Bernie Sanders’ recent comment joking that Republican debates show a need to invest in mental health has spurred comments that the presidential hopeful isn’t sensitive to people with mental illnesses.
The remarks came at Sunday night’s Democratic presidential debate. From NewsCut blogger Bob Collins:
At last night’s debate, Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders perfectly illustrated why efforts to improve the lives of people with mental illness run into so many roadblocks: It’s still “OK” to make fun of the illness.
“We are, if [I’m] elected president, going to invest a lot of money into mental health,” Sanders said. “And when you watch these Republican debates, you know why we need to invest in mental health.”
Funny stuff, cheap joke and all. Hillary Clinton joined in the laughter.
“It referenced people with mental illness explicitly as a means to bash Republicans, and it perpetuated the idea that those with mental illness are inherently dangerous,” Vox’s German Lopez wrote today.
Collins notes that Sanders is one of few politicians who have given national attention to mental health care, despite his comment at the debate that brought it back to the spotlight, though likely not in the way he intended.
Today’s Question: How will mental health care policy influence your vote?