After Seeing Bernie Sanders Win the New Hampshire Democratic Presidential Primary
After nine difficult health years dealing with Lyme disease and neck surgery, I lived long enough to see the first democratic-socialist in my lifetime win a major political party’s presidential primary. What a night it is to celebrate the advance of citizenly participation and economic fairness! Six months ago, who would have predicted this? Probably not even Bernie! Now even the national polls are growing razor-close and Bernie has more than a longshot chance to be Democratic Party’s November nominee although the party, as Sanders noted in his victory speech, is likely afraid of having a left Jewish nominee and right now brainstorming back rooms how to disengage the kitchen sink to stop his momentum. This country was founded on rebelling against the idea of family dynasties, and the recent exception elections of George W. Bush are now seen by almost all as disaster. The Clinton dynasty moved from supporting the Children’s Defense Fund to cutting the welfare safety net away from poor women and children; it moved the Democratic Party toward the center and away from its New Deal liberal traditions; it had the reputation, as Secretary of State, of being the hawk in the room, helping to create international chaos from Libya and Syria to Honduras. Yes, Hillary as the first woman president would still be far preferable to Trump or Grump or Blump or Crump in the Republican Party. But tonight, even if it proves to be the first of a too-small number of victories, was a win for the sweet vegetable taste of utopian recipe dream; for taking the democratic decision-making baton away from those with greedy super-glue robot hands; for beginning to fill in the ever-growing Grand Canyon of wealth distribution in America; for recognizing that there is a scientific history that can explain the world’s changing thunderstorms and thermometers; for joining the rest of the developing world in reading the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and noticing that health care is listed; for taking issues of racial justice out of the hands of for-profit insurance jailing companies too quick on the finger with tasers and triggers. I know things will get tougher for Bernie as the primaries move south, but hope he will still have at least a fair chance at the nomination. But whatever happens next, tonight was a win for a future that will nurture habitable life on the planet, and my aching bones are going to enjoy the rejuvenation they get during the night’s sleep, before the inevitable post-surgery neck pain comes back tomorrow.