Let me begin by stating the obvious. These past few months have been incredibly stressful and beyond surreal for everyone. We’re all just trying to get through the days with some shred of sanity. The last thing we need to do is compound each other’s pain. Most of us are guilty of insta-triggering as our worst anxieties manifest before our very eyes. Understandable, but hurtful when everyone’s already teetering on the brink.
So, in the spirit of fellowship, let’s begin by saying that I, and many other Progressives, still have immense respect for Bernie Sanders and the half-century of awesomeness he’s given this country. There isn’t another politician alive who boasts Bernie’s track record as a champion of the people. He galvanized millions to actually give a shit about politics. To get involved. He made us believe that real, systemic change is possible. It’s a proud, noble legacy.
That being said, Bernie abandoning his campaign on April 8, 2020 (a day I’ll never forget) was a kick in the ass to everyone who went all in, once again, to get him elected. Berners worked hard for a Green New Deal and Medicare for All, two policies imperative to save our environment and save our people. We were taking no prisoners in 2020, knowing it was our last chance to unfuck the country and the planet.
We thought Bernie knew that too.
Bottom line is that Bernie conceded the battle before it was even fought. That’s what I take issue with, and know many others do too. I was prepared for Bernie to lose, we all were. We didn’t sleep through 2016. We knew if Bernie lost, he’d have to endorse the nominee(STILL can’t believe the DNC chose Biden, but that’s a rant for another day.) I thought, if anything, we’d go out with a bang at the convention, as was planned, not a whimper on MSNBC.
Whether you care to admit it or not, Bernie’s decision to bail in early April knee-capped the Progressive Movement’s momentum. Instead of going down fighting, Bernie made the DNC’s job easy by preemptively waving the white flag. If this is all about policy and platform like we always say it is, disappointment or even disgust over Bernie’s recent actions are understandable for policy-driven voters.
Sanders is no longer endorsing a Progressive platform. Therefore, I am no longer supporting Bernie. (Never thought I’d be typing either sentence, believe me.)We didn’t abandon our Progressive ideals. Bernie did. He may have once stood with us, but he does not now. He stands with the neoliberals that are incrementally killing us.
And it breaks my heart.
Hard facts to face, but facts nonetheless. It's an in-your-face humiliating betrayal to the entire Progressive movement. If you can’t see what’s right in front of you, don’t direct your misplaced rage at those who can. You’ve turned Bernie Sanders into some kind of saint. He’s not, he’s human, and he fucks up like the rest of us. And some fuckups are unforgivable, no matter how many years of exemplary behavior predate it.
Interestingly, the remaining Bernie Faithful habitually accuses those who’ve thrown up their hands in frustration of having some sort of savior complex. This has got to be the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard. If that was the case, we’d still be making excuses for Bernie’s actions.
We don't for one simple reason. Bernie is no longer a Progressive. He openly and enthusiastically backs the DNC non-platform of “WE’RE NOT TRUMP.”
That’s not what I signed on for.
So if you’re still defending Bernie’s recent misdeeds and plan to vote for the Blue Cognitively-Impaired Racist/Rapist as opposed to the Red One on Bernie’s say-so, you may want to examine just who has the savior complex here.
“But Bernie dropped out because he didn’t want us to get COVID-19!”
No, Bernie didn’t drop out of the primaries to save us from the 'Rona. He didn’t say to avoid the polls for safety’s sake, he said go vote for Biden. Trying to spin this narrative with Bernie cast as some humanitarian superhero is a fairytale. And sad. Please stop it.
“Bernie knows stuff we dont. We need to trust him!”
This is one of the most tired excuses whenever Bernie does something unfathomable. He’s not a “chess master” playing the long game. He bailed because, for whatever reason, he decided that cheerleading for the neoliberals was the best option for him.
And hey — he probably meant well. I think Bernie usually does. It's not his motives but rather his methods I take issue with. But that doesn’t mitigate the amount of damage done because of them.
Look, guys, I get it. I'm not trying to pick on you, even though I know it sounds that way. I felt the same way in 2016. It angered me to watch fellow Berners write Sanders off as a sheepdog — or worse. I lost a lot of political friends over it. I’m watching the same happen now. But my perspective is considerably different in 2020.
If you want to follow Bernie to the Land of Incremental Death and vote for the Blue Guy Who Can’t String a Coherent Sentence Together, knock yourself out. But stop trying to vote-shame Progressives who have stayed the course rather than succumb to Orange Man Bad fear-mongering. This, right here, is where the Us in Not Me, Us comes into play. It’s not about any one player, it’s about changing the game, right?
We haven’t drifted off-course. You did. We’re still pursuing a policy-driven path. You’re following Bernie. From April 8, 2020, there’s been a very big difference between the two.