My affection for Sarah Silverman is no secret, but at least I don’t follow her (or anyone) on Twitter, as do Dan Dennett and Sam Harris! That said, I’ve always thought that this funny, dark, depressive secular Jew would be a perfect mate.
Sadly, La Silverman is not the marrying kind, so we must admire her from afar. Last night several people emailed me to tell me she was speaking at the Democratic National Convention, but I am so revulsed by these political rah-rah spectacles that I couldn’t even bestir myself to turn on the television.
But, of course, a video of her short speech was on YouTube this morning, and I present it below. There’s also an analysis in the New York Times, “Sarah Silverman tames the Bernie beast”. Sarah’s all glammed up, and, as a former supporter of Bernie Sanders, her brief was to convince her former compatriots (many resentful of their poor treatment by the Democratic National Committee) to give up their support for Bernie and throw it over to Hillary.
And of course that’s what most of us will do. The specter of a Trump presidency is so odious and repellent that one would be foolishly petulant to not vote at all simply because your hopes for Bernie were dashed. So I’ll be voting for Hillary.
But I have two things to add about this speech, which the Times lauded strongly (“After weeks of Sanders’s feeding his cult of personality despite conceding to Clinton and endorsing her [more or less], and a long, sweltering day of protests today by Sanders supporters, Silverman was the perfect breath of fresh air.”). Yes, Silverman did what she should have. But she, and all the people on my Facebook page who are telling us Sanders supporters to “Get over it,” don’t understand the depth of our feelings. Not only did we support a candidate who, despite his flaws, doesn’t have a history of duplicity, but we are now (reason 2) forced to support a candidate who I see as mendacious, hawkish, and in the pocket of Wall Street. From the very beginning, I think, she’s been all about herself, almost as if she were owed a turn at the Presidency after Bill’s tenure.
That’s why I can’t get enthused about Clinton, and why I find the paeans and and panegyrics of the Democratic Convention so dispiriting. I cannot manufacture enthusiasm for Clinton, nor will I actively campaign for her. I will vote for her—reluctantly. And from what I’ve heard of the speeches, they’re ginning up support for Clinton largely by pointing out the horrible alternative, or the need to continue Obama’s “legacy,” rather than emphasizing Clinton’s own accomplishments and character (which, I maintain, are not impressive).
So yes, Sarah, you did what you had to do, but don’t imply that we should get over it. Yes, the “Bernie or Bust” people are unrealistic, but seriously, how can you claim that Bernie’s views will have any influence on Clinton’s positions going forward? Her choice of a vice-presidential candidate has already made clear that they won’t. Yes, they’ve tweaked the Democratic platform a tad as a nod to Sanders, but we all know how much attention candidates pay to platforms after they’re elected.