Watch any talk show, from someone with a decent reputation like Dr. Phil to super-shady Iyanla Vanzant; people claim that forgiving others puts you on to a path of “healing” and “closure.” It is the plot of all the Tyler Perry movies and half the Lifetime ones. But I don’t buy into that. Some people don’t deserve the time invested in forgiving them. Susan Sarandon is one of them.
During the 2016 election, Sarandon was known for her anti-Hillary stance. She was #NeverHillary as much as any Trump supporter. In many interviews, Sarandon made the claim that Hillary was as bad as Trump. Even now, with all that has happened with the Trump administration in an interview with the Guardian, Sarandon said “I thought Hillary was very dangerous. If she’d won, we’d be at war.”
I’m sure life is wonderful if you are a millionaire actress. With money and success, life must be grand living in that bubble. In the real world, where the rest of us live, we are at war. We have been at war. And under Trump, we are still at war. Maybe even under Hillary Clinton, we would still be at war, but what Medicare and Medicaid wouldn’t be on the chopping block; the Affordable Care Act wouldn’t be sabotaged; there would be no weapons-measuring contests with North Korea; Dreamers and Haitians wouldn’t be living in fear of being deported; and we wouldn’t have far-right conservative judges for decades. We would also not have a president who wonders why we can’t use nuclear weapons like most of us wonder why we can’t drive in the HOV lanes or use the express check-out when we have more than 20 items.
What’s so infuriating and so exasperating is that Sarandon hasn’t changed her mind since the election. Instead she has just doubled down on it. The bubble she lives in must be made of concrete if she cannot see how this country has changed for the worst since the election of Donald Trump. Jeff Sessions is running the Justice Department like its 1950. The KKK has crawled out from under the hole they were buried in. There was a story about Nazis in the New York Times, basically claiming they are just like the rest of us except for the whole Nazi thing. And Republicans are set to pass the biggest transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the richest in this country.
None of that is on Sarandon’s radar. None of this seems to matter to Susan Sarandon and, frankly, many of the Stein, Johnson or Sanders supporters. For Sarandon, the election of Trump was supposed to usher in the revolution ― this wave of voters who will kick out the people who aren’t progressive enough. Sarandon doesn’t mention what those suffering under this administration should do in the meantime. Let’s ask the people of Puerto Rico if a revolution matters now that they have no clean water and a roll of paper towels. Or let’s ask the little girl with cerebral palsy who had ICE agents waiting outside of her hospital room door to deport her. This is what’s happening in this country right now.
I get the pace of change in this country, at times, can be frustrating. As an African American woman, I would have liked my children’s life to be much easier in this country, to not be afraid of being stopped by the police and to not be judged by their skin color. And in a lot of ways, things are better for the next generation, and that’s because people worked for decades to make things better. We don’t burn down our house because our roof needs fixing. Hillary Clinton would have continued the programs that Barack Obama started instead, of Trump, who seems to be determined to undo everything the first African American president accomplished. Hillary Clinton would have added to the progress we made.
Sarandon never had to worry about the consequences of her vote. Her wealth and privilege, and that dense bubble she lives in, shields her from most of the issues that affect the rest of us. But that’s why she owed it to the rest of us to do all that she could to make sure we weren’t suffering. The war widow who was insulted by Trump doesn’t care if Sarandon voted her conscience.
In 2016, we had two viable choices on the ballot. We can argue about how we got to those two choices or why we only have two choices until we are blue in the face, but those were the choices. Sarandon could have used her platform, her wealth and yes her privilege to support a candidate who would have made life better for a lot of Americans but she didn’t. For that, I will hold a grudge until the end of time. I won’t rewatch “Thelma and Louise” and no more “Bull Durham.” I didn’t watch a single episode of “Ray Donovan,” this season since she was added to the cast. And I will boycott any products for which she is a sponsor. It may be petty and it may not matter much to Sarandon in her concrete bubble, but I don’t care. I’ll leave the closure stuff to Dr. Phil. I hold grudges.