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You Can't Win Over Voters by Being Mean

Updated on April 1, 2016
Virginia Allain profile image

Politics affects all our lives. I made thousands of phone calls in the 2016 elections and now lead a group of women activists, all retirees.

Bernie Says "Be Nice!"

"When you talk about me, try being nice to people, it works better."
"When you talk about me, try being nice to people, it works better." | Source

Represent Bernie Sanders In a Better Way

Debates between the supporters of the political candidates often get heated. For those supporting Senator Sanders, here's advice for the best way to persuade others. Reminder: Use facts not insults.

I've observed some of these discussions first-hand and found the level of discussion distressingly hateful. One Facebook group that I joined, The Democratic Cafe, was so filled with these rants and rude remarks that most Bernie Sanders supporters abandoned it. They should change the name of the group to Hillary's Attack Club.

The discussions certainly did little to change anyone's mind. Usually, the one being attacked would end up retaliating in the same manner. The civility level would spiral downward until all participants were spewing nasty comments.

Read on to see a better way to deal with these situations. Remember how Bernie himself responds, with reason and calm words. We can be like our leader. Since we are representing him online, don't treat people in hateful ways.

Walk Away If It Gets Too Nasty

Steven Allen B. has this advice -

"I encountered some hardline Clinton supporters on Twitter earlier and they are vicious. I've heard rumors that some Sanders' supporters turn undecided voters away from him. After dealing with those Clinton supporters I really hope there are not any Sanders' supporters out there acting that vicious.

I hope everyone uses common sense and knows when to walk away when conversations and debates turn nasty like that.

I realize that not every Clinton supporter is like that and that the vicious, nasty individuals do not represent who she is. But it opened my eyes to how a single individual that supports a candidate can turn someone away from their candidate. So please, please, refrain from being nasty and condescending to Clinton supporters. When Sanders wins the nomination it would be nice to count on their votes!

Avoid Personal Attacks on Hillary


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Bernie Spells Out His Expectations for His Supporters

Ignore the Haters

Laura-Ann Q. has good points to remember

1) People will attack us - they want us to give up and go away ... Ignore the haters, and just be nice and keep plugging Bernie ... Remember they gave them shit for saying the world was round too.

2) Be nice - it will only bite us in the ass if we act like them .... The fact we breathe is an insult to them.

3) Fighting for what is right isn't easy - if it were, we would have had equal rights, marriage equality, pay equality, and income equality a long time ago -- it hard, it's something to be proud that you did, stuck to, and did with grace and dignity.

4) Rosa Parks , Mandela, and Gandhi never went off on people. If they did they would have been ignored - we need to look at them for inspiration.

Remember we are changing the world - not just America ... This is the first step with many more to come, and people around the globe support us!

Make Bernie Proud


Don't Alienate People. Stick to the Issues, No Name Calling

Brooke H. of Austin, TX - "The opportunity to have Bernie Sanders in the White House is extremely precious. This isn't a game. We must do absolutely everything we can to make this happen.

I BEG YOU guys to please stop alienating people. When you call people names and attack them for asking questions it hurts our cause, it hurts Bernie. Hillary is going to dig her own grave. We do not need to do it for her.

WE NEED TO FOLLOW BERNIE'S LEAD! And stick to the issues and help people become more informed. We will win this election so let's be able to look back and be proud of how much support we earned for Bernie.

Love trumps hate"

Bernie Sanders Reminds Us That Everyone Is a Potential Vote


Avoid Ugly Attacks

Insight from Ginger H. - "So, I'm following a Bernie post on Instagram, and I have to say, the comments are really ugly. My heart aches when Bernie supporters go straight to nasty horrible attacks when somebody disagrees with them. I just saw it on Instagram now.

Guys, it's just not nice. Bernie WOULD NOT advocate this. My main point is, you will only alienate people MORE by behaving this way. These are people that might very well be convinced if simply treated fairly and responded to respectfully.

Think about yourself in the opposite position. Does it EVER work to change your mind or gain or support if the first and only thing somebody does is attack you? It doesn't. Even if you DO realize you were wrong, you are going to recoil immediately if it is pointed out to you in an abusive way. So... it won't work for them, either. Standing up for yourself and your beliefs is one thing. Tearing others down based on their opinions and misinformation by berating them is another.

Again, I'm working on this myself. I tend to be so shy in person that sometimes I let loose behind the keyboard, but I never go as far as some people seem to default to. It's not good. We have to stop this behavior, for both Bernie's reputation and for the sake of intelligently informing others.

Also, consider something else. Approach the discussions with these people as though you KNOW they won't change their minds. But think of the hundreds or thousands of people that might read your comments that don't comment. Be clear, be thorough, and present this as though for the world's sake."

© 2016 Virginia Allain

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    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 21 months ago from Auburn, WA

      Very well said. I've been trying to get my own party to be "nicer." But it's not working. Be hopeful and having a positive message will get you more votes than fire and brimstone. Shared.