You’ve got to get through Empire Strikes Back before you get to Return of the Jedi
Is it time for Bernie voters to give up and back Clinton?
No. No it certainly isn’t.
As a science fiction fan, there are any number of analogies I could make here of parallels innumerable in which the good guys find themselves mired in the middle of the darkest and worst set of circumstances they could be in when all is surely lost, and hope is nowhere to be found; they wonder how they’ll ever succeed now that this is the state they’re in, they look around themselves somberly and wonder why they should even bother trying. The forces of evil have won. They’d need a miracle to get out of their situation. Their hope has been crushed and with the fall of the heroes comes the fall of the proverbial flag.
Is it better to give in? Admit that this is the end?
After the USS Enterprise survived the initial assault at Regula, it seemed that Kirk, McCoy, and the Doctors Marcus were trapped in an underground cavern, surely to die, with no way out. But lo! Kirk had a plan! Spock had been waiting nearby the entire time, their true intentions kept to themselves and communicated via code. But even then, Khan’s defeat at the Mutara nebula, came at an unimaginable cost, as Spock sacrificed himself and did what was necessary to help the Enterprise achieve escape velocity before the genesis device exploded aboard the USS Reliant. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan ends with us attending Spock’s funeral along with the crew of the Enterprise, listening as they eulogize him one last time, and we wonder along with them what any of us (audience included) were going to do now that Spock had been killed?
After the Cylons executed their nuclear attack on Caprica and the other eleven colonies, and the subsequent scramble and crisis management to stay stafe, outrun them, and find as many survivors as possible, for Commander William Adama, the war had just begun. Although they were one of the last military ships in existence, he was determined to fight on, to survive. President Laura Roslin, newly sworn in after President Adar was killed in the initial attack, urged him that the war was over, and that their side lost.
In The Empire Strikes Back, Han Solo was frozen in Carbonite, his bounty about to be turned in. Luke lost his arm in the fight against Vader. Lando Calrissian betrayed his friends at Cloud City and turned them over to the Empire out of his own self interest. All hope for the rebellion against the Empire had evaporated. The film ends with the heroes solemnly gazing out of a window as the Rebellion’s forces regrouped. No one was quite sure what they would do next.
In some of these stories, these contemporary legends, those who still carry a small candle of hope are mocked. They have heads shaken at them, with furrowed brows and pursed, downwardly curved lips asking them, “What’s the use?”
But it is these people, these brave and dauntless souls, that inspire the rest to keep on going.
In the wake of the Nevada Democratic convention — wherein the fix was in, and where official challenges to the tallies and delegate totals were not heard, and motions that were seconded not recognized, and finally, where the Chair gaveled out the session and dashed off of the stage as fast as she could, leaving armed personnel to line up in front of the stage, placing barricades in front of the understandably infuriated Sanders supporters that had witnessed their votes counted for the other candidate that the party was trying to coerce them into supporting — we face a similar predicament.
The Movement for Bernie exists just as it always has, but despite the insistance of what fake journalists at Hillary’s bought-and-paid for “news sites” like Blue Nation Review and its parrots at Daily News Bin, the People’s View, and Daily Banter would argue. the battle for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States was so controversial in 2016 (and bore many parallels to the last contested nomination fight), Mrs. Clinton did not win the nomination “fair and square”. Last minute rule changes before public votes and state party conventions (like Nevada’s) ensured that she would walk away with even more support than what she had in these places.
In Washington State, where I live, my roommate was a delegate for Bernie Sanders for our convention, and was one of the filers of the official challenges when “tabulation errors” were not subtracted as they should have been from the final tallies, allowing Clinton to snag delegates literally appeared out of thin air with support from voters that did not exist.
My roommate won that challenge, and denied Clinton over 50 delegates in the process. I was so proud of him, I baked him a s’mores cake.
Still, the election this year is marred in distasteful, dirty American politics. Living in Seattle, and by proxy, Washington State really spoils you, as our politics are not all that shady or corrupt and are more akin to Canadian politics than they are anything like what’s offered in the US: civil, polite, reasonable, sound.
