The Kibitzer

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Listen to Your Children

By Billy Fried
By Billy Fried

Let’s talk about one of the most astounding political ascents in history, that old, white, Jewish New York socialist. Just one of those monikers could sink a lesser man. What Bernie Sanders has achieved in the twilight of his long and distinguished career as a champion of the underclass is nothing short of stunning.

Bernie has already made history, regardless of the outcome. Forget minority candidates or even females. We may never see a better, more decent and civil human being run for president in our lifetime. Is he perfect? Certainly not. Does he get hot under the collar and yell too much? Of course, he’s a New York socialist, remember?

This lone voice so often dismissed and derided as that looney lefty from liberal Vermont has done something unthinkable. He has come from nowhere and taken the demonic charge out of the word socialist. If Bernie was a political animal, he would have disavowed that title and hid behind something more benign, like Democratic inclusionist. But Bernie wore socialism on his sleeve, respecting his audience enough that he could actually explain it to them. Free healthcare and education for all. He even showed how we could pay for it.

Win, lose, or draw, he has evoked a singular passion, an awakening from young people who will inherit our mess that there’s a better way and a more humane form of democracy. It goes way beyond free tuition. It is a repudiation with the ways things are going, for jobs, for fairness, for humanity, and for the planet. There’s a feeling of hopelessness among our youth, and Bernie has given them hope by identifying a revolutionary way to stem the decline: reining in greed.

Take a look what’s going on in social media. The sheer volume of heroic memes shows his galvanizing impact on the next generation of activists. You won’t see a Facebook page called Hillary Clinton’s Dank Meme Stash. But there it is for the Bern – a never-ending cascade of clever, enlightening, hand-crafted, badass, gansta superhero memes where Bernie kicks ass and saves the planet! Add to this grass roots giving from people who for once feel they have a voice and you have birthed an awakening that will blossom for years to come.

So while pundits predict a Hillary victory, which appears more likely after this past Tuesday, don’t count Bernie out. Hillary’s lead rose this week with the grits and guns states, and then we head west to states where Bernie has big momentum.

Here’s the thing: Hillary Clinton is incredibly gifted, smart, and a wonderful statesman. Her whole life has been one of achievement. But she has unfortunately shape shifted through many scandals over the years: her husband’s infidelity, voting for war, supporting NAFTA, Benghazi, and the email scandal to name a few. And now she won’t release transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs, which paid her close to $2 million. She just feels too ambitious, too beholden to special interests, and with no real conviction other than amassing power. And that’s why there’s no Hillary Clinton Dank Meme Stash.

But no one impugns the integrity of Bernie Sanders. They resort to ageism. Why do we dismiss and discard those with the most wisdom and seasoned judgment – our elders? He’s perfectly healthy and of sound body and mind. It’s why he gives measured, thoughtful responses that show restraint over an impulse to act tough and send young people to war. He is also the only candidate who has called climate change the biggest crisis we are facing.

They say Hillary has the experience, but what about Bernie? His political career began when he ran for governor of Vermont in 1972 when Ted Cruz was 2. Hillary didn’t officially enter politics until 20 years later.

Much has been said about Bernie not being able to get any of his radical ideas through Congress. I disagree. A Republican Congress will obstruct either candidate. They loathe Hillary. But the public passion for Bernie is so loud and absolute, so incendiary, he will incite them state-by-state to support the revolution by throwing the bums out at the mid-terms. They’ll call it “Berning down the House.”

If your kids are for Bernie Sanders, listen to their concerns about the direction the country is going and what kind of world they will inherit. In Bernie they see a trustworthy elder with wisdom, someone who has charted the righteous path his entire political career. He’s making mad sense. The system is rigged. Capitalism has failed the American people because it rewards greed. We need a new system. One that still rewards hard work and entrepreneurism, but also gives everyone else a chance at a decent life without the habitual struggle. Isn’t that an America we’d all like to see?

For many generations it was always thought that parents know best. But in the face of a very turbulent and uncertain future, its time to give youth a chance.

Billy Fried hosts “Laguna Talks” on Thursday nights at 8pm on KX93.5, and can be reached at [email protected]





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  1. Pretty good except being a “New Yorker” is enough aside from religion or being a socialist.
    “Dank Meme” let’s break that into something everyone can understand in regards to the Bern. “Dank” is slang for dark and musty. “Meme” is a concept for an idea that is shared between people, or a slang version would be mimicry of another’s ideas.

    So for the Bern his Meme is music i.e (ideas) that he hears from those around him and sings i.e. (speaks), Canaries sing and Bern sort of fits the definition of a canary as a male that is slight in size and stature that in seeing, people feel obligated to defend. The music he sings is dark because we all know Bernie Sanders is upset with the system.

    Further stereo typical slang euphemisms that associate people with birds, without going into Darwinian theory on the origins of the “Mimidae” family of birds. Another bird family given to mimicry the “Jay” when describing a person, means they are somewhat of a “Joker” in their pursuit of attention are given to sarcastic mockery at others expense.

  2. Methinks you over-think it, Hector. But I appreciate your mind:

    From Urban Dictionary:
    Dank Meme
    This is the real origin of the term: dank is a slang word from SF bay area that meant ‘good weed, it’s been around at least a decade.. eventually it just came to mean ‘cool’ in SF Bay Area Slang.. so seeing that tech culture emanates from the bay area people just probably started saying “dank meme” as a joke and others started using it ironically or unironically whether they knew or didn’t know the origin. It’s still a pretty dank word I use it all the time.

  3. I grew up in town Mr. Fried and My understanding is from local origins. Dank from an outsider or tourist perspective may mean good if anything in a sense gets you “stoned” as in it is used to describe a “quality” but not as in a “quality” to be desired. It has always meant something dirty and damp. maybe San Franciscans’ like dirty and damp things or they have no alternative?
    I also think someone may think it an alternative to describe the pungent aroma socks or skunks exude are “good”.
    It’s a matter of personal tastes but that still doesn’t change the meaning.


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