Aside

Not really Feeling the Bern

Jumping into a political foray that is already far too much of a joke is, admittedly, not my finest move. But here I am.   

Maybe it’s because I live in Downtown Manhattan – this, probably hemp-dusted, bastion of liberaldom, manned with vegans on bicycles (yelling “Vegans have better sex!” as they narrowly avoid killing the innocent jaywalkers on the streets), hipsters in typical New Yorker uniform, and disillusioned artists who live in the proverbial SoHo loft and smoke hand-rolled fags – but I think the Bernie fever has really reached breaking point.

Sometimes I can’t walk a step without smudging yet another enthusiastic chalk scrawl of #FeelTheBern on the ground… And now as I try (and fail) to dust off the bits of chalk dust that fill my already-shit,-and-God-knows-what-else,-smudged shoes, I’m trying to make sense of what feeling the Bern (what a familiar, young, nickname for a 74-year-old white male senator from Vermont and erstwhile – 53 years ago – Brooklynite) actually means.

I’m pretty sure most of the US (including Vermont) woke up one day, thinking “WHo the hell is Berny Snader??” but now he’s neck-and-neck with Hillary Clinton who is (in order of public interest) the first a First Lady who had to deal with a cheating husband, person whose gmail NSA probably creeped on (isn’t that everyone though?), grandmother, the Secretary of State a.k.a chief foreign policy diplomat of the whole entire country, and former front-runner of this election.

Former isn’t really the right word for the time when Hillary Clinton was us Democrats’ favorite, I prefer the term “Good ol’ days.”

Remember those days? When Donald Trump wasn’t (as much of) a public menace, and being liberal didn’t mean being as radical and different from the moderate populace and the Republican electorate as possible (and I don’t just mean ideologically, the average physical distance between a confirmed Democrat and a confirmed Republican is probably at least 10 feet. Is this a de facto rule that I haven’t heard about? Does anyone know of couples of different political factions? The public is as divided as Congress ahh).

Bernie is the romanticized angry old man, like Carl in Up (He probably spends his spare time telling kids to get off his lawn). He’s the dreamer we’ve all been waiting for, the perfect liberal idealist who speaks the crazy marginalized ideas all poor/LGBT/colored people have had as an entitled white man from within the system. With the added bonus of the cutest-gruff-personality/accent combo.

But as a dreamer, his ideas (his slogans, his applause-laced speeches, his entire campaign) are just that – they’re dreams: hopes, and all that jazz; not real pragmatic plans to actually use the system from within to bring about change.

He keeps yelling passionately that we need change, but he mumbles about how he’s going to do it, and it is maddenning!

Bernie’s policy director, Warren Gunnels, is barely active on the internet: one measly video of him from 2007 on an anti-corporation tirade (I have to admit, I appreciated it – as any good liberal would), and his thread-bare Linkedin page, are all I could find. It isn’t very impressive.

Bernie talks in soundbites while his policy director hides behind an unupdated social media page and a couple webpages with unconvincing numbers on the website (for more deets on the Bernie-Sanders’-Too-Good-To-Be-True business plan, go to CNN or another giant media conglomerate – because the campaign website isn’t helping).

Additionally, his foreign policy is a crazy melange of nice-guy who talks human rights, and suspicious imperialist. Plus, I haven’t heard him talk internatinal politics without being all “I told you so” about the Iraq War, and I don’t think being self-righteous counts as a foreign policy (although Reagan, Bush, and Nixon come to mind).

I won’t cherry-pick, and present him unfairly (if I haven’t already), but check out his Foreign Policies yourself – it’s not all the glitter and authenticity that he emanates.

Anyway, now that all my vague accusations of Bernie Sanders’ dreamy but unrealistic campaign have manifested themselves (and I’ve quite run out of steam after having spent the last twenty seconds gushing over how cute Bernie is on Colbert), I just want to add that politics is about compromise.

Nothing is going to change if the most popular Democratic candidate won’t budge from the very tip of the left-wing (calling himself a socialist when nearly half of the country associate that word with scarred-looking East-Berliners on their teles in the 80s), and the most popular Republican candidate is….well something quite the opposite. We’re ripping this bird apart with our pulling and arguing!

This really isn’t about winning or losing – this presidential rat race election, I mean – it’s about finding a nice idealogical center (and I also do wish Republicans and Democrats can be physical friends again..Can we all take off the unofficial restraining orders please?) from which to rule the country so that most people are happy.

Democracy, everyone, is not about finding the most extreme candidate on the block and writing aggressive chalk messages about her/him on the sidewalks, it’s about finding the most realistic potential-president.

This person is going to be the most powerful person in the world com November, and she/he really really needs A) a plan, and B) to be representative of all American people and their interests.

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