Ignoring Bernie Is Privilege
Ignoring Bernie Is Privilege
By Tim Anderson / filmsforaction.org
Some of my progressive friends still refuse to support Bernie Sanders. They say he’s sleeping with the enemy by going for the Democratic Party nomination, and that he’s too soft on Israel and guns: he's not a woman; he's not black. They think he should be more pure, that the Democrats always acquiesce to the mainstream; that he’ll round up the left and deliver us to Hillary; that if he’s running well in the two party system he must have sold out like all the others did.
Most radicals probably haven’t heard much about Bernie because they haven’t lived in the North East, so their suspicion is understandable. But I lived near Bernie and I’ve heard tales of him for twenty five years. And Bernie is what he appears to be: A real radical to the bone who has a serious chance of becoming the most powerful person on earth and helping the movement win, as it must, for the sake of all life. This has never happened, and it may never happen again.
Once in awhile history moves surprisingly, shocking everyone. History is drafting us into a serendipitous love war. Dodging this draft is a privilege, a luxury that the poor and the biosphere can't afford for us to indulge in.
The left once believed in American democracy. Suffragettes were imprisoned and died for the vote. But we came by our cynicism honest. Many of us worked within the system plenty and tried to salvage it for years before it came to seem hopeless. Needing to volunteer for Bernie is hardly what we lefties expected, or could have predicted, but it's the hand we are dealt, it's the battle we are dropped in the middle of. If we refuse to fight, our purist, intellectual asses may stay safe, but the poor, the oppressed, and the climate will wither.
With our hard work the left can get Bernie elected. Without us, no way. If we sit this one out, we will get to sit around for four more years self-righteously whining about what a lying sell-out Hillary is, like Obama was, and watch helplessly as the US sheds the blood of the poor in stupid new wars for oil and power. And, soon, too soon, progressives will also get to watch helplessly as the biosphere heats up, dries up, and life itself blows away.
This is our love war. It’s ours to lose. It’s ours to win. This is the dream of the 1960’s coming true at the last minute. As bizarre as it is, as tacky, this is what we were born for. Sorry, but Tag, we’re it.
“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. "So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” ~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring


Editor's note: Since this article doesn't touch on every concern that folks on the left have expressed, here are a few more articles on the discussion of where the Sanders campaign fits within the larger movement of our long-term goals. 


Why Radical Leftists Should Support Bernie Sanders
William Kaufman · Leftists can fantasize that they are doing a great service to humanity by scoffing at Bernie, but they’re merely isolating themselves from the rest of the country.
The Radical Left Has Bernie Sanders All Wrong
Josh Fattal · While mainstream Dems debate realism vs. idealism, another set of the left is having an entirely different debate
Sure, Vote for Bernie, but Let's Just Make Sure We Don't Lose Sight of Our Long-Term Goals
Thomas Estabrook · In deliberating on what to write about for this latest edition of the Hair of Samson, it was suggested that I write about Bernie Sanders. I was initially somewhat skeptical of...
I Support Bernie Sanders, and I'm Not Stupid or Unrealistic
Cody Gough · Today I read for maybe the 10,000th time an assertion that supporters of Bernie Sanders are unrealistic, that Bernie Sanders supporters will all be disappointed if they elect...

Tim Anderson is an activist in Seattle, WA and can be reached on Facebook

4.2 ·
What's Next
Trending Today
Donald Trump Is the Mirror and Hillary Clinton Is the Mask
Chris Agnos · 15,190 views today · Disclaimer: I do not support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president. I think the scope of the political debate is far too narrow for the kinds of actions that need to...
Noam Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'
Chris Hedges · 12,248 views today · Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite...
Gil Scott-Heron Deconstructs Colonialism and Black History in His Own Unique Style
3 min · 9,086 views today · His-Story: I was wondering about our yesterdays, and starting searching through the rubble and to say the very least, somebody went to a hell of a lot of trouble to make sure...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 6,256 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
For Those Who Don't Want to Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils
Peter White · 5,146 views today · Ranked-choice voting is catching on, and Maine might become the first state to help citizens vote for candidates they actually want.
Anarchists - What We Stand For
unknown · 3,438 views today · Anarchism : The word “anarchy” comes from Greek and means “no rulers”. As a political philosophy, anarchism is based on the idea that organization does not require rulers—that...
Donald and Hobbes Is Genius
Various · 2,856 views today · Some clever folk have been replacing precocious 6-year-old Calvin, from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, with Donald Trump and the results are, well, take a look...
HyperNormalisation (2016)
161 min · 2,258 views today · We live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion. Events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. Donald Trump, Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless...
10 Quotes From an Oglala Lakota Chief That Will Make You Question Everything About Our Society
Wisdom Pills · 1,762 views today · Luther Standing Bear was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief who, among a few rare others such as Charles Eastman, Black Elk and Gertrude Bonnin occupied the rift between the way of...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,693 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Lessons in the Calais Jungle: Teaching Life Stories and Learning About Humanity
Aura Lounasmaa · 1,304 views today · I am part of a team of academics teaching a course to residents in the Calais Jungle, a camp for migrants and refugees outside the French city. Life Stories in the Jungle has...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 1,253 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
Planet Earth II Could Be Best Nature Doc Ever Made
3 min · 871 views today · 10 years ago Planet Earth changed our view of the world. Now we take you closer than ever before. This is life in all its wonder. This is Planet Earth II. A decade ago, the...
My Cuba - An Intimate Look at the Pleasures and Struggles of 6 Different People's Cuba
150 min · 860 views today · Cuba - diverse, vibrant and complex - is undergoing immense change. But what does it mean to be Cuban in this time of change? Six people. Six films. From the comedy and ballet...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 642 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 622 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 420 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
Our Obsession With 'Good Immigrants' Breeds Intolerance
2 min · 397 views today · Society sets the bar so high to become a 'good immigrant', argues writer Nikesh Shukla, that normal immigrants are demonised. He says non-Brits in the public eye have a simple...
The Untold History of Palestine & Israel
22 min · 390 views today · Previewing Abby Martin’s on-the-ground investigation in Palestine, The Empire Files looks at the long history of Zionist colonization, expansion and expulsion of Palestine’s...
Eckhart Tolle: Your Facebook Ego, That's Not Who You Are
2 min · 372 views today · “Identification with thoughts and the emotions that go with those thoughts creates a false mind-made sense of self, conditioned by the past: the "little me" and its story. This...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Ignoring Bernie Is Privilege