Mario Prado, a printing wiz currently smitten with 2016 presidential hopeful Sen. Bernard Sanders, doesn’t see that as such an absurd proposition.
“Comic-Con attracts a lot of nerds. Nerds are very much on top of politics,” the printing shop owner told CQ Roll Call of his decision to stump for the Vermont independent.
Prado erected an eye-catching depiction of the populist pol facing off against the conservative Koch brothers in a Mad Max-like landscape along a heavily traveled crosswalk just outside the bustling entertainment hub. That, coupled with the fire engine-red T-shirt he wore in support of “Bernie Man” — showing Sanders' signature shock of white hair replaced by flaming coiffure — drew in passersby, many of whom Prado said were not all that familiar with the veteran pol. "Definitely, there’s been people through here who don’t know who he is and that have asked about him. And I’m like, 'take it, please,'” he said of the leaflets he’d prepared delineating Sanders' policy positions on everything from green energy (“reverse global warming and make the planet habitable for future generations”) to universal health care (“join the rest of the industrialized world with Medicare-for-all health care”).
“Educate yourself and when you find out just talk to other people about it. Spread the word,” he said he has advised political neophytes.
Although not formally attached to Team Sanders — “Bernie hasn’t asked me to do anything for him. It’s just me doing it on my own because I love the guy,” Prado assured CQ Roll Call — Prado’s makeshift camp soon attracted other grass-roots activists.
One woman waved an “Occupy” flag and preached about the coming revolution to anyone who would listen, while a pair of costumed canvassers invoked the canon of George Lucas.
“The Force is strong with Bernie. He’s our only hope,” a Princess Leia lookalike warned the sci-fi savvy masses.
Prado seemed pleased that folks were even willing to stop and listen.
“I’ve always cared about politics and I don’t wanna be one of those people that sits on the sidelines and complains,” he said. “I’d rather take an active part."