Bernie Bros slam Sanders for endorsing Joe Biden, say they'd rather vote for Trump instead
Over 12 percent of Sanders' supporters had voted for Trump following his exit from the race ahead of 2016 elections
Bernie Sanders has come this far in his political endeavors because the country's youth-driven population have backed him all along the way. Until a few months ago, the Vermont Senator was well on his way towards a democratic nomination and seemed to be favorable to his young fan-following. The internet has proved to be an extremely useful tool for Sanders' campaign and has garnered him a strong and unimaginably loyal fan base. His support system, however, crumbled with his decision to pull out of the 2020 presidential elections.
On April 8, Sanders officially announced that he was ending his campaign in a tweet. "Today I am suspending my campaign. But while the campaign ends, the struggle for justice continues on", he wrote.
Sanders' supporters are a complex bunch of individuals who tend to turn on their idol quite frequently. While he was still running for president, Sanders' campaign had been hit by harsh criticism by his so-called supporters going as far as turning volatile and abusive, online and in real life. The fact is that the majority of these supporters are male fans, who are extremely vocal, devout and rather aggressive and go by a collective term, 'Bernie Bros'.
While Sanders' decision did not sit well with them, what completely enraged the senator's supporters was him officially endorsing Joe Biden and committing to work with him.
Sanders has ended his campaign but he's still accepting support for his platform. Meanwhile, he has pledged to endorse Biden saying to presumptive Democratic nominee in a live stream, "So, today, I’m asking all Americans — I’m asking every Democrat, I’m asking every independent, I’m asking a lot of Republicans — to come together in this campaign to support your candidacy, which I endorse.”
The Bernie Bros often anonymously troll and attack anyone that mildly criticizes the senator. However, they have no qualms about lashing out against him either. Bernie Bros have hence been called out for their toxic behavior time and again. Although, Sanders has asserted that he does not condone their "vicious" and has attempted to distance himself from these anonymous online trolls.
Sanders has called their behavior "disgusting" in a 2017 CNN interview, and his campaign has also had to privately apologize to rival candidates for the online harassment that they've faced from the Bernie Bros. Even those that would have endorsed Bernie Sanders for what he can bring to the table, refused to do so because of them.
'Bernie Bros' was a term coined by The Atlantic reporter, Robinson Meyer, albeit he said it as 'The Berniebro'. He described them young, white men with a college education who, according to him, believe that "the only reason you, and every other Facebook user, haven’t supported Bernie yet is your own willful ignorance." Bernie Bros are basically borderline obsessed with endorsing their democratic leader and will go through any lengths to do so. Meyers especially focused on the Berniebro being a white male. "The Berniebro is not every Bernie Sanders supporter. Sanders’s support skews young, but not particularly male. The Berniebro is male, though. Very male,” he said in his original article.
The term especially caught on during Sanders' 2016 candidacy, and coincidentally the similar online harassment was present even back then when Sanders lost the nomination. Although, this year it worsened in intensity. Another thing to note, however, is that the Bernie Bros have also used sexism and misogyny as a tool to viciously attack female candidates running for president.
Bernie Bros thrive on Twitter, which boasts a total of 22 percent of American users. The platform is where they share their opinions to the masses, and their tweets do get widespread recognition especially among other Bernie Bros, which only forms a faction of total Sanders supporters. But no matter the numbers, the impact these have offline also get carried into the real world and it is impossible for the Bernie Campaign to deflect.
This year's campaign also took a severe beating when Sanders' move to promote rival candidates only garnered him hate and contempt from the Bernie Bros. But it's not like they're worried about mortality or the fact that they are going against Bernie for. They believe that their actions are justified when you take note of what's exactly at stake - Sanders' candidacy. Yet, Sanders has maintained that the mindset and words of his overly-obsessed supporters neither represent his campaign or his other supporters that hold a broader approach.
But the Bernie Bros are more than just a thorn in the side. At the end of the day, their toxicity managed to somewhat sabotage the core of the Bernie campaign and possibly become one of the reasons that may have fuelled Bernie into stepping down.
With the recent developments in the election and Sanders endorsing Biden, The Bernie Bros have vowed that they will absolutely not vote for the latter, even if it means handing Trump a second presidential term. Seeing as the same 12 percent (Cooperative Congressional Election Study) of the Bernie Bros had voted for Trump following Sander's exit from the elections then, this may not be an empty threat.