Bernie Sanders’s Fox News town hall, which aired Monday night, showed that contrary to the belief of many of his detractors (and some of his supporters), the Vermont senator really does have more than one rhetorical mode.
There was the mode he used for the town hall part, and the mode he used for the Fox News part — represented by anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, who liberally interspersed questions from the audience with questions of their own.
When speaking directly to audience members or to the TV audience watching at home, Sanders was sincere and open. When asked about President Donald Trump, he spoke with emotion about how he hoped everyone could agree a “pathological liar” should not be president; in his closing statement, he practically begged for more comity in the country, without backing off his insistence that the rich need to do more to provide for working families.
When speaking to Baier and MacCallum, however — or, in a couple of moments, directly to the Fox News-watcher-in-chief — Sanders was as prickly as you’d expect. “The president watches your network a bit, right?” he needled. He hectored the hosts for making more money than he did. He huffed that he’d give fair answers only if asked fair questions.
The uncomfortable dynamic between Sanders and the hosts occasionally served to sharpen intellectual differences. Early in the hourlong town hall, Baier asked whether Sanders’s millionaire status (earned, he said, by the success of his recent book) proved that capitalism worked; Bernie tartly responded “no,” then, after a pause, launched into a mini-lecture about the obligation to ensure a minimum standard of living for the least wealthy in America.
More often, though, it was just uncomfortably tense. And that worked great for Sanders.
It was Bernie’s crowd — to the Fox anchors’ apparent dismay
For one thing, the audience was on his side.
After Sanders answered an audience question about why government-provided versus private-sector health care by outlining his health care proposal, Baier decided to poll the audience about it, asking people if they’d prefer it to their current, private-sector-provided health insurance. (That frame evokes Barack Obama’s famous promise that “If you like your healthcare, you can keep it” — something conservatives and Fox News frequently point to as a symbol of Obamacare’s broken promises.)
The poll … did not go the way Baier appears to have thought it would.
It’s apparent that Fox didn’t stack the town hall with conservatives or people who hated Bernie Sanders; while the first questioner was a student organizer with the conservative youth organization Turning Point USA, the second was a progressive organizer who’d campaigned for Hillary Clinton.
But Baier and MacCallum’s questions were often rooted in the conservative assumptions that a stereotypical Fox News viewer might have: that cutting the defense budget would “send a message” to other countries that the United States is weak, or that migrant asylum seekers “have to go somewhere” because there’s no room for them in border communities (and therefore, implicitly, that they should go to sanctuary cities). Sometimes, Sanders simply dodged them without any newsworthy gaffes or saying anything that Democratic primary voters might disagree with.
Sometimes, he fired right back and challenged the question. “Why are you so shocked by that?” he challenged MacCallum during a back-and-forth about paying for his health care proposal. When Baier characterized Sanders as a “staunch supporter of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar” during what was supposed to be a 15-second “lightning round,” Sanders spent at least 15 seconds rejecting the premise — “Hold it, hold it, hold it. I’ve talked to her about twice in my life” — before affirming that he supported the right of a “Muslim member of Congress not to be attacked every single day in outrageous, racist remarks.”
By the end of the town hall, audience members were booing the occasional Baier or MacCallum follow-up, even doing call-and-response with Sanders.
Maybe this proved the central point of Sanders’ campaign rhetoric: that the American people writ large, not just progressive Democrats, really do want the government to guarantee them a certain standard of living. Maybe it just proved that Sanders is a good politician who’s skilled at presenting his preferred policies in a way that sounds good to people.
Either way, Sanders looked like a frontrunner — which, if you look at the polls, is exactly what he is. Sanders lags behind former Vice President Joe Biden in some polls, but Biden hasn’t yet officially declared his candidacy; if Biden somehow decides not to run, polling experts say Sanders could inherit a big chunk of his supporters, making him the prohibitive favorite.
That’s a very unusual position for a politician who has won national fame by defining himself against other Democrats. And it’s an awkward fit with his gruffly persona. Sanders’s prickliness seems sensible when he’s punching up in the polls; but when there’s no one to punch up at, a combative attitude can come off as ungenerous or even bullying.
The Fox News hosts provided the perfect foil.
Sanders directed his irritations at them, giving the audience plenty of the authentic-seeming “Bernie from Brooklyn” without actually being irritated with any potential voters, and without saying anything negative about any of his fellow Democrats also running for the presidency. When MacCallum invited him to attack Biden as a centrist or South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg for suggesting Sanders might be too old, Sanders demurred — pointing out that Biden was a friend and that the primary was for voters to hear differences and make up their minds, or half-joking about his distant past as a long-distance runner.
The answer gave the impression of Sanders floating above the fray, frontrunner-style. But he wasn’t. He was fighting MacCallum and Fox News. And in the same way that one might win a debate — but not a typical town hall — he won.
These Spring Hair Trends are Taking Over—Here’s All the Inspiration You Need
12 Etiquette Habits We Don’t Realize Are Crucial for a Well-Mannered Person
The word “etiquette” seems to be so old-fashioned. Most of us probably think that it has disappeared into oblivion together with gentlemen who used to take their hats off in front of women, but in fact, it still exists. The thing is, the rules have changed, but we still should follow them in order to not feel awkward.
Bright Side thinks that all polite people want to know and observe etiquette rules, especially when some of them aren’t that obvious.
12. Public restrooms
Polite people know that after using the bathroom, we have to wash our hands. But there are some other rules:
- Don’t try to open the door of a closed stall. The door could open, and there could be a person in there. If that happened, you’ll both feel awkward.
- Men are recommended to keep some distance between each other and by skipping urinals.
- If you need to reapply makeup, don’t occupy the mirror next to the hand dryer. You will be making people who have already washed their hands wait.
