As H.A. Goodman finished his daily Bernvocations and reverently laid his priestly accouterments at the foot of the opulent Bernie Sanders shrine he maintained in his otherwise-spartan apartment, he paused to reflect on the progress of his Great Work.
Things were looking up for his cause. The Bern had Bernpaged (ramBerned? Goodman would have to think about that one) across nine straight states — assuming one rightly dismissed Arizona as a product of the Hilldusa’s deliberate voter fraud campaign; surely it made perfect sense that she would disenfranchise her own voters. Just as surely, the polls in New York would be wrong, as they had been in Michigan, and the Bernvalanche would continue rolling downhill.
Goodman also took solace in the knowledge there was apparently literally nothing he could say that would be dumb enough to get himself fired. If his employers at HuffPo and Salon hadn’t figured him out by now, they were surely never going to — everyone else may have been mystified at how they could possibly have failed to notice he routinely cited articles from 8-9 months ago to support his arguments, but Goodman knew it was the will of the Divine Bern. His editors also still evinced no sign of realization he’d submitted the same column run through a Thesaurus.com find-and-replace algorithm 13 times in a row. They hadn’t even noticed the one time he had based an entire argument around polls, only to include the sentence “people aren’t poll numbers” when confronted with information that erroneously appeared to refute what Goodman knew as the One True Datum! Verily, it could only be the power of The Bern that shielded people from realizing what he’d been doing, people who damn well should’ve known better if they’d had a single goddamned ounce of journalistic integrity.
An errant doubt struck him. Surely The Bern couldn’t really lose, could he? The numbers didn’t look great for him. Even without superdelegates, the Hilldra still held a huge lead in the popular vote. For some reason — possibly pantsuit-based mind control, possibly the fact that her corporate benefactors had paid each and every one of her voters to be a Hillshill; Goodman wasn’t sure — Democratic voters were deciding in favor of She Who Compromises.
Goodman shook himself to be rid of it. NO. NO. It would never happen. Never mind things like “fundamental math” or “sanity” or “basic decency,” he told himself, clutching his ever-present Sanders 2016 pendant for reassurance. The Bern would still be victorious in the end. Besides, His Royal Bernificence was coming off a long string of wins, and surely Hill Pot’s candidacy would ultimately be derailed by the FBI investigation! Goodman cleansed his mind of the doubts. No dissonance was too tall a hurdle for the greater good; all must know of Goodman’s prophecy.
For H.A. Goodman knew he had been chosen. His discovery of the ancient texts in the source code of a slideshow ad redirect from Addicting Info (These 23 Celebs Are Black And You’d Never Know It!) had been no accident — of this, he was certain. His was the Earthly vessel chosen to deliver unto the people the message they so desperately needed to hear: The Bern Must Be Felt. Feel His Bern, or perish in the Curséd Eternal Hellfire of Lesser Evils. No ice could ease the impending third-degree scorch from this Bern.
The texts had been clear: The Bern WOULD sit the Deep-Fried Throne and claim his rightful place as God-President, and his Bernscendance WOULD herald a new age of American Enlightenment. He WOULD first vanquish the treacherous Kim Jong Hill; it was all but a formality. Then he WOULD conquer whichever shuddering gigglebucket emerged from the GOP clown car. He WOULD be inaugurated on January 20, 2017, as eagle cries rang out and the booming voice of The Bern’s Heavenly Father rent the sky, proclaiming “IT IS AS IT SHOULD BE.” So it was written.
Goodman booted up his laptop and entered his password (“bern4godking”), navigating to Facebook, intending to grace his many, many, many, many followers with more of his bounteous Bernitudes.
What he saw there shocked him, for there was a great disturbance in The Bern. Others claimed to speak for The Bernocracy. Some people were having a Bernie supporters meeting, and they had neglected to invite H.A. Goodman — again. They still sought to assume the Mantle of Berninance. This could not be allowed to stand.
Goodman grabbed his coat and walked out the door.
The trip to the meeting place (a local coffeeteria) was uneventful, though Goodman was late on account of pausing for ten minutes to harangue an extremely disinterested crossing guard on the finer points of the evils of the Hillberus. Goodman was confident he’d won a convert, despite her repeated admonitions he “please fuck off, you crazy person.” Things we’re already coming up H.A., and he hadn’t even gotten to the meeting yet!
Finally, he located the place and confidently strode through the doors.
“So,” the man at the front of the group was saying. Goodman remembered his name was Justin. “What do you guys think of Bernie’s progress in the polls in places like California, which broadly reflect –”
“Oh, no,” said one woman in attendance, her eyes wide with horror.
“Greetings, fellow Bernonauts!” Goodman shouted. “It is I, H.A. Goodman, here to bestow upon you my holy Berndoms!” Was that dread and groans Goodman heard? No, it must’ve been a trick of the ear; the nearby espresso machine must surely be masking their inevitable cries of, “oh, thank you, H.A.! Thank you for deigning to bequeath us with the gift of your Bernlightenment!”
“… hi, H.A.,” said Justin nervously. “So good of you to –”
Goodman wasn’t really listening; he had never done so before, why would he start now? “Well, fellows; where should we get started today? By reminding ourselves that The Bern is the only candidate who can defeat The Trump?”
