As a racist, dangerously ignorant steak salesman makes his way toward the Oval Office despite the majority of Americans voting otherwise, that spurned majority is doing some soul-searching. Namely: Would Bernie Sanders have won? There are countless hand-wringing articles exploring how Hillary Clinton’s candidacy failed to triumph against a historically unpopular and unqualified opponent, placing the blame on emails, misogyny, fake news, Clinton’s aloofness, her husband’s extramarital affairs, uh, whatever Eric Garland’s thing was about, and so on. In an alternate universe, Sanders could’ve saved us from all of this, and his revolutionary policies might’ve spoken for more Americans than those of a snake-oil salesman like Trump.
We do not live in that universe, and so the refrain calls out: Bernie would’ve won. It is visible in the tear-crusted eyes of fellow commuters, the caw of eagles through valleys, the leftover crusts of food on a plate. It is visible, in the video below, in the neon glow of Neo’s computer screen, in the fake books of The Royal Tenenbaums, on banner in Arrested Development, in Star Wars, They Live, The Shining, Clerks, Love, Actually, and many more. It is writ in lightning.
The video is set to the tune of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” with new lyrics such as, “Your neoliberal policies are quite dumb / And Bernie, he would’ve won,” and “We know who the DNC stole it from / We know Bernie, he would’ve beat Trump.” It is not trenchant, but it may as well be accurate. Hindsight is 20/20.