MeToo and the Bernie Sanders Campaign
MeToo and the Bernie Sanders Campaign
Prepare to smack your head against your desk over and over and over. Some staffers from the Bernie Sanders 2016 Presidential Campaign have sent out a letter regarding sexual harassment during that campaign and hoping to come up with a plan to stomp it out before the 2020 Presidential Campaign. I want to laugh and cry all the while smacking my head on my desk. 2020 Presidential Campaign? Bernie Sanders? Sexual Harassment? Not MeToo, Bernie?
Actually, to make it even creepier, the staffers call it “sexual violence”. Politico.com first posted the article and letter last night. From the article:
More than two dozen women and men who worked on Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign are seeking a meeting with the senator and his top political advisers to “discuss the issue of sexual violence and harassment on the 2016 campaign, for the purpose of planning to mitigate the issue in the upcoming presidential cycle,” according to a copy of letter obtained by POLITICO.
And,here for your perusal is the letter itself:
Predatory culture? What the heck was going on in that campaign. I haven’t worked on a Presidential Campaign since Bush 2000 so I may be way, way out of touch. I remember people working until body parts fell off and there may have been people having a romp, but predatory culture, sexual harassment, and sexual violence? Nope. The Friends of Bernie Sanders, the Senate Campaign arm of the Sanders organization responded with the following letter:
Friends of Bernie Sanders, the senator’s principal campaign committee, sent the
following statement to POLITICO in response to the letter from former staffers:
We thank the signers of the letter for their willingness to engage in this incredibly important
discussion. We always welcome hearing the experiences and views of our former staff. We
also value their right to come to us in a private way so their confidences and privacy are
respected. And we will honor this principle with respect to this private letter.
Speaking generally, during 2016 there were a number of HR actions taken, and while it is
not appropriate to discuss them individually, they ranged from employee counseling to
immediate termination from the campaign. We share in the urgency for all of us to do
better. During the 2018 Senate campaign, we developed and implemented more robust
policies and processes regarding discrimination and harassment in conjunction with an
expert outside firm that included features such as a third party toll free hotline for reporting
incidents outside the structure of the campaign and requiring all staff and volunteers to
undergo training as part of the on boarding process.
Harassment of any kind is intolerable. Hearing the experiences and thoughts of individuals
who worked on Bernie’s 2016 campaign is a vital part of our commitment to work within our
progressive community to improve the lives of all people. And that’s why we will continue to
examine these policies and processes, with feedback welcome, and will make any necessary
changes, as we continue our work to build a world based on social, racial and economic
Both of those letters contain enough Progoworld virtue signaling words to make you bleed out of your ears while you smack your head on your desk. Here are two more for you: Toxic Masculinity. Later in the Politico article we find this paragraph:
Several people who signed the letter said that their effort is not just about Sanders’ 2016 or 2020 presidential campaigns, but rather about what they called a pervasive culture of toxic masculinity in the campaign world. They stressed that they hoped their letter would not be reduced to reinforcing the “Bernie Bro” caricature, but rather would be one part of a larger reckoning among people running campaigns.
“This letter is just a start,” said one of the organizers who declined to be named. “We are addressing what happened on the Bernie campaign but as people that work in this space we see that all campaigns are extremely dangerous to women and marginalized people and we are attempting to fix that.”
Evil men out there exploiting women in the campaign world. Toxic Masculinity. Men must be neutered. They are vile animals. In the heart’s of men, they are all really Donald J. Trump. But hold up there. As an example of sexual harassment in the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign, what do we find? From the New York Daily News:
Joey Jordan Salsbury, the president of American University Students for Bernie in 2015, previously alleged harassment by an unnamed intern during the campaign.
Salsbury claimed that the intern, another college student and her point of contact in the campaign, made unwanted advances toward her, but she said she felt that she had nowhere to report.
It was “a culture that didn’t discuss office policies with volunteers or make it clear that harassment wasn’t tolerated,” she told the Huffington Post last year.
Hold up. It’s not clear to me that the other intern was necessarily a man. Could have been another woman. It could also have been a fumbled pass. Although, I guess in Progoworld that in itself is toxic masculinity even if it’s a woman fumbling the pass.
Take in the delicious irony of Senator Sanders discussing former Senator Al Franken (ick) and the MeToo movement.
Okay, Bernie must have heard a different audio than I heard. I heard Trump say he “could” grab women, not that he did. Big difference. And Bernie, you resign first.
These people are going to eat their own with this MeToo and Toxic Masculinity stuff. Harassing other people is a non-starter. Full stop. Toni Williams’ Simple Campaign Rules. Inside voices, keep your hands to yourself and use your words. Sounds like Kindergarten. Yes, but then so does Bernie Sanders Campaign.
You can stop banging your head on your desk now.
Feature Photo Credit: Wikimedia.org