They Came From Everywhere

Last night, my wife Laura organized a terrific debate watch party for Bernie Sanders supporters at a local bar. About 40 to 50 people showed up.

The best part of it was that while most people were firm Bernie supporters, a fair number were not. They were Bernie-curious, but undecided. They came because of friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, and so on, who brought them there. So it felt like a base-expanding moment.

Even better, I had an interesting conversation with one woman, who is a definite Bernie supporter, and her boyfriend, who is less certain about Bernie. They’re both nurses. Her parents immigrated from China about 30 years ago. She lives in Sheepshead Bay. So she told me she identifies with Bernie at that level: Bernie and she are both children of immigrants who grew up in Brooklyn. Her boyfriend likes Bernie because he, the boyfriend, has a ton of student debt. She likes Bernie because he’s got new ideas, she said.

It all made me think of that opening line in Vivian Gornick’s Romance of American Communism: They came from everywhere.


  1. David J Zimny July 31, 2019 at 10:13 pm | #

    Bernie does have new and exciting ideas — I voted for him in the 2016 California primary, and I’ll be proud to vote for him in the 2020 general election if I have a chance. But please don’t ignore Elizabeth Warren, who also has exciting new ideas and creative plans for enacting them. I am a DSA member, and I have been a democratic socialist for the last 40 years. But I’m afraid that the label of “socialist” (NOT the policy content, just the label) will prove a great obstacle to Bernie in the general election. Trump will call any Democratic opponent a socialist, but it will be much easier for him to hang that label around Bernie’s neck than it would be for any other Democrat.

    • Es August 5, 2019 at 7:35 pm | #

      I agree. “Socialism” is a frightening word for Americans. Too bad political arguments remain driven by labels of the early 20 Century – inadequate in explaining our recent America that’s dissolving quickly.
      And too bad Bernie doesn’t know he really doesn’t want to be President, otherwise he would figure a way of verbalizing his very unradical agenda in a way that eliminates the notion of slaughter in the name of a disembodied ideals. I think he craves the adulation more than the Office.
      Bernie is right to use the term “Revolution”. I’m convinced his intrinsic notion is peaceful revolution. I think half measures only stall America’s revitalization until a violent, destructive revolution starts a new cycle of history

  2. Chris Morlock August 23, 2019 at 1:36 am | #

    A nice sentiment Corey and it fits in very well with the narrative of left wing populism being resurgent. My problem is for every person that does realize some level of Socialism as a pragmatic conclusion is that there is a person on the Left there to talk them out of it based on all kinds of bizarre litmus tests, many of which have little or nothing to do with economic justice.

    If we could just all agree the actual litmus test is economic justice, we’d be far better off as a political movement. Bernie understands that it’s far more useful than endlessly trying to leverage identity.

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