We Need To Talk About Hillary
ñistas on social media have been seeing the creeping trope from Hillarybots, a time-honored tactic that's been used on both sides, but especially ours. It's the argument that inevitably comes after one Democrat or another wins a few more primaries and caucuses than the other. In this case, I'm hearing more and more, and it's pissing me off more and more, that we should stand by our man (or woman) and vote party no matter what. If you don't, then Trump will win and we wouldn't want that, now would we?
I call it the Bogey Man Argument.
Well, no, we don't want Trump to win. Not unless you like to smoke your cigarettes between thumb and forefinger and listen to Wagner on your iPod to Trump campaign ads during NASCAR or the WWE.
And some of them are more subtle than others. Without specifically mentioning her name, those who use this argument tend to be Hillary supporters and they say things on Twitter or elsewhere such as, "Vote Democrat no matter who the candidate is. If you don't vote party, you're voting Republican!"
Well, no, we're not.
First off, this is based on the overarching assumption that Hillary Clinton will win the nomination. The staggeringly corrupt and collusive Super Delegate system peculiar to our party aside, nothing in politics is assured. Dewey was supposed to defeat Truman, George Allen was supposed to roll to reelection until his "macaca" comment and Ned Lamont was supposed to upset Joe Lieberman a decade ago.
And speaking of Lieberman...
Those of you whose memories extend past the last season of Game of Thrones may recall a little senate race out of Connecticut involving a businessman named Ned Lamont running against the incumbent Joe Lieberman. Joe assumed he could run his campaign out of his Senate office on the Hill until the upstart Lamont won the Democratic primary. Undeterred, Lieberman filed as an Independent the very next day (and, in keeping with his hubris and megalomania, named the party after himself) then cruised back into that same office on a red tide of out of state, right wing money. Just before the election, Arianna Huffington (
The point is, we're likely looking at third party runs on both sides. If Bernie doesn't get the nomination this summer but looks as if a third party run would be viable, he'll split the Democratic vote. Likewise, expect to see some so-called "establishment" Republican to form their own third party if and when Trump gets the nod in Cleveland. You think if Bloomberg had decided to throw his butt hole banker's hat in the ring he would've run as a Republican? No fucking way.
So if Sanders runs on an Independent ticket, it's still OK to vote for him because rest assured some power-mad psychopath on the right side of the aisle will be doing exactly the same thing and throw his body on the gears of the Trump Kriegsmaschine.
Secondly, the argument about voting for party over conscience (because that always works, /snark) is fallacious because not being part of the Democratic establishment is exactly Bernie Sanders' appeal and why young voters respond so enthusiastically by a margin of nearly 9-1 in every primary and caucus state.
If you're voting for Hillary Clinton despite her having a record that's spottier than a Ralph Steadman cartoon, then you care more about the Democratic party than democracy itself. And you're a fool. And while they weren't presidential races, Joe Lieberman, and Sanders, proved a decade ago you can win on a third party ticket (although it helps if your opponent stupidly listens to centrist focus groups fighting a losing battle to not alienate anybody and still losing the demographic that brought results).
But even barring a third party run on the Republican side, in order to make a third party run on Sanders' part viable, we'll have to come out in record numbers. Even with the vote on the right split, George Rockwell, Jr. still has enough racists, proto- and crypto-fascists and trailer park high school dropouts to make his run respectable (by Nazi standards).
And the usual 35-40% voter turnout we've been seeing over the last couple of decades ain't gonna cut it, people. While we're seeing record turnouts among young voters (due almost entirely to Bernie), other demographics were actually down (over 16% overall from 2008, coupled with a dreadful Republican turnout rate of just 15.7% among eligible voters), according to the exit poll data we saw after the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, in which Democrats fell 30,000 votes shy of 2008's record).
That's rather disturbing, considering Sanders' win in that state should have brought Democrats to the polls in droves, especially since he's a New England favorite. That's almost as disturbing as Sanders actually losing Massachusetts.
People, we have to do better than this. Republicans shattered their own records in New Hampshire, South Carolina and other primary states.
