Rep Tim Ryan stares blankly during the Democratic debate.

Congratulations to Tim Ryan for Coming Up With the Worst Campaign Slogan of the 2020 Race, Maybe Even of All Time

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Tim Ryan, a man who is running for president but no one would fault you if you didn’t know that, has come up with what is most definitely the worst campaign slogan of this race, and possibly of any political race ever.


During the first night of the second round of Democratic debates this week, Rep. Ryan and Sen. Bernie Sanders had an exchange over ending gas-powered car sales. Ryan said he didn’t think Sanders’ plan to end those sales by 2040 was realistic, and Sanders responded by saying he gets “a little bit tired of Democrats afraid of big ideas.”

As he elaborated on his desire to take on the fossil fuel industry, he spoke in typical Bernie fashion–which is to say, loudly. And apparently, that made Ryan’s ears sad. He told Bernie, “You don’t have to yell,” and then thought that was such a slam dunk of a message, he put it on merch.

Whatever your feelings may be on Bernie Sanders (and yes, I have a few), Ryan’s tone-policing is a baffling tactic. He seems offended by Sanders’ level of passion when talking about climate change–a literal life or death issue that politicians have been dragging their heels on for basically forever. There are a lot of issues worth yelling about–climate change, our broken healthcare system, voter suppression, kids in literal cages at the border… Imagine seeing all of that happening and thinking the best way to make any impactful change is through telling those in power “don’t yell.”

Ryan isn’t the only Democrat wasting space on that debate stage, insisting we can defeat issues like institutional corruption through thinking small and being polite. Elizabeth Warren has the best response to these men whose names we won’t even remember by the time the next round of debates come around.

(image: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.