Bernie’s Political Funeral 

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair

The end of the Bernie Sanders campaign always had a destination that was not the White House.

I’ll admit that I anticipated it playing out in a slightly different manner. The wildcard in all of this was COVID-19, but like all good disaster capitalists, the DNC, with the help of the Obama faction, used it to their advantage. I anticipated a contested convention, maybe a little latte-level rioting……but even that didn’t come to fruition. Sanders flamed out like a crappy defective Roman candle.

I counted myself as a Sanders supporter, of course that statement is interchangeable with “I decided to be an amateur piñata again since it had only been 4 years since I had the shit beat out of me with a stick by the neoliberal establishment. Mmmmm…….. want me some of that again.”

I assume for many like myself, Sanders was a huge compromise, but one we signed on for anyway.

His stances weren’t really that radical—hell, they would most likely not even raise one hair of an eyebrow in most other western nations. It’s testimony to how far right our government has slid that this guy was bandied about as a commie menace. Like he needed the 1980 US Hockey team to take him down. The reactionary damage from the Republicans has been solidified and was magnified surreptitiously through the Clinton and Obama administrations. Many seem to understand the brazen assault during Republican administrations, but the Democrats were like a thief from your family, living in your own house and by virtue of that, not really suspected readily of doing such things. Now we find ourselves in this craggy-ass rugged individualistic Randian state—all problems are the fault of the individual; society has no obligation to do anything for anyone. Sociopaths and corporations thrive.

Now Sanders definitely had problematic behavior in terms of being a member of Empire Inc. (despite a few good takes)—overall he was a clear part of the imperialist team. He didn’t show signs of any radical beliefs that would truly upset the ongoing death march of capitalism. I believe he was a bit of an FDR in that he might have thrown enough bones to the working class to have staved off unrest. The unmitigated greed necessary to not even allow that much change will surely be looked upon as one of the pivotal moments in American history. It of course begs the question—what would have happened without FDR’s New Deal? Misery for sure (short-term) but would something radical have been propelled forward without it? What would this time look like now if a more overt rebellion had ensued? I always thought it was a given that these measures were good and kind, but now I know the whole system is pure trash and always was—it’s seductive though, when you see people suffer through healthcare disparities and debt, you want them to be helped because you’re not a monster. Sanders was a siren song for immediate relief, or at least the illusion of it. Certainly, it’s a trap a lot of people with empathy fall into. It’s terrifying to consider complete collapse when you know so many will suffer—you don’t know what will emerge on the other side. It could be far worse. By the same token, backing Sanders and other milquetoast types could be like pulling off a band aid for decades and then generations—the pain is always there, but you’re able to continue functioning as a proper member of the state, there for them to feed off of. I don’t pretend to know the right way to proceed, but sometimes I’m weak and want the suffering to be mitigated. That could perhaps be at the expense of a truly needed systemic overhaul that might bring real change. I just don’t know, but that is basically why I supported Sanders. I’m just tossing around ideas, not solutions or decrees.

The sheer lunacy of participating in something so completely and fully rigged isn’t compatible with self-esteem though, and a lot of Bernie supporters, who overall are good and genuine people, merely wanted a better life for everyone. These supporters are feeling humiliated and played. Because they were. And they didn’t deserve it. All they wanted was a fair vote and media that was at least somewhat unbiased. They received neither. I really hoped the DNC wouldn’t take the path of dodgy apps in Iowa and causing by whatever means, the mismatches in exit polling extreme enough to indicate fraud. I was not surprised that they did this, but even I was taken aback by their use of voters as hostages. Encouraging in-person voting during a pandemic is an evil that I didn’t consider they would utilize. What else is in their bag of tricks? Kindergarten poisonings? Jesus DNC—you’re some sick fucks. Tom Perez, what the hell are you?  I’m sure that factored into Sanders dropping out when he did. Continued in-person voting would surely increase, umm……. plague issues. The slight traction he could have continued to have in advancing things like universal healthcare during a pandemic wasn’t even allowed to continue. This is a system that has nothing left to offer but wasted time and money from people who can’t afford either.

