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What is Bernie TV?

Staying Afloat in the Election Aftermath

Bernie TV sounds like something Fox News would’ve coined a year ago. It would’ve made the perfect derogative term for the media’s fawning over the radical candidate. Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity would’ve spewed “This it outrageous! All the other networks are rolling out the red carpet for him! It’s like we’re watching Bernie TV!” Now they can be legitimately outraged. Even though we’re living in Trump era, they’ll still say we’re living in socialist nation, and the apocalypse is near. Bernie TV is real, though it’s not a communist takeover of airwaves.

Last night, Cenk Uygur announced that there is something called Bernie TV. It’s a Facebook live web show, with the non-fake Democrat hosting interviewing other non-fake Democrats. So far, the most prominent guest is Bill Nye the Science Guy. The others have been activists that should be famous but aren’t. I don’t need to explain that is being talked about. What really interests me is what this little show can do for American social media.

The budget for this show looks a lot like when Watch What Happens Live was just getting off the ground. Bernie’s speaking style reminisces of a slower talking Rachel Maddow. Uploaded alongside the half hour long segments are a wad of shorter, promotional videos that go over today’s disasters and instructs America how we can reverse it. At minimum, they act as warning signs to Democrats that we’re not going to have it easy for a long time. It’s these videos that make me tear up. These short, minute long messages of hope and fortitude seem to be doing a little better than the actual show. The four episodes so far have views in the 400,000-500,000 rage, except for the one with The Science Guy. The clips all have cleared over a million, some much higher. These little bits of crackling, digital popcorn are much in the spirit of Tomi Lahren’s The Blaze. Even though she shot herself in the foot, (Hey, what do you expect from a gun rights advocate?) she still left a lasting scar on political commentary. Forever will aspiring journalists have to mimic her style, in order to be half as relevant. This is why I’m glad Bernie is doing something like this. But I’m also saddened by it.

I wish I could’ve seen these types of videos while he was still campaigning. I know he was heavily involved with media during the primaries. But videos like these didn’t come as often as they do now, and they weren’t as doomsday-oriented as they are now. I wish the Bernie show could’ve been happening while he was campaigning. I know a person can’t hold a talk show by traveling America. But, in the headquarters, someone on his team should’ve been in the chair interviewing everyone who could shed light on why Trump and the other 300 Republican candidates, at the time were wrong. Mainstream media did all they could to shut out Bernie. He should’ve done all he could to be his own newscaster.

Will this show make Trump voters regret sending in their death wishes? No. Will it make the same Republicans rethink some positions? Maybe, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Will it inspire Democrats to do their jobs a little differently? Yes. Clinton supporters would be stupid to think they did everything they could. They’re going to be more open to the Democratic Socialist than ever. Now they have a way of taking a note from the playbook.

Clinton’s fatal move was acting like the responsible older sister waiting out her younger brother’s tantrums. She was the living embodiment of Michelle Obama’s now famous quote “When they go low, we go high.” I’m sorry, but I never liked that phrase from second one. It’s akin to saying ignore the bullies and they will lose interest, another phrase I always detested. Anyone who has survived middle school knows that’s a lie. When the hashtag FeelTheBern was trending, there was an actual emotional fire there. It might be the one thing he and Trump have in common. Rage speaks to the American people most effectively. It’s a language of its own, only depraved people understand. To anyone who has lived a privileged life, like me, the different dialects of rage are as indistinguishable as the different dialects of Mandarin and Cantonese to an Alabama country hick. It’s a language that didn’t have time for Hillary’s books and celebrity connections. Trump was dumb, but he did possess excitement, the secret ingredient to winning. Bernie also had it, but he didn’t put it first. Now he’s getting it right. I don’t think the 2020 elections will be much different on the Democratic side. Most likely, we’ll still have an underdog and a high profile politician running against each other. Yes, we’ll still have to deal with the Clinton supporters, and they will be transferred to someone else’s equally shotty umbrella. But, hopefully next time around, they will have packed an extra set of Bernie batteries.

Look, people say if Bernie was the final Democratic candidate, he would’ve won. I don’t believe that. I do believe he had more power to persuade more Republicans to temporarily join his side. A lot of them voted for Trump out of the loyalty for their party, not because they were going google eyed over him. Those are the ones who get Ann Coulter’s books on the bestseller list. But Clinton didn’t do enough to make them feel comfortable experimenting in another team, even if they agreed with her agenda. That was due to her thinking gentle compassion was the dressing mirror that could show Republicanism wasn’t a good fit this time around. She was wrong. Rage was. “Hey, Joey, that Trump shirt looks good on you, but I think this Hillary one would make you seem less racist. Try it on, if you like. I support anything you choose because you’re an American and Americans are stronger together!” This is what the conversation should look like. “Joey! You look like fat ass, racist slob in that Trump shirt! I know you don’t hate all Mexicans. I know you don’t actually believe in cutting healthcare for kids with cancer. So stop going red just because you don’t want come off as a Brooklyn hipster! You got it?”

Right now, before we pass the torch on, we have to keep the flame alive. Fire needs fuel, and fuel combusts from hatred as much as it does spark from hope. I’m looking forward to Bernie to showing us how we can embrace our hatred in a healthy way, one video and one speech at a time.