A few election cycles ago, it was all about the “Vote Or Die” campaign led by prominent celebrities that targeted the MTV generation. Today, however, we’re seeing the “Bernie Or Bust” movement being led by fans of Bernie Sanders. These are folks adamant in declaring their undying love for Bernie Sanders, to the extent, that if Sanders fails to win the Democratic Party nomination, 25% plan on sitting out the general elections in November. Last week, the “Bernie Or Bust”
Personally, these people should not be taken seriously. However, last week, actress Susan Sarandon gave life to the “Bernie Or Bust” crowd in an interview withMSNBC’s Chris Hayes. While I can appreciate the passion of Bernie Sanders supporters, I must admit, as a black man, much of the “Bernie Or Bust” talk is wrought with a certain privilege afforded to white folks. As someone today who benefits from certain privileges (like voting?) for which many before me literally died while fighting.
I don’t get it. I especially don’t get it when Bernie Sanders himself has said that he would vote for Hillary Clinton in the general election if she becomes the eventual nominee. Even more puzzling, to me, is that I as a black man have been told by Bernie’s white supporters, that I should vote for him solely on the premise that he marched with Martin Luther King Jr. So which one is it? Is my concern for the black struggle only limited to the Democratic Primaries and not in the General Election?
Watch Susan Sarandon’s interview below:
Susan Sarandon didn’t say that she’d vote for Trump over Clinton. She did, however, say that she couldn’t see herself voting for Clinton if she was the nominee. What she did suggest as she broadened her opinion, was that a Trump presidency could be a good thing because it would signal the beginning of a needed political revolution. In my opinion, it’s a silly position. But hey, when you’re white and you’re a financially privileged, you can say such stupid things because you have nothing to lose. The working poor, on the other hand? Yeah, we’re not that lucky. Similarly stupid? Yes. But like I said, we can’t afford to act or think like Susan Sarandon on this matter. Well, not if you aren’t “privileged” you can’t.
It’s about demographics and defense
This general election is about preventing the Republican Party from gaining control of every branch of government. It isn’t so much about stopping Donald Trump. It’s about preventing the conservative movement from gaining total control and being able to impose their will with impunity. They already control the Senate. And with them winning the White House, we could very well have a 7-2 conservative split on the Supreme Court in the future. Think about that – yes, it can happen.
If you don’t get this, perhaps it’s because you’ve spent the last seven years stuck in your ideological bubble. And in doing so, you missed the part where 88 of 98 state legislative bodies have become more Republican since the election of America’s first black president.
But hey, let’s ignore the effect this has had on our lives while President Obama governed with the least productive Congress in history.
So, forgive me if I have no sympathy for your soy latte drinking, cage-fee eggs organic-food-eating, mad at the system selves because “Obama hasn’t done enough.” Did you vote in the midterms? Probably not.
Last time I checked, your demographic wasn’t the target of voter suppression. Your demographic isn’t hinging it’s future on a Supreme Court case on Affirmative Action. Nor does your demographic stand to be negatively impacted by the continued re-segregation of public schools. With the unemployment rate for your demographic currently at 4.3%, I’m just not feeling your so-called anger and righteous indignation. Because at the end of the day, even with the Republicans in control of every branch of government, collectively, your lives will be better than the black and brown people who look like me.
When you’re thirsty in a desert and someone offers you, Pepsi or Coke? Do you walk away when they tell you that’s all they have because you’d rather have a Mountain Dew? Not voting because you don’t like your choices is pretty much just like that.
Have fun dying.
Now, add everything I’ve just said here to “the Bern” or whatever you stir in your coffee and have a nice day. Because, as Mike Tomasky and Charles M. Blow both concluded, this “Barnie Or Bust” thing is yet another example of the self-centered irrationality of privileged folks.
Yep, just drive off a cliff with Susan Sarandon already.