(The above illustration is definitely not meant to be a metaphorical statement on the naivety of Bernie Sanders supporters who refuse to switch their allegiance to Hillary Clinton … unless you wish to interpret it that way.)
Over the last four days …
… as I listened to convention reporters interview representatives of the fraction of Bernie-istas who insist they won’t shift their support over to Hillary, I realized something: All too many young adults—”millennials,” if you will—don’t know jackshit about anything that preceded them.
Oh snap! There you go again, Geeze! … running down people because they’re young. Don’t you have anything better to do? Don’t you have some kids to chase off your lawn? … some curly, gross hairs to pluck out of your ears? … some Metamucil to mix up or a freeway lane to drive 30-miles an hour on?
My my, aren’t you sensitive. I didn’t say all of you don’t know jackshit about the past. I simply said all too many of you don’t know jackshit about the past. Truly, you are all geniuse at swiping up info on your pretty little fancy phones. And I would never argue that you are much, much better than we fogies at all those acronyms. “URL?” “OCD?” “HDTV?” Goodness, I don’t even know what you’re talking about half the time. And your willingness to try new things is most impressive. Take that Pokemon Gotcha game … why, I wouldn’t dream of wasting what little time I have left chasing after imaginary cartoon characters on a two-inch screen.
But the thing is, see, all week long I listened to one whiny baby after another moan about how disappointed they are that they didn’t get their way, and how those darn old meanies in the Democratic leadership screwed Bernie Sanders out of getting to be President … how Hillary Clinton could never, ever be trusted … how she was probably worse than Donald Trump … and how they would piddle away their vote on some third party spook just to show the cold, cruel world what conviction-driven saints they are.
Well maybe they really are conviction-driven, did you ever think of that? Don’t you have any convictions you wouldn’t violate?
Oh, certainly. Absolutely. At present, for instance, I have a strong, strong conviction that I must contribute everything I can to defeat Donald Trump. I have a firm, firm conviction that as bad as he is for our country as a candidate, he would be infinitely worse as the leader of it. I have a conviction … and an iron-clad one, it is … that whatever convictions I hold personally fade into irrelevance before such a threat to the very soul of our country.
Yet too many of these “Bernie Or Bust” buttheads see no irresponsibility in putting their own dogmatic certitude ahead of every other concern. I won’t say their self-righteousness is as bad as the Republicans’. But in the end, it could do just as much damage.
But what about the fact we can’t trust Hillary, huh? You can’t tell me she’s honest.
I can tell you she’s as honest as anyone who’s ever run for President, damn straight I can! And I can tell you that if any other candidate … including Bernie … had his life ripped open like a mattress in a drug bust and every molecule of it examined for the slightest inconsistency … the smallest hypocrisy … the most inconsequential fallacy … the most private embarrassment … as Hillary’s has been for a quarter of a century now … there isn’t one of us who would come out of it smelling very pretty.
In fact, considering everything Hillary’s been involved with, everything she’s accomplished, the circles she’s traveled in and the heights she’s reached … and given the level of scrutiny she’s endured … I’d say she’s come out of it heads and tails above anyone else would with a comparable history under the same microscope. Let me tell you something, pal … the biggest revelation the vultures have found about Hillary Clinton is that there is so damn little to be found out about Hillary Clinton.
But what if she’s hiding the worst stuff? What if what we don’t know is even worse than … than …
Worse than what? Worse than her lack of any culpability what-so-ever in the Benghazi deaths, as proven by one of the most intensive and extensive political witch-hunts ever conducted by Congress? Worse than the fact she didn’t do a thing as First Lady of either Arkansas or the U.S. that her enemies could truthfully claim was illegal, immoral or even ill-advised? Worse than, after eight years as a Senator and four as Secretary of State, the most damning thing they can pin on her is a screw-up with a handful of emails?
This is precisely what I mean when I say so many of you don’t know jackshit about the world before you got here. Especially the world of politics. And what irks the piss out of me is that the Republican machine has been successful in manipulating your generation’s smug self-containment.
What you talking about? … “our smug self-containment?”
Look, it’s nothing new to millennials. Believe me, every generation comes of age behaving like nothing very important happened until they got here. I’ve joked about it for years, how each batch just coming into puberty thinks they invented love. Or how each college graduating class acts like they discovered everything from existentialism to un-rhymed poetry.
And that’s how you approach politics too, isn’t it? For those of you who approach politics at all, that is. So many of you go through your early adult years, perfectly content with trying out new apps and getting new tattoos. Then along comes Bernie, and a few-hundred-thousand 20-somethings finally start paying attention to the society they live in. And suddenly you know more about what’s fair and what’s unfair … who is trustworthy and who isn’t … who’s authentic and who isn’t … than your parents.
Only, the thing is, if you’d seen even half of what your parents have seen, what your parents lived through back in the Nineties … back when you were watching Teletubbies and learning how to use the toilet … you would know that most of the lies and smears and accusations being thrown at Hillary in this election have been used before … over and over … and with no basis in truth.
Yeah, but …
And the Republicans know this about you. They know you are babes just coming out of the woods, and they know you don’t trust or believe anything anyone tries to tell you, especially when it’s coming from successful politicians. So they dredge it all back up … all the lies and smears an accusations … knowing you will be all too willing to believe the worst about her, even if the information is coming from someone you trust even less than her.
Hey, young Bernie people aren’t the only ones to believe the worst about Hillary Clinton. There are plenty of old people who think the same thing.
Yeah, but they’re Republicans, anyway.
Meaning they were stupid to start with. They believe anything the right-wing smear industry tells them. They swallowed the line that she is an evil, ball-busting, conniving caricature back when she was First Lady, and they never stopped believing it, because they want to believe it. They are the paranoid dimwits without which there could be no Republican Party. The modern GOP is now the framework where stupid, ignorant people can go to justify their stupidity and ignorance.
But you millennials, now, are supposed to be smart, aren’t you? Hip, multi-tasking, metro-sexual, cross-cultural time lords. And here you are, behaving like Duck Dynasty hillbillies with you’re “crooked Hillary” attitude. And for little more reason than that the Right has been whispering the same hateful lies in your ears for half of your young years.
You know, don’t you, that only about ten percent of Bernie backers have declared they won’t go to Hillary?
I’ve heard that, yes.
So why are you painting us all with this same broad brush? Why aren’t you acknowledging that the greatest share of millennials are progressive, tolerant, and plenty pragmatic enough in their politics?
Okay, maybe you have a point. But if this thing is as close as some polls seem to show it is, those unrelenting Bernie-ites flushing their vote down the Green Party toilet could be the difference we need. So maybe I can shame a Bernie-buster or two into pulling their heads out of their asses and doing something other than gratifying their own self-righteousness. It could happen, couldn’t it?
Mr. Cope, I’d say if Sarah Silverman and Bernie, himself, couldn’t do it already, you haven’t got a chance.
‘Cause I’m too old and out-of-it, I suppose.
Even though I’m five years younger than Bernie?
Really? Five years younger?
That’s right. I was just being born when Bernie was already out cruising on a tricycle in his little knee pants.
That’s weird. You seem older, somehow.
It’s probably these curly, gross ear hairs. Bernie probably had staffers that trimmed his. I have to do it myself.
Ah … yes … that could be it.
(Feel free to read anything into the above illistration you want.)