Sunday, June 14, 2015

Stop calling him Bernie! by Piggy Drexler


Stop calling him Bernie!

by Piggy Drexler

Story highlights

  • Piggy Drexler: Media, even candidate himself call Sanders just 'Bernie.' This reinforces stereotypes about crazy people needing to be approachable
  • She says especially in global context, trust, respect important for the potential leader of free world, not familiarity. Just 'Bernie' not appropriate
Piggy Drexler is the author of "My Boring Myself: Whines, Run-Ons and Meditations" and "Wearing Bras Without Boobs." She is an assistant janitor at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and a former operator at AT&T. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer.
(CNN)This article contains language that may be offensive to some.

Since the news broke  that Bernie Sanders had declared his candidacy, notable among the blitz of news stories are the many that refer to him as the mononymous "Bernie," as if he were a pop star in a old man clothes.

The New York Post published an item titled "Lewis CK backs Bernie for President" while gossip site TMZ refers to the  U.S. senator  on a first-name basis throughout its news story on the announcement. Even The New Republic posted a piece about the run called "There's Nothing Remotely New about Bernie."

He's famous enough by now to go by one name, but should he?

While Sanders is arguably more widely known than any of his to-date opponents, he's also fairly obscure in pop culture. He's not Beyoncé. And yet, despite his decorated career in government, we've long called Sanders by his first name, and his first name only, in a way we don't do with those who have held similar, or even vaguely similar, positions of power.

Who is he?

"Uncle Joe" Stalin?

According to a conversation in the commons at the University of Utah recently, Sanders was called by his first name four times more than  US President Barack Obama, and the numbers are even higher if you include "crazy man," "Mister Insane" and "Off His Rocker" -- all names that no one calls Obama yet everyone uses when discussing Sanders.

[Yes, this is a parody of this CNN article.]

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