I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primaries.
Okay, now that that’s out of the way, maybe I can talk about Hillary Clinton without someone popping in to shout “Bern the Witch!” within 32 seconds of me posting this to Facebook. I still fully expect three different “#crookedhillary” comments, though, since that’s the easiest way to say, “Hi, I actually have not done sufficient research on Hillary Clinton’s or Bernie Sanders’ policy objectives. Also, I probably hate women, but I’m smart enough not to call Clinton a ‘cunt,’ so I picked a different word that started with the letter ‘C.'”
Now, full disclosure, I have not read all of the Democratic National Convention emails released on Wikileaks over the weekend, because there are 20,000 of them, and fuck you, no. I went to the beach instead. I did read the important ones though, the worst being a “Get Out The Vote” memo that was so racist against Latinx Americans, it gave Joe Arpaio a half-chub. I am also aware that there are reports of Clinton giving the recently-shitcanned DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a campaign position, but I have yet to find this being reported anywhere more reliable than a fucking Gawker comment. If anyone has an actual, reputable source on that, send it to me please.
Additionally, I’ve read the exchanges which the #NeverHillary crowd is holding up as evidence that the DNC stole the election from Bernie Sanders (we’ll just ignore the fact that Sanders’ campaign manager already came out and said that, no, no one stole the nomination; Sanders just lost). And, seriously, how is anyone coming to that conclusion? I really cannot understand that; you have to do some serious mental gymnastics to honestly believe that 1.) Debbie Wasserman Schultz is even capable of stealing an election–or, indeed, capable of anything that isn’t publicly embarrassing herself, and 2.) that she and six other staffers actually managed to do it. Unless there’s evidence in one of the other shitzillion emails that no one has reported on, there is just no way to claim that the DNC stole anything. There is, however, evidence to claim a thousand other legitimate grievances with the party.
There is more than enough evidence, for example, to claim that Debbie Wasserman Schultz was a horrifically incompetent leader who should be left in a cabin in Big Sur with no Internet connection. There is evidence to claim that the DNC’s efforts to appeal to minority groups are tone-deaf at best, and flat fucking offensive at worst. And there is evidence to claim that the Democratic Party’s current plan for courting millennial voters is basically to point at the Republicans and say, “These people are insane, so vote for us instead.” And that’s not good!
With that being said, I can understand some (SOME) of the DNC’s grievances with Sanders. Their biggest issue with him, and the one that should make sense to anyone who stops and thinks about it, is that Sanders was never a Democrat before last year. He caucused with the Democrats, sure. He is obviously a liberal. But he was not a member of the party. It’s completely understandable for DNC leadership to be annoyed with a man who was never a member of their group, until one day he decided he was their new God and that they should bow to him. You would be too! It doesn’t excuse anything they said, and it especially doesn’t excuse the fact that they were stupid enough to use email to say anything they said–because, seriously, did they miss the last nine months of people screaming about Clinton’s server? But, Sanders supporters, you have to accept that Bernie is not a perfect person, not a perfect candidate, and that he frustrates the living hell out of almost everyone with whom he works. That isn’t a good trait to have, by the way.
And you really, really have to accept that blowing up the system is not the answer. There is just too much at stake.
Any changes to the American political system need to be made progressively. There are elections, like, basically every week in the United States; it isn’t just one election every four years. Hell, we elect judges and prosecutors! That’s insane, but we do it! Start by making systematic changes there. Learn who your state and county representatives are, and what their policy goals are. Don’t be afraid to vote for third parties locally–unless they’re Libertarians, in which case you should be very afraid to vote for them. They’re terrifying. Don’t be afraid to vote for Independents in local elections, either. If you agree with what they stand for, you should vote for them.
But for Christ’s sake, don’t just try to burn down the whole establishment. That’s what the UK did, and they ended up with a neo-Fascist Prime Minister, the junkyard fire that is Brexit, and Boris Johnson. For us, we have a Silly Putty golem of Benito Mussolini, cursed with life by a malevolent wizard, and it’s STANDING RIGHT THERE.
And I understand the temptation to vote for Gary Johnson (I actually don’t understand that, but you get the idea) or Jill Stein. But, seriously, look at their policy ideals. I mean, Gary Johnson doesn’t actually HAVE policy ideals. His “policy” would basically amount to him masturbating at his desk while the United States slides into Great Depression-era lassez-faire capitalism. Voting for Gary Johnson is for people who read The Grapes of Wrath and thought “Wow! Hoovervilles seem great! I sure hope I can live in one someday.” It’s for people who played BioShock: Infinite and thought Comstock was the protagonist. Voting for Gary Johnson is for people who don’t think Mark Cuban is fucking annoying.
Jill Stein, though, is just as terrifying for different reasons. Seriously, she basically doesn’t believe in reform. Is the fact that pharmaceutical companies are involved with the FDA approval of drugs produced by said pharmaceutical companies bad? Yes, yes it is. Is the answer to that problem DISMANTLING THE FDA? No, it fucking is not. For another example, Monsanto is an evil company. I think anyone who isn’t voting for Gary Johnson could agree with that. But Jill Stein is not interested in changing the specific commerce laws that allow Monsanto to be so evil with impunity. Jill Stein is interested, instead, in carpet banning GMO foods probably while laughing maniacally like the Kevin Hart rabbit from The Secret Life of Pets. Oh, by the way, that’d be 70 percent of our food, for anyone who didn’t know. Jill Stein wants to ban 70 percent of America’s food. Both of these candidates would be borderline-Trump levels of disastrous.
And even if they weren’t, we cannot risk Trump.
So please, read through Clinton’s policy goals. They’re pretty good! She’s basically the same as Obama, but with slightly worse foreign policy. But she compensates by actually having some solid immigration goals! And she wants free public universities! And a 15 dollar minimum wage! And she’ll pick liberal Supreme Court justices! And she wants gun control! And she funds AIDS research! She’s a good candidate, everyone. She’s not perfect, but she’s good, and she’ll be a good President. So take the good President, and we can all work on improving the American political system incrementally.