Kirsten Tomjanovich is a Bernie Bro. Yes, she’s biologically a female, and identifies as such, but Kirsten is, undeniably, a Bernie Bro. At least that’s what months of interacting with people on social media has gotten her convinced of — she’s a hardcore, do-or-die, Bernie Bro. She’s starting to think that she might even be a Bernie or Bust kind of Bernie Bro, even though she’s flat-out told people that she intends to vote for “whoever the carbon based, non-Trump alternative” is in the general election, even if Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont doesn’t get the Democratic Party’s nomination.
“It’s weird, because all I’ve ever said is that as a young person, and now that Warren’s out of the race especially, Sanders’ policies speak the most to my concerns and beliefs,” Kirsten was overheard telling her friends while they enjoyed a local coffee shop’s wares. “It doesn’t matter how many times I tell people I’m just more aligned with what Bernie’s fighting for, but that I understand how important it is to end Trump’s presidency in November. A strong majority of people just tell me I’m a Bernie Bro for not supporting Biden, which I said I would, just not until the primary is over.”
Sipping her latte, Tomjanovich explained to her friends that she’s particularly amused when she’s called a Bernie Bro because she would have supported Elizabeth Warren in the primary if she believed that Warren was in as strong a position to pick up delegates as Sanders is. Kirsten told everyone that she doesn’t even “have any big beef against Biden,” but she does feel that he’s more of a return to the status quo, pre-Trump, and that while it may be appealing in some regards just to reset back to the way things were, she “has a long life ahead” of her, and she worries that Biden’s agenda won’t be decisive or bold enough to protect that future.
“Biden was a decent Vice President. He got Obama to go along with marriage equality, and that’s awesome,” Kirsten admitted, “but that doesn’t change the fact that he was against the Affordable Care Act, and that his plan for healthcare this time around isn’t nearly as strong as Sanders or Warren’s. He helped author the Patriot Act, and I’d like to have my Fourth Amendment rights back at some point. He voted for the Iraq War, and has never really explained how his feelings have shifted on that. At the end of it all, I want a candidate who gives me hope for my future, and not just a promise to go back to how things were, when they really weren’t all that great.”
Kirsten has a theory that the quickest way to be called a Bernie Bro is to have a different point of view than a “run of the mill Democratic voter” and expressing it.
“It doesn’t matter how respectfully I say it, or how calmly I explain myself,” Kirsten said, “no matter what, I end up getting called a Bernie Bro or a Bernout, or a Bernie Bot as soon as I type the words, ‘I disagree,’ and post them. The fast route to being labeled and generalized about is to disagree, even mildly, with a run of the mill Democratic voter.”
Before finishing her coffee date with her friends, Kirsten once more reiterated that while she is very much so in Sanders’ camp right now, if he doesn’t end up being the nominee, she’ll vote for Joe Biden, or whomever does win the Democratic Party’s nomination. She believes, however, it’s “every American’s right and duty to fight like hell for the person they want to be the nominee first.” Then, once the dust settles and the nominee is chosen, voters should line up behind their party’s nominee, if they live in a state that could push things one way or the other.
“If you’re red in a blue state, or blue in a red state, I totally get sitting out the presidential election if you’re not happy with either candidate,” Kirsten said. “I don’t have that luxury, I live in a swing state. So I’ll totally vote for the person the Democrats put up. I’m just hoping it’s someone who will at least fight for what I want for my future, and I know full-well he can’t get it done without Congress’s help, and that he’ll probably fail at something and disappoint me; I’m not naive about how politicians operate. But I’m not going to give up and stop before all the votes are counted and the convention’s over and we have a nominee. If that makes me a Bernie Bro, I guess I’ll just have to accept that.”
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.