tl;dr? Bernie Sanders reminds me of the Uncle in the Ingmar Bergman film, Fannie & Alexander. Bernie should lead from behind — pun intended — sit out any 2020 run for President, and fade out in politics with a legacy in support of the 2020 Democratic nominee.

The action really gets going at 1:30.

Will read? Hear we go.

Bernie Sanders, Senator from Vermont, reminds me of the Uncle in the Ingmar Bergman film, Fanny & Alexander. It is not his party. It is not his house. He did not set the table. He did not prepare the food. And like Bernie, he attracts a young audience, captures their attention, and is rigorous in keeping them entertained. We watch as he is rigorous in exercise but in the end he is just full of wind, blows out the lights, and leaves us to find our own way back in the dark. In dark, rank air.

Bernie’s receipts are out-of-date. The photos of Bernie Sanders in civil rights protests are almost as old as I am. And I am older than twelve. And twelve is the number of years Mr. Sanders has been a US Senator. And a US Senator is surely more persuasive and powerful than a protester in 1962.

What have you done lately Mr. Sanders?

Bernie does not play well with others. Fierce independence is admirable when you’re the only one on the island. Fierce independence when the fight is for group survival, eh? Not so much. In 2016, Hillary did not make her planned trip through Wisconsin because of the Pulse nightclub massacre. She asked Bernie to visit Wisconsin in her stead. She trusted him to go as a DNC liaison, a representative for the Democratic 2016 nominee for President.

And vested with all that trust … he didn’t. Bernie with his cult-like following, with his charisma and charm couldn’t be bothered to show up and help the party.

Hillary lost Wisconsin in 2016.

Hillary lost the run for President.

Bernie is a spoiling spoiled spoiler.

Bernie hasn’t released his taxes. Bernie hedges. Bernie is elliptical and elusive. Bernie doesn’t want us to see his taxes. He’ll release them if he gets the nomination or soon or …

Sorry Bernie. You claim they’re not a big deal. We think they’re not a big deal until they aren’t. This isn’t cute. We are not amused.

What are you afraid of? We question your transparency. We question whether you are a truth teller, whether you can exercise good judgment, whether you lie like you say you don’t.

Just.Do.It. and be

Cult, I. Bernie’s movement relies on him, Bernie. He does not have an heir apparent. When he goes, well, flushed from memory comes to mind. I can almost hear Elton John “… it seemed to me, he lived his life like a candle in the wind.”

But this time, that wind is a fart.

Cult, II. My reminder on cults in general:

Men go crazy in congregation, they only get better one by one.

– Sting

Bernie heads a cult. Many Bernie enthusiasts are beside themselves with the belief that he is the only one that can do it [beat Trump in 2020]. And he is flattered. But this fawning will not last. He is not the only one.

This mess, and by mess I mean his congregants, will need to be cleaned up. And by cleaned up I mean converted. Converted from fierce dependence on one fierce independent to fierce confidence in the ability of the congregation to effect lasting, policy and change that is not based on the opinions, the opining, the personality of one individual.

And that conversion happens one. By one. By one.

Legacy. Bernie is old enough to know that to leave a legacy, he needs to take a seat, mentor someone, be a champion for someone other than Bernie.

And I hope he does, but I would not be surprised if his oversize ego — it must be — reduces him to a big ugly spoiler. He is the little bully who pisses in the sandbox so no one else can play and grows up to be the crazy uncle who blows out the candles with all that hot air.

Farts in the wind.

Help yourself to a seat Bernie. Lead from behind.

Extra credit: On Becoming Anti-Bernie by Robin Alperstein is a 30-40 minute read from 2016. (tl;dr?) I endorse everything stated. If Bernie is the eventual 2020 Democratic nominee, I will vote for him.

Meanwhile, the article chronicles the journey of “know Bernie” to “no Bernie,” and, whoa, it appears to be an evergreen document. Although written in 2016, I have seen no evidence that Mr. Sanders has changed. And in this time of rapid change, surely this article would seem out of date but it reads like yesterday or last week. We do not need politicians or a president who are enamored with their own movement.

In the end – pun intended, On Becoming Anti-Bernie, confirms my imagery of Bernie Sanders as the Uncle in the film Fanny & Alexander.

Footnote: If Joe Biden throws his hat into the 2020 DNC Presidential circus ring, we will encourage him to take a seat too.