One thing perplexing about the current situation is this: Does the DNC really even want to win? Continued, generalized venom abounds in their treatment towards the left and even Sanders exudes petulant bitchiness towards his own previous staffers and surrogates. I’m thinking in particular of his statement in regard to Briahna Joy Gray when asked about her refusal to endorse Biden. He snarkily said “She is my former press secretary—not on the payroll.” One shouldn’t be surprised though, because he did the same treatment to surrogate Zephyr Teachout. She had an op-ed piece awhile back saying that Biden had a corruption problem. Bernie apologized….to Biden.  Bernie is very good at letting down his supporters. He would be the dad you come home to and complain that a bully beat you up. He would listen with attention and care, but then march you over to the bully’s house to apologize for sinking to the bully’s level.

More along the lines of do they really want to win???  The Biden campaign had an unbelievable sticker to pull in the vote, I guess….one that showed “plutocrat” and “socialist” crossed out and replaced with “proud democrat”. The inevitable conclusion is that they don’t want the Bernie supporters who identify with socialism and are fueling up to come off as distasteful to the Independent voters who decide general elections. I’m sure the plutocrats aren’t concerned. They win no matter what. The conclusion I come to is that they are ready to lose, in fact are fine with it, as their class will be protected. Despite the obvious embarrassing optics of a Trump presidency, the meat of it is that these types do well under his policies. It’s seeming to be a lot like theater and being continuously dismissive to the left, to the point of overt hostility will keep voters away from Biden. It’s too much to have been played in a rigged process and then to have literal insult added on. The continued gaslighting coming from a progressive talking-points babbling Obama the last few days is enough to replace all the worlds ipecac syrup. But it won’t make Charlie Brown try again for Lucy’s football. Just once I wish Charlie Brown would have beat the shit out of Lucy for that. That might make Lucy stop. Voting for Biden won’t make them stop.

For a time, it looked like they would push a Mayor Pete on us after New Hampshire. He seemed to have the Obama-esque method of flowery nothing-speak down pat. He also carried with him a virtue signaling token for the liberal voter, the of being gay—like Obama being biracial signaled a progressive notion that had no concrete benefit to anyone, but you could “feel” progressive backing him if you were an older voter—as if you were doing something noble ignoring the fact that he wasn’t lily white. Actual leftists have moved beyond that kind of optics only candidate.  Anyway, Mayor Pete for whatever reason, didn’t take, so they went with the guy who seems completely out of his gourd. During this primary fiasco I had a very off-putting dream/nightmare that I went to see my disturbed mother in the nursing home she resides in. While visiting her, I noticed one of the other residents was Joe Biden. I kept trying to tell people after the visit that he wasn’t a good choice for president as he lives at a nursing home in Oskaloosa, Kansas, but nobody would believe me. I woke up and thought “yeah, that’s about right.” That Cassandra thing all over again. The DNC choosing to elevate a character like Biden looks a lot like not caring if you win or lose. He’s that flawed of a candidate.

I did hope that having Bernie in the mix during the primary would also help others come to the conclusion that they matter—that they don’t deserve crippling debt, but I’m thinking COVID-19 is doing more for the left than any Sanders campaign. Suddenly the people who matter as far as keeping us going are being called heroes. Sure, it’s mostly empty platitudes, but the people doing those jobs know it’s fucking true. The notion that they didn’t deserve a living wage even though they are keeping the rest of us alive and fed now seems a bit more obscene than before.  It’s obvious who matters to society and who is needed. The people with bullshit jobs can sit it out, but they are typically the ones making the largest sums of money. This is evidence that is difficult to overlook. It’s evidence of structural dumb-fuckery that exists for no reason other than to keep a medieval class stratification in place. And the sheer incompetence of our government is in full view as healthcare workers wear garbage bags. In this case the emperor has on no clothes and the rest of us have homemade cloth masks. This is not the stuff of a normal society. Nothing is owed to those who treat us in this manner. This would have been evident with or without some of us taking part in the doomed heartbreak of another Sanders run.

The world is in turmoil and the fakery is known. What a bizarre ride we are all on, but if I ever, ever show signs of getting emotionally invested in any of these staged political theatrics….you know like Bernie 2024……..forget the piñata pretense and just hit me with the nearest large stick to the point of euthanasia.


Kathleen Wallace writes out of the US Midwest. Her writing is collected on her Substack page.