I hate being reminded that — for better or for worse, though obviously worse — we’re still forced under the star spangled umbrella, and there is no more current and demonstrative example of that than the Democratic nomination fight.
So what hope is there? The Evil Empire has all but won. Should we just give in and accept its rule with lowered eyes and broken spirits? Dolores Umbridge has taken over Hogwarts. Do we just let her viscous reign begin and prepare the backs of our hands for the bloodletting she feels we deserve for opposing her? Our Spock — Bernie — has fallen, do we accept that as the will of the powers of this universe and just let it be? The Cylons have won, and we’re lost and on limited resources and even less hope. What do we do now?
I asked myself these questions in recent weeks, and in seeking a refuge from the depressing, hopeless world of politics, retreated back into Geekdom, to regroup my thoughts and ponder if acceptance is truly the path forward.
I went on to Hillary’s website — the online shrine of her insincerity — sponsored by corporate cash, funneled to her to buy favour during her “inevitable” general election campaign and presidency. I headed to Trump’s, just to compare, and wondered if I could stick my head back in the sand just enough to lie to myself and pretend that the fight is against him and the Republicans instead of what I know to be the real battle against the corporate might that has bought and purchased both parties and their candidates.
In every story — in each and every one of these modern legends, from Captain Janeway’s speech at the start of Voyager and Adama’s rallying cry at the start of Galactica — we are urged not to give up.
“Somewhere, out there, we will find a way home,” promised Janeway.
“Warp speed.” Kirk commanded, without hesitation, as he, Bones, Scotty, Chekhov, and Sulu stole the Enterprise against orders and sped off on the slim hope to find their lost comrade.
“Fight ’em til you can’t,” Starbuck said as the Cylon raiders ominously flew overhead.
That was the line I heard (God bless you, Katee Sackhoff) when I closed my browser on the Clinton and Trump sites. There was no way I was going to start using #ImWithHer hashtags — not now, not ever — because I am not with her.
And so as those students at Hogwarts led by Harry Potter did when Dumbledore was driven away and Umbridge began her reign of terror, I declare that we must sign up for our own Dumbledore’s Army.
Bernie’s Army. The resistance to Hillary Clinton and her Democrats.
Not one dollar of support. Not one vote. Not one good word in her favour. Nor Trump’s, mind you.
Henceforth, we must let the electoral fortunes and candidacies of Clinton and Trump fall where they may without us.
Jill Stein and the Greens are regrouping, and if we want to join them, that’s a great option. But we cannot give in to Clinton. #NeverHillary meant exactly that: Never. Hillary.
The Enterprise crew found Spock, and rescued him.
The Galactica, Adama, and Roslin kept the last vestiges of humanity safe and shepherded them to their new home on a planet that would once be known as Earth (well, Earth II, technically).
Harry Potter and Dumbledore’s Army drove Umbridge out of Hogwarts and won the war against Voldemort.
A few years after Empire Strkes Back saw Return of the Jedi, and although it took some time, Luke, Leia, Han, and the Rebellion took down the Emperor and the Imperial forces, destroyed the second of two Death Stars, and restored the Galactic Republic.
When the election is overwith, we must start the formation of a new party (I strongly suggest using Socialist Alternative as the backbone, as they’ve seen political, electoral, and legislative successes in recent years, and whose de facto party leader began the Fight for 15 worldwide) for the 99%, free from corporate cash or influence, that takes no shit, doesn’t mess around, and gives exactly 0.00 fucks about what the Democratic Party wants.
We can bring to birth a new world — and a new party — from the ashes of the old.
So down with the Empire. Unseat Umbridge. Frak the Cylons.
It’s time to rescue our proverbial Spock. It’s time to #ditchthedems.
And, as another woman leader would insist, I leave you with this inspiration from President Laura Roslin.
So Say We All, Madam President.