Only Assholes Bitch About Sanders Supporters Being Rude Online

Caitlin Johnstone
6 min readFeb 4, 2020


The Iowa caucuses are currently underway as of this writing. Regardless of the results we will inevitably see an increase in tensions on social media between progressives and the status quo-supporting pundit class, which will result in even more hysterical shrieking about mean, angry Bernie Bros from the latter. They will whine, they will concern troll, they will claim that the online impoliteness of rank-and-file progressives is harming the Democrats and helping Trump, and they will pour an increasing amount of energy into increasingly melodramatic displays of victimhood.

This will be intensely stupid.

It will be intensely stupid for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s ridiculous for any grown adult to lose their shit over people criticizing them on the internet, even if those criticisms are numerous and harsh; if you can’t handle criticism, don’t shout your political opinions on giant social media platforms. If you are a professional political commentator it’s vastly more ridiculous, since you chose to share your political perspective as your literal job. Grow the fuck up, dipshit.

I think maybe one of the reasons the blue-checkmarked commentariat are so shocked and appalled by the backlash they receive when they smear Bernie Sanders online is due to the fact that both social media and the progressive movement are still relatively new. Until fairly recently, a pundit would just tell the riff raff how to think without ever having to worry about them talking back; seeing their spin-jobs attacked by insolent commoners is a new development. Which is why this pundit class has been successfully lobbying Twitter to create options which allow them to hide replies or forbid comments altogether.

The second thing that makes the shrieking about angry Bernie Bros insufferably stupid is that lives are literally on the line here. People are dying. They are dying due to lack of healthcare, they are dying due to poverty, they are dying in police violence, they are dying in wars, and here’s this coordinated class of spinmeisters in their ivory towers babbling about ponies and unicorns and electability. It is absolutely okay for a victim of the status quo to be rude to its defenders.

I mean, how disgustingly entitled can you get? What kind of weird, isolated, privileged life have you been living where you think it’s reasonable to condescendingly tell the working class that it’s unrealistic of them to want to stay alive instead of dying as a result of America’s uniquely awful healthcare system, and then bitch and moan when they tell you off? You may as well be shouting down from your marble balcony telling the unwashed masses to die more quietly. Fuck off.

Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, anger is the perfect tool for killing off all sympathy and loyalties to manipulators and their deceitful narrative management. Let me explain.

The other day I heard a ruckus next door and went outside to see a man chasing a frightened woman around the back of their apartment. She was yelling at him to leave and he was spouting some bullshit about how she was attacking him. Finally I heard her say, “You’ve breached!”, meaning he’d violated his restraining order.

After hearing that I yelled some stuff at the guy and he scuttled off like the parasite he is, but what stuck with me was the way the woman said “you’ve breached”. She didn’t say it in a threatening way, as in “I’m going to call the police and send you to jail.” She was trying to protect him. She was trying to warn him that he was about to set off a chain of consequences that she wouldn’t be able to shield him from. Like she normally does. Like so many abuse victims normally do.

Anyone who’s escaped a relationship with an abusive manipulator will immediately know what I’m talking about. In such a relationship you quickly learn that anything that happens to the abuser will be blamed on you, and you will be made to pay for it in any number of painful ways. This causes you to develop a Stockholm syndrome-like mentality where you sympathise with your abuser in order to compartmentalize away from the stress of being constantly under fire in this way, and you find yourself working to shelter them from the consequences of their actions.

The trouble with experiencing this sympathy, apart from the obvious, is that sympathy makes a wonderful adhesive for belief. When you sympathise with someone, you are more likely to believe the narratives they give you about what’s going on. This is why so many of them play the victim, like the way my neighbor’s ex claimed he was being attacked while menacingly chasing after a woman much smaller than himself, and the way establishment narrative managers claim they’re being bullied and harrassed by the victims of the status quo they work to defend.

You’ll notice too that these establishment manipulators always use victimhood narratives designed to appeal to soft-hearted leftists. The completely false “Bernie bro” myth works to spin Sanders’ supporters as a bunch of aggressive, straight white male dudebros attacking women and people of color online who support centrist candidates. Racism and misogyny are things that progressives are naturally sensitive to and want to stay far away from; the bogus narrative is designed to hook into their preexisting sympathies.

Whether it be from a significant other, a parent, or a cult leader, anyone who has escaped from the mental prison of an adept manipulator eventually learns that anger is the only way to kill off the sympathy hooks which can be used to draw you back into the relationship. Replacing your sympathy with anger is like a white hot fire which burns off any purchase a manipulator might find in your mind to lure you back into believing their stories about you, about them, and about what’s really happening.

Bernie supporters have gotten very good at giving bad faith manipulators their anger instead of their sympathy. In 2015 it wasn’t uncommon to see such manipulators receiving calm, rational responses to their smears explaining that Bernie is not actually an evil unelectable Marxist who hates women and loves rape. Now in 2020 such smears receive a mountain fuck offs from grizzled veterans who understand exactly what game is being played here. They do not extend their sympathy to people who are trying to manipulate how they think, and rightly so.

Anyone who objects to this is either an idiot or a manipulator, or perhaps both. There is no legitimate reason for anyone to try and manipulate ordinary human beings away from expressing anger about an infuriating situation, and anyone who tries to is just showing you their true face.


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