Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Accentuating Bernie

Any ideas on how best to encourage more positive thinking on the
Bernie 2016 front? I've read so many pessimistic comments on the net lately, damning his efforts before he's had a chance to break into a run. "Oh", they say, "big money will choose the candidate and it won't be Bernie". Or they'll categorise him as "sheepdog" herding stray Democrats disenchanted by President Obama's two terms, back into the fold. Or they'll say that Sanders is just the token left-winger this time around - "there's always one", they'll add: "Kucinich for instance". In past election seasons all or any of those propositions could have been true.
That was then, this is now.

I seldom comment on any politically-slanted blog or website, but I'm thinking that a good thing to do, for anyone who seeks a way to support Bernie Sanders' campaign, would be be to respond to comments on blogs and websites where negativity about his chances are expressed. Some well-chosen lines will be essential. So far I've tried this once or twice, but haven't quite hit the notes I wanted to hit, in the best way. Comments need to be clear and concise, not liable to be misunderstood or open to criticism on something such as word-choice. Long, complex responses won't work. Someone whose mind is bent on damning Sanders' campaign will not take the time to read more than a short paragraph from anyone else. Their aim is either to herd votes to Clinton or the GOP, or for some nefarious reason to generally depress the atmosphere, make the masses feel powerless rather than motivated to change society. For me the latter is by far the worst motivation!

There's an opportunity arising now, if it slips away through spread of negativity and pessimism, I doubt there'll be another such clear starting point for change to happen in the lifetime of anyone currently alive. Frank Herbert in his novel Dune wrote that "fear is the mind killer" - negativity and pessimism are mind-killers also.

Any thoughts on this? Any ideas for inspiring come-backs to negative comments about Sanders' campaign and his chances? If so, do please add them in comments here. Then later, anyone similarly inclined could make use of the ideas for inspiration, in composing a prompt response to negative comments elsewhere.

Background music for thinking on these things...


LB said...

I think a lot depends on what motivates us. If we genuinely believe in some greater principle or cause and are guided by ethics, we'll do whatever we can to support it ~ whether or not anyone else feels or does the same.

Only supporting something because it has a chance of winning is pretty self-serving (and not in a healthy way).

Which isn't to say I think voting for Sanders is the right thing. Understanding the powerful potential for doing harm our candidates have once elected (especially to our highest office) I have a hard time choosing the 'lesser evil'.

Sometimes I feel like Meryl Streep's character in "Sophie's Choice", and wonder if the most ethical decision is not to engage at all.

mike said...

Well, this is an age-old problem for any politician:

Hillary is marked between the eyes no less than Bernie's own bullseye. There are paid and volunteer commenters out here in electronville that perform these denigrations and politics isn't the only arena they leave their words. It's part of the digital age. These anti-Bernie commenters will give the Bernie team a chance to see what his opponents consider his weaknesses and how to best offset the criticism.

I think Bernie can hold his own and he's probably more appreciative of financial support than scribes that attempt to counter-comment the Bernie haters. I'm reasonably sure that a majority of the millennials will be supportive of Bernie and they are very savvy and high-tech with their social media skills.

I find that responses to the negative commenters on ANY topic can devolve into a form of perfunctory, childish behavior, often with profanities, that no amount of counter-assault eases. Commenters actually form their own chain of assault and counter-assault exchanges that has nothing to do with the topic. It can be like cutting-off a driver that is already demonstrating road-rage.

mike (again) said...

Off topic - Saw this today:

"Soul and Inspiration: The Surprising Stories Behind 15 Classic Songs"|main5|dl16|sec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D1103484987

Two days of ferocious storms...6" of rain yesterday and 3" so far today, with more coming. Major flooding throughout the region. Phenomenal lightening and high winds. My internet goes off-line periodically, but coincidental to each storm, and has AT&T perplexed, so if I disappear for a while, you know why.

Twilight said...

LB ~ But "whatever we can to support it", to me includes not allowing a pall of negativity to blur something and someone deserving of better.

