What Bernie Meant to Me: Why I’m Leaving the Democratic Party
As my mamá said, “El viejito por fin está descansando”.
Tio Bernie was the hope that one day the idea of being undocumented could be normalized into the American conscious. It goes without saying that as the only son of my Mexican mother I was both her hope and inspiration for everything she could hope to achieve. She often teased me how I should be looking for a “good” immigration lawyer while I was studying in DC so she could finally realize her dream of becoming an American citizen after living here undocumented for more than 20 years. Recently, my mamá and I had a falling out due to her finding out that her boy was a queer man. Bernie Sanders is what brought us back together. Bernie winning Nevada was the first time in which my mother, who never once in her life thought about herself as a person within the Latinx community, call Bernie our Tio. Bernie made it easier for me to get closer with my mother despite how difficult it is to de-program machismo within the Mexicano culture. Bernie gave me a community. Through Bernie, I met people within my community fighting for tenant rights, undocumented neighbors, and engaged in a long shot electoral campaign to unseat a Democratic incumbent with a badass, Puerto Rican woman who avidly called herself a socialist throughout her campaign. It was because of Bernie that I became politically activated, not by the sub-par liberal standards but to really think about my place in our community that was being built around our neighborhood, giving a class character to what I saw happening around me. Thanks to Bernie I earned a sense of humanity because my politics went from the sub-standard view of “left to right” in American politics to a politics of class consciousness and the Chicanx movement. Bernie taught me how to do radical love, embrace our fellow comrade, and to engage in a politics of real compassion with the working class. During the IL primary, I worked with a fellow poll passer and while we held opposing views about Bernie being able to beat Trump, we were able to engage in a class and racial conversation over the demonization of the Mexicano community, my mother’s dream, and our own individual class struggle. Because we talked a politics of class and compassion, my person went from a lean Biden to a strong Bernie, both looking both excited but nervous at the decision she came to. She was nervous because it was her first time daring to believe in something that looked impossible to achieve, knowing how the capitalist electoral system stacks the odds of our hopes against us. And now both the Democratic Party and it’s voters have crowned Biden as the nominee. The Democratic Party is dead. It was dead in 1829, when it nominated Andrew Jackson, the father of the party and a genocidal killer of the Native American people. It was dead in 1861, when most of the party went with the confederacy during the Civil War in support of the enslavement of African Americans. It was dead in 1942, when FDR signed an executive order to keep Japanese-Americans in concentration camps. And now it is dead in 2020, when the party, both its establishment and it’s voters, have decided to support a rapist, a segregationist, and an imperialist to be the representative of the party. A party that has “chastised” the left in 2016, a party that assassinated Fred Hampton, and a party that is now killing its own voters in an illegal primary despite our current crisis of COVID-19. The Democratic Party has no future in the electoral process. It would rather choose death than to adapt to the views of Bernie Sanders. This is what the rulers of our system want, this is exactly how the establishment operates to nullify any win of the left. That is why I’m denouncing the Democratic Party. For abandoning Bernie Sanders who wanted to heal the party, for abandoning the Latinx and Mexicano community who used to call it home, and for abandoning every single member of the working class all in the name of keeping the capitalist system and the liberal “sense of justice” alive. This is why we need a working class party- a party that is anticolonial, intersectional, and most importantly, a party that will serve our brothers and sisters who in this current moment are fighting to keep our collective consciousness as a class alive. This is why I’m leaving the Democratic Party.