While Bernie Sanders and his campaign team may have broken free of the “Bernie Blackout,” mainstream media outlets continue to spin lies around Sanders.
Ironically, Sanders has been fighting against what he calls a “medium [that] intentionally brainwash[es] people into submission and helplessness," since before he even ran for mayor back in 1981.
Back in an 1979 op-ed for the Vermont Vanguard, Sanders explained, “Using the well-tested Hitlerian principle that people should be treated as morons and bombarded over and over again with the same simple phrases and ideas, the astute minds on Madison Avenue are capable of converting millions of TV viewers to one or another product in a matter of months.”
It is any wonder, then, why the mainstream media outlets hate Sanders so much? Why they seem so ready to chip away at his foundation any way they can?
What these multimillion dollar industry leaders seem unaware of, however, is that the age of the internet—in particular, Facebook—leaves biased mainstream media with less of a hold over Americans. With contradictory opinions flooding the internet, fact-checking available to just about anyone, and countless options for opinions, facts, and news, there is more room than ever for an establishment-hating progressive like Sanders to find an outlet that works for him.
Still, it can be hard to know what’s real and what is just some crazy person trying to prove an invalid, outdated, or misinformed point.
One of the most common arguments against electing Sanders for president is that he is too old.
Media outlets have begun to constantly and consistently point out that Sanders is 73 years old—some are arguing that this is a sneaky tactic the media is using to discredit some of the things that he says, and even a way to make Sanders appear unable to connect with the young voters (which is undoubtedly false considering all those “Feel The Bern” memes we see everywhere).
What people don’t seem to remember is that John McCain was 72 years old when he was nominated in 2008, and Ronald Regan was 69 years old when he took office and left office just before he was going to turn 78 years old.
Age is just a number, but because Sanders seems so uninterested in his appearance (always more concerned with the big, important issues rather than marketing himself through clothing and lame toupees), people make the lazy reasoning that because he looks old he clearly wouldn’t be able to run the oval office and the country.
Let’s get real for a second: McCain looks old, yet that was never an argument used against his presidential candidacy—and that was just shy of eight years ago. Reagan looked old, yet his age was never a factor in whether or not he was a great president.
Another common argument against Sanders is that his ideas are simply “un-American.”
Of course, this all depends on whether or not your idea of a “true American” closely resembles that of Trump’s racist, xenophobic, sexist, war-mongering rhetoric. If not, then Sanders may be the closest thing to an American we have on the presidential candidacy stage.
Not only has he been called the “pied piper” of our time, Sanders was front-and-center in the civil rights movement—a fact that so many media outlets blatantly try to steer away from the public eye.
That whole fiasco began when The Washington Post‘s Jonathan Capehart shamelessly engaged in the ever-popular Republican tactic of “swiftboating”—or blatantly lying to smear someone’s campaign or legitimacy—by saying that the picture of Sanders getting arrested during a civil rights protest back in the 1960s was actually of someone else.
Thanks to some real journalism, the photos were confirmed by the Chicago Tribune and by Sanders himself.
Not only that, but a recent post by Paul Sperry of The New York Post proudly touts that Sanders is “a diehard communist” that “wouldn’t pass an FBI background check” if he were “vying for a Cabinet post”—if this “Red Scare” tactic doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth, nothing will.
Just looking at the cover image for this ludicrous article gives off the flavor of intelligence this entire piece emits (as does Sperry’s writers’ archive). Sperry claims that Sanders is a communist because he “joined the Young People’s Socialist League, the youth wing of the Socialist Party USA” and continually, without fail, mistakes communism for socialism—a common problem amongst the GOP, it seems.
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It takes a simple Google search to learn the difference between the two, and it’s even easier to see that Sanders’ ideas fit perfectly within “the American liberal tradition”—as long as you’re actually listening, that is.
Mic perfectly put this into perspective, bringing up Sanders’ tax proposals:
Consider his position on tax rates for the wealthy. In an interview with CNBC, host John Harwood asked if Sanders would consider imposing top marginal tax rate of 90% on the wealthiest Americans. Sanders didn't rule it out. On Thursday, he was more specific, saying on Charlie Rose that he was preparing to unveil a "comprehensive tax package, which I suspect will, for the top marginal rates, go over 50%."
How crazy is that? Between 1951 and 1962, a period of historic economic growth overseen by the administrations of Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy, the top marginal rate was steady at 91%. Today, it's 39.6%.
Last but not least, it is intolerably common for people to think that Sanders doesn’t stand a chance against Clinton.
Despite national polls that put Sanders over six points ahead of Clinton and more polls that suggest he would do better than any other democratic candidate against Donald Trump, the mainstream media still likes to make it seem as if he stands no chance against such a powerful icon.
But how many of us waited with bated breath, constantly refreshing the Iowa caucus results page, to see the neck-and-neck pace Sanders kept with Hillary? It’s also important to note that Clinton’s campaign was bombarded with accusations of cheating and dirty tactics throughout the Caucus—yet even if those reports are true, Sanders continued to tread marginally behind Clinton, proving that he is the revolution Americans want.
Banner Image Credit: Reuters