11. Hold your cup correctly.
It may sound surprising, but a cup of tea and a cup of coffee should be held differently.
While holding a tea cup, you never loop your index finger into the handle. Instead, your index finger should meet your thumb through the handle as if you were pinching something, and your middle finger should support it by being placed under the handle.
The proper way to hold a coffee cup is totally different: you loop your index finger into the handle and keep your thumb on the top of the handle. Your remaining 3 fingers — middle, index, and pinkie — are tucked into the palm of your hand.
10. If you need to blow your nose
Etiquette experts recommend blowing your nose really quickly and quietly enough so that people won’t notice it. If you feel it’s going to be loud, it’s better to leave the public place and do it when you’re all alone.
The most strict rules are applied to blowing your nose during dinner. Don’t do it at the dining table, even if you’re really close to your relatives or friends. Go to the bathroom, blow your nose, wash your hands, and go back.
True ladies and gentlemen don’t use paper handkerchiefs, they prefer handkerchiefs made from fabrics. Of course it’s not a good decision when it comes to hygiene, but in this case, you should observe all the etiquette rules.
9. If your food is stuck in your teeth
It’s prohibited to use a toothpick at the table. If you realize that food is stuck in your teeth, try to rinse your mouth (and make sure no one notices it). Didn’t work? Go to the bathroom then.
But if this has happened to another person, and they don’t know it, there’s a trick you can do that is based on mirroring:
- Move your tongue over your teeth (keeping your mouth closed). Maybe then your tablemate will start to repeat the same movement and understand what’s going on.
But if the person doesn’t understand your hints, don’t stay silent. Tell the person about their problem (again, make sure no one else can hear you).
8. If someone’s fly is down
If you find out your fly is unzipped in public, go to the restroom and zip up your pants. If there’s no opportunity to leave this public place (or room), you can just turn to the wall so that no one can see you and zip up your fly.
If you notice someone else’s unzipped fly, experts say that you have to inform the person. You just have to make sure no one else can hear you.
The “fly rule” works for other clothing issues as well: for example, if you notice a price tag.
7. If your colleague smells bad
As a rule, big companies have rather strict hygiene rules, and foods or perfumes with strong smells are prohibited.
But if your colleague doesn’t want to follow even the simplest rules, you have to act as a good negotiator. Ask your colleague to listen to you and let them know that the conversation is going to be kind of unpleasant. Go ahead only after the person agrees to listen to you.
You’ll find a detailed conversation plan here.
6. If your food is too hot
If you suddenly realize that your food is too hot, don’t spit it out on a napkin. You also shouldn’t breathe with your mouth wide open. Just drink some cold water or any other beverage. By the way, it’s also prohibited to blow on your dish. Your only option is to sit and wait until it gets cooler.
5. Your boss pays too much attention to you
Both men and women suffer from sexual harassment at work. If you face this problem, don’t stay silent and don’t be afraid. Let your boss know that you find their compliments or remarks unpleasant. If it doesn’t work, inform their boss.
Sometimes it’s difficult to identify harassment. Here’s an example:
- “You look great in that dress!” — is a compliment.
- “Your booty looks great in that dress!” — is inappropriate behavior.
4. If you want to take a selfie
Yes, to take a selfie you should follow some etiquette rules. Always ask for permission, even if you want to take a pic with your friend. Let them prepare for the photo: we all want to look good in our pictures.
Don’t take selfies in the bathroom, in extreme or dangerous situations, or near accidents. These are signs of bad manners, carelessness, and even cruelty.
3. You need to split the bill with your friends, and they’ve eaten more than you
While it might be unfair to ask someone to pay for a whole meal they haven’t eaten — it might also be awkward to bring this up to your friends. Just add up the approximate sum of your dinner, round it up to a bigger sum, and leave that amount. And remember, if you’re spending time with your friends, it’s could be better to just split the bill evenly.
2. Tell the difference between a pregnant woman and an overweight woman
Offering a pregnant woman a seat is an important rule. But it’s really awkward if you confuse a pregnant and an overweight woman.
Here are some signs that can help you:
- For the most part, pregnant women don’t wear high heels and their ankles are usually swollen.
- Consider their position. If a woman’s holding their lower back or transferring her weight from one leg to another, she’s probably pregnant, and it’s better to offer her a seat.
If you’re still not sure, it’s recommended to stand up silently so that the woman can decide whether she wants to take a seat or not.
1. If you rip your pants
Internet users give different pieces of advice: staple along the inner seam, cover the hole with a sweater by wrapping it around your waist, or call someone and ask for help.
The methods are so different, but there’s one rule: you shouldn’t tell anyone that you’ve ripped your pants and you should avoid showing your underwear to the public.
Have you ever found yourself in these situations? How did you handle them?
Illustrated by Alena Sofronova for BrightSide.me
A Self-Taught Artist Creates Sensitive Watercolors That Show the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul
Russian artist. Anna Mayorova, who is 24 years old, has been into painting for 5 years. She learned to paint by herself and realized over a span of time that not only is it something that is entertaining, but also a way to reveal and convey the inner emotions of a woman, as well as the perceptions from her personal world.
She chose watercolor because with this medium both control and chance are possible. The artist herself says, “Paint and water make what they are meant to make, while I only help them with it.” Maybe that’s the reason why her women’s portraits come out so lively and vivid.
We at Bright Side were impressed with Anna’s watercolor magic and are eager to share it with you.
1. Thinking of you
2. The moment of bliss
3. “You can see it all in my eyes”
5. “Music heals my soul”
6. Under a veil of secrecy
8. This is the time of times
9. “I’ll blow everyone away with my beauty”
19. In the depths of thoughts
Which of Anna’s works amazed you the most? We would be glad to hear from you in the comments!
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