The “Birdie Sanders” Hysteria Is Everything Wrong With Celebrity Politics
I’ve written positive things and negative things about Bernie Sanders in the past, but one thing I have never much cared for regarding any politician is this semi-recent push to be a pop culture icon first and a good representative second. President Obama has already exemplified this more than enough for anyone who might follow him, and then some. And yet, the Bernie Sanders phenomenon remains unrelenting.
I would like to say that everyone loves Bernie because they all understand his policies to the letter and support them from a place of deep conviction. Unfortunately, a thorough reading of his policies reveals that the only way so many people could rally behind him is specifically because they don’t understand them. Instead, Bernie has become something of a totem – the spirit animal for all the disillusioned millennials (and a few other people who really should know better) who think they’ve been dealt a bad hand in life (clearly they aren’t yet acquainted with Steven Pinker). They don’t really care what the logistics involved; they just want Bernie to land in the White House – that will fix everything, they think.
And to top it all off, we now have just as totemic an incident as Bernie himself captured on video:
So… a bird happened to land on Sanders’ podium. Which was outside. Near birds. What a miracle. He milked the opportunity, of course. As we see in the video, Sanders chose to call the bird a “dove” (which it clearly isn’t), and argue that the event was a symbol for coming world peace (which it clearly wasn’t). But the media outlets that favor Sanders are already perpetuating this myth. Read the recent Huffington Post puff piece on this happening if you want good stomach turn.
And yet, this is what passes for policy, now. If a candidate seems likable, or hopefully seven saint-like, we embrace them. To hell with how well their policies might actually turn out.
If you thought Obama’s celebrity culture was obfuscating enough, just wait – if Sanders gets the presidency, we won’t hear a word from inside the White House for the next four years.
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