Whether Sanders has a chance of winning, or not, isn't the most important thing here - the most important thing is that he is allowed to get his messages to a much wider - and listening - audience, which will not happen if negativity drowns him out as early as this.

I understand your thoughts about not engaging, but can't agree, LB.
The more people disengage the more wide open the road is to the wrong people - those with potential to do the MOST harm.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Yes, I realise that there are paid volunteers out there already, at least for Hillary Clinton, both pro and con. And I appreciate that the anti-Bernie comments will help his campaign to plan how best to offset them.

Bernie can certainly hold his own when personally engaged - I'd back him against anyone on the scene at present.

It's the furtive negativity spreaders I'm worried about. People not generally too interested in politics will become more engaged due to the General Election next year. People like that (a lot of 'em) reading that "Sanders has no chance - waste of a vote"...etc.etc. will absorb this, and eventually it'll bring about one of those self-fulfilling prophecies astrologers talk about.

It's not so much the outright Bernie haters I worry about, it's the "I like Bernie but he has no chance" kind of people.

I do agree 100% with your last paragraph though.


Twilight said...

mike (again) thanks - that's an interesting link - I'll save it and go through it again. I'd heard about a couple of the song stories before, but most I hadn't.

Gosh - you've had more rain than we have then! I hope the floods and storms don't affect you too badly.

We've had more rain this year than for the past two years, and some more forecast for today - it has just now arrived. The rains have helped the drought situation a wee bit, but not enormously. There's apparently some flash-flooding around in places. Eventually maybe the water rationing could be eased from stage 5 back to stage 4 - we shall see.

mike (again) said...

There's that adage, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em". Visit all of the non-Bernie sites and leave vitriolic comments for Hillary, Jeb, Ben, Ted, et al...LOL.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ I don't fancy that as a pastime! I'd have to read so much BS my BP would be through the roof! ;-)

Really, in order to find the "nests" of the "I like Bernie but he has no chance" brigade I'd need to get into Facebook and search around there. Politically-slanted blogs are mostly on their last legs now, with very few commenters as compared to how things were back during the 2007/8 election go around. Much the same applies to astrology blogs too, sadly. Yet I can't bring myself to go Facebooking. The concept still makes me cringe....I wonder why?
Husband even manages to keep his account there alive - but mainly for family contacts. Do you do Facebook yet, or have you ever?

milquetoast bob said...

Judge a politician on their past political servings, not their promises.

If you feel they have been unfairly characterized and want to address that, do so to the best of your ability, perhaps pointing out falsehoods or points not germane (Hillary's age, clothing, makeup, etc) to a campaign, countering such with what you believe to be appropriate.

By the way - where was Bernie born? Can we see the long form? What is his middle name? Why did he leave New York? Does anyone living in such a small state really have what it takes to run this big country? Does he look Presidential? He's older than Hillary.

So many things. I dunno, I dunno, I dunno . . .

Josiah Bartlet said...

I haven't Facebooked for years. Is it better than watching "The West Wing" again?

Two Cathedrals Rant With Translation

The West Wing: Bartlet quotes scripture.

Twilight said...

milquetoast bob ~ (or regular Bob?)~

Good advice, yes. Watch what they do, not what they say. On that score Bernie Sanders has been consistent, he has been against the growing inequality in this country for as long as I can recall. He's unafraid to call himself a Democratic (ye gods) Socialist (that scary word for most Americans!)

His support for the military doesn't match my own feelings, but perfection doesn't exist in political candidates or in anyone else.

Sanders was born in Brooklyn, New York according to Wiki. "His father was a Jewish immigrant from Poland, while his mother was born to Jewish parents in New York".

I don't think he has a middle name - but if he did I doubt it'd be Hussain ;-)

Regarding the small state he represents in the Senate - size isn't everything, bob. 8-)

He looks presidential enough for me,
and his age would only be relevant if he had health issues, which, far as I know he doesn't. Weighing him and Hillary by age isn't a helpful way of comparing them, to my mind.

