Talk:Bernie Sanders

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Questions[change source]

One question occurs to me - what was he doing between 1963 and 1981? And what did he study at university? I would assume there is a link between these two questions.--Peterdownunder (talk) 22:24, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Good work, that fills in the missing years nicely, as well as giving the beginnings of his political career.--Peterdownunder (talk) 21:22, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Complexity[change source]

I ran a quick check on the article which showed the following:

  • Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease 57
  • Flesch Kincaid Grade Level 6.5
  • Gunning Fog Score 5.7
  • SMOG Index 5.5
  • Coleman Liau Index 12.5
  • Automated Readability Index 3.7

The grade level and Fog scores are suitable. The Flesxh reading ease is too low, I would normally expect to see 70 or higher for a simple article. (Remember that these automated scores are really just a very rough measure). One of the problems is a high degree of jargon within the article, most of which is needed. It would be good to check if there is any that is not really necessary. While all these terms are linked, think about a reader who has to keep using every link to get through the article. Sometimes an explanation within the text is very helpful. This rather interestingly can help with the reading score too, buy having more simple language in the text. I will look at it in the next day or two and leave some suggestions.--Peterdownunder (talk) 21:22, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Intro[change source]

There are many complex words in this section. Most of them have been linked. Here are some more: born, politician, policy, elected, mayor, re-elected, congressman, announced, announcement, lawn, presidential, candidates, campaign, donations. To make it simple you are going to need to look for simpler alternatives. Some, of course, you can not. Another word for "born" is probably not going to work as well. It is not a matter of linking - we do not want the article to be a sea of blue. More thoughts soon.--Peterdownunder (talk) 02:04, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Using this website will offer suggestions. such as this:

List of sentences which we suggest you should consider to rewrite to improve readability of the text :

  • After his election, Sanders became a leading progressive voice on issues such as income inequality, universal healthcare, parental leave, climate change,[13] LGBT rights, and campaign finance reform.
  • He has been a critic of mass surveillance policies (such as the USA PATRIOT Act)[15] and racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.
  • In 1990, he was elected to represent Vermont's at-large congressional district in the United States House of Representatives.
  • Unlike the other presidential candidates, Sanders did not get money for his campaign through a Super PAC.
  • Sanders announced his plans to run for the Democratic Party's nomination for President on April 30, 2015.
  • He supports policy plans that are the same as social democratic governments in Europe.
  • He became the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee in January 2015.
  • He became the junior United States Senator from Vermont on January 3, 2007.
@ Peterdownunder - I fixed the issues. Plus I've tweaked the article using that website tool you provided me. But some of the suggestions are frankly unsimplifyable. Plus some of the words you suggested are nearly impossible to simplify, such as born, mayor, politician (that's his job), lawn, donations (its a simple enough word). --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 02:41, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
It is a challenge. Some times I have to rethink what a sentence is trying to tell me, and then try and rewrite. Often I will use the Simple English Wiktionary for inspiration: donation - a gift of money, for example. We have all got a bit slack in really making things simple. And simple is hard to do.--Peterdownunder (talk) 08:21, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
I think I fixed the donation part. --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 13:53, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Review from Osiris[change source]

Sorry, I've been busy so this is a bit delayed. I've read through the lead and the first four sections, just the writing (haven't checked the sourcing yet), and I'll do the last three sections soon.

