A Thousand Days of April: Notes from the Quarantine
Can we just agree that last week was the worst week in the history of forever? Bernie’s decision to suspend his campaign couldn’t have come at a worse time psychologically, what with the ‘Rona making the rounds and all. Life’s a big ol’ bucket of surreal Suck-o-Rama anyway, and now … this.
“Demoralized” doesn’t even begin to cover it.
And, adding insult to injury, many traumatized Berners have been chastised by their equally traumatized Bernie brethren for expressing unease regarding Bernie’s decision.
Hey. C’mon. We all have a right to feel let down. There is nothing inherently disrespectful about questioning Bernie or our fellow Berners. It’s not like I’m suggesting anyone should choke on a bouquet of rancid dick here.
When I posted on Facebook that Bernie has disappointed me by suspending his campaign, I was a bit taken aback by the anger from some folks I have called friends and allies for years.
Here’s the gist:
How dare you question Bernie’s actions? After all he has a master plan I just know it and Bernie doesn’t want people voting during COVID-19 because it’s dangerous but the primaries are still a go so make sure you risk your life by voting for Bernie because he could still win you know and anyway we need those delegates so the DNC can refuse them entrance just like in 2016.
They mean well, but seriously. Anyone who lived through 2016 knows, or should know, what the writing on the wall is. The Deja Vu alarm bells are working triple-time here folks. Don’t pretend you don’t hear them.
And believe me, my Bernie brethren — I understand your angst, your reluctance to relinquish the dream — boy, do I ever — but just stop, OK? Take a deep breath. The campaign is over. It is not sacrilege to say so. Accept this sad fact of life either now or later, but don’t get pissy with those choosing reality over denial.
The truth will hurt just as much in November as it does in April. Probably more actually. Better to put the campaign in the rearview and focus on what we can change (which is everything, but we absolutely must rethink the strategy in case that isn’t immediately obvious.)
And I shouldn’t have to point this out, but I feel like I must. So repeat after me:
The movement isn’t over, Bernie’s bid for the White House is.
There’s a very big difference.
I think some of you struggle with this even though it’s the very essence of Not Me, Us.
Here are the choices. You can continue pouring time and energy into a lost cause(the campaign) or redirect your efforts towards the bigger picture (the movement.)
But if you want to cling to Bernie’s campaign, by all means, do so. I did the same in 2016, so I totally get it, and sincerely admire your dedication and determination. But please — keep in mind that pouncing on your fellow Berners who question Bernie’s strategy and choose a different direction smacks of the DNC-style cult of personality we are (supposedly) trying to tear down.
Blind loyalty is not a Progressive ideal.
And don’t get me wrong. I fucking love me some Bernie Sanders. I have since he was the mayor of Burlington, and my Indy father used to sing his praises. Most of you know that. Bernie’s a great man, a real patriot, and our only true public servant, but he’s not the bloody messiah.
Bernie Sanders is the spark that single-handedly ignited the second American Revolution. I’ve never once doubted his motives, but I won’t apologize for questioning his actions, no matter how well-intentioned.
That’s what makes me a Progressive.
Because really, how can we accuse the MAGAs and VBNMWs of cult-like loyalty at the expense of critical thinking when we are guilty af ourselves? We can’t.
It pains me to say this, but our plan for a non-violent political revolution in this country is doomed and has been from the start. As many realized all along, the forces of corruption are too entrenched at every level of our government for an electoral solution to suffice.
Hard lesson to learn. It’ll be harder still if we refuse to face some uncomfortable facts. For starters, the elites are not going to suddenly see reason and pass legislation taxing themselves up the ying-yang. It’s simply not going to happen. Why? Because it’s never gone down that way in human history, like, ever.
I know I’d hoped that perhaps humanity had evolved just enough so a peaceful resolution could be possible. I also know that was a pipe dream in the face of historical evidence.
But being a pacifist, I think it was not only a worthy but necessary part of our journey. We must always exhaust our non-violent options first.
We tried to manifest change from within the belly of the beast, a noble if far-fetched goal. Now it’s time for an attitude adjustment and a new plan of action.