Unlike Teens on Twitter, Bernie Sanders’ Son Levi Has Never Called Him “Dad”

Megan Reynolds | February 29, 2016 - 1:15 pm

The New York Times published a strange little puff piece on Bernie Sanders that reinforces his anti-establishment views by highlighting the relationship between him and his only biological son, Levi.

For anyone who’s been following his campaign, it should come as no surprise that his views on childrearing are just as progressive as his politics. In what feels like an attempt to humanize Sanders as an actual person and not just an angry old man yelling about our economy, the Times delves into Sanders’ relationship with Levi, bringing to light a few fun facts. The funnest fact of all is that Levi has never, ever called Bernie “Dad.”

 “I never have called him Dad,” he told People magazine in January. “Even when I was 6 years old, I thought it was childish. He was a friend, not an authoritarian.”

Not surprising! Is it even normal to call our parents Mom and Dad anymore? Should we do away with the outdated and antiquated notions of parents as authority figures? Should we all start calling our parents by their first names? Honestly, that doesn’t seem to be the point. There doesn’t seem to be an actual point to this piece in the first place. Yes, anyone with ears and eyes and a passing interest in this year’s very-long election cycle has noticed that Bernie Sanders is one of the most progressive candidates in American history. Yes, this places Sanders in stark contrast with Hillary, but really, their politics are already doing that for them.

Maybe this is for all the Bernie bros out there who are wondering how to handle this when they make babies with the Bernie babes they snagged on the campaign trail. Maybe this is just an attempt at humanizing a man who is already very clearly human. Or, maybe this is an attempt to treat Sanders and his personal life with the same amount of scrutiny afforded to his opponent. Is it working? Maybe. Sanders has done a great job of not using his children as political currency. Hillary Clinton….not so much.