  • "he was an active civil rights protest organizer"
Awkward wording to my ears. Maybe try something like "he was active in organizing protests for civil rights", or similar.
  • "by a landslide victory"
It should be "in a landslide victory", but this usage of "landslide" is very informal and not simple. Can we try a simpler alternative? It's also used in the fourth section.
  • "of the popular vote"
I would recommend just "of the votes" to make it simpler.
  • "Universal health care"
decapitalise "universal"
  • Duplicate links:
Democratic Party is linked twice in the lead. You've linked income inequality twice in the fourth section. Maybe go through the whole article and look for duplicate links. Some are okay, but not in the same section or in close proximity.
  • "His campaign officially opened"
I think "started" would be a simpler word there.
  • Links to fix:
Software doesn't seem to be picking up on Super PACS. Try [[Super PAC|Super PACS]] so that the whole thing is linked. You've linked Congress, but be more specific in the linking - [[United States Congress|Congress]].
  • Summary
This is just some content advice, but since the lead should summarise the article contents, I think it should probably mention that he was an independent for 20-odd years prior to joining a party this year.
  • Unlinked words
"resisting arrest", "fined" should be linked.
  • "demonstration"
Since you've used "protest" previously, try to minimise the vocab by sticking to that word.
  • "In the 1974 race"
Race is informal there. Use election instead.
  • "candidate for governor"
Governor of where? Vermont? It's linked in the second subsection, but not the first. Swap the links and maybe write out 'Governor of Vermont' in full in the first instance because it's not clear where you're talking about at that point.
  • "then-current"
Could that be reworded? Maybe you could rephrase it something like: "In 1988, Jim Jeffords, who was a Republican Congressman at the time, decided to run for the U.S. Senate." Or something similar. "then-current" just sounds very clunky.
  • Capitalisation
You've got "Vermont's at-large congressional district" and "Vermont's At-large congressional district". The article title is at the latter, but I don't understand why it should be. The English Wikipedia's article is lowercase. You've also got "Congress" and "congress", but in most of the instances where you've used the lowercase it needs to be uppercase – upper if you're referring to a specific congress (like the United States Congress), lowercase if you're referring to a non-specific congress or congresses.
  • "Sanders ran for the seat again and defeated Smith in a rematch"
We haven't yet been introduced to whoever "Smith" is. I also would avoid using "rematch", because that's an informal usage.
  • "Since Ron Dellums left congress in 1998, Sanders became the only politician to call himself as a socialist."
Maybe specify that he was the only member of Congress, not the only politician in general.
  • "Sanders has been a major critic on mass surveillance policies such as the Patriot Act."
You already said that in the previous section. Perhaps you could add "continued to be" if you're now referring to a different role.
  • "filibuster"
It's not clear from the wording what a filibuster is. Maybe you could try and explain the meaning in parentheses. Or just replace it with a simpler substitute (like, "long speech"), but you'd still need to explain the meaning of "filibuster" after the book title because it's used in that too.

More later. Osiris (talk) 05:06, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

Section "2016 presidential campaign"[change source]

There's a few things that I want to mention about this section, before I list the picky bits. One, a lot of it is pretty specific to the now (recentism) – individual polling figures for the primaries, for example. It's okay for right now...because it's probably all there is to say. But you're going to need to eventually move most of that overly specific detail elsewhere in order to keep this one balanced. Because if he goes further than the primaries, then you'll need to pack in more information, and the whole article is going to end up being about his run for presidency.

The other thing: that paragraph comparing him to Clinton, is written in a way that assumes the reader already knows that Clinton is (or at least was previously) the best-polling candidate. Like the first we hear about her is in this sentence: "On June 25, 2015, The New York Times said that Sanders might win the primaries instead of Hillary Clinton." It assumes first of all that the reader knows Clinton is also a candidate, and it assumes that the reader already knows that most people (namely The New York Times in this case) believed that Clinton was going to win. Does that make sense? There's a third candidate as well, right? The reason you're not saying Sanders could have won the primaries instead of him is only known to those with a prior knowledge of the subject. You can establish context in a single sentence, like "For the first few months of his campaign, polling showed Hillary Clinton was the candidate likeliest to win the nomination." That's just an example, and it needs simplifying, but I hope that helps explain what I mean.

  • "On April 28, 2015, Vermont Public Radio said that Sanders would run for president for the Democratic presidential nomination on April 30.
I think the words "for president" are superfluous there.
  • "overflow crowds"
I know it's a quote, but it can be easily replaced with something much simpler.
  • "electable"
Needs a wiktionary link or something.

I'll do the other two sections now. One other thing that popped out is that all except on of the "Related pages" articles are already linked somewhere in the article. So we don't link them there, as per the Manual of Style. Osiris (talk) 12:20, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

Other sections[change source]

  • "born out of wedlock"
I think it's probably just okay, but if you can simplify it that'd be good.
  • "from which he thinks of them as his own"
The "from" and "them" are superfluous. And the "which" should be "whom". So, "whom he thinks of as his own". Adding "children" at the end of that sentence for clarification might not be a bad idea either.
  • "Since polls closed..."
This sentence is very long. Try breaking it up.
  • "He focuses on economic problems such as..."
The problems listed are not actually problems, they're goals. Except the first one (see next point).
Income inequality (the linked subject) is a problem, but "income", as it's written, is not. It's also not a goal, so you could reword that to make it fit with the others listed ("fixing income inequality" or "improving income" would work).
  • "sick leave, and vacation time" ... "citizenship for illegal immigrants"
Need some links there. A few red links are fine.
  • USA PATRIOT Act
You've recognised the initialism here, but previously, in the 3rd and 4th sections, you wrote it as "Patriot Act". I suggest picking one or the other so you don't confuse people.
  • "more liberal on social views"
What does that mean? More liberal than who? Or do you mean more liberal on social issues than he is on economic issues? If the latter is the case, then the sentence is okay, but "views" still needs to be changed to "issues" to make it correct English. If not, then you need to specify who or what you're comparing his views to.
  • "...such as supporting same-sex marriage"
I think that sentence can be broken into two shorter ones.

