So, the Washington Post, or whatever, has this story about how us people working on the Bernie Sanders campaign are demanding 15 dollars an hour. And, yes. We are! Now don’t get us wrong, we love Bernie, we still feel the Bern, but as a boss, he’s kind of a capitalist pig, which we say in the nicest way possible.
I mean, you know, Bernie Sanders is supposed to be this socialist, or democratic socialist dude, but he actually pays us less than Colonel Sanders does to sell people delicious fried chicken. We need a leader who will lead by example. We need Bernie to practice what he preaches and pay us what he demands every American receive—but that’s not all.
The whole point of working for Bernie Sanders’ campaign is to take over the government and have it give us all free stuff by taxing finance bros. But we of the Sandernista International Local 101 say if that’s the plan, why not take campaign contributions from finance bros now and use it pay us a living wage instead of treating us like dogs begging for scraps on the streets of Calcutta?
But in all honesty, a $15 minimum wage is the bare minimum of what we deserve and demand. We show up day in and day out, hang around the office talking about the future and making occasional phone calls, and that work needs to be adequately compensated, not just with money, but also with respect! But, mostly with money and things that cost money. Below are our modest demands—there is little, if anything, among them that Bernie hasn’t already promised the American people if he becomes president.
$15 Dollars An Hour
As Bernie himself has said, “If you work 40 hours a week, you should not live in poverty.”
The federal minimum wage of $7.25 is a starvation wage. That is why I, along with many other members of Congress, will introduce legislation this week to raise that wage to $15 an hour. If you work 40 hours a week, you should not live in poverty.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 14, 2019
Many of us work up to 60 hours a week, and we can’t even afford avocado toast and kombucha, we always have to use Uber Pool, and it’s like, “Oh my God, this is the opposite of the direction I’m going.” Many of us are down to three, some even two, streaming services. The point is this has to stop. We deserve what we decide we deserve, not what Bernie wants to pay us.
As shocking as this might sound, most, if not all, of the offices of the Sanders campaign are still powered at least in part by fossil fuels. Every time we turn on the lights, or a computer, or microwave a Hot Pocket, we are reminded that our actions are hastening the destruction of the planet. It is bitter to swallow that ham and cheese Hot Pocket knowing that each gooey bite was bought with earth-killing coal or natural gas. Will it be expensive to install solar panels and mini windmills in every office? Yes. But that is what money is for.
We know Bernie has been busy running for president and everything, and it’s not easy to keep up with fast-paced developments in pronoun equality, but he needs to do better. Currently, the policy is that we should all use everyone’s preferred pronouns, which is, like, so 2017.
A recent New York Times article explained how we should do away with all gendered pronouns and replace them with “They.” This is a good start, and I understand why the author took such a measured approach when writing for the conservative New York Times, but there is a better answer. Instead of the loaded and awkward term “they” we must switch to using the pronoun “it” in all cases.
Now we know that some people think “it” is sort of dehumanizing, but you know, think about what we are even doing here at the Sanders campaign, the whole point is that everyone is exactly the same and should get exactly the same stuff. What better way to do that than to embrace the term “it” and the fact that first and foremost we are objects, no different than a pebble or a blade of grass?
Part of our jobs sometimes involves listening to Donald Trump speak so that we can write and say things about how awful he is. Now, we know from science and stuff that just listening to Trump for a short period of time can have irreparable mental health consequences. What we demand are spaces, in every office as well as the campaign plane, where we can go after being infected by his vile rhetoric and get into a better headspace.
Ideally, these spaces would have puppies, coloring books, Otis Spunkmeyer cookies, and Netflix. Mental health is a basic human right, and we will no longer be denied it.
It isn’t easy to talk about, but the Sanders campaign has a whiteness problem. It’s not just that Bernie is white, which is a big enough problem, but that a lot of us who work for him are too. Others of us are straight, or cis, or able-bodied; some of us are very good looking. We demand two hours of daily diversity training to combat the toxicity of the unearned privileges we have not come to terms with.
We understand that Bernie has traditionally eschewed identity politics, but that is no longer an option. If we are not actively fighting the filthy systemic racism that has stained the soul of America since its founding then we are complicit in white supremacy, which sucks. If we are to aspire to the greatness of communism, we should at least be as diverse as the heroic Soviet space program that made ours look like a KKK potluck.
We, the workers of Sandernista International Local 101, make these demands with good faith that Bernie will see the pressing need for all of them and do the right thing. But he better do it soon because Andrew Yang has promised us all a thousand bucks.
David Marcus is the Federalist’s New York Correspondent. Follow him on Twitter, @BlueBoxDave.