My whole family recently spent the bulk of a day waiting in a line for a thirty second meeting and photo opportunity with Senator Bernie Sanders. He authored a book titled Our Revolution : A Future to Believe In. You can see more details about the book here.
Whether or not you think Bernie Sanders has the right ideas — whether you think he’s a communist or have read some of his political accomplishments and realize that he is anything but — this is not the place to discuss it. This isn’t even about what Senator Sanders stands for, or believes — and is more about three people who were excited to see him, and one two and a half year old who tagged along because it’s basically illegal to leave someone of that age home alone. (Tongue firmly in cheek, of course.)
We stood there in line and took turns taking breaks. I took the kids to the Tommy Bahama store at one point because they wanted to pose with all of the mannequins and have their picture taken with them. My phone can attest to this. We went to Ben & Jerry’s at Rockefeller Center and Chaim brazenly walked in as though he owned the place and said to the person at the counter, “Two mangos!” The kids do love a good mango sorbet.
Food was had — not the best in the world health-wise but convenience wise, pizza went a long way.
At some point someone came by and asked me, for what was this line? I answered that it was an appearance by Senator Bernie Sanders and there was a photo opportunity, etc. She shook her head and said, How stupid! and walked off.
What exactly did she accomplish by doing this?
She expressed her opinion.
We continued waiting in line.
Negativity dispersed into the air and ultimately fizzled away, like a person passing gas after eating a bean filled burrito.
I see many a line for people waiting to buy something — often something that they will be able to purchase sans line a few days later. To me, this is ridiculous. What is the difference between the thing they buy after waiting in line and the thing they buy without waiting in line — having it so much sooner?
The opportunity to meet Senator Sanders, on the other hand — it was only on that day. Moreover, as a result of waiting in that line we had a number of interesting conversations that only would have taken place because we happened to be exactly where we were. My children got to meet and talk to people. At one point we were filmed for a Facebook news program broadcasting to an Italian audience — and the journalist asked me how I felt, being Jewish, about the possible appointment of Steve Bannon to president-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet.
The opportunity to speak, however briefly, to Senator Sanders was priceless to me. You don’t have to agree with anything he says but you can certainly appreciate that it meant something to me and to my wife and particularly my son, who has a funny way of pronouncing Bernie Sanders — the New York really comes out when he says it.
Let’s keep it positive — and if there is to be criticism, at least make actual fact based criticism and not just wholesale dismissal of another person with the label of “stupid!”
Side note — when the journalist from the Italian news program came back around to talk to us about how we could see the broadcast, I mentioned that my parents had long been fans of Adriano Celentano and I enjoyed his music as well.
“Celentano,” he asked, “Is he even still alive?”
I confirmed that he was.
“He must be in his late seventies.”
I said that I suspected that was the case and told him how I was telling someone else in the line that Celentano is basically like Italy’s Elvis, except that he is still alive and performing. He responded that Celentano fans are mostly older, in their fifties, sixties, etc.
If so, I guess I am an exception to the rule — but I always have been!