The morning after. No pill for this.
I awoke at 4:30. When I wake early like that, I try not to look at my cell phone. Because it’s really iffy if I’ll get back to sleep. If I pick up a book instead, I’ll have a better chance of reading for awhile and then getting a little more sleep out of the night. Maybe. But contrary to my own good advice, I peeked inside the outer world of cyberspace. And saw last night’s results.
I couldn’t stop contemplating it. And now, three hours later, I still haven’t. And, I’m pretty sure you (and by you I mean pretty much all of us in the Bernie and/or Elizabeth camp) haven’t either. At first I thought, wow, if Bernie and Elizabeth could just join forces, the “progressive” vote wouldn’t be split and then we’d win out over Biden. But then I realized that if Bloomberg and Biden joined forces, their “moderation” vote would also no longer be split. And without actually tallying the numbers, it appeared to me that the Biden-Bloomberg camp has more numbers than the Bernie-Elizabeth camp. It made me super sad and unhappy that in some states Bloomberg won over Warren. I mean, I KNOW he bought his way to his victories, but still. Most voting people (except his large paid staff) don’t make money from his election wins. They just had to believe what his propaganda said rather than what they could see and hear with their own eyes and ears during the debate. They were unable to process that information in a truth-reflecting way.
It made me sad, unhappy, angry that Warren got as few votes as she did, given her potential brilliance as the POTUS. The votes don’t at all reflect her worth and her value to our country. Yes, I voted for Bernie, but I also love Elizabeth. It’s partly dark class forces at work and partly, and most centrally frank gender bias if not outright misogyny. Even my Mom thought Warren “shrill”. (My Mom also has difficulty with me taking strong stands, well, any stands… When I was 21, and “women’s liberation” was happening, she spoke disparagingly to me of “women’s lib”) I’m just saying. This is a mind set not only of my Mom, not only of men, but also of many women — of the whole country, but not just of our country. Of the world. The species. (except for a few bright spots like Finland, New Zealand, Iceland).
Because there is fear of Woman. And fear of change. And the elite money’d powers-that-be — the GOP and FOX news on the right, but also powers in the Democratic party — do not want progressive change (which they call “socialist” or “communist” to scare people, just like Roy Cohen -Trump’s mentor – and Senator McCarthy during HUAC in the 50s). Making people afraid of equal rights for women, health care for all, free or at least affordable education, childcare, and alot of things that would help our society be so much better. People become afraid of those changes because they are fed lies, re-cycled tropes against “liberals being mis-guided and confused”, and are frankly and brazenly manipulated.
I clearly recall a note on a scrap of pink paper I received from a neighborhood girlfriend when I was 17. My parents were Democrats and so was I. I was for LBJ. Her parents for Goldwater. The note she sent me read: Dear Gayle, My parents joined the John Birch Society. You are either a communist or a communist dupe. I can no longer be your friend. Signed, Robbie
And now the news flashes on my screen. “Bloomberg drops out, endorses Biden”. I suppose there is always some hope, but this morning I see the writing on the wall. I will not speak ill of Biden. He is a good person. Light years better than Trump. What I will say is that Fear rather than Imagination and Hope won.
What I pray is that Biden can win (and Yes, I will vote for him and you will too! Yes? Yes.) and that he can and will assemble a cabinet that is brilliant and progressive in character with people who represent the broad spectrum of America’s complexity and intelligence, and that we can then think about, plan and work to move this country in a saner, more ethical, environmental-science-based direction. That kids can be taken out of cages at the border, that the ones who are “lost” can be “found” and re-united with their families. That we can get a sane and humane immigration policy. That journalists will stop being attacked. That may be all we can get right now; it would be foolish to bow out of the process, throw a tantrum, and give up our visions of all that is good.
Our work continues. In the political realm or in other parts of our world, we need to find ways to work for the good. First we must vote in November. Then, everything else.