But the one thing Sanders and Trump have in common is that both their bases are, to put it charitably, extremely dissatisfied with their party and their standard-bearers. Trump's appeal to the mouth-breathing, goosestepping set is that he's not an establishment Republican. Cruz, the top man from that camp, is so loathed and reviled by his own party that his first Senate endorsement came from his own BFF Mike Lee (and even then, it was late in coming).
So there you have it. The young, impressionable and relatively naive voters that make up a good portion of Bernie's base are, ironically, cynical of a Hillary presidency. This is coming from kids who largely weren't even born when her husband was sworn in. The ones who will be voting for the first time, 18 year-olds and 17 year-olds who will be 18 by Election Day, have no firsthand memories of the Monica scandal. But they see through Hillary and know she is the not the solution but the problem.
But the kids alone will not save the day. There's also the question of the black vote, which is all but essential to a Democratic presidential contender.
And this is the biggest hurdle to overcome. As well as these self-appointed party hacks who put party over principle any day, more and more I'm seeing black voters flocking to Hillary as if she's Obama in a pants suit (and she is) while sneering at the sacrifices Bernie Sanders had made on behalf of their people when Kennedy was president. Suddenly, according to these Obama holdovers and dead-enders, marching with Dr. King in 1963 is a bad thing.
And long forgotten is their Goldwater Girl using her own Reaganesque dog whistle language in 1996 when referring to black youth as super predators while touting her husband's 1994 race-based crime bill that was designed primarily to bloat the prison industrial complex.
Also forgotten was Hillary's close personal and corporate ties with the Walmart family, the Bilderberg Group and countless Wall Street banks and white shoe law firms from whom she still shamelessly vacuums up millions. At last count, she'd grabbed about $6,000,000 from Wall Street alone and Lord only knows how much is hidden from us thanks, ironically, to Citizen's United (which started out with a thinly disguised hit piece/documentary on Hillary).
So now we're hearing sneering from black voters who seem to have completely forgotten, or have chosen to disregard, Hillary's own lack of help in addressing the real causes of crime and taking steps to ensure black youth never fell into that trap. While choosing to disregard her trumpeting Slick Willie's and the GOP's crime bill, Hillarybots are denigrating Sanders for voting for it (We'd seen this embarrassing turn of events at a recent Democratic debate where Hillary, in the act of defending her husband's bill, pointed a finger at Sanders and whining, "Well, he voted for it!"
Well, yes, he did. But being at least as much of a pragmatist as Clinton, Sanders doesn't believe in throwing out the baby with the bath water. As he'd immediately explained, he voted for the crime bill to keep automatic weapons off the streets of America while realizing the evils and the dangerous precedent of arresting and incarcerating black youth solely to bloat the rising prison industrial complex (and he'd argued against this while still a member of the House).
So, really, it could almost be said Hillary's main appeal among black voters, who are by and large as delusional as right wing voters, seems to be that her name isn't Trump and she lives in the blue tent. She's good old dependable Mom who will come in and keep the ugly, double-weaved monster in the closet and out from under your bed.
And, I'm sorry, brothers and sisters, you'll need a better reason than that and Toni Morrison idiotically calling her husband the "first black president" to deny Sanders your vote. A vote for Hillary is a vote for the prison industrial complex that keeps your children locked up for years to fill minimum occupancy rates. A vote for Hillary is a vote for payday lenders that can charge as much as 400% interest and keep you in a state of indentured servitude and, yes, slavery. A vote for Hillary is a vote for the Wall Street corporate scum that took away your job, your pension, your 401(k), your home, your ability to file for bankruptcy, your future and the next 20 years after your college kid's graduation while they're burdened by usurious student loan debts.
My bottom line is that repudiating one party or the other isn't the answer to our ills. (Look how the NASCAR/WWE set is going about it and look how that's working out.) Standing up for our party's 20th century guiding principles, even if it means voting third party, is.
There's a reason while so many people are feeling the Bern: That's because they're sick and tired of the status quo and it's a sentiment that's shared by Republican conservative voters (albeit for entirely different reasons. We're dissatisfied with our party for not being humanistic enough and right wingers loath their party for not being inhuman enough). Bernie's got your back and he's been railing about the same issues for decades. Hillary?
I wouldn't turn my back on that bitch even if I was wearing a Kevlar vest.