Sarah Silverman Is the Last Sensible Bernie Bro

Comedian Sarah Silverman is certainly problematic, but she gave some much-needed real talk at the DNC.

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Complex Original

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I'm not in the habit of complimenting Sarah Silverman, a person whose regret about wearing blackface for a skit once is largely rooted in the notion that it was “taken out of context” years later on Twitter. Even so, I found myself grateful to her on the first night of the Democratic National Convention for saying what needed to be said. First, Silverman, one of the first celebrities to support Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid, expressed why she supported the Sanders campaign and why she will now be voting for Hillary Clinton in November. The comedian and actress was greeted with some cheers, though none loud enough to drown out the ferocious boos.

Minutes later, joined by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), Silverman was again met with boos while speaking only to say with visible annoyance, “To the Bernie or Bust crowd, you’re being ridiculous.”

Finally, someone said it. Much like Sen. Claire McCaskill expressed on Tuesday’s edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, I did not anticipate Sanders’ biggest fans to walk into the convention with smiles on their faces as they toasted Hillary Clinton officially becoming the Democratic Party’s nominee for president. However, there should have been some nominal level of civility in certain moments. 

Before Silverman made that statement, Sanders supporters booed every single person who dared to speak Clinton’s name. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) was booed and heckled as he spoke about his dead father and Black Lives Matter. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), the newly named convention chairwoman in light of the DNC email scandal, was also met with a wall of boos.

"May I just make a point," Fudge said. "There are many of you that do not know me in this room, but let me say to you, I intend to be fair. I want to hear the varying opinions here. I am going to be respectful of you and I want you to be respectful of me."

She was not given that respect, nor were most of the speakers before and in some cases after Silverman. Not even prayer could be spared from booing once “Hillary Clinton” was spoken. I mean this from the very bottom of my heathen heart: you are a pathetic, despicable, waste of humanity if you cannot be bothered to silence your anger during a prayer

While it doesn’t apply to all of Bernie’s supporters at the convention, certainly enough of them behaved like spoiled, entitled, naive lil' brats. Making matters worse was that many of them interviewed on networks like MSNBC could not even explain their vitriol. Some mentioned TPP—a trade deal that critics claim would lead to more American jobs going abroad—even though Clinton no longer supports it and it was only kept in the Democratic platform at the behest of our current Democratic president. Who knew TPP was the deal breaker for so many Sanders supporters?

Meanwhile, Sanders managed to push for what has been rightly called the most progressive Democratic platform. Then there was mindless chatter from some supporters about how technically, Hillary Clinton is only the presumptive nominee. As if God—whom they essentially booed—was about to step down in Philadelphia and personally hand Sanders the nomination. 

Silverman, to her credit, managed to be an adult in a room full of adult-aged people who may have gotten one too many participation awards, thus having some false sense of entitlement as to what happens to a losing campaign . She, as Sanders tried to remind his supporters earlier that day (which was met with his own round of boos), understands, "This is the real world that we live in.”

This is in stark contrast to two other celebrity Sanders supporters in Rosario Dawson and Susan Sarandon. Dawson described Clinton as a “follower, not a leader,” while declaring that “if Trump wins, it’s not our fault.” These are big words from a well-off celebrity who can afford and in some respects benefit from a Trump administration. People should vote how they feel, but every right has some consequence. As for the “follower” comment, Dawson also once criticized labor, feminist, and civil activist Dolores Huerta as a “sellout to the establishment.” 

She stands on their backs and bashes them as establishment shills in praise of someone who has been in elected politics for three decades. Insert laugh track here. 

Then there is Sarandon, who compared the Sanders campaign being locked out of DNC data after one of his staffers accessed the Clinton campaign’s data to police officers getting off after killing unarmed black men. For that, may she sip a cup of SHUT UP for the rest of her life.

I appreciate passion, but not if it is served with hyperbole, disrespect, and delusion. The DNC behaved inappropriately, but the election was not “stolen” from Sanders—as noted by Sanders' former national press secretary, Symone D. Sanders, who took to Twitter to write, "I worked there. No one stole the election from us."

An ongoing pattern among a number of Sanders’ supporters is a failure to acknowledge that while the Vermont senator ran an important, impactful, and inspiring campaign, it was an unsuccessful one and the person to blame for that is Bernie Sanders. It has been reported that Sanders did not do enough to secure the black vote, and thus, did not win. It sucks for his supporters, but if Sanders has accepted it and endorsed Clinton for president, why can’t the rest of you?

Boo prayers, continue whining, and sound uninformed all you want, but Sarah Silverman is exactly right: y’all are being ridiculous. 

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