Many of us can do two things at the same time, like, say, walk and chew gum. It takes practice, but we’ve managed to master that skill. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that we Bernie supporters can celebrate that a woman, for the first time ever, is our presidential nominee while still disagreeing with her policies. Yes, like it or not, Hillary Clinton is the presumptive Democratic nominee; a woman can finally claim that victory and that’s a ‘uuuuge deal. While I’ve never been an identity voter or even a single issue voter, I fully and enthusiastically acknowledge that this is a biggie, it’s historic, and a long overdue accomplishment.
It’s also bittersweet. As I’ve stated previously, more than once, I wanted Bernie Sanders to be the nominee… badly. He’s consistently and diligently fought for nearly every progressive policy I’ve supported for decades, and when he announced his candidacy, I couldn’t have been more excited. I’m hoping that he and his liberal positions will not fade from view or be crushed by detractors once the election is over. I’m hoping the “respect” that Democrats are currently extending to Bernie is sincere and permanent and that his clout endures and his objectives eventually realized. I hope the movement he created makes even more headway. I hope his beyond-expectations influence is lasting and effective. For millions of voters, he made “real change” a tangible goal, one that Bernie voters vow they’ll continue to fight for. Cries for racial, economic, and gender justice will not subside, so hopefully, neither will the movement.
On Super Tuesday, the same day President Obama taped his endorsement of Hillary, my dear friend and radio host Angie Coiro recently wrote this, and she has given me permission to share. She put many of the thoughts that were randomly swirling around in my head into words:
It’s a bit of a stunner to be a feminist of so many years, then sit with distress and disappointment at the country’s first woman major-party presidential nominee.
That’s where I’m sitting – not sure how to process this long wished-for benchmark, when the mark has been made by an old-style politician. Old style in her questionable sincerity and her lack of transparency. Old style in her connections to the monied and the power mongers.
Different set of genitals – which yes, does have historical significance – but mostly the same old shit.
I can tell you this: if you told 20-year-old me that one day I’d be disappointed that the old, established white guy couldn’t overturn the powerful woman who bore the black president’s stamp of approval, I’d have laughed you out of the room.
This is a very strange place to be.
We’ve all been hearing how Bernie supporters need time to “heal.” True. Losing the primary has been very painful. We also need to stay energized, do whatever we can to shape policy, and never give up in our efforts to elect more progressives in every single local, state, and national election. It won’t be easy, but then again, when it comes to politics, nothing is. Never give up. Justice or Bust.