Last month I was on a swing through the US, and stopped for a couple days at my brother's house in Palm Springs.
He is on board with Bernie.
Perhaps a little background is in order here. Until a few years ago, my brother, now 57, did CAD work, converting specifications into plans and diagrams for a company that specialized in building refineries. The company decided to move its design operation from Southern California to Texas. If he had moved, my brother could have kept his job.
Instead, he decided to retire.
He sold his condo in Monrovia, and bought a house in Palm Springs.
Then he went on unemployment, got a "free" phone, state aid for his utility bills, food stamps, and a nearly complete cessation of any tax burdens, among other things.
As it happens, my brother is gay, and therefore has none of those things -- children -- that take such great whacks at the bank account. Combined with more than decent monetary discipline, along with making a killing on his condo, my brother has plenty of money. The challenge he faces, with his financial counselor's help, is to budget his expenses so that his withdrawals to cover them don't jeopardize the flow of free stuff.
So it should come as no surprise he hates Republicans with the kind of loathing that would leave Harry speechless with admiration.
Chief among his reasons is that Republicans voted to end the perpetual extension of unemployment benefits. Not only did that reduce his flow of "free" stuff, it significantly increased the complication of funding his lifestyle while not imperiling the rest of his "free" stuff.
(Since Antonin Scalia had just died, my brother also saved some venom for him -- after all Scalia made corporations into people, and companies to not buy contraceptives for their employees. My brother is equally at home with both concepts and facts.)
Interestingly, Palm Springs is the gayest city in America. And, at least based upon my admittedly somewhat superficial experience of the place, I think there is a reason for this. The gay demographic is decidedly tilted towards the mid-fifties and up. All of whom have plenty of disposable money, do not work, and get lots of "free" stuff.
There is secondary evidence to back this up. Palm Springs is a resort community with -- unusually for a resort community -- lots of year round residents healthy and young enough to work. There is no industry to speak of. No rush hour. No traffic jams. Lots of restaurants and gyms.
My brother and his fiancee, and very likely most of the rest of the people I saw while there, are driving down the work force participation rate, while increasing "inequality", all as part of Living the Bern.
When I mentioned that other's were working to provide his "free" stuff, his response was: "Tough. I paid taxes, now it's my turn." He is certainly very personally generous with others' money.
So I guess the rest of us are feeling the Living of the Bern, too.