My friend Joseph Berson (he goes by Jay) is 77. With glasses, a little less hair and a few more teeth, he would bear an uncanny resemblance to Bernie Sanders. Jay’s political positions are closer to Bernie’s than are mine.
We have have spirited discussions and hours of discourse every week.
He is an avid politico, with an encyclopedic knowledge of history and anecdotes to accompany almost any election cycle, contest, or candidate he cares to expound upon.
Prior to the Democratic Convention last year, we frequently bumped into each other at Target and Home Depot, and hit off a wonderful friendship. Jay’s wife, Lola, is 92 and sharp as a tack. I feel like I have known them forever.
We see each other every week or so and thoroughly enjoy each other’s company.
Over the past year we spoke about Bernie, Hillary, and Trump almost daily online or by phone. Jay pored over my blog articles and shared radical memes to my wall.
The only thing we seemed to disagree upon was Trump.
During the 2016 Republican primaries, I came to the conclusion that Donald Trump was the most gifted politician I had ever seen, and likely the most gifted since Abraham Lincoln. I wrote extensively on Trump and Hillary during the general election campaign, and had no illusions that Jay would support Hillary over Trump. Like many liberals he equated Trump’s bombast and immigration positions to 1930s European fascism.
Last November he voted for Clinton and I voted for Stein. And we both wished Bernie were president.
Looking forward we have opposite views of the 2018 midterms.
I advocate progressives primarying every corporate Democrat and Hilbot to weaken them in the general election. Jay is horrified at the suggestion, lamenting the increased Republican House and Senate majorities such a strategy would yield.
Our discussions lead to little ground given, but are enormously entertaining and intellectually stimulating.
I have been a professional political strategist since 1976. I wish I had known Jay these 41 years. No telling how much more successful I might have been!
• I am unaware of any other blog with the Armory’s mission of radicalizing the animal movement. I certainly hope I am not alone, and that there are similar sentiments being expressed by comrades unknown to me.
If you know of other blogs dedicated to animal rights and the defeat of capitalism, please comment with a link.
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