I made a last minute decision Monday night to drive down to Portsmouth, NH to attend the Bernie Sanders/Hillary Clinton rally. I have been indecisive all day but then listened to my heart and my heart has been with Bernie since 1990 when I volunteered on his first campaign for Congress. We stood on an intersection in Essex with HONK FOR BERNIE signs.
So my heart said GO and I cancelled everything and went.I knew he had to endorse her that day to get floor time at the Convention in two weeks. Or even to be allowed in. Or to have his delegates go. The DNC has all the power to keep him out. Unless of course he gave Hillary a glowing endorsement. And didn’t say a word to anyone about his future plans for the Convention.
I stood in line for two hours in the sun, after getting up at 3 a.m. I had to PEE. This became the most important thing in my head. Where to pee, how to pee. If I don’t pee now how long can I hold it. Will they all laugh at me or feel sorry for me. I asked Nick to say right where he was in line and said “I have to go to the car for something!” This was a distraction. I really just walked back through all the parking lots, looked around to make sure no one was watching, and crawled through pricker bushes to pee behind a tree. And then looked up to see a rock wall and someone’s backyard in front of me. A dog started barking but I was already past the point of stopping. Then I tried to think of a way back out of the bushes and into the parking lot because people kept walking by. What would they think I was doing in there? A hippie girl in a Bernie shirt flies out of the bushes and . . .?
It seemed that Hillary’s team had a plan at her rally. Two hours in the sun. All water taken away outside the door. The reservation form for the event said no bags or signs, nothing except car keys and cell phone. However, the people who had decided not to follow the rules were allowed to bring these things in. I like to be prepared so I had nothing with me. Then inside it seemed like they were trying to split us up by telling us which side we could sit on.
Her supporters were not kind. Now Berners will find each other seats, share signs, hug, high-five, and help each other in any way they can. The huge smiles on their faces are contagious. Berners have heart. Hillary supporters complain if you hold a sign up in the air. They shush you if you cheer or chant. They ask you to sit down when you are giving a standing ovation to Bernie. They order you in an authoritative voice as though you are a child.
There is one more thing I want to say about Hillary supporters. I am a people watcher. I am a mental health counselor. I read people. I stood in line looking back at the people walking in through the parking lot. Hillary people tend to be well dressed, have money, care about their hair. Berners are ordinary normal people. That tells us all everything we need to know.
Excuse me, I am 45 and an American. I have the right to do what I want at a rally. I just ignored the women behind me.
Another hour of no water and I started to feel my heart speed up. Dehydration became a THING. Once again, my mind chattered on. Are you going to faint? If you walk down from the bleachers to find water will you collapse. Will Bernie come help you up? I didn’t think that last one, but I wish I had. I went to search for water for myself and an older woman. There was nothing except for a water fountain on the other side of the building.
One thing I did notice and became immediately angry about was that Hillary’s STRONGER TOGETHER slogan was on their signs and her supporters chanted this. But it’s easy to chant STRONGER together when that means your candidate wins. It’s easy to chant UNITED when that means we are the ones giving in. I feel like if they really wanted to unite they would have welcomed Berners and let us have our voice, listened to our concerns, and not tried to compete. This was not a competition.
I watched Bernie give Hillary the endorsement. It was heartbreaking to hear him say those words. He talked about the Revolution and how far we’ve come. You can watch all of that online. What I want you to know is that the Berners around me got angry and walked out. I wanted to stay with my Bernie. I didn’t want to leave him alone. It was so hard to watch his face. He talked about every position that Hillary had agreed to on the issues on his platform. This was a brilliant way to continue to campaign for his candidacy, to show the power he has, to show how she has to adopt his positions. I didn’t process that until later. At the time, I just wanted to hug him.
I thought about leaving as soon as Hillary started speaking. But I wanted to know what she would say. I don’t want to be uninformed or informed by the media. She also listed the positions she has agreed to take. Some things were missing: the amount of a minimum wage increase, universal healthcare, veterans . . .
And here’s where things got weird. VERY WEIRD. I didn’t realize we were sitting next to the assistant press section. As the rally ended and I stood there not wanting to faint in the crowd headed toward the door, thinking about how tired, hungry, and thirsty I was and how much I love Bernie the network people and a guy from the Young Turks all approached me and asked me to do interviews. I was dazed and confused. That can be the only reason I would agree to anything. I hate talking and I hate cameras. I feel like the things I say will come out sounding stupid. I like to be anonymous.
And somehow I ended up doing a radio clip, saying something to the YT’s I haven’t found online yet. Doing an interview with ABC, and then doing a panel with 4 other Berner’s in the school library. Someone told me today that I was on the CBS national news last night as well.
Here are the links so far. I can’t watch myself. It freaks me out.
I don’t know what parts they have cut out of these. So I am going to say on here what I wanted the nation and Bernie Sanders to hear.
I am with Bernie all the way. If he wins the nomination I am with him. If he wants me to vote Hillary in the end, after the Convention, I will do as he asks. When he forms his Revolution Group I will be there. If he doesn’t become our next President this isn’t the end. We have given him POWER in the senate. I will be there if he asks me to March in Washington when Congress is voting on something important to our cause. I will help elect other Berners. Whatever it takes.
To those who are feeling angry or betrayed by the endorsement, I say Stick the Course. Bernie is smarter than any of us. He knows the games being played. He has a plan. Don’t give up now. Continue the Revolution!