Any Donald Trump supporter looking to prove that liberals are disconnected from reality could win an argument with a simple list of Susan Sarandon’s public statements. Now the actress’s line is that the election of Trump is good for her causes, because it will instigate revolution faster.
Besides being factually dubious — when the ultra-wealthy assume positions of leadership, it usually indicates a consolidation of power rather than a revolution — it’s also cruel. What happens in revolutions is that people suffer, and usually poor and disenfranchised people suffer most.
"Well, you know, some people feel Donald Trump will bring the revolution immediately,” Sarandon, a staunch Bernie Sanders supporter with a reported net worth of $50 million, told MSNBC host Chris Hayes last spring. “If he gets in, then things will really explode."
It’s unclear what Sarandon meant by “revolution,” and it’s easy to bat around that vague term when you have nothing at stake. Of course, America has not experienced a revolution since it broke from the British in 1776. Recent revolutions in Egypt, Syria, and Libya have been disastrous and caused thousands of civilian deaths to no peaceful end.
This February, Sarandon was invited to revisit her disconnected comments on Hayes’ show. “What we have now is a populace that is awake,” she said. Okay, sure – many are people unwilling to stand for Trump’s bigotry and have become politically engaged, maybe donating a few bucks to the ACLU. But struggling groups feel endangered and vulnerable. Undocumented immigrants are so terrified of deportation that they are not reporting domestic assault, not showing up for court, and keeping their children home from school. LGBTQ Americans feel marginalized and dehumanized under Trump’s policies. Muslims have been detained at airports and generally made to feel less welcome by Trump’s rhetoric and his two failed attempts to ban them from traveling to the country. American women watched as a man who thinks it’s okay to sexually assault them was elected to the most powerful job in the land.
Sarandon has always lived in political la-la land. If you’re a certain age, you’ll never forget Ralph Nader and the celebrities who supported his Green Party candidacy in the 2000 presidential election. Sarandon, along with Michael Moore, Eddie Vedder, and Patti Smith, were among the wealthy elite who helped to convince many young voters that there was little difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush. Their vocal support of Nader arguably enabled Bush's victory.
And yet here we are, nearly 17 years later, and Sarandon is still making the media rounds with her ignorant, gleeful statements, putting the worst possible spin on progressive ideas.
She was at it again last Friday, appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to promote her FX series Feud. “Now, everyone's awake,” she said gesturing to the crowd for applause. “They're energized. Right? … Now they're writing, they're calling — the millennials are on fire.”
Coastal progressives are criticized for being disconnected with the lives and suffering of real folks. No one epitomizes this archetype more than Sarandon, whose well-publicized comments are insensitive to the very marginalized people for whom she claims to be an advocate.