One last thing on the reading: In the body, you've got him saying he's non-religious, but in the infobox, it says "Jewish" under religion. Are you sure he's talking about Judaism when he "calls himself Jewish", or is he just referring to his ethnicity? Osiris (talk) 12:49, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

Cool. Some clever fixes to some of those problems. A few things still stand out:

  • Still using "landslide", which, in Simple English, means something totally different.
  • Still got "candidate for governor" without specifying the state; you specify it in the next paragraph, but you should switch them so that the context is established from the start.
  • I still don't understand why "At-large congressional district" should be capitalised. Is that standard usage?
  • The sentence starting with, "On April 28, 2015, Vermont Public Radio...", is now very long.

I'll look through the sourcing now. Osiris (talk) 09:02, 28 January 2016 (UTC)

  • @Osiris: - Thanks! These issues have been fixed. For some reason At should be capitalized in the infobox but not otherwise. --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 22:14, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
Everything looks good, but I changed one thing by combining the sentences to just give the figure. I hope that's okay. I should mention that unless it's something very controversial, you don't have to put citations in the lead if you've already got those same claims cited in the body. Do you want me to move them down for you, or are you happy for them to stay in the lead? Osiris (talk) 11:21, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
@Osiris:: Thanks! I'm happy the way it is thank you. Anymore problems or is the article good enough? --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 22:21, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
There are still some dead links that I pointed out here. Other than that, I think it looks good enough for GA status—at the moment. Like I said earlier, though, a lot of the content of the article will have to change over the coming months. So I'm a bit apprehensive about approving an article for GA status if the content is inevitably going to change as current events develop. There are a couple of options: keep the nomination open to see what others think (we could always review it at a later date); or put the nomination on hold until the end of July to see whether Sanders wins his party's nomination. Osiris (talk) 08:37, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Review[change source]

First of all, I must say you've done a very good job on this article. It's looking very good indeed. Below I will list things which may potentially still be an issue. Concerning the potential for the article to require changing in the next few months, I don't think that's a valid reason for not letting it become a GA. With that logic, we could decide not to make any article about a person or thing which may change a GA/VGA, which would not make any sense. I suggest we simply change the article when it needs changing, and maybe re-evaluate the updated sections to make sure everyone is happy.


  • Before becoming > before he became (although I do realise that it currently helps avoid the repetition, but it is more complex)
  • Is took part simple?
  • after winning > after he won
  • address - this is not the so-called simple version of the word. Link?
  • People have been giving him > People give him (does it have to be so complex? Or has he stopped accepting money?)
  • Many people have been coming to > many people go to (same thing)


  • from Poland born in > from Poland. He was born in... (simpler?)
  • After graduating > after he graduated
  • When studying > when he studied
  • take part - simple?
  • he was found guilty - passive, but maybe there is no simpler way?
  • He was fined (ditto)


  • ran (used multiple times) - this could be confusing, as it is not run in its more common meaning. Maybe simply was a candidate?
  • Does the APHS not meet criteria for inclusion on the wiki?
  • when working > when he worked


  • Richard Sugarman, a close friend of Sanders, wanted... - I'm wondering whether brackets would make it simpler (I think it would), rather than using commas.
  • run for > see above
  • Sanders was elected > (passive) Sanders won the election
  • in February 1981 beating the six-term > in February 1981. He beat the six-term...
  • took office - simple?
  • ran (see above)
  • then-industrial > not simple
  • ran (see above)
  • featuring > with
  • housing > houses (simpler? It may look like a verb otherwise)
  • Today > WP:MOS says that such words should be avoided. Prefer As of 2016 (arguably as of is not simple, but that is what is suggested, I think).
  • helped fixed (typo) > helped fix, or better, helped to fix
  • that year > I assume you mean 1989, but did he do nothing in 1990?


  • Jim Jeffords, ..., decided > again, brackets would help (splitting the clauses can be tricky to read for the target audience)
  • run (see above)
  • ran (same)
  • but lost > but he lost
  • in the 1990 (typo?) > in 1990
  • ran (same)
  • kept on winning > continued to win
  • is margins simple?
  • chaired > link to chairman?
  • for its first eight years > for the first eight years (unnecessarily more complex)
  • NRA-supported bill > a bill supported by the NRA
  • since (multiple meanings) > after
  • became > was
  • to call > who called
  • as a socialist (typo?) > a socialist
  • It looked > what is it? Needs clarifying.
  • has been against - why the present perfect? Why not simply is? Or has he changed his mind?