9 thoughts on “The Morning After”
Thanks again for sharing here your thoughts and fears and courageous voice. I’ve been thinking that the votes for Biden also represent the well-founded fear of Trump and his voters. Most people don’t have the experience of finding hope in each other as so many young Bernie voters are. Most people don’t feel/understand/know in their hearts that their vote is only one thing they do as part of a powerful movement with a vision and a plan to create the world we all need. Most people have only the experience of going to the polls (or not) to vote for someone who promises to do this or that to alleviate their suffering. Bernie and his organization (and Elizabeth to a certain extent) have been organizing to build this kind of movement. I’m hopeful that as more people are drawn into this kind of mass movement–whether for Black Lives, immigrant rights, women’s rights, voting rights, universal health care, housing for all, etc.–they (WE!) will find strength in each other and be moved to act out of love rather than fear, in the voting booth AND in the pubic square. Whether Biden and fear of Trump are the best path to win in November will, I’m sure, continue to hotly debated.
Taking deep breaths and remembering the mantra of equanimity: This is the way it is right now. xoxo
Thanks so much for your comment, Anita.. Yes, sometimes fear is well-founded and the way through is not clear. The idea you present of the importance of building a movement and not just voting as a path to more empowerment is so true. I also really like the mantra you offer: This is the way it is right now. xoxo, g
I started a comment to you yesterday, carefully, but then I was completely out of iPad battery and my thoughts disappeared into literal “powerlessness.” I’m aware my close friends and family are in the Bernie/Warren camp. I consider myself closely aligned with most of their ideas, and prefer Warren. That’s been my “plan” but NY votes very late, and she has just dropped out, sadly. From the early debates, the posturing, position-taking on the least realistic proposals bothered me, seem “stupid,” poorly explained (immigration reform is a big area where early on the rhetoric of open borders, medical insurance, free college for illegals seemed a particular stretch and poorly explained). I don’t like it–but overwhelming POLICY COMPASSION for OTHER doesn’t seem to be “winning” the day. Chump has unleashed the worst parts of the nation…and perhaps ourselves. It is a crueler time; we’ve looked inward and IT IS US in disturbing amounts.
My own sense is that the “material conditions” for “revolution” are questionable. Reflecting on my own YOUTHFUL stances, I think I see things with more nuance now, and organizing young people for a broad base, commitment to the long haul is not always evident from the visuals or sound bites (and I confess my own bump-ins with Bernie Bros injured the cause profoundly.) Are they agents? Tom Mosher? Russian Bots? Meanwhile, Calling for full overhaul revolution gives pause IN THESE CONDITIONS and THIS CLIMATE. It is full of Fear, Divisive hatred on a wider-spread basis than we have ever seen (delivered constantly and immediately), and always the false identification that is very American: everyone thinks they ARE Middle class; everyone thinks they can be a billionaire, a rock star, a Nike-based athlete. The national MYTHS are DEEPLY ROOTED. I don’t like the talk of intellectual, white coastal ELITES; many people in this country share the desire TO GET RID OF THE FASCIST REGIME, and that’s what I think makes SENSE to “capitalize” on; many reasonable, “good” people I know are more comfortable with INCREMENTAL changes. And I know we can’t just “go about our business” but throwing all systems in the air is what CHUMP HAS DONE. I think many are clamoring for a restoration, an atmosphere where differences and compromises, SOLUTIONS, could happen. (This morning’s interesting reads included a nuanced view of AOC; a strong amount of her support is not working class, it is the white, professionals moving to the boroughs due to Manhattan prices, and are the very people who are part of the serious GENTRIFICATION replacing the blue class, racial diversity of yesteryear. It’s interesting. It’s US.)
For me, I love Bernie as the cranky progressive Senator who has always pushed on the Democratic party that he never truly embraces–something about that role that’s NECESSARY, idealism, visionary, pushing for more along with PRAGMATISM, incremental programs (not just band-aids?) Bernie’s strengths give pause. WE NEED HIM.
Meanwhile, Our candidate must unify a very diverse nation; he/she must actually STEP IN ON DAY ONE and get things DONE–starting with roll backs on every awful policy CHUMP has enacted. That will be a very BIG, immediate agenda! Bernie’s “outsider” purism does bother me; the minute that people in the Party question him as THEIR/OUR viable candidate the air fills with nasty accusations. The answer to millions who DO LIKE their health insurance must be taken seriously and better addressed! I’m hearing the fear of losing their health insurance A LOT!
