There haven’t been many great moments in this year’s election. Oh sure, if you were a Bernie Sanders supporter you had those blissed out rallies that recalled the 1960s, where visions of socialism danced in their heads and hearts as the promise of a new kind of America without NAFTA, without fracking, with free college and single payer healthcare was offered up to those for whom eight years of Obama was never good enough. But if you were a Hillary Clinton supporter you sat steadfast with the truth. The truth that only Hillary could win the nomination — and not because it was “rigged” but because this wasn’t her first rodeo. She had the better team and she knew that nobody can win the Democratic primary without winning over black and Hispanic voters. Period, the end. Knowing this, the nightmare continued — the worst of the anger and rage directed at Hillary Clinton by the far left did not stop until the very day Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton. He could have likely stopped a lot of it had he acted sooner. He could have stopped the death threats, the spitting, the screaming, throwing dollar bills at her and calling her a whore. But he clung on and let the wounds fester. Bernie probably thought that his supporters loved him so much they would follow him anywhere, even over to Hillary Clinton. He was only partly right.
Now, many who loved him still love him and once again Bernie Sanders gets to emerge the hero. Beloved in the primary as the “only honest politician” who taught his supporters to think of Hillary Clinton as the enemy. Now he’s the good guy for stumping for her so hard state by state. “She’s not Bernie,” says Michael Moore, “but she isn’t Margaret Thatcher either.” Unlike Hillary, Bernie Sanders was never subjected to relentless unjust attacks — not by the GOP, not by Trump, not by Clinton herself. Yet his followers still see him as the victim, and so they see themselves as victims.
I dove into the mouth of the beast weeks ago when I wrote an agitating piece about Jill Stein voters. I had seen them first hand, their outrage, their bitterness, their hatred. I had seen them up close because they came to get in my face. If the Right wanted to help start a divisive war within the Democratic base, they succeeded, for the most part. The Green Party has made a lot of enemies too, and I’m sure that was never their intention. After all, we’re all here trying to fight for the same environmental protections that Trump and his team would dismantle immediately.
Yet, many of them still, like Susan Sarandon or Viggo Mortensen, can’t let go of their anger and hatred, even at risk of the high cost of seeing the Supreme Court tilt conservative for decades, even at the high cost of a white supremacist rising to power in the wake of our first black president. “No,” crows Sarandon, “I don’t VOTE WITH MY VAGINA!!” Well, sure she does. She votes with it all the time, and probably was voting for it when she supported Bernie Sanders, no offense. At any rate, there she is — clickbait extraordinaire — wreaking as much havoc as she can, right up to Election Day, so that she can say by the end, “See?! You should have nominated Bernie.”
Through this whole sick and twisted nightmare, a few heroes have emerged and I would be remiss if I did not highly praise both Michael Moore and, surprisingly, Tim Robbins who both are pulling for the Democrats to unite behind Hillary in the 11th hour. Robbins has written an op-ed in the Huffington Post. And Moore has been everywhere stumping as best he can for Hillary, as well as rushing his Trumpland doc to audiences last month.
Now, of course, there is only so much they can do. Too much toothpaste is out of the tube on that one. The damage had already been done by the time you saw shrieking Berners chanting “War Hawk” as Cory Booker spoke eloquently about children’s healthcare. We saw it seething again when they chanted at Michelle Obama, when the reality of what they could never face confronted them painfully and all they had left in their bag of tricks was to try to blow up the convention. What a shame. What a waste. What a disgrace.
But I’ll come out of this election admiring the people who did what was surely hard for them to do. They did it for the greater good. They did it because they know that there really is a good and bad choice here. There is a right and wrong. I will also come away from this election without the ability to forgive those who did everything in their power to allow the dark forces to rise in this country that threatened to put vulnerable people in harm’s way. Good luck Democrats. Good luck, Hillary Clinton.