Capitol Beat Opinion

Why Tyler Oakley Wants You To Vote For Bernie Sanders

Linda Pentz
Written by Linda Pentz

You’ve got to love Bernie Sanders, especially if you are an ad executive.  The folks at the New York ad agency, Human, must have taken most of the day off after putting together their 60-second Bernie Sanders promo video.

Because Bernie Sanders doesn’t need editing.  He just gives it to you, flowing, straight-forward, with that gesticulated energy and raspy-voiced passion.  He coined his own slogan: “Together.”  All Human had to do was splice in a few cogent images and a bit of a soundtrack.  Brilliant.  Job extremely well done.  Off to the bar.

Here’s what Sanders says in the ad:

“Our job is not to divide.  Our job is to bring people together.  If we do not allow them to divide us up by race, by sexual orientation, by gender — by not allowing them to divide us up by whether or not we were born in America, or whether we’re immigrants — when we stand together, as white and black and hispanic and gay and straight and woman and man — when we stand together, and demand that this country works for all of us, rather than the few, we will transform America and that is what this campaign is about; it’s bringing people together.”

Now breathe.

Sanders was irked that he did not get the endorsement of major, establishment LGBT NGOs like the Human Rights Campaign, but institutionally they are not really who he is.

Nor is the celebrity stratosphere although he has plenty of Hollywood fans (I was personally thrilled when the still step-in-timing Dick Van Dyke endorsed him.)

His LGBT celebrity supporters include 26-year old YouTube sensation, Tyler Oakley.

Sanders appeal to the LGBT community is basically the same appeal that he has for everyone.  As gay couple Timothy Love and Larry Ysunza put it in endorsing Sanders on Facebook:

“We are not simply defined by our orientation. We need a candidate who will not only stand up for what is right for our community but for our country as a whole.”

Love and Ysunza are textbook Bernie voters.  They are not famous, even though their case, Love v. Beshear, seeking the right to marry in Kentucky, was combined with Obergefell v. Hodges in the historic and victorious Supreme Court decision on marriage equality last June.

And their motivations are not niche-based or exclusively self-interested.  Now married, they declared their respect for the Clintons, and even recalled attending Bill Clinton’s 1993 inaugural ball.  But, they said, “While we have a deep respect and affection for Secretary Clinton, we must be honest with ourselves and stand with Bernie Sanders for President.”

So it’s mainly we the people who really love Bernie.  Especially young people, despite the grandfatherly figure Sanders must cut for many of them.

Oakley minced no words on Instagram in exhorting the youth vote to turn out and support Sanders.  “If you believe that the wealthy should pay higher taxes than the lower/middle class, if you believe we should cut military spending, vote for Bernie Sanders.  Vote for Bernie Sanders!!! I can not stress this enough!”