Over the course of the past week or so, one of the conversations that has popped up in the political media has surrounded the so-called phenomenon of the ‘Bernie Bro’. Essentially, Bernie Bros, as explained by Vox’s Dara Lind, are Bernie Sanders supporters who use the internet to attack those who don’t fully embrace Sanders’ positions. Whether overstated or not, Hillary Clinton supporters — or even undecided voters — have mentioned being attacked on social media by Bernie Bros.
Now, the insidious part of the gaslighting and Twitter volleys is that it tends to take on a sexist nature, especially when it is from dudes attacking women for supporting Hillary. Worse, some Sanders supporters have tended to directly condemn Clinton by using misogynistic and sexist remarks. All in all, it presents an ugly side to Bernie’s vision of a progressive political revolution.
During an appearance on CNN’s State of The Union on Sunday, Sanders briefly spoke about the situation and harshly criticized those who have taken to these methods. In the independent Senator’s typically blunt way, he specifically told those supporters that “it’s disgusting” and he doesn’t want them if they feel this way.
TAPPER: Have you heard about this phenomenon the Bernie bros, people who support you, and sometimes attack in very crude and sexist ways Clinton supporters?
SANDERS: Yes, I have heard about it. It’s disgusting. Look, we don’t want that crap. We can — and we will do everything we can, and I think we have tried.
Look, anybody who is supporting me, is doing sexist things is — we don’t want them. I don’t want them. That is not what this campaign is about.
It will be interesting to see if this causes some of his more boisterous acolytes to tone down the online attacks. At the very least, it should lead to more self-policing in Facebook groups and message boards.