  • 67% of people - which people? I'm assuming Americans. Change accordingly.
  • third-most - is the hyphen necessary?
  • like > such as/for example (see WP:MOS)
  • delivered > gave (simpler?)
  • run (same)
  • Sanders's > Sanders'
  • or filibuster - in brackets?
  • In actual fact, the sentence should be turned around to make it active rather than passive (Nation Books published...)
  • switched - simple? Changed?


  • have been bringing > bring
  • Stunned > stunned (capital)
  • Months after his campaign started, poll numbers showed Clinton was the most likely to win the Democratic nomination. On June 25, 2015, The New York Times said that Sanders might win the primaries instead of Clinton. > There should be a however in between the two, because they are saying two different things.
  • Later > (-) not needed
  • polling showed Sanders and Clinton are tied > were tied
  • poll numbers showed Sanders was increasing his numbers > repetition
  • almost being tied with > almost tied with
  • Sanders talked about how the policies of presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson were based on democratic socialism > (passive to active) how presidents F.D.R and L.B.J based their policies on democratic socialism
  • The university also showed, Clinton > the university also showed that Clinton (no comma, add that)
  • weeks leading > in weeks leading
  • Sanders's > Sanders'
  • Sanders's > Sanders'
  • there is nothing about the 1 February caucus. Is this normal?


  • was elected (passive) > became
  • from O'Meara; > colon, not semi-colon
  • whom he thinks of as his own children > Start a new sentence and say: he thinks of them as his own children.
  • republished - simple? published again?
  • Sanders's > Sanders'
  • playing a man giving candy to kids > Start new sentence: he played a man who gave candy to kids
  • playing the role of Rabbi Many Shevitz > start new sentence: he played the role of...
  • sinking > link?
  • who he calls > start new sentence: he calls the pope "...".
  • On December 4, 2015 > comma afterwards
  • On December 7, it announced - I assume you mean Time Magazine. This needs specifying.
  • but will not be > but he will not be


  • making public colleges and universities tuition-free > making tuition free at public colleges and universities (simpler)
  • gotta - although it is in a quote, maybe we could add have got to in brackets?


I hope the comments help. I really do think the article is great! Best of luck, Yottie =talk= 12:30, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

  • @TDKR Chicago 101: I fixed a couple more things, but I definitely think it is now ready for GA (I will still have to check the references, etc, first). A little more work is needed before VGA, but a very good job indeed. --Yottie =talk= 11:11, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

GA comments from Barras[change source]

Some suggestions from me:

Lead section
  • He is the United States senator from Vermont. - I'd rephrase it to something like "He is senator from the US state of Vermont." or something like that. The current sentence sounds little odd to me.
  • [...] as an independent. - Maybe that can be rephrased to something else? Like "before he joined the democratic party, he was an independent politician."
  • Also the flow/timeline in the first paragraph is somehow odd. Firstly you mention an event from 2015 to then fallback to 2007. I'd change that.
  • mayor of Burlington - add the US state, might be obvious to people aware, but not really to outsiders.
  • Link congressman.
  • he won 64.5% of the vote. Somehow sounds odd. Maybe use something like "He reached..."? Same problem with the following sentence.
  • Many people is something we should avoid in an encyclopaedia.
  • Comment: I fixed all but the first. The suggestion sounded odd to me. "He is senator from the US state of Vermont". The current one has links to the United States senate and Vermont. All other problems have been fixed. Thanks! --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 18:03, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
Early life
  • immigrant needs linking.
  • He has an older brother, Larry. - Maybe mention in that sentence that he is also a politician?
  • to be in the - Maybe "to be part of..."?
  • Comment: All issues except the one about Larry have been fixed. In the personal life section it goes on to explain who Larry Sanders is. --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 18:03, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

If I don't forget, I will go on later. -Barras talk 11:45, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

Well done, so far!

Early carrier
  • American People's Historical Society (APHS) - Seems important enough for a link/article if not yet created.
  • unpopular is a rather unencyclopaedic word. Remove or change.
  • Comment: The APHS does not have an article on the English Wikipedia so it's not notable for an article here. Removed unpopular. --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 23:34, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
US representative
  • defeated Peter Plympton Smith by 16% - sound nicely, but is not necessarily easy. Maybe change it to something like "Had 16% more of the votes then ..." or something like that.
  • Comment: Couldn't fix this because it might cause bigger issues. I think it's ok the way it is. --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 23:34, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
presidential compaign
  • much to his surprise - not really encyclopaedic. I'd just remove it.

That's all!

Really amazingly written, very well done! -Barras talk 22:49, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

Organizing text and image tidy and neatly[change source]

I'm new to Wikipedia and would like to add some new things to my userpage. I saw that you had organized your text and pictures neatly, separately and wondered how did you do that? Would you mind telling me how to do it?16chseld 405 (talk) 00:07, 28 March 2016 (UTC)