“We all just have to unite and rally around Hillary now. To beat Trump. OK”?
No. It’s not okay.
After an anxious morning of waiting for events to unfold, I finally got a chance to scroll the news. And those dreaded whispers, which had spooked Bernie communities everywhere the past few days, were finally confirmed.
I’m sure every Bernie supporter went through a similar whirlwind of different emotions as I did today around twelve o’clock.
First, I was in disbelief. Then, a strange feeling that felt vaguely familiar overcame me. I haven’t been in a relationship for a long time, so naturally it took me a minute to recognize – it was heartache.
The heartache was especially brutal. It was like that heartache reminiscent of a grade school crush. The kind of heartache you feel when you’ve fallen in love, maybe even your first love, with someone who feels the way you do. With your fingers linked, you both stand on the edge of the world, and vow to conquer it. You have common dreams, common enemies, common loves. The love is all encompassing,
Then you get dumped. Out of the blue – never saw it coming – dumped.
“Everything’s going to happen the way it’s supposed to”.
Your mind flits back through memories of when you first realized that this was “the real deal”. You recall the first time you were in the same room together. Then you’re home, all you want to do is curl up in a ball and forget but there are reminders everywhere. The Bernie stickers and signs, brochures from canvassing, the LOVE BERNIE sign your child drew in markers the colors of the rainbow. And you cry, because you saw him stand with another. A common enemy.
I’m older now and I’d like to think that I am wiser too.
Working through stages of a dumping become familiar…disbelief turning to anger morphing into blame then despair.
Now, all of us Bernie supporters must begin our journey back into a world where possibility still exists.
Today’s events taught me something so important. I’ve been looking at Bernie wrong all along. He’s not the great hope, he was showing us that hope exists.
It took Bernie Sanders 15 months and 30 some odd years to do that, but he has.
There’s that old adage about not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Well I don’t intend to.
So many wonderful things have happened to me during my time with Bernie. I found a community of like minded people who are bright and funny, beautiful and powerful. I was welcomed into homes while canvassing, I had long conversations with people all over the country while phone banking. I tried things I’d never imagined I’d do…like write about politics. Bernie made me brave and I’ll love him forever for that.
I don’t know why today happened the way it did. I’d rather not speculate.
What I do know is that the seeds have been planted. In the coming years, we can fill the halls of Congress and the House of Representatives with forward thinking progressives like Tim Canova and Zephyr Teachout. Bernie has paved the way for progress and it’s up to us to keep fighting for what we are certain is right.
We must show our country that this was not a fad, not a trend that will go out of style. Not a movement that can be silenced and dismissed.
The convention in Philadelphia is crucial. It is the true beginning of a new America. I look forward to seeing you there.
Astranada Gamsey is one of the Holla Moms buried under work, commute, and child rearing, yet also getting the word out about Bernie, democracy, and the needs of working people.