I dunno a lot either, but I do know that Bernie Sanders is the breath of fresh air that we've been sorely lacking - and for that, as well as much else, he has my support.

Twilight said...

Josiah Bartlet ~ (lol!)

Few things would be better than watching "West Wing" again. As for Facebook - I wouldn't know - signed in once and deactivated account within a few minutes.

The first link you've provided should be clicked with caution - my Norton 360 wouldn't allow it.

Second one is one of my favourite scenes from an episode that still could give me goosebumps. The next scene from that episode is another I love - the music ("Brothers in Arms") adds a lot to the atmosphere.

Third excerpt - Wow! Yes, had forgotten that one - Josiah was cooking on gas there!

Bobby Baby (Tag from an X SIL) said...

Regarding the links for the "Let Me Watch This", it is not necessary to join any club or download any player. Just don't click on those links. If the video won't play, close that tab and choose another link. is one good one, is another.

m̶i̶l̶q̶u̶e̶ Bob said...

It may be possible to get season by season CDs from your public library or find a cheap or free or trade source online.

Twilight said...

Bobby Baby
(hmm I don't know what X SIL is)

Thanks for the advice will try it later.

Twilight said...

Bob (regular Bob) :-)

Thanks - we do have DVDs of "West Wing" stashed away in a closet - I think we have all seasons but will check. I do intend to watch them again, and soon. Loved it! One of the best ever.

LB said...

Twilight ~ Hmmmm. Not sure where we're disagreeing since we both think it's important to support the things we believe in . . . and to say NO to the things we don't. Whether or not the majority or anyone else agrees with us isn't the point.

When I said I wondered if sometimes "the most ethical decision is not to engage at all", I meant not feeling compelled to make a choice I don't believe in ~ NOT that we shouldn't speak up or act on behalf of someone or something we feel has been unfairly harmed, neglected or mischaracterized.

Don't know how or why the meaning behind my original comment went astray.:) Must be Neptune.

Muckracker Bob said...

I think Bernie will be alright. We have a long way to go. Let's see how things shake out as we go along.

Hillary's health might come into play. Remember these falls?

June 18, 2009 3:49,

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will have to undergo surgery later this week to repair a fractured right elbow, caused when she slipped and fell on her way to a White House meeting on Wednesday evening, the State Department said Thursday.

January 12, 2011 | 3:39pm,

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes a tumble as she departs from Yemen.

Clinton fell as she boarded the plane Tuesday. The former first lady appeared to have graceful steps as she climbed the stairway but then stumbles and falls as soon as she entered the aircraft.

DEC. 15, 2012,
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton suffered a concussion early last week after fainting and striking her head, the State Department disclosed on Saturday.

X SIL = ex sister in law.

Anonymous said...

Here is a fitting quote ...

- "Was I in here last night, and did I spend a $20 bill?"

Whoops ... wrong quote!

... I meant to say,

- "Until all of us have made it, none of us have made it."

... I agree with Rosemary ... and such are my thoughts about humanity ...


Twilight said...

LB ~ It's probably the old cyber-fog, aka Neptune doing the business .

I did partially disengage, myself, in 2012 - left the presidential space blank on the ballot but filled in the rest.

I think we agree on the core of it all - just the fine detail on which we differ sometimes. :-)

Twilight said...

Muckracker Bob ~ You're right - it's very early days.

Hillary Clinton's health could easily bring in a surprise twist. I hope she doesn't become seriously ill, or even ill at all, but one more fall, even a minor stumble, could place doubts in the minds of her supporters. If she's wise, she'll throw all high heels - anything above one inch high, right into the bag for Goodwill!

Twilight said...

Anonymous/kidd ~ LOL! I have the $20 bill under the counter waiting for you.

Lovely quote from Rosemary Brown, yes! I wish more people, especially people in power, thought the same way.