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Look in my eyes, what do you see


Nathan Robinson is having a normal one:

When someone has a brush with some serious medical problem, the idea of losing them inevitably flickers into your mind. And when that happens, you realize what they really mean to you, because you can see for a second what the world would look like without them. The sheer terror with which I contemplated a world without Bernie made me realize just how important he is right now.

I am already feeling strange saying this, because I am so grossed out by personality cults, and I hate the idea of lapsing into adulation of a politician, and I’ve always tried to maintain a critical stance on Bernie even if I clearly prefer him as the Democratic candidate. [The preceding sentences are perhaps the least convincing protesting-too-much in known human history. –ed.] I do not love people I do not know, and I have never met Bernie, so I do not love Bernie.

But I also feel like this candidacy is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do something incredible, and that if we don’t take it we’ll regret it, and that he knows that, and that he’s willing to destroy himself and shorten his life and give up whatever he might have wanted to do with his twilight years in order to accomplish the most serious political mission of any of our lifetimes. It has to be done, and he knows it. I don’t think he’s particularly glad that it’s fallen on him to do it, but it has. And so he will do it or he will die trying, and the rest of us need to do whatever we can to make sure he doesn’t have to die trying. If he’s willing to kill himself for this, if he’ll fight to the last breath, who are we to talk about the Questions and Doubts about Whether He Can Do It, instead of spending our time making sure that he does do it. Don’t be the person who spent their time watching Bernie and speculating about whether he would hold out.

Aside from the obvious, “this is a mass movement, and only one specific 78-year-old white guy can or will ever be able to make it happen” is a position that has never had any obvious coherence.

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