American Shithole #48 | Feel the (Rug) Bern
By Eric Wilson
My rolling tumbleweeds of a Facebook feed percolated today as friends and acquaintances weighed in on the Bernie Sanders bid for the Democratic nomination.
Now, these good folks all fall somewhere along the liberal/progressive spectrum; yet, I haven’t seen such a polarizing response for any of the other candidates.
Not that I’m surprised; the foul stench of the DNC’s 2016 Clinton bias still hangs in the air three years later — like some broccoli fart floating around Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Mini Cooper.
Instead of rushing to roll down the windows on Sanders’ failure to capture the nomination, I think (as we witness this cavalcade of democratic hopefuls crisscross the country this year) each of us needs to assess our individual political priorities, and then with that in mind, listen to what the candidates have to say.
Here are mine:
1. Unless one of these candidates literally shows up to their political rallies with a guillotine, I’m going to listen and see how the field develops. (You come to a town hall with a fucking guillotine though, and you immediately have my vote.)
2. Barring a guillotine extravaganza (I can hear the maître d' now, “Koch, party of two, your head-bucket is ready.”) I will vote for whoever has the best chance to beat Trump; preferably, that someone will also have an uncontrollable urge to dismember what’s left of the Republican Party’s smoldering corpse — after they’ve dispatched with the Giant Orange Idiot.
3. Until then, I will rally behind those who are as progressive as I am. Candidates that support Equal Rights, Universal Healthcare, Universal Basic Income, Climate Change initiatives, affordable housing, well-funded public education, a revaluation of the obscenely wealthy (might I suggest… the guillotine?), a VA overhaul with no veteran left behind, a reversal of Citizens United, a tax law reversal, and an immediate end to the private prison industry, draconian immigration and asylum policies, and soft-sentencing on hate crimes and other acts of violence — but most importantly, I will support those candidates with a willingness and dedication to hunt down and prosecute every fucking shitbag (American or otherwise) that had a single fucking thing to do with this treasonous buffoon becoming President of the United States of America.
The candidate that lines up most with what I think they will actually do (vs. what they will likely say they’ll do on the campaign trail) is currently Bernie Sanders. This is going to be a stickler, seeing as a number of my friends that once supported Bernie, are clearly upset that he is running again. There are plenty of excited supporters, but so far I have not seen this kind of reaction from the left for any other candidate.
This is understandable I suppose; everything and everyone tied to the 2016 election is tainted in some way. You can’t drop a deuce like that as a country and not have some bad feelings about everyone involved.
There are also his imbecilic Bernie Bro followers — but we must understand that all sizable groups have their assholes and idiots.
There are a handful of reasons why he shouldn’t run.
For me though, I remember the feeling I had when a true progressive — one completely untethered from the klepto-capitalist clutches of billionaires, boardrooms, and banks (That’s a Lois Lane level of alliteration!) — was running against Hillary Clinton; and winning.
Not in my lifetime did I even dream I would witness such a thing; not in America. I was so fucking excited! Do you remember how excited you were? To experience that kind of response — and it was an overwhelming response of support for Bernie and his Democratic Socialist ideals (if not the word “socialism” itself) all across this country — that was magical for me.
That was magical for millions of Americans, and for many more around the world that look to our country to be the beacon of democracy we are supposed to be. Those who see the melting pot that we are, and the tolerant, multi-cultural, humanitarian country we might become.
I am smiling as I write this; that’s how much resonant joy there is from the memory of his campaign. I can feel the ripples from when Sanders dove in headfirst; and those waves wash over me today, once again.
Can you still feel that energy?
It’s how I feel lately when I see AOC storming the halls of power like a hurricane, scaring the shit out of corporate whores on both sides of the aisle.
Obviously we have a long way to go, and I could not even guess at what’s going to happen between now and November, 2020; but I love what Bernie stands for, what he has stood for, and fought for as a public servant his entire life.
But he lost.
I know. I know he lost, and I don’t want to get down on my knees and feel the rug burn as it’s pulled out from under me again either; but I sure as shit don’t want a lip-service Democrat, backstabbing opportunist in blue like Kirsten Gillibrand getting the nomination. Or some centrist like Klobuchar, who can’t see the forest for the trees when it comes to healthcare.
It remains to be seen how the gathering herd of donkeys searching for the sure-footed path to the presidency will thin out. Whatever happens though, Bernie Sanders will be there as a strong voice for progressive values, and I refuse to dismiss him outright based on some supporters I dislike, his age, or the taint from a Democratic nomination he was destined to lose.
Have a listen to what Bernie Sanders has to say in 2019: