Attacks on Bernie Sanders are to be expected in the presidential race. But that doesn't stop them from being ridiculous. Maybe we should all take a feather out of Bernie's hat and focus on the real issues instead of slinging mud everywhere?
Here are five common attacks (in no particular) order that just need to die already.
The Notorious "Rape Essay" (and all the others)
I've explain this before. But just in case it needs explained again, I'll reiterate. Bernie Sanders does not believe women fantasize about being raped. The essay was a badly written dark satirical article on the dangers of male and female gender norms. You can find the explanation here and more in-depth here.
And while we are on the topic, here is the rest of Sander's Freeman essays, written in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I expect the media to go a whole round with these. The most popular I've seen recently is Bernie's essay on how cervical cancer meant you weren't getting enough orgasms. (Side note: there have actually been modern studies that conclude orgasms may be a factor in reducing the risk of prostate, cervical, and breast cancer.)
We need to realize that these essays were written 40 years ago by a youthful and rebellious Bernie Sanders. How many dumb things can you remember doing or believing when you were young and rebellious? Anyone who actually thinks Bernie Sanders believes all of that stuff today is clearly lacking in the realm of human experience. People do dumb things. Then people learn. They change, and then they grow.
Ready to drop these essays yet? Because I certainly am.
Bernie voted against Amber Alert
Yes. He did. Though not for reasons people like to think.
Bernie has stated that he is a strong supporter of the Amber Alert program. The reason he voted against the bill was because it had unconstitutional riders attached, particularly the sentencing provisions that Bernie felt took power away from the judiciary branch.
This shows one of the great things about Bernie Sanders. He can support a piece of legislation, but he will vote against it if he feels certain provisions take away the rights of the people. You will find this is the case in a lot of legislation that Bernie is criticized for voting against. If only we could hold the rest of Congress to such a high standard.
Bernie is Pro Gun
No, he's not. It has been said Bernie is actually considered a "moderate" when it comes to guns as he walks a middle line. He's voted for background checks and bans on automatic guns. He's also voted for concealed carry in national parks and Amtrak trains and against the ability to sue gun manufactures.
One of the bills that comes up a lot in the media is the Brady Act, which mandated a 5-day waiting period for gun purchasers that Sanders voted against. What articles sourcing the vote never tell you is that Sanders voted against it because he was against a federal mandated waiting period. As a representative of Vermont, which has a very low gun crime rate, Sanders didn't think the federal mandate was fair for his particular state. So he did his job as a representative and voted the bill down. He did vote in favor of an amendment to the bill that mandated background checks.
You can read a full explanation on the Brady Act and see Bernie's votes on gun issues here.
You can also watch a video of Bernie talking about gun issues here.
90% tax on the rich
I have seen this video passed around a lot. People don't seem to realize that it's 30 seconds of a 3 minute and 50 second interview. Which means it's been taken completely out of context.
Here is the actual interview. In it, Bernie Sanders mentions Dwight Eisenhower, who taxed the rich at 90%. John Harwood asks Sanders if he thinks 90% is too high. And Bernie says, "no."
At no point during the video does Bernie say he intends to tax the rich at 90%. He only says that he doesn't disagree with Eisenhower's policies. There is a difference.
Here is an interview with Katie Couric where Bernie shuts down the 90% rumor.
Bernie is pro-Israel
Some people feel that he's pro-Israel because he's not what they consider to be pro-Palestine. But not being one thing does not make him the opposite. There is middle ground, and that's where Bernie stands. He would like to see a peaceful two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, believing that both sides have a right to exist in their own state.
You can read a statement Bernie gave in 2009 on the issue here. And a video from this year where he spoke on the subject.
Also, Sanders does not have Israeli citizenship. Can we just end that here and now? Or are we going to insist on it, even when given evidence to the contrary, like we did with Obama's birth certificate?
Seriously people. We have more pressing issues to deal with in this country. It's time we focused on them.