The assembled looked at each other doubtfully. “Yeah, I don’t think that’s right, H.A.,” said Justin. “Pretty sure Hillary would also kick Trump’s ass in a general.”
“Ah-ha, but look at these animated rap videos my friend Brian –”
“OH GOD,” came the chorus. “Not the fucking animated rap videos again,” one woman in the crowd finished the unspoken thought.
“No one gives a single solitary fuck about your friend Brian, H.A. Please just stop,” begged someone else.
Goodman decided to try a different tack. “Well, regardless, we can all agree that Bernie is poised to win in New York! And considering Hillary’s early primary wins really don’t count, since they came in the South, where no Democrat could win anyway, The Bern will surely triumph!” He grinned at them expectantly, sure this was a winning line.
Instead, they looked decidedly uncomfortable. “Actually we really wish Bernie would stop making that argument about her wins in the South,” said one member of the crowd. “Both because it makes no sense since he won big in Idaho, Utah, and Kansas, and because it’s actually kind of racist since it diminishes the voice and value of African-American voters.”
Justin nodded emphatically. “Yeah. And you just KNOW that shit isn’t something Bernie himself believes, it’s some garbage Jeff Fucking Weaver –” he spat the name “– is telling him to say. Why that damned idiot still has a job is beyond me.” There were murmurs of assent.
Goodman sensed he was losing the thread. “NONE OF THAT IS WHAT MATTERS, THOUGH!” he shrieked, desperate as ever for the attention that might fill the gnawing, grasping void he was sure would one day come to claim him in the darkest reaches of his nightmares. “All that matters is that the Bern is The Chosen One to defeat The Hillzebeast!”
Justin put up his hands in a conciliatory gesture. “OK, H.A., OK. We all like Bernie, which is why we think we should focus on the good stuff HE wants to do rather than simply attacking Hillary all the –”
“NO!” Goodman screamed desperately. “None of you understand! NONE OF YOU ARE WORTHY! All that matters is the Hillotaur MUST be destroyed utterly! SHE IS A BLIGHT UPON THIS LAND! All that is right and true is that I hold the Mighty Sceptre of Bernus-Re!” Goodman held the sceptre aloft as an angel’s chorus rang out and backlighting haloed him.
There was a flat pause, then finally, one of the assembled spoke. “Why are you holding up a giant pixie stick with pipe cleaners duct taped to it?”
“Yeah, and do you just carry around that boombox and miniature portable spotlight everywhere?” another asked.
Goodman visibly deflated, the Sceptre of Bernus-Re drooping sadly under the weight of its glitter-covered ornaments.
Another member of the crowd spoke up. Goodman recognized her from earlier meetings he’d unexpectedly graced with his presence; her name was Karen. She’d held her tongue until now, but looked like she had something on her mind. “Hey, H.A.? I’m just curious: what’s your favorite actual policy position of Bernie’s?”
Goodman froze. Oh no, he thought. They … they finally asked The Question, the one I’ve been fearing this entire election season. OH BERN OH BERN OH BERN, WHAT DO I DO?! He cleared his throat and said the first thing that came to his mind. “That he isn’t Hillary.”
They all stared at him owlishly. Justin’s jaw was slack. Karen finally broke the silence: “OK, but having a penis isn’t a policy. Like … what does he talk about that makes you like him the most as a candidate?”
Goodman sputtered. “Well … that’s … well what’s YOUR favorite Bernie policy, then?!” he challenged them, smirking. Surely he’d struck gold now.
“His stance on the inherently corrupting influence of money in politics,” Karen answered instantly. There was nodding.
“His genuine, longstanding desire to help the poor,” said Justin. More nodding.
“His full-throated dismissal of the death penalty as a barbaric tool unfit for a 21st century society,” said another member of the group. Even more nodding.
“I like that little birds like him!” came another voice, near the back. Every head swiveled to the speaker.
“Goddamit, Carl,” said Karen. “You’re not fucking helping.” The assembled shook their heads. Fucking Carl sometimes, man.
In the ensuing lull, Goodman looked so downcast that Justin sought to fill the air. This turned out to be an unwise move. “I mean, even if Bernie loses, we’re definitely still going to vote for Hillary. The last thing we want is a Trump or Cruz presidency.” The others murmured agreement. “Well, except for Carl, he’s an absentee Vermont voter so it doesn’t matter if he votes for Jill Stein.” Carl gave a little wave.
Goodman, though, was staring at them in abject revulsion, his lips mouthing silent absolutions, too shocked to speak. Vote for … cast their ballot for … how could anyone who claimed to understand the righteous crusade of The Bern ever even think about voting for The Shepublican?! The horror … THE HORROR —
Fifteen seconds later, Justin, turned back to Karen and the others. “Ooo-kayy …that was … interesting. I can’t say I’ve ever actually seen someone leap through a plate-glass window while screaming ‘I HAVE SEEN THE TRUE FACE OF DARKNESS’ before. So … that’s new.”
“I definitely have!” said Carl enthusiastically.
Karen shook her head. “Christ, Carl, learn when to shut the hell up.”