Bernard Sanders the Peace Maker
In which I answer a friend’s post that says “has your vote changed because of, or in the process of all this?” and hereby make my statement about how hard I feel the Bern.
My vote has changed.
I have said since the beginning that I would do what Bernie told me to do — I believed in his movement so deeply.
But I never considered that meant voting for, much less endorsing Hillary. In fact, in light of what I learned through this process about the Democratic party, election process, and actual track record of financial impact in politics had me swearing up and down Never Hillary and Bernie or Bust. (We aren’t all bros, and we have a few good points, beeteedubbs.)
But Bernie has taught me a few things over the last months — how to be a peace maker, a mensch, and how to be about “us” not “me”.
The last little bit of that burns (ha) for me a little — a lot, because “fighting to the death over the DNC and the injustices of our modern society” felt like the truest form of being for “us”. But I’ve also learned a LOT about privilege the last months — specifically mine.
I can rail against the injustices of the DNC, I can loathe the revilesome nature of the GOP, I can even pack up and leave the country if I just get mad enough.
But that leaves out everyone — EVERYONE who doesn’t have it like I do.
The difference between a HRC or DJT presidency doesn’t come down to my feeling justifiable righteous rage and lots of opportunities to say “I told you so” no matter who wins for the next 4 years.
This difference in president comes down to a radically impactful difference in how it would affect people who suffer brutalities I don’t even comprehend or typically consider outside of my righteous indignation.
My friends from all walks of life suffer a much greater risk than I.
My “they should fucking listen to us despite all consequences — and that will teach them!!” attitude doesn’t help those that I love or further the movement with an “opted-out you’ll learn Trump presidency”.
For the last few weeks I’ve been considering Jill, versus a Bernie write-in. I’ve been leaning to a solid Bernie write-in since the end of June. I’ve been holding out hope he would pull the leverage of this revolution out of his sleeve and slap some mofos down at the convention. I’ve been ready to pick up a pitchfork and head to the streets, torch blazing.
I’ve watched asshats use the negative qualities of a woman running for president and become painfully aware of how they get away with vicious sexism in the name of righteous indignation.
I’ve watched a total megalomaniacal, self-fellating hate creator incite the public to violence against the marginalized and watched as the numbers begin to tick upward on the “random Muslims attacked in the street” statistic. That doesn’t even touch on the shit that #BlackLivesMatter has stirred up around here.
I’ve watched a man turn to support and bring peace and unity — while fighting with every fiber of his marrow for something better for all of us. I kept waiting for the shoe to drop — AHA!!! THEY MUST HEAR OUR SIDE OR THEY WILL SUFFER!!! Instead, I learned what it means to be about “us” and not me.
I’ve been in tears the last few days over all this Feeling The Bern. But I had this wildly important revelation today — that Bernie is showing me the actual path of a peace maker.
I’ve never seen a peace maker up close in my lifetime. Most of my generation has lived in a perpetual war with some country some where. Everyone on every path I’ve crossed rushes rather quickly to war, perpetuating us versus them, and I’ve grown up in a world where we all make war with ourselves and those on our Facebook pages.
I’ve been working on this — outside of all political hoo-haa — to find what I must learn to be a better peace maker. To make peace with myself. To make peace with those in my family that I war against. To make peace with the Trumpistas, to make peace with the violence, to make peace with police. How can I END THIS WAR WITH MYSELF?!!
Bernie shows me what peace looks like today. He shows me what “not me, us” really means when it comes down to having the fist of 14 million Americans ready, balled and primed to strike against the injustices. He showed me choosing peace over power. I believe in my heart he could have had the fiery takeover if he’d have picked up the war stick in the name of a revolution. And yet he chose peace.
Watching, thinking — I realized my fury and turmoil about how I would cast my vote had me ready to let the chips land as they may — “whatever happens, they deserve it for what they did”.
But we’re severely one-upped on this one, and the consequences are dastardly — a little for me, a WHOLE LOT for the already oppressed.
So… I’m gonna fucking vote for Hillary. And I’m going to cry about it. And I’m going to continue railing against the injustices that will inevitably continue because revolutions aren’t won in single battles.
If I have learned anything from the cannabis industry — it’s that NOTHING revolutionary happens overnight and true revolutionaries have to commit to a lifetime of change.
It all boils down to this:
I will not leave room on my ballot for a future Trump presidency — and when the future shows who stood for “not me, us”, I want the ledgers to show I stood on the side that Bernie The Peace Maker stood.
So I guess my vote hasn’t changed.