Oh, Susan Sarandon
Susan, Susan, Susan.
This Democratic primary is starting to feel like the family reunion that should have ended weeks ago in a house full of relatives who refuse to leave.
Earlier this week, actor and progressive activist Susan Sarandon showed up for Chris Hayes’ show on MSNBC to talk about why she supports Bernie Sanders.
Fine. I mean it. I was fine with that. I had already accepted that Thelma’s friend Louise was not going to support the first viable female candidate for president. I’m a teensy bit troubled that, for the first time, I don’t feel that pang of regret when I think of them driving off that cliff, but I’ve been hanging on to that for too long anyway.
Besides, I’ve got friends and people in my own family who are a lot like Susan Sarandon, whom I have long admired. Like her, they go on and on about the purity of their commitment, pausing just long enough to give me an unsolicited tutorial on why my support for Hillary Clinton proves I can’t possibly be a true progressive.
Please. As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up with the Jack and Jesus wall. There they were, Jack Kennedy and Jesus, hanging shoulder to shoulder — a tag-team reminder that every fight for justice starts with a true believer and ends with a pragmatist to hammer out the details.
If you ask me, I’ve been a pretty good sport about this Hillary-Bernie thing. And, no, I don’t think that Facebook photo of our dog Franklin in the Hillary Clinton wig was too far. This is the problem when you’ve got an entire generation of Democrats who never spent time in a union hall. So touchy.
Anyway, back to Susan Sarandon. When Chris Hayes asked her if she’d vote for Clinton over Donald Trump, she said, “I don’t know. I’m going to see what happens.”
A friend whose passion for Clinton makes my support look like a symptom of anemia sent an immediate text quoting Sarandon, along with a few other words we don’t need to get into right now. I texted — is that a verb yet? — my response: “I’m sure you heard her wrong.”
She has sent me a screenshot of that exchange only about 100 times now, always with a link to yet another story about Sarandon’s inexplicably ridiculous comments that followed.
Thank you to Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart for chronicling the ensuing exchange:
HAYES: Right, but isn’t the question always in an election about choices, right. I mean, I think a lot of people think to themselves well if it’s Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and I think Bernie Sanders probably would think this…
SARANDON: I think Bernie probably would encourage people because he doesn’t have any ego. I think a lot of people are sorry, I can’t bring myself to do that.
HAYES: How about you personally?
SARANDON: I don’t know. I’m going to see what happens.
HAYES: I cannot believe as you’re watching the, if Donald Trump…
SARANDON: Some people feel Donald Trump will bring the revolution immediately if he gets in then things will really, you know explode.
Well, that went about as well as you can imagine, particularly on social media. If you haven’t see any of the tirades, let’s just say Susan Sarandon is either the mighty prophet who will finally conquer Sisyphus or so blinded by her privilege that she can’t picture the visual disconnect of someone like her claiming she needs a revolution.
Sarandon has since denied — via Twitter, of course — ever saying she would vote for Trump.
“Of course I would never support Trump for any reason,” she responded to actor Jamie Lee Curtis. “If you watch the interview you’ll see that’s not what I said.”
When my friend sent along a screenshot of that tweet, I responded with a line from Sarandon’s character Annie Savoy in “Bull Durham”: “The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self awareness.”
Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and professional in residence at Kent State University’s school of journalism. She is the author of two books, including “…and His Lovely Wife,” which chronicled the successful race of her husband, Sherrod Brown, for the U.S. Senate. To find out more about Connie Schultz (email@example.com) and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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