Not much use having a political blog if you don’t post in the wake of the first results in a Presidential election…
Here’s what I know DEFINITIVELY:
- The results of the Iowa Caucus were GREAT for Bernie Sanders!
- Unless they were NOT GREAT for Bernie Sanders.
- Or it was a coin flip.
Presidential campaigns are long. Iowa has, in a lot of cases, predicted jack shit (especially on the GOP side). This current presidential campaign has been running since, I want to get this right here, 1962. At least it feels that way. And yet, we have so, so much longer to go. Do I think it was impressive that Sanders, who has stayed away from mega-donors, was able to go toe-to-toe with the Clinton machine? Yes. Do I think that indicates he can win? Maybe. Is there anything to point to that suggests he will? No.
We’re just now starting the narrative. Let’s make it a good, thoughtful conversation, okay? Here’s my two big thoughts the day after Iowa:
We Dems have forgotten what real debate is like
We’re not supposed to be the ones unfairly painting a wide swath of a candidate’s supporters as sexist. Or course, we’re also not supposed to look the other way when some of a candidate’s supporters are, in fact, sexist douchewaffles.
In a nutshell, I believe we’ve been defending President Obama as a collective group for so long against batshit, vile arguments and downright naked racism that we forgot what it’s like to have a quality, civil conversation about politics with non-assholes. The other side can keep flinging poo at each other, but we have to remember how to have a dialogue that leads to the best candidate winning.
Honestly, I forgot how it felt before Obama united the liberal folks I know, those early days of Barrie v Hillary. Good God, were they tense. You guys, it divided Tracy Morgan and Tina Fey. IT PIT HOUSE MORGAN VERSUS HOUSE FEY. That happened. It was a dark time… Watching my dem friends split now feels kinda shitty. It’s even more shitty when they start trashing each other hard and making claims about why supporting one or the other makes said supporter a bad liberal or an idiot. Stop that, mmkay?
I support Bernie Sanders. I wish he were stronger on guns, better with Black Lives Matter (although, no joke, Killer Mike’s word goes a long way with me), and had a shot in hell of doing a third of what he’s saying he will do. I prefer him to Hillary Clinton, and those are the only choices given to us would-be progressives (neither is all that progressive). I do not believe The Bern is a messianic, perfect politician who has somehow spent DECADES inside a corrupt system with nary a scratch or blemish on his record. If you think a lifelong politician in Washington has never taken suspect money or been influenced to vote by an unscrupulous lobbyist, you’re not just “drinking the Kool-Aid,” you’re gargling moonshine. I believe he is less tied to corporate money than Hillary. I believe he is more inclined to hold the wealthy elite responsible. So that’s why I support him.
Unfortunately, these days, you can’t just throw down a political Pokeball and yell “Bernie-chu, I choose you!” No, you apparently have to also show why the other candidate is a barbaric cave-person who represents the destruction of all that is good on earth. To paint Hillary Clinton as a forked-tongue corporate stooge is to buy into an unfair caricature painted by patriarchal bastards ever since she dared enter politics. She’s a career politician, with all the baggage that entails. If you think she’d be this hated if she had the same career and a penis, you’re insane. Yeah, she done messed up a bunch. She sides with people I don’t like. She took money from people I hate. She’s also really good at being a politician, gets shit done, and has overcome tidal waves of challenges to stand as the first truly viable shot at a woman being president. I don’t like that she seems slow to react; she’s down right Aaron Burr-esque in her willingness to “Wait for It” on key issues. I don’t prefer her to the other candidate. But, she’s not a monster. Stop. You know how I know she’s not a monster?
The GOP is full of f**king monsters
Ted Cruz has always been scarier than Donald Trump. Trump is an egomaniac who may well not mean a single word he’s saying. Ted Cruz definitely believes what he’s saying. He is willing to grind this entire country to a halt on principle, legitimately hates Muslims, and is so scary for women, the ones he’s related to don’t even like touching him. For the love of God, he’s ruining Princess Bride for me. That guy won yesterday. WON.
The guy in second place is either a snake oil huckster gaming the system for funsies or a racist prick about to lead people who would march right behind Hitler. In third place, is someone maybe worse than both because he’s electable.
If you’re a good person who cares about what happens to the less fortunate, oppressed, and vulnerable in this country, you have to keep all of these shitshows from the White House. AT ALL COSTS. PERIOD. You don’t have to like it. But you do have to do it. The next President is going to name maybe 4 Supreme Court Justices. That’s going to change America more than any Congressional body or Oval Office resident. We cannot risk one of these dumpster humans stocking the most important group in America with people who would deny equal rights to women and minorities. Those things are coming up the pike to SCOTUS, along with potential voter right defenses, gerrymandering issues, and on and on. You will live with the consequences of who wins the presidency potentially for the rest of your life, and that’s not an overstatement.
I understand the frustration of supporting flawed candidates as the “lesser of two evils.” I also believe strongly in having less evil. Just like sticking your fingers in your ears and saying “la la la” as a kid didn’t actually make the rest of the world go away, abstaining from the political process doesn’t get you a better candidate next time, nor does it fix the system or take you out of it. It just means other people pick what happens to you. It means that you run the risk of a horrible human doing things that will affect you and the people you love daily. I’ve heard several people say if their candidate doesn’t win the Dem primary, they won’t “hold their nose and vote” this time. That is literally the same thing as saying they’re okay with any of the three men I just mentioned above appointing SCOTUS judges that will change the face of the country they live in. That’s silly. That’s some “cut off your nose to spite your face” shit.
Now, you don’t have to vocally support a candidate you don’t truly like. You don’t have to donate to them or defend them. You can hold them accountable, demand better of them, make them work for your vote, and never stop criticizing them. But you have to vote for them if the only alternative is to leave the country vulnerable to actual evil. And the GOP has morphed into pure, unadulterated evil. Racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, cartoonish evil.
If you want better candidates, you have three years starting in November to find them, donate to them, campaign for them, and support them. If you hate the system, you can scream against it, hold it accountable, fight every day to make it better, even on election day…and then vote for the non-garbage person at the polls. The system is rigged, broken, and dumb. But it’s what we have. You can’t escape it without moving. Wishing it away won’t work.
Fact: One of five people will be President in January:
- Ted Cruz
- Donald Trump
- Marco Rubio
- Hillary Clinton
- Bernie Sanders
Fact: That’s it. That’s the list. Those are the options.
Opinion: I hope it’s the last one.
Opinion: I’ll vote for the second-to-last one.
Fact: I’ll expect all of you with a brain and a conscience to help make sure those top 3 are nothing more than Trivial Pursuit answers a few years from now.