R.L. SAUNDERS

writer attempting real life in the middle of everybody else's vacation

Bern smartly, pale and precious candles of hope.

on July 30, 2016

 

Bernie rally

My kids and I rallied for Bernie (literally) and we’ll be leaving our A FUTURE TO BELIEVE IN sign up in the living room indefinitely. But despite all the Bernie Or Bust up here in the Great White North (by people who are suddenly much smarter and more committed to their ideals than Bernie), this Bernie-loving progressive is WITH HER (you know, like Bernie). For whatever reason, it seems entirely plausible to me that Bernie’s in a position to know something about the best course of action for the revolution he inspired. Those ideals are closer than ever to becoming reality–just look at the Bernie youth vote! That’s our future! Yay! And it’s the much nearer future if a need for immediate gratification doesn’t fuck it up by inadvertently setting human and civil rights progress back a good century.

And all these recent variations on the idea that “Bernie or Bust” is at this point, in part, a reflection of white privilege? They ring pretty true, if we can be a little bit honest with ourselves for a sec.

I know this is the first time some Berners have cared much about our political system (welcome i love u so much plz never leave), but the way it typically works is: sometimes your preferred candidate wins and sometimes he or she loses. If your fav comes up short in the primary, it feels good to amplify and hold tight for a while to all the (founded and unfounded) negativity spewed in the process. Thing is, while Bernie was screwed in many ways (He totally was! I so get it!), Clinton won, even adjusting for our completely imperfect and sometimes corrupt system. Hillary MOPPED THE FLOOR with Bernie in the South, actually. The reality is that some of us are clinging to hurt and divisiveness (and yeah, hate) instead of even attempting to see what is now our most reasonable, sustainable (if slower) path forward. And it’s making me sad. Not like personally terrified for the immediate safety of my children sad, because my family will still be comfortably white during a Trump presidency. Just run-of-the-mill middle class white lady bleeding heart liberal sad.

Seems a little like love is the answer unless things don’t go exactly our way. Like, discount the validity of minority votes because why? They’re not as enlightened about the path forward as we are? They just don’t understand all the secret winking, or whatever, that Bernie is doing to signal we’re supposed to write him in or vote third-party? It’s our moral duty to have hope for the masses of misguided hopeless minorities in place of their own hope (poor things)? Come on. Bad hippies. Bad.

To whitesplain: The best yurt builder in the world has devoted himself to helping you build your  environmentally sound, non-GMO, most amazing dream homestead for free. And he’s making good progress on the project, but you’ve decided to burn the whole thing to the ground in a fit of rage because he’s taking longer to finish than you expected. That doesn’t teach the world about the pace at which you demand things get better. It just devastates your own family.

At some point (preferably before November), I hope we’re better able explore and genuinely consider the difference between unbridled hope and unbridled ignorance.

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5 responses to “Bern smartly, pale and precious candles of hope.

  1. Kelli Williams says:

    Spot. On. Thank you for writing this.

  2. Diane Matherly says:

    Thank you Rhonda. We all have to work together to get HRC elected. The alternative is not good!

  3. I love everything you write. You’re spot on–and I realize it is hard to defer gratification for your chosen course, so thank you for being magnanimous. As well as right–why, only today my eldest pointed out that out family being comfortably white under Trump our family wouldn’t bear the brunt of Trumpism. But… let’s hope we never have to put that one to the test.

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