“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain…” Thus spoke the fearsome Oz the Great and Powerful after Toto the dog pulled back the curtain hiding the controls of the “wizard”. Turns out this “wizard” was just a man whose balloon went awry at a county fair and he drifted into the land of Oz where he was proclaimed Wizard Grand Deluxe. Caught up in his own hubris, he allowed the people to believe he was more powerful than he really was.
And herein lies the truth with Bernie Sanders and his Bros and Bras (What? Bras are articles of support.)
I actually like Bernie. I love his passion and the way he ignited political passion in a group that had previously been practically synonymous with apathy. I feel, however, that he would have been (and still would and will be) serving this country better in the Senate. As would Senator Elizabeth Warren. Senator Warren gets that. Senator Sanders doesn’t. But the passion that he has ignited in his followers has turned into a very dangerous ticking bomb that very likely will explode in the face of his followers and possibly the rest of the nation. Slowly, but surely, the truth has been coming out that his supporters would gladly throw any and everyone under the bus to support “the cause”. That cause of revolution. The revolution to throw everything out and start everything over again. Throwing the baby out with the bath water. They will, in fact throw the very people that they claim to be fighting for: LGBTQ people. The disabled. Those living so far under the poverty line they might as well be invisible. And I am not the only one with the sinking realization that the Bernie Sandernistas are willing to annihilate everything and everyone who stands between them and the White House.
Mari Brighe, herself a trans woman, articulated many of the concerns I’ve had over Sanders’ increasingly vitriolic campaign in an article on Bustle.
“What this seems to come down to is that Bernie or Bust people have become so enamored of their self-congratulatory “revolution” that they’ve entirely lost sight of the bigger picture. They care more for the movement than for the people. In essence, they expect marginalized people to be the sacrificial lambs for their cause. They claim it’s about looking to the future, but looking 10 years down the line is a luxury that trans people like myself, Muslims, undocumented immigrants, disabled people, and those living in poverty simply do not have. Many of us simply would not survive Trump or Cruz winning a general election. The Bernie or Bust stance is the ideological equivalent of building your futures on our graves.”
And that really frightens me.
Even, possibly, more than Trump.
I laughed. Not so much as my friends, but I did laugh a little at Trump and his excesses and hyperbole.
But I was also unsettled at the idea of this man becoming President of the United States.
I am, however, also grateful to him. In a way. As I recently posted on Facebook, Donald Trump lifted up a huge rock under which some very ugly truths about this country came crawling and slithering out.
All the racism, homophobia, xenophobia and other ugly stuff that we have tried to deny about ourselves for decades has emerged into the light of day and scared us silly. Trump is the very epitome of all that is wrong with this country. And some of us, hopefully most of us, do not like what we see in that mirror. And hopefully, those of us who do not like that mirror image will work our butts off to ensure that the face of that ugliness will not get anywhere near the Oval Office in any position of power.
So, where does that leave me? Do you really have to ask?
I realize that the probably three people who will read this will most likely create their own Wizard of Oz scenarios (I can already see Hillary being cast as a witch of some sort. Those who know my spiritual leaning know I would be actually kind of proud at that.)
Go ahead. Creativity is a good thing.
But remember: There’s no place like home.