was deeply hurtful. I was not a bro, and neither were the Bernie Sanders supporters in my community.
Fast forward to 2020, and the narrative is even stronger, put forth by the media and now a presidential candidate who chooses to ignore the large and diverse coalition of supporters Bernie has cultivated. When I see accusations that Bernie’s supporters are nothing but a bunch of angry white dudes — though Bernie leads with Black, Latinx, and Asian voters — it is now beyond hurtful, it is deeply frustrating.
That is not to say that I’m oblivious to some of the interactions voters have experienced with Bernie supporters. I’ve had three friends this year privately share with me that they’ve had some unfortunate and unprovoked exchanges with Bernie Sanders supporters. In all three cases, my friends were simply supporting their own candidate, in real life or online, and in return received expletive-filled or bullyish responses. These friends asked me why they experience more vitriol from Bernie Sanders supporters than the supporters of any other candidate.