Here Comes the Berniebro

Look, there is a systemic crisis occurring. On Facebook.

Bernie Sanders supporters listen to the candidate at an event in Chicago. (Jim Young / Reuters)

The Berniebro is #FeelingtheBern.

The Berniebro is posting a video on his Facebook wall: You really have to watch this. Bernie Sanders says things that no other candidate would ever consider. These are real policy proposals that just might change the country.

The Berniebro asks what you thought of the first Democratic debate, then interrupts to say that you shouldn’t confuse Clinton’s soundbites for actual substance. By the way, the Berniebro adds, he was really impressed with Bernie.

The Berniebro chuckles politely when you say that Bernie Sanders sometimes looks like he’s petting two different-sized ponies with his right hand. “Yeah, I guess it’s funny,” says the Berniebro. His face does not seem to entertain the possibility that this could ever be humorous.

The Berniebro solemnly posts links to his Facebook wall that night: Here is the focus group which said Bernie won the debate. Here is an online poll that said the same thing. Here is an online CNN poll that also declared his victory.

The Berniebro is very irate when CNN takes its online poll results down. The Berniebro posts about that, too.

The Berniebro, now that you think about it, seems to spend a lot of time on Facebook? You wonder how that graduate degree and/or startup is going.

The Berniebro knows a secret: The only reason you, and every other Facebook user, haven’t supported Bernie yet is your own willful ignorance.

* * *

The Berniebro is not every Bernie Sanders supporter. Sanders’s support skews young, but not particularly male. The Berniebro is male, though. Very male.

The Berniebro is someone you may only have encountered if you’re somewhat similar to him: white; well-educated; middle-class (or, delicately, “upper middle-class”); and aware of NPR podcasts and jangly bearded bands.

The Berniebro might loathe one NPR podcast in particular.

The Berniebro might get into big performative arguments about how feminism saved his life. Or, the Berniebro might always seem like he’s going to say that we need economic equality for all genders but doesn’t actually say it, because he knows that it wouldn’t go over well.

The Berniebro says that Sanders isn’t only driving Hillary to the left, which you may agree is a good thing. Bernie, says the Berniebro, really could win.

The Berniebro doesn’t really have a good answer when you ask why the Democratic Party, which has spent six years explaining how its market-based health-care policies aren’t socialist, would ever find national success nominating an actual democratic socialist.

The Berniebro doesn’t really talk about how President Bernie Sanders would interact with the GOP-controlled House of Representatives.

The Berniebro talks a lot about DC insiders, though.

The Berniebro, speaking of which, normally isn’t a fan of Vox, but thinks this story explains some important points.

The Berniebro says this story is also a great read.

The Berniebro knows the media is complicit in keeping Clinton the Democratic front-runner.

The Berniebro is tired of reporters not letting this stupid email scandal go.

The Berniebro asserts that this country needs highly principled, pie-in-the-sky progressive policies, regardless of how likely they are to become legislation. The Berniebro supports free college for all and a $15 minimum wage.

The Berniebro says we really do have to recognize the realistic policy landscape around guns. We have to think pragmatically. What will rural voters actually support?

The Berniebro voted for Barack Obama in 2012. And 2008, if the Berniebro was old enough to vote.

The Berniebro has spent most days since March 2008 in an environment where bland support for Barack Obama was so presumed as to be unspoken (“except for drone strikes,” the Berniebro adds).

The Berniebro had an equal chance, four years ago, of being (a) an Occupybro or (b) the kind of bro who asked, repeatedly and insistently, what Occupy’s concrete policy proposals were.

The Berniebro seems to have taken Sanders’s rhetoric that America is trapped in a number of deep, unprecedented crises to heart. The Berniebro always writes with an urgent, anxious seriousness when discussing national politics.

The Berniebro really isn’t that bad, though. I mean, you maybe support many of Bernie’s policies, and you’re glad he’s pressing Hillary. But why oh why are the Berniebro’s posts always at the top of your Facebook timeline? And why is he writing in that tone? Is the Berniebro talking to his friends or is he declaiming in the Roman forum?

The Berniebro, now that you think about it, was the kind of person who’d show up to a college party in a toga. You remember it maybe being the Berniebro’s profile picture once. (Today, the Berniebro is wearing a blazer in his profile picture, or an open-necked gingham shirt. Or both.)

The Berniebro, though steadfastly a Berniebro now, will not always be such. You can sense this. Soon, maybe already, the Berniebro will become a Schoolboardbro. Or a Municipalparkingbro. Or, heaven help us, a Localhistoricaldistrictzoningrestrictionsbro.

Yet today the Berniebro is still a Berniebro. The Berniebro is #FeelingtheBern. And until Sanders drops out of the race, the Berniebro wants you to #FeeltheBern, too.