All of this writing and data analysis is a lot of work! So after more than five years of posting, I've finally launched a Patreon to help pay the bills.

2/12/20

Bernie posters: don't back down

Bernie Sanders is winning, so right-wing Democrats have ramped up their attacks on him. And that means, of course, that every biased headline, every grotesque spin on a story, and every cynical smear leveled at Sanders is being met by waves of opposition. The right wants that to stop. They want to be able to poison the public against Sanders without any response. Don't let that happen.

When some corporate media hack or political operative lies about Sanders on social media, what they want is for casual readers to see the attack - and nothing else. Or better yet, they want a long thread of like-minded readers praising them for what they've said. What they absolutely do not want is a hundred people saying that they're lying, saying how they're lying, detailing all of the lies they've told in the past, detailing relevant conflicts of interest, and reminding readers that the critic generally cannot be trusted.

If that happens, the reader may actually pause and reflect on what she's just read. Maybe she'll do a fact-check, or ask friends if what she just read online is true; at the very least, she'll notice that it's disputed.

That's why you can't back down. These people are running a well-funded highly-coordinated opposition campaign against Sanders, and they're leveraging their control of large social media platforms to disseminate their attacks. The only thing you can do to slow this down is to get into their replies, tell the truth, and encourage your friends to join you.

Yes, they are going to tell you to stop. Yes, they are going to try to spin ordinary criticism as "harassment." Yes, a handful of posters are going to inevitably fuck up and step over the line - and Bernie's critics are going to use this to talk about a "culture of problematic behavior," to demand that Sanders himself should decry his own supporters, and to insist that you personally are complicit in what happened. Yes, Sanders himself will periodically issue some "let's all be civil" statement, and his critics will try to use that to vilify any pushback to anything they say.

You cannot listen to these people. They are being dishonest and they want you to lose. They are fine with you going without healthcare and with seeing Social Security and Medicare gutted; many of them are even fine with four more years of Trump if that's what it takes to stop Sanders. And because that's what is driving their complaints about Bernie Bros, no good behavior or non-engagement on your part is going to make that attack stop.

So never stop posting, don't let them guilt-trip you for it, and for the love of god never, ever apologize for it. This primary isn't going to be won in the media, and it's not going to be won online - but every little bit helps.