Che Guevera walked into a Starbucks, ordered a Mocha Frappuccino, paid with his Visa card and then drove to a Bernie rally in his Mini Cooper with his unbrushed hair blowing in the wind.
This is bourgeois Marxism. Yes, it's a contradiction in terms, that's the point. When I used it to describe Bernie supporters I was accused of not understanding Marxism. Irony is dying in post Internet America.
What is a bourgeois Marxist? It's a person who wants the luxuries brought to us by capitalists, such as iPhones and gmail, but speaks incessantly of the need to burn down the system because it's unfair. It's similar to rich kids who study Marxism in college and then graduate to work for their father's real estate business.
Bernie supporters hate Hillary because, they say, she represents the rich.
I think they hate her because she is a woman.
I'm going to relate some jaw dropping statements. A few Bernie Bros have said to me to me that women's rights is not as important as solving poverty or issues in the environment. This opinion is indicative of men whose heads are wrapped up in male dominance. How can they place women's rights as a separate issue from the health of our environment or poverty?
If you take all the women and children in the world and add them up you would have a super majority. Coincidentally the majority of the world's poor are women and children. The degradation of our environment disproportionally affects women and children. Women, children, our environment, and poverty are entwined.
But those Bernie Bros ignore the integration of women in these issues. This is the patriarchal mindset; they see men as the standard bearers of the human race and women as subsets to men. If problems are unique to women, then they will give those women what they need without thinking that perhaps it is the framework of patriarchy that is the problem.
Hillary as president changes the patriarchal system. But, the Bernie supporters don't want her. They want to deny her the chance to be the rightful nominee (she is mathematically leading) even going so far as to wrest it from her at the convention.
Patriarchy denies women the opportunity to reach for the same goals as men.
What would Che and Karl do?
So what do Karl Marx and Che Guevara have to do with this?
Socialism is a part of the Bernie appeal. We are told that the great powers of multinational corporations, billionaires, and Wall Street are denying people the right to live independent lives. Karl Marx believed that class was a system that kept people in rigid roles of “capitalist” and “worker,” or proletariat. It's the 1 percent versus the 99 percent. Enter Hillary.
Hillary co-sponsored the Lily Ledbetter bill and ushered it through the Senate. This is after she introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2009. This legislation pushed back on the system that protected employers to pay women less than men. Ledbetter was a worker, a member of the proletariat. Lily Ledbetter herself is supporting Hillary not Bernie.
Before you tell me that Bernie voted for the Ledbetter bill remember that Bernie didn't champion this bill. He merely voted yes. He is not a leader for equal pay. In fact Bernie's record in the Senate is undistinguished.
If you believe that “Hey, Hey, Ho Ho, the NRA has got to go” then the gun manufacturer law should make you rethink your love for Bernie.
Compare Bernie's legislative record to Hillary's experience as First Lady when she brought awareness of the crime of sex trafficking to the attention of the world. Her work led to the first piece of legislation that made sex trafficking an international crime. And she wasn't even in elected office.
Another accomplishment of hers when she was First Lady was the Adoption and Safe Families Act. She did this with two republicans, Dave Thomas, owner of the Wendy's corporation and Congressman Tom Delay. This bill increased adoptions of foster children by 64 percent.
Hillary finds common ground and moves forward with her progressive and feminist goals. This is the political work that is done without the aid of crowds of cheering fans.
Bernie's votes protecting the NRA upholds the system. How would Karl and Che have voted?
Stuck in the past
Another statement thrown at me by a Bernie supporter is actually funny. I was accused of not understanding feminism because I was seen as a woman voting for Hillary because she is female and "that is the antithesis of feminism." Sigh.
This is why I advocate for the teaching of women's liberation movement history in schools. During that movement there was a famous sentiment on bumper stickers and buttons that encapsulated the new idea of equal representation for women in politics. It read, "A Woman's Place is in the House and in the Senate.” It was a good affirmation and we achieved that goal. Yet, what is interesting is that we never had a tee shirt that read, Madam President. This absence extended through 1992 as noticed by Hana Shank in Salon. This is a profound omission with good reason: Women have been so steeped in patriarchy that many couldn't see the possibility of a woman president. Until now the Presidency was seen as a symbolic male domain.
This is where the Bernie supporters are stuck. They want a man to make it better for them seemingly by magic. Legislation takes time and effort to create and if you couple it with vision for women rights, it is doubly hard. Women's rights is the antithesis of patriarchy. Hillary has achieved this type of change many times. Bernie has not.
So when Bernie supporters tell me she's a “liar, a "crook" and that they don't trust her, I see people who are maintaining a patriarchal system. Bernie is the man who waves his arms and shouts revolution. He rests on a foundation that bolsters men with weak legislative records on the campaign trail.
For me, women's rights is an important goal because we are half the population and it's time we really counted. And if you think I'm being unfair because you believe that Bernie really does understand the importance of women's equality then why did he support a debate between only himself and Trump which would have iced out the female democratic front runner? Patriarchy denies women the opportunity to reach for the same goals as men.
Throw them a bone
Both Trump and Bernie know Hillary's candidacy is historic so in their discussion of a possible debate Trump threw women a bone. He suggested that the proceeds from the debate be given to a charity such as "women's health or something." What a guy.
That's an example of male privilege sprung from a fraternity mindset. The debate idea was rooted in the bonding of two men against a woman in order to silence her voice. It is an example of a "system" in play and it's rigged.
Yes, Hillary declined debating Bernie, but in 2008 Obama declined to debate Hillary in the primary. Hillary did not then suggest a debate between her and the republican front runner.
When I watch Bernie scream about this so-called rigged system I see his hair and I'm reminded of some of the sexist leftist men of the 1960s who wanted women to do the work of the revolution but didn't want them to have a voice at the podium. I even sometimes picture the masculine revolutionary Che Guevera thoughtfully smoking his pipe. Male leadership in the form of the revolutionary.
I just searched for a photo of Bernie smoking a pipe to complement the photo of Che and came across a revealing website. The Stonedware company is selling marijuana pipes with Bernie's campaign slogan on them. The website announces that they have reached their legal limit in donations to the Bernie campaign, but are still accepting money for the pipes and all of it goes to "charities that support girls and woman [sic] in STEM and the Arts." "You don't need a feminist female president, here's some money, honey."
Bourgeois Marxists don't create change, they maintain stagnation from the comfort of their leather car seats. They bestow gifts to those with no power, that's how they keep them powerless. Hey, by the way, that was another women's liberation movement sentiment on a button: All Male Senate Leads to Stag Nation.
It's time for a revamp of that one: “All Male Oval Office is History. Go Hillary.”
Image of Clinton U.S. State Department/Public Domain
Image of Che is Public Domain