My First Bernie Sanders Rally Destroyed My Feat
I will begin by saying that I’m a bit of a loser when it comes to navigating the recent political climate.
Obama ruined me for life. Yep! I am forever “Obamafied.”
This means that no one who dares to run for the presidency will ever be able to undo or redo what the first black president accomplished with endearing ease.
Donald Trump won’t get my vote because I’m a black woman and he’s a white, racist, sexist and privileged asshole.
Hillary Clinton seems to be the devil without a cloak. She’s so embarrassingly fake in her pursuits. She’s at peace with the fact that enough women will be rescued by the need to author her historical moment.
I’m not a fan.
Bernie Sanders has my curiosity but not my assurance that he can really live up to all the hype. And actually do something.
So, on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon — I agreed to join my friend for a rally that Bernie Sanders was anchoring — near the the University of Southern California’s sprawling campus.
My playmate of more than a decade is a roving activist who is infectiously passionate about the issues that are dear to her heart.
When we discuss the elections — her lead is usually the best.
She’s blown away by Bernie and is immersed in the mission of guaranteeing that he will beat Hillary. Even when it’s quite clear that he won’t.
She represents the core of Bernie’s audience who adhere to the notion that life can only get better with a fresh start.
We all believe that.
Majority of Americans are aware that their present circumstance is a consequence of a chaotic economy and greedy money hoarders who will continue to save their habit as long as power overrides the powerless.
Trump is a an instituted superstar due to the addiction of a wired media and a shitload of white people who can spell Trump but can’t tell the difference between Washington State or Washington D.C.
He is honest about his shit — despite how shitty his shit is.
And for the ignorant and oppressed — it’s cool as hell to have a man of the people act like a well dressed renegade because when he detonates — he will only take the ones that look like him. And there are many.
Anyway — back to Colonel Sanders!
The elderly statesman — who at the tenderly dangerous age of 74 — is seeking the highest office of the land. For the first time in his expansive life.
I never heard of him before but when he appeared on the scene and began to dutifully reshape the race to The White House — I took notice.
He sounded like the wise but annoying grandfather — doling out life-affirming advice in a sternly affectionate way.
I remember watching him on the Telly and instinctively calculating the relevance of his age as he started to make sense to me.
His energetic stance and flair for rejuvenation — couldn’t charm me out of the realization that he would be almost 83 when his proposed 8-year term was over.
Damn! He’s kinda old!
He also seems too good to be true. But so did Obama — and I was all in when it came to lending my voice in the name of — Yes We Can.
Okay! Damn it! I will relent and go hear what Bernie has to say.
It was the quintessential California day — if you were documenting the blue skies and seasoned sun rays from your car or under a quaintly designed parasol.
If you were stuck in line with the wrath of the golden crystals blinding your mental stability — then perhaps it was an afternoon of forced commitment.
We had both responded to the requirements of a schedule that was supposed to guarantee our admittance into the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Tons of people had already surfaced. They were mostly young and vibrant.
We obediently stood in line. The viral anticipation was the scent that ruled the charged atmosphere.
I examined the faces around me — including her’s — and they all were imprinted with Bernie’s code.
He has all the answers. No, scratch that.
He has the solution to the unsolvable monopoly of how to graduate from a life of hopelessness to an existence bloated with reachable prospects.
Almost an hour in — I was already over it.
The heat, the annoying conversations without me, the idea of showing up and staying for someone I wasn’t invested in.
Get me outta here!
I stayed. We stayed. And the line eventually loosened up enough to get us into the bowels of the event.
Once we gained access — after security verified us — we were greeted by town criers — heralding our arrival.
We were in Bernietown.
Booths with his likeness and signature — embedded in functional wares were strewn strategically but we were headed to the massive enclosure ahead.
The rally ended up being held in front of the imposing stadium which sadly meant there would be no sitting and plenty of standing.
The sweltering appointment with the sun had given way to a requited early evening breeze. And the magnetic pull of the throngs of diverse supporters also emitted euphoric vibes.
