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I've written three articles about Republicans who want Bernie Sanders for President. Several months ago, I put up a request for such Republicans on a Bernie Facebook page. I got a recent response from Mary. She lives in Mississippi and is 67 years old.

Mississippi Republican for Bernie

A Mississippi Republican for Bernie—Michael Hertz

I did a bit of editing on her letter, but this is her take on why she's for Bernie.

"I don’t know where to start! I have been a Republican and tea party Republican for 40 years. I am a strong evangelical Christian, very pro life.

I started doubting almost two years ago because I have a disabled daughter and she needed the expanded Medicaid. The Republican governor in this state, as in other Southern states, refused to accept it. I was furious! I saw it only as just another way to fight against Obama no matter who got hurt.

About the same time the Republican governor (maybe earlier) shut down all of the satellite mental hospitals in my Southern state which meant that patients had to wait in jail for WEEKS for a hospital bed to open. Jail!!!

I found out about the Koch brothers and researched them and the Tea Party they started and realized they are Libertarians and that the tea party is really libertarian and they don’t even realize it.

After this I started noticing all the Facebook things my right wing friends would post. Things I always just accepted as truth. I started researching and found they were not true! Then I started investigating what Fox news ‘taught’ and my eyes were opened. I now believe that Fox news uses the same brainwashing techniques that cults do. Feed the SAME information through different ‘teachers’ but never vary it and tell them to never trust or listen to any other source.

I found out about the Koch brothers and researched them and the Tea Party they started and realized they are Libertarians and that the tea party is really libertarian and they don’t even realize it.

I was always told you cannot be a Democrat and be a Christian so I started checking that out as well and discovered Christian Democrats on Facebook and Democrats for life, etc. Also Republicans against Fox News, Republicans against the Tea Party, moderate Republicans, etc. All on Facebook.

I looked at every candidate running and what their views are and found all but Kasich lacking. All seem to be determined to bring down SS and medicare. I researched Bernie and oh my! I liked what he said!

I was taught to hate Obama, Hillary, etc., etc. and I had no clue why! I just hated them! And all my family and friends still hate them. Again, I researched and discovered they are not the evil as presented on Faux [sic] News.

I asked my friends: WHY do you hate Hillary. Other than email and Benghazi. Not one could give me an answer other than—yep—email and BG.

I see them as I was—minds totally closed.

I feel somewhat like a shunned Amish now. I am told I am anti-God, from the dark side. That anyone other than Cruz, etc., is a liberal and therefore evil. I was told the Democrats are communist now. By WELL educated people, not redneck hicks."

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I asked her whether it bothered her that Bernie holds himself out to be a "democratic socialist." She said,

"Yes, the label of Democratic Socialist bothers me and in fact when I first heard of him and saw that label I dismissed him instantly.

It wasn’t until later on that curiosity overtook me and I read his views and also read up on what is a socialist. I am still uncomfortable with the label even knowing it is not Marxist. I feel FOR SURE this label will turn away a lot of voters. I have family that has labeled him as a communist and friends that refuse to even consider him solely for that reason. It is a huge detriment, maybe more for older voters.”

I asked Mary what she liked about Bernie's platform and what she cannot accept. She answered,

"I can just say that the basic things I have seen of his views, I like, such as free college, helping the poor, taxing the billionaires, stopping Citizens United, stopping outsourcing, raising minimum wage, healthcare for everyone (Obamacare is not good enough) prison reform, Wall St, big banks.

The issues that bother me are abortion. I am strong anti-abortion.

I am against the legalization of recreational marijuana but do not believe putting users in prison.

I am not totally clear on some issues such as immigration. I know we cannot deport illegal ones so therefore a path to citizenship needs to be made but we need to stop in the influx of new ones. Certainly it isn't fair to those who came here legally.

I am very ‘pro gun.’

I am very pro Israel. I don't believe in rushing into war but if provoked I would hope he would do what is necessary. I am very concerned about ISIS.”

Having written as much as I have about Republicans and Bernie Sanders, I'm not at all surprised at what Mary doesn't like about Bernie's platform. Basically, she doesn't like some of his social stances (abortion, gun control, marijuana legalization) and she is probably not completely aligned with his foreign policy.

On the other hand, her views on healthcare and reforming the economy and the political system are very Bernie. Her views give me hope that Americans can join together around Bernie and remake our country into a better place.

michael-hertz

Thank you, Mary.

Michael Hertz