Another day, another 2020 Democratic primary dropout and another outpouring of emotion from the Hollywood left.
After weeks of defeat on the campaign trail at the hands of a surging former Vice President Joe Biden following Super Tuesday, radical Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders terminated his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination Wednesday.
The last viable holdout, Sanders soberly announced his departure in a social media livestream, thanking supporters of his progressive “movement” candidacy and effectively assuring Biden — the longtime establishment favorite and cemented delegate leader, according to RealClearPolitics — an uncontested nomination at the Democratic National Convention in August.
The matter-of-fact announcement was anything but easy to stomach, however, for Sanders’ celebrity supporters, several of whom went to Twitter to lament the loss, “devastated” by the senator’s withdrawal.
— The Hill (@thehill) April 8, 2020
“I feel so hopeless and devastated and powerless,” American model and actress Emily Ratajkowski tweeted shortly after the announcement, including the hashtag “BernieIsOurHope.”
— Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) April 8, 2020
Comedian and actress Sarah Silverman said she was “heartbroken” about Sanders’ decision.
“In all this darkness, he made me believe that people, together, could be the light,” she tweeted. “He continues to be an inspiration. And he’ll never stop fighting for us. Thank you, Bernie. For me, you’re right up there w Mr. Rogers.”
Wow. I’m heartbroken about Bernie. In all this darkness, he made me believe that people, together, could be the light. He continues to be an inspiration. And he’ll never stop fighting for us.
Thank you, Bernie. For me, you’re right up there w Mr. Rogers.💔♥️
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) April 8, 2020
Actor John Cusack said in a tweet, “So Wall Street big pharma insurence cartels – won again – Consolidating their awesome power to derail a working people’s movement.”
So Wall Street big pharma insurence cartels – won again –
Consolidating their awesome power to derail a working people’s movement.
But the fight continues –
— John Cusack (@johncusack) April 8, 2020
He went on to lash out at media figures who criticized Sanders, saying, “To the hired bulls— strain of journalists – who did oligarchs bidding so gleefully smearing sanders. u know who you & ur editors are – the type George Bernard Shaw described as ‘unable to tell the difference between a bicycle accident and the end of civilization.’ Congrats. … When yr on yr deathbed I’m sure you’ll be proud u smeared new deal politics & licked the boots of the billionaires.”
According to Mediaite, former California Democratic congressional candidate and far-left alternative media mogul Cenk Uygur went so far as to suggest the self-professed democratic socialist senator’s departure from the race could mean only one thing for America: “four years of darkness” under Biden or incumbent Republican President Donald Trump.
Other supporters, however, responded less sensationally, wishing Sanders well and thanking him for working to shift the Democratic Party platform further to the progressive left in both the 2020 and 2016 presidential primary cycle.
Actress and prominent abortion advocate Alyssa Milano was one such figure, writing to Sanders directly on Twitter to tell him his work would influence a generation of left-wing activists.
“You’ve forever changed the party & made us reflect upon all the ways we need to do more & be better,” Milano wrote to Sanders. “Your efforts will be reflected in every advocate and activist for generations to come and will inspire policy that will make the world a better place. Thank you.”
.@BernieSanders, You’ve forever changed the party & made us reflect upon all the ways we need to do more & be better. Your efforts will be reflected in every advocate and activist for generations to come and will inspire policy that will make the world a better place. Thank you.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) April 8, 2020
Hollywood hairstylist and “Queer Eye” host Jonathan Van Ness was one of the first supporters to sound off on the announcement, according to Fox News, expressing hopes a fractured party would still come together to defeat Trump.
“Thank you for fighting for everyone Senator Sanders,” Van Ness tweeted. “To all of his supporters, thank you for caring & fighting and I know how hard this day is for you.”
“I hope we can all come together & defeat Trump,” he said.
Thank you for fighting for everyone Senator Sanders 🏳️🌈💗 @BernieSanders To all of his supporters, thank you for caring & fighting and I know how hard this day is for you. I hope we can all come together & defeat Trump.
— Jonathan Van Ness (@jvn) April 8, 2020
Others in Hollywood shared similar sentiments.
You are an inspiration and have done more to change the direction of the party in a Progressive and Just way than any other person who has fought for the Democratic nomination.
The fight continues. Now, we aim our righteousness on Trump and the outlaw GOP senate. https://t.co/1Igr48q8rg
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) April 8, 2020
I ❤️the true-believing, big-hearted, hard-charging Bernie staff, vols & supporters
I ❤️ the #NotMeUs movement that will win Medicare-for-All & a Green New Deal
I ❤️ Bernie’s clarion call to fight for people we’ll never meet as hard as we fight for ourselves
— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) April 8, 2020
I love Bernie, forever! 😌 Grateful for all of his work. He got a lot of gears turning, popularizing ideas that just few years ago were considered too radical. Regardless of dropping out, his work has already changed things & his ideas will keep going, & that is, well, good! 💗
— Patti Harrison (@Party_Harderson) April 8, 2020
This is not the first time this year that Hollywood has responded emotionally to a progressive icon falling out of primary contention.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s March 5 departure prompted similar visceral outpourings from celebrities, some of whom suggested a need for “space to grieve.”
“To the people who fought for Elizabeth Warren, most especially the women and young girls out there, a reminder: You owe no one anything right now,” actress and author Amber Tamblyn said on Twitter at the time. “Allow yourself the space to grieve, and be angry, and be numb.”
“Take the time. Take all of it that you need,” she added.
To the people who fought for Elizabeth Warren, most especially the women and young girls out there, a reminder: You owe no one anything right now. Allow yourself the space to grieve, and be angry, and be numb. Take the time. Take all of it that you need.
— Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) March 5, 2020
No such time was afforded to Sanders supporters Wednesday, with political operatives and commentators quick to demand they throw their support behind Biden in order to reclaim the White House in November.
According to Morning Consult, however, recent polling suggests roughly 20 percent of Sanders’ hardcore supporters might be unwilling, or at least uncertain, when it comes to pulling the lever for the former vice president.
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