It's not terribly popular in my circles to admit you were a Bernie supporter. In hindsight all female Bernie support seems like a betrayal of gender. Let me assure you that gender had nothing to do with my enthusiasm for Bernie Sanders. I thought his message had value.
Spare and I went to a Bernie rally in the spring of 2016. We stood in line all day at Temple University. This was as close as we ever bonded, I think ... and life kind of went downhill for both of us after this event.
The Democratic National Convention was held in Philadelphia in July of 2016. There were many well-attended pro-Bernie rallies and marches as a part of that convention. Since I wasn't blogging then, I'm going to walk down memory lane and show a few photos of the marching that came before the real marching.
Of course all the pro-Bernie rallies were organized over Facebook, and that's where I saw the message from the woman named Michelle. She left a comment: "I wish I could be there with you. I'm a single mother of a disabled son. I need single payer and a decent minimum wage. Please, someone, march for me."
So I did. Then I posted all the photos with her name tagged. Below, Exhibit A, is the "establishing shot" with City Hall in the background, so Michelle would know I was for real. I was wearing my Bernie hat and my Phillies shirt with no sleeves that I use on paint crew.
It was about 95 degrees that day with very little shade. The rally began at Thomas Paine Plaza.
It seemed like a huge crowd at the time, but now ... after the ensuing events ... it was little more than a congenial gathering.
I wasn't the only Baby Boomer in that crowd. Seemed like it skewed to older people.
Michelle wanted to feel like she was there, so I asked lots of people to hold my "Hi Michelle" sign.
To be absolutely honest, this was one of the few people in attendance that actually was a Bernie bro. He came in from Akron, Ohio.
Guess I wasn't alone in being a traitor to my gender.
Proof that not all middle-aged white men voted for Trump.
I talked to people from all over the place. Some of them weren't prepared for Philly weather.
Kinda wanted to flirt with this one, but didn't.
This is a sentiment I did not share, even at this rally. I was going to vote Democrat even if they nominated Bill Maher.
More female voters who were seduced by the good looks and shallow charm of Bernie Sanders.
Philadelphia is a big city. It has real, live socialists. They hand out leaflets and everything. Here is someone who probably really didn't vote for Hillary Clinton.
Someone made a Bernie quilt.
Hi Michelle, we need to OVERTHROW this system! Someone? Anyone? Can I get a harrumph?
Again in hindsight, this one seems a little bit prescient. When it comes to voter fraud, I have my suspicions. And they rest squarely upon bullying, intimidation, and sketchy machinery.
Some of these folks, I just wonder. Did they really sit out the election? Or did they, like me, scurry to the polls to vote for Secretary Clinton, who -- I'll be the first to admit -- had every quality a leader of the free world would ever need?
These jackasses were scattered all over the city. There were 52 of them, one for each state, one for Puerto Rico, and one for the District of Columbia. Each one was painted differently. This one was Iowa.
So, on that hot day a year ago, we rallied at Thomas Paine Plaza and then set off on a march down Broad Street, exactly the same route the Mummers take on New Year's Day. It was so unbearably hot that I bagged the march at the corner of Broad and Pine, doubled back and took the El train home to Snobville.
On the way to the train, I got accosted by a young woman with an island accent (couldn't place it, might have been Jamaican or Haitian). She took me to task about Bernie in a way that led me to believe she had lived in Philly long enough to pick up its behavior patterns. How the hell, she wanted to know, could I support Bernie when a menace like Donald Trump loomed? How could I feel right about splitting the ticket? Didn't I know what danger Donald Trump posed to immigrants?
I assured her I did, and I promised that I would vote for Hillary (and I did), and with an airy wave at the throng of protesters, I said, "They all will too. Don't worry about a thing."
Never ask me to handicap a race. This last photo was shot on November 9, 2016. To this day I wonder where that island lady is, and how she is faring. Oh my bored gods, what burdens we bear.
Late addendum: Yes, Michelle saw the photos, and she loved them. She was very grateful and kind of amazed that I went to so much trouble for a stranger. I hope she has her health care and a decent wage.