Why I “Feel the Bern”


Living in the state of Vermont, I see a lot of support for Bernie Sanders. He will undoubtedly win Vermont, but I don’t expect him to win the nomination.  While I like his ideals, I don’t think he is what the country needs right now.  He is what the country needed back in 1992 or 1996, but in this present day and age, I think Hillary is really what we need. Bernie would have made a great president in a time of peace and prosperity, but in a time of war and recession, we need someone who can do what needs to be done.


There are many reasons that I like Bernie. This is one of the reasons I like him. Back in 1995, the U.S. House of Representatives was debating an amendment to impose tighter water pollution rules at federal facilities. Then-Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.) was having none of it. “I look at the individuals that are offering this. Is there any shocking doubt, the same people that would vote to cut defense $177 billion, the same ones that would put homos in the military, the same ones that would not fund BRAC, the same ones that would not clean up —”

At that point, Cunningham was interrupted. “Mr. Chairman,” said then-Rep. Sanders.

“Sit down, you socialist!” barked Cunningham.

Sanders didn’t sit down. After a few procedural hurdles, he came after the notoriously sharp-elbowed conservative. In his gravely Brooklyn accent, Bernie attacked in his signature style. ”My ears may have been playing a trick on me, but I thought I heard the gentleman a moment ago say something quote unquote about homos in the military,” Sanders said. “Was I right in hearing that expression?”

“Absolutely,” Cunningham responded. “Putting homosexuals in the military.”

“Was the gentleman referring to the thousands and thousands of gay people who have put their lives on the line in countless wars defending this country? Was that the groups of people that the gentleman was referring to?”

“You have insulted thousands of men and women who have put their lives on the line,” Sanders continued. “I think they are owed an apology.”


The “nefarious” homosexual agenda did not ultimately undo Cunningham’s congressional career but corruption did. In 2006, he was sentenced to more than eight years in prison after being convicted of taking $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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