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Bernie, please be my matchmaker

On Friday morning, Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced an amendment to raise the federal minimum wage to $15/hour. In the midst of his impassioned speech, he slid in this line: “You got young people who want to go to school, want to socialize, want to date, want to do things that young people do. And they can’t do it, and have been unable to do it for the past year.”

What does dating have to do with the minimum wage? I’m not sure, though I think it was part of a general argument that the government has been falling down on the job. But, like many of an older Jewish generation, clearly Bernie couldn’t resist slipping in a jab about our love lives.

Bernie graciously blamed government mismanagement for the lackluster love lives of young folks across the country. But Jewish parents aren’t so forgiving. “When are you going to bring home a nice boy?” implies the responsibility is squarely your own. Blaming external factors is a lazy excuse (though my own mother wanted me to note that she has been holding back her nagging due to the pandemic).

The Vermont senator is known for his popularity with younger generations; he wants to help us, whether that’s with our student loans or our healthcare. So why not our dating lives? That’s really the issue closest to our hearts. Sure, ending the pandemic will help, but in an era of app-swiping, it was hard to meet someone at a party or concert even when we could still go to those.

If Bernie really wants to help us with our dating lives, he should start a matchmaking service — the man has seven grandkids, so he must know what he’s doing. If Jewish mothers can try to set their kids up with a friend-of-a-friend’s nice young boy, surely Bernie knows a nice campaign manager with kind eyes, or a canvasser passionate about helping the community. I imagine the demographic of young people in the Bernie world overlaps well with my own interests; I, too, tend toward practical coats and warm mittens, though I prefer the desert sun over Vermont snow. Sure, there might be a few obnoxious Bernie Bros, but I feel confident that the ratio would still be better with Bernie’s service than it is on Tinder.

So please, Bernie, start your shadchen service — help a girl out. He doesn’t even need a new slogan. #NotMeUs.

Mira Fox is a fellow at the Forward. Get in touch at or on Twitter @miraefox.




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