Look. I get it. Bernie Sanders generated a lot of heat in the primaries. Thousands of young people showed up at his rallies and gave his campaign $27 and made a lot of noise on social media and got tattoos they’re likely to regret within the next few years (fortunately, ink can be covered with more ink). They didn’t exactly set the polls on fire, but whatever. They were young people excited about supporting their candidate, and that was nice to see.
Which is probably why the DNC brain trust decided that Tom and Bernie’s Excellent Adventure would be just the thing to bring all the fractious factions in line (and I apologize for sending you to CNN with their damn auto-play videos, but I was trying to get a link to a news announcement about the “Unity Tour” without commentary).
One problem: MILLIONS more of us did NOT support Bernie Sanders and, in the wake of everything he’s done over the past year to damage the eventual nominee and the party itself, the LAST thing we want is to unify WITH HIM.
I know – we didn’t show up at rallies.
We DID show up at the local campaign office, bearing home-baked brownies, to do data entry and filing. We DID show up at the supermarket parking lot every weekend to register voters. We DID show up evenings, after dinner was over and the dishes were done and the homework was done and the laundry was washed and folded and the lunches were packed and the permission slips were signed, to phone bank from our dining room tables.
We didn’t make a lot of noise on social media.
We DID have private communities MILLIONS strong of people – mostly but not entirely women, mostly but not entirely middle aged and older, of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and religions – who passionately loved and respected our candidate (she was always “Hillary” to us) and were tired of being relentlessly trolled, attacked, threatened, bullied, and shamed in public spaces, many times by St. Bernard of the Snows’ supporters.
We DID get together in each others’ living rooms to craft Suffragist sashes to wear to the polls and fundraise and organize and canvass and support each other and our girl Hillary.
We didn’t give $27.
We gave a HELL of a lot more. That’s one of the advantages of having a few more years in the workforce under your belt. We can afford to max out our legally allowed donations.
And we see you, DNC. We see that women are leading The Resistance, and your “Unity Tour” was a sausage fest. We see that women of color voted for Hillary in MASSIVE majorities, but St. Bernard thinks that we need to abandon the “identity politics” he doesn’t care about in favor of HIS preferred hobbyhorse of the white working class. We see that “working class” in reality is mostly women and people of color, but not in the small, insular world of 93+% white Vermont, where Bernie has spent the overwhelming majority of his life. We see that Jon Ossoff, who’s in a very close race to turn Tom Price’s *Senate* seat blue, isn’t sufficiently “progressive” for Bernie, but that pro-life Heath Mello, standing for *mayor* in Omaha, is.
We see you. And we don’t like it.
Now you are right about one thing. Women and people of color and LGBT people probably won’t abandon the Democratic party in large numbers in a fit of pique over having someone who is avowedly, loudly, stubbornly not one of us (other than temporarily when it suits his own personal ends) constantly pushed on us, will we or nil we. We don’t have that luxury. We choose and vote like our lives depend on it, because they do.
But – and this is an important but – women, and particularly women of color, have been the unpaid, unappreciated, we’ll show up and do the boring grunt work while you fellas make all the speeches and get all the press and take all the glory and credit, labor force of every progressive social movement going back to the abolitionists. And we might not be there next time around if you keep this shit up.
Image found here.