Understand I live in a country (England) where portmanteaus are in common use by the tabloid press. “Brexit” is an example of one such that quickly evolved into the formal nom de guerre now used by everyone – from the European Union to the laborer on the street. We might as well, for lack of a better name, call the recent dust-up between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren after the conclusion of Tuesday’s Democratic debate something like “Sandwar.” Or maybe “Lizbern.” Sounds pretty ridiculous, doesn’t it? It is.
Whatever, if you’ve been in a coma since Tuesday then permit me to fill you in: Elizabeth Warren refused to shake Bernie Sanders’ hand because she believed he called her a liar onstage. Warren recalled Sanders telling her in a private meeting a couple of years ago that he (Sanders) didn’t think a woman could win the presidency. Sanders begged to differ and said he never said that. Hence the snub.
Meanwhile, the president of the United States, who stands credibly accused of raping a child and two (or is it three?) grown women and sexually assaulting or harassing over sixty others, who is currently being impeached for, let’s call it what it is, betraying the office of the presidency and the American people, who has told almost sixteen thousand lies since taking office, who is a hamfisted vulgarian who spends much of his taxpayer-funded time playing golf and abusing or insulting people who don’t sufficiently worship him on Twitter, who is the punchline of a joke in every language in every nation on earth, who is a known thief, who rips off charities, who hides his tax returns from the American people, who runs a criminal organization in Ukraine like a latter-day Don Corleone ordering his goons to “take care” of America’s ambassador there, who is so woefully ignorant of American history he doesn’t know what happened at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, and who thinks the American Revolution was fought with airplanes, must yield up a large part of the news cycle because two democratic candidates for president didn’t shake hands. You see the problem.
This is why we could lose. This is why we lost in 2016. This is why we are going to lose again in 2020 if things don’t change. One of the reasons this absurd contretemps between Bernie and Liz has become a thing with the mainstream media is because it has become a thing on social media, and ratings drive what the mainstream media puts on the air. Social media is abuzz with people outraged at Elizabeth Warren for snubbing Bernie, and at Bernie for lying about what he told Elizabeth Warren. It’s as if we are complaining about the cut of Roosevelt’s suit or Churchill’s choice of hats while Hitler murders Jews.
Welcome, in short, to “But her emails” 2.0. The irrelevant snub has grown in importance to become the ultimate example of swallowing camels while straining at gnats. It would be funny if it weren’t for the fact that we as a species are in a desperate fight for our lives, and we will lose that fight – and our lives – if we allow Trump another four years in office.
Nothing, but nothing, is more important than getting Trump out of office. Nothing. We must all vote for the Democratic candidate, whoever he or she may turn out to be, or we will hand the presidency back to Trump. Don’t worry about who failed to shake hands with whom, or about the corrupt DNC, or corporate influence in elections, or gender politics. None of that will matter if you are dead. There is time enough to fix things. We have a planet to save, so don’t be stupid and let’s save it. Vote Trump out!