Well, you learn something new every day. Yesterday I attended a Bernie Sanders rally in Oakland, CA which was the very last place I thought I’d learn a new tidbit of Irish history but I was mistaken. One of the speakers had just returned from the North of Ireland. He butchered the pronunciation of Sinn Fein but he told the crowd that Bernie Sanders was one of the only politicians in the United States (and the world) who had taken the time to write an angry message directly to Margaret Thatcher in 1981.
I checked his story. In July 1981, then Mayor Bernie Sanders penned the following:
Yes, the good Mayor had a lot of Irish constituents. However, he got nothing from writing this letter. He wasn’t pandering for their votes and most never heard about this message anyway. Rather this is just another example of who Bernie Sanders has always been – someone who is deeply concerned about human rights, dignity, and fairness. Perhaps that is why so many are sure that he can’t win the American election.
How the USA ended up with a different front runner who is diametrically opposed to such things is beyond me. I know the odds are that a racist oompaloompa will soon have his psycho little hand on the big red button but I will fight against that for as long as I can and Senator Bernie Sanders has the best chance against the little orange fascist. Then there’s the little matter of Coca-Cola.
Americans love their pop and Coca-Cola is the favorite. However, one night in Derry a (very drunk and exuberant) man stopped by my resting place on a bench near the Guildhall for a chat. He found out I was an American and made sure I knew that he had a direct line straight to the top of the Coca-Cola company that he’d use if I didn’t stop “that wee orange fucker” from getting elected. He claimed that he had the power to make sure that Americans would have no more of their favorite sugary drink if Trump is elected and while I’m sure that isn’t true, I do know it’s a great rumor to spread. Americans tend to care more for their soda than their politics (or the actual truth about anything for that matter) and I feel it is my duty to carry that strange Derry man’s threat far and wide.
So this is the official beginning of my ‘Let Them Drink Coke’ campaign. It aims to convince people that Trump equals the end of the drink they all love so much because no real argument seems to work. I’d much rather see someone with a history of tolerance and human rights activism in charge of the United States than a hateful bigot, and if soda gives me the edge, so be it. So thanks to some random guy in Derry for the most ridiculous argument in the world since it’s just that kind of thing that will make many Americans go nuts and suddenly pay attention.
If you are in the US and you still have a primary or a caucus coming up, please vote for Bernie. I know everyone claims he can’t win, but until he is officially out of the running and we have to plug our noses and vote for awful one or awful two, he is the best chance we have at redemption as a nation. He has made a life and a career out of standing up for civil rights, for vets, for hunger strikers, for workers, for living wages, and for women. It’s time we do the same.