“Establishment” “Corporate” name calling the day after Super Tuesday TURN ME OFF and feel dismissive. As a Democrat, some feel a bit “used.” No Third Party; change the Democratic Party (which I think HAS CHANGED a lot!) Do I now label myself Democrat? Progressive Democrat? Revolutionary? I’m grateful to Bernie. He’s been so critical to progressive ideas seeing LIGHT. Yet is he the torch bearer and the one to fill the ultimate lead role? His heart attack bothers me. I AGREE with his statements about Cuba, literacy, goals of the Sandinistas. But I’m aware that for MILLIONS the nuance of not all good-not all bad are substantial challenges during an AD BASED campaign. He’s always yelling, cranky, and–he’s very repetitious. His ideas don’t seem to get further developed, saying “I’ve got this, trust me” isn’t doing it for me, and it IS DEFINITELY why I prefer Warren. Yet (similar to your Mom) I feared her “school marm” scold that smart women get accused of…or actually lean toward behaving that way (seemingly shrill, snarky, rather than simply smart or informed) for so many reasons. I long for a different day, but have not always felt fully akin to the clearer, “simpler” PC of the moment (Al Franken vs Harvey…nuance). I wish we were face to face because I trust you, I trust my Bay Area, Chicago/JOIN compadres, and I’m reading lots of articles, trying to be WOKE, and not feel dismissed or hated cause my life took me to a suburb. The lessons of 2018–moderate Dems winning over Republican seats, and the warning that if we go too Left, too soon, we don’t take people with us, and we face back lash speak to me. (I think the false identification is profound; the hatred for people telling people what’s good for them is so DEEP). I remember the heartbreaking night I delivered the PITCH after Dragon Lady’s Revenge at the Armadillo Headquarters in TX when McGovern was CREAMED.
I remember the Hubert Humphrey Demo at the Fairmont with Jeff–how we hated him.
I believe in the energy and hopes of the youth; they aren’t flocking to the polls; I (shamefully?) find myself questioning the DEPTH of their conversion. The knowledge of the extremes of youth reside in me, and a Bernie “kid” saying Bernie or “nothing” discourages.
I will vote BLUE.
I will hope either Bernie or Biden SURROUND THEMSELVES WITH AN EXCELLENT YOUNGER VP, and a CABINET of smart, creative, diverse voices as in a Cabinet of “Rivals.” I get that Bernie has to differentiate himself but dredging up every lousy vote Biden made (and for me the handling of ANITA HILL still stings; co-dependent with high tech LYNCHING card)…knowing every horrid thing Biden ever said will now come down to manipulated FX sound bites and Chump ads.
I don’t fear democratic socialism; I don’t live among people clamoring for “revolution.” They do want progress, improvements, decency and I think most want real social justice and income disparity addressed. I don’t like the inability to explain costs, transition plans, and specifics that assuage the fears of TURMOIL. To me it’s a serious blindspot. (We were helped by Obamacare; but I could detail some disturbing aspects that ANY NEW PROGRAM WILL ENTAIL that I’ve swallowed “for the greater good” of change. It blows me away that it has boiled down to Biden and Bernie–two very old white men….BOTH INFINITELY BETTER< SMARTER HUMAN BEINGS than the entire Chump regime.
Thanks for your perspective, Melody. It’s one that I share even from inside the San Francisco Bernie bubble. Many people I know, older activists, many of them women, and, yes, “well-educated,” voted for Warren for just the reasons you point out. Her supporters were not just narrow feminists or “elites”. They wanted to see structural change, money out of politics, justice for all through institutional change, etc. Many were educated not only in universities, but also in the movements of the ’60’s and ’70’s where we learned difficult lessons about what happens when we neglect to build broad coalitions. I think the phrase was: Unite the many to defeat the few! Here we are still struggling to understand what that means in practice.
Thanks Anita appreciate your reply!
