College Republicans’ Bernie Stunt Falls Flat.




Pic from Register

Pic from Register

As this afternoon’s YUUUGE Bernie Sanders rally at Irvine Meadows Amphitheater approached (oh, thanks for asking, I’ll let Ricardo and other friends who were there tell you about it in the comments section) a press release came across every OC journalist’s transom, from the College Republicans of UCI.

College Republicans – that’s the supercilious subculture that spawned, here locally, Matthew “Let’s put votive candles around this damaged teddy bear!” Cunningham, and nationally, Karl “John McCain has a black love child” Rove.

We know what these spoiled, nasty twits’ idea of a joke is, and the UCI branch did not let us down:  Their plan for the Bernie rally was to faux-fundraise for the Venezuelan Red Cross, to make the point that the poverty and oppression Venezuelans are currently suffering are supposedly the end result of the democratic socialism Bernie and his supporters espouse.

That they amused THEMSELVES cannot be gainsaid.

That they amused THEMSELVES cannot be gainsaid.

I wrote back to their spokesman/treasurer Mitchell Stern (hitting reply-all so the same journalists could see my response) :

Venezuelan Red Cross is where these donations would go?  I went to their site, and they don’t seem to be too busy, no posts since 2014.  I’m sure there’s a more useful place in the world you and we could put our charitable donations, but then it wouldn’t have the pungent “satirical” irony you college Republicans intend.

How about we’ll give to Venezuela if you guys will send to Somalia Red Crescent as lawless Somalia represents the end game of you guys’ anti-government, anti-regulation philosophy, much more surely than Venezuelan oppression and poverty represent what a wealthy America enjoying a little of Bernie’s  redistribution would look like.  And Somalia Red Crescent’ site, unlike Venezuelan Red Cross, DOES have plenty of emergency posts, right up to last month.


Vern Nelson, Bernie Supporter Speaking Only For Himself.

[Greg “Gericault” Ridge weighed in:  “Venezuela needs to devaluate and uncouple the bolivar from the US dollar. The blackmarket is crippling their economy. But try explaining that to a bunch of libertarian-leaning OC entitled Republicans at UCI….”  And Karin Ahlf pointed out:  “Swedish children live under a socialist government, as do children in all Scandinavian countries. Are they suffering?”]

Unsurprisingly I never heard back.  And neither did I see these College Republicans when I got to the event around 3 either.  But a friend of mine – Matt from Occupy Santa Ana – did see them an hour later, clustered for safety near some security; he was both confused and irritated to see a bunch of well-fed college kids laugh and smirk while supposedly soliciting money for the impoverished. And you can see on the Facebook photos they posted tonight – they had themselves a mighty good laugh at the thought of miserable people in a country they’ll never see!

You really think these punks sent a DIME to Venezuela? No, they "serve their country" by making fun of progressives.

You really think these punks sent a DIME to Venezuela? No, they “serve their country” by making fun of progressives.

Meanwhile inside the amphitheater, six to seven thousand of us got a huge jolt of energy, solidarity and hope – this political revolution will keep going forward no matter who the eventual Democratic nominee is.  As Bernie said, his message appeals to wide, wide majorities of younger people (College Republicans notwithstanding), even in states that he otherwise loses;  ergo, his vision of a political revolution is our future, and not too far from now.

UPDATE:  My friend Ryan Cantor says he used to be a College Republican, that a lot of them are good people, and that I’m painting with too broad a brush.  No doubt I guess… but these kids pissed me off.



About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.