I am ashamed to say, though I never use the term, that I did not recognize this earlier. I had the realization from a comment on another thread in which the individual said their adult children became angry and hurt when they heard this term. The same thing is true of my children. It is a disparaging term meant to marginalize individuals who support Bernie Sanders, especially those who are passionate. I am not a Bernie supporter but I think I can understand the hurt that this term causes. Bernie Sanders supporters have thought through the reasons they are behind him. Many times he represents something deeper than a political candidate, something they have been yearning for as they see the society around them collapsing. Instead of being applauded for their passion they are sneered at.
For those of you who do not think you are bullying others when you use that term I want to relate two things. The first is that we use in a very broad fashion. There are actually two forms of bullying. One is usually among younger children when one child physically or verbally intimidates another. There are usually individual psychological reasons for this. The other type of bullying is more systematic, it is when you marginalize, humiliate and dehumanize individuals. The type of bullying is more pervasive and I would suggest more insidious. The second thing is that most people are convinced they don’t engage in this type of bullying, they are just “protecting” the system. I teach a unit on bullying. I always ask two questions at the beginning. “How many people have been bullied?” A large portion of the class raises their hand. Then I ask, “How many people have bullied others?” Only a few people raised their hands. I ask, “How is this possible?” Students always take time to think about this.