Are ‘Bernie-bros’ bad for democracy?

The danger in deifying candidates

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Supporters for Senator Bernie Sanders swarm the candidate at a rally. Sanders has become more of a rock-star as the campaign has gained speed. Unfortunately, this leaves many to pay more attention to the idea of him than what his politics.

Claire Lefton, A&E Chief

All politicians are human beings. Be they scientists, teachers, or presidential candidates, all people are imperfect. Why are so many political activists forgetting that?

Before supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders are directly addressed, it is important to note that advocacy for him is understandable. He has many positive and idealistic views that could change America for the better.

This does not make him an untouchable angel sent by God himself to destroy Wall Street and make America a perfect utopia. Unfortunately, this is what Sanders’s followers are fervently believing.

In The Daily Dot, journalist Chris Tognotti wrote, “…as steadfast as Sanders and his supporters may be, their belligerence on questions about key social issues reveals a major danger in developing a cult-like following.”

Some Sanders supporters argue that he has a perfect ideal liberal track record, but this is simply false. He has opposed stricter gun control laws and opposed legislation that would allow victims of gun violence to sue weapons manufacturers. Rival Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is a stronger supporter of gun control.

This does not make Clinton perfect either, but nothing should. It is dangerous to follow one leader so strongly that they can do no wrong in your eyes. Politicians are meant to be questioned, not worshiped.

History and economics teacher Mr. Greg Cole said, “I think it would be very healthy if people understood that their leaders were flawed and were still good leaders in spite of the fact that they weren’t perfect and that they could follow someone even if they didn’t agree with all of their ideas.”

Sanders’s supporters started as a young pack of idealistic activists, but are slowly becoming a monster of their own. It is a challenge to find any social media post about Hillary Clinton without false cries from the “Bernie-bros” calling her everything from a Wall Street shill to a hardcore racist.

Reporter Amanda Hess from slate.com wrote, “Cross them, and you’re liable to be swarmed by a loosely coordinated crew of obsessives who will accuse you of rank opportunism…. they will also slide into your timeline under the auspices of asking a perfectly innocent question… make irrelevant aesthetic arguments… and add that anyone who complains about personal attacks is ‘discounting true criticism.’”

It is important to be involved in politics, but once you see your candidate as more of a deity than a person, it is time to take a step back and reflect.