Dear Melody, I’m sorry to be so delayed in responding to your amazingly detailed and soul-searching quest of a comment. I hear you! Your concerns are well-based on all points. Your questions about all of it good questions. I too wish we could sit down face to face and have a conversation about our current moment. I understand where you are coming from and in real life, in person, I would ask more, and particularly about THIS moment, because, here we are with Bernie, Biden, and Covfefe-19. Three old white guys! And with Covid-19. All I can really say for the moment is that we all need to come together, to encourage each other to put one foot in front of the other, to take care of ourselves, each other, our families and communities, and to encourage everyone we know to vote BLUE in the fall. Not just for the White House but also for the Senate and to keep the House. And not just vote, to send money and support to people. Re the presidential campaign personally I don’t want to hear criticisms of the candidates because I believe it just feeds the GOP to make their campaign FOR Covfefe-19 stronger. Unless people have truly had their heads in the sand or a full keg of beer, at this point, we all know Bernie and Biden. Hopefully their debate will be interesting in terms of both of them attacking Trump and not each other. But I have no control over that. The whole public discourse in our country seems distorted and bizarre to me, like the country keeps missing THE point, keeps talking around things, and never to the point. or rarely. Keeps looking to get themselves (ourselves) jacked up, aroused, titillated by things of no or little consequence. Like reality TV shows, American real life seems to play to the same audience tastes. (how Trump appealed to and got elected?) Perhaps the country is in the midst of a national panic attack, and this is what it looks like. People angry and scared and defensive and attacking. But often not scared by the people they should be scared of. Often attacking the wrong people. I loved Elizabeth a lot. I truly almost voted for her. I wished I could vote for both of them. In the end I felt Bernie had a better shot at winning. Because of a sense of momentum? or because misogyny is endemic to America (and most places)? or because I connected with him in 2016 and his words still ring true for me? I’m not sure, but voting for Bernie is where I landed, with equal appreciation for those who voted for Elizabeth. That said, I don’t hear Bernie’s words the same way you do. He does make sense to me. And I don’t hear him “yelling all the time” either. But that said, and as I said, I loved Elizabeth too, her smarts, her capacities, her policies. I hate hearing about mis-behaving Bernie Bros. I have a feeling that some of them are Russian Bots or agents, like Tom Mosher. And knowing the left as I do, I also know there are pig-headed assholes amongst us. Always have been. Not just in the left. But in the Left as well as the Right. In the middle too. In the vast sea of confusion. Having a progressive ideology doesn’t in and of itself make a person a fully or even partially emotionally-intelligent person. I remember a time (around when I was 18) when I thought if a guy had long hair, then he must be “ok”. Wow, how much naivete can you pack into one young girl? Then I transferred that notion to if a guy was a “revolutionary” then He must be “ok”. Again. Lesson learned and re-learned, and re-learned. What I know now is that bad behaviors come out of childhood wounding that has never been healed, whether a person considers themselves right, left, or center. What I know is that I can’t “fix” anyone. What I know is to do the things that Ram Dass taught me so many years ago: 1) to quiet my mind and open my heart 2) to see as clearly as I can what needs to be done (this means both personally and politically) 3) to do it 4) to not be attached to the results. And then to start over with number 1. Over and over. Or as Glennon Doyle wrote: “The most revolutionary thing a woman can do: the next right thing, one thing at a time, without asking permission, or offering explanation.” BTW, she has a brand new book coming out like today or tomorrow, which I KNOW will be amazing, so though I haven’t read it yet, I can confidently recommend it! It’s called “Untamed!” I love you, Melody! ❤
And I love YOU! I love your writing. I LOVE YOUR MIND, and how you are thinking and expressing our times. Thank you for this response. I had some Bernie Bro experiences that really scrambled. They are NOT Bernie, and assholes exist everywhere! Yes! I’m currently Hating the rhetoric of “the fix is in.” Im sure, similar to how some Repukes feel with things we say, The fix seems so dismissive of feelings and observations that do “land” with some resonance. Am I a tarnished by experiences Lefty? Bernie was terrific and calm on 60 Minutes. Looking carefully for tonight’s results. Will the youth show up for Bernie? Will the white working class? Articles on both today have me really WANTING THIS SCENARIO SO MUCH. More always. 😘
Yes, yes, and yes, Melody. I love your mind too! So engaged and questioning, and reflecting. Brava to us! Fingers crossed for the best results! xoxoxo, g.
VISTA and JOIN tootsies forever!