We could afford to stand and listen to bands and high-profile speakers set up the the prologue and blessed entrance of the star of the evening.
We stood for two hours.
Three hours — if you count the stint outside the gates — leading up to the impending hours of coerced torture.
By the time the fifth band came on stage and tried to valiantly weather the electrical mishaps of the previous musical acts — I was cursing the wiles of pompous politicians who are all exactly the same.
When it comes to the little people — those who’ve gained celebrity status — can afford to keep their fans on their feet for hours on end — just for the glory of hearing them spew our the same rhetoric that you click on when you google or stalk their social media platforms.
I did take the time to painstakingly tally up the demographic around me. One last time.
Mostly Hispanics, which isn’t surprising since Donald Trump hates them and this is L.A.
Also, tons of Asians, which makes sense since they do have a reputation of being really smart and practical about their choices.
There was a healthy amount of Caucasians. A lot of singles and young couples with kids — who want to believe that Bernie will live up to his starry agenda.
A recognizable amount of Black-Americans filtered through — but not enough to make my friend and I feel confidently represented.
Others looked like they were batting for the other team while openly courting the competition.
I was there because I was stupid enough to think that standing on my feet in flats for longer than I anticipated would change my life.
It was cool when actresses Shailene Woodley and Susan Sarandon gracefully roused up the crowd with triumphant pledges and emphatic speeches.
It was insane when Hollywood veteran Dick Van Dyke reminded us how skillfully he’s managed to escape the grim reaper. He showed up — mummified and electrified.
After proudly announcing that his 90th birthday was sometime this fall — the oldest man in the world introduced the second oldest man in the universe.
Bernie Sanders finally took his rightful place in front of his people.
By then — most of us were tired, sore, hungry, irritated, delirious, awake, thirsty, mentally warped and drained.
Or maybe it was just me.
My feet were on fire. I wanted to sue Mr. Sanders and his entourage for physical duress. For subjecting me to the role of pampering a brilliant mind who costs way too much to appreciate or champion.
I listened through my pain and frustration as Bernie spouted out the rehearsed shots at his opponents.
The blighted economic woes that were facilitated by big banks and corporate greed got a major shoutout.
The terrible effects of fracking ruled the night — as well as the plight of the dejected — including minorities and the unfortunate ones below them.
It was the real life playlist of what I had already previewed on the web.
The Millennials were the most joyous while the relatively older crowd listened with poised adoration as their throbbing feet and back delayed instinctual reactions.
I was numbingly soaring through the repetitive script and wondering if maybe my Saturday night was actually going to end with me having both my feet amputated.
Bad joke but well-intentioned sentiments.
Once it became apparent that our lives weren’t going to be irrevocably altered by Bernie’s testimonies — but rather by his team’s fucked up itinerary — we decided it was time to vacate the premises.
As we walked away and headed for the airy exit — I forgot about the sharp pings that erupted from each step and gave studious props to the gathering around me.
These people were dedicated to the cause and unaffected by the bullshit it took to get to where they were standing.
A diverse crowd of enthusiastic citizens — that demand change and swear with all they are worth that the gray-haired guy who sounds like their fairy-grandfather — is capable and armed with the equipment to reshape a wilted landscape.
The cheering got louder as we edged towards the finish line.
Bernie sounded good.
He had the countenance of a soldier that fought many wars and is desperately hoping to command the epic battle that found him too late — but amazingly his regiment will prop him up with faith and loyalty.
I just wanted to be propped with a glass of wine, chair massager and a soothing hot basin of healing spices for my fucking feet.
It seemed like we had defected as the distance between us and the scene of our discontent grew impressively wide.
But, as the unclogged air greeted us and the grass began to erase the unnecessary roughness that besieged us earlier — we made silent oaths that we later recited after countless blunts and empty beer bottles.
She would settle for volunteering and phone solicitations on behalf of the man who will never be president.
And I will most likely never vote for another black president ever again.