You Can't Keep Blaming Susan Sarandon for Everything
To her critics, Sarandon has the power to sway US presidential elections and tilt the balance of the Supreme Court.
Hardly a week goes by without some establishment-defending Democrat blaming Susan Sarandon for everything that goes wrong in America. Much of the hostility toward her stems from the 2016 Democratic primary, when Sarandon, a Bernie Sanders supporter, was sharply critical of Hillary Clinton.
I confess that as a Clinton advocate (and former adviser) at the time, I was pissed off at Sarandon. But as my views evolved, I recognized that it is absurd to pin the success or failure of a presidential election on one citizen, no matter how forcefully they advocate for or against a particular candidate.
Yet, month after month, year after year, Sarandon is assailed as the cause of America’s ills, imbued with unlimited power to shape the course of US history, sway presidential elections, and tilt the balance of the Supreme Court.
The idea that a private citizen should carry the weight of the duopoly’s failures is outlandish. If anything, it’s the Democratic Party that has enabled the GOP, from granting Trump expanded surveillance powers to perpetuating his abuse of migrants.
I reached out to Sarandon for a response to the endless vitriol directed at her. Here’s what she said:
I think the most disturbing aspect of this phenomenon is that I’m being used to distract from any real discourse about real systemic problems, real corruption, real missed, ignored opportunities to address serious injustice before it’s too late. I’m an easy target to stop people from venting their justifiable anger at those they’ve trusted. Less painful than being disillusioned. But ultimately so dangerous.
Democrats speak incessantly about “saving democracy” from the Republican Party. If they really cared about democracy, they’d encourage a plethora of candidates and parties rather than enforcing a stifling red-blue binary. And they wouldn’t continue harassing a private citizen because she favored a different candidate a half decade ago. That is anti-democratic.
There’s a reason tens of millions of eligible voters choose to sit out America’s presidential elections. And there’s a reason independents outnumber Democrats and Republicans. It’s because people are sick of the lies and spin of the two ruling parties. Perhaps Democrats should think about doing more for the people than shifting blame to one individual. And while they’re at it, how about not defending Trump in court?