I am a jaded observer of decades of politics and I’m as radical as any ‘Bernie or Bust’er, but it infuriates me to have good people who I used to respect posting tirades on social media about how they can’t ever vote for HRC no matter what. I’m sorry, but grow up!
I have had my share of outrage and tirades when it comes to the damned, pandering, two-faced, shiftless idiots who claim to represent us and I have voted third party many times but if I’m honest with myself, I have to admit that it has never done a damn bit of good.
The fact of the matter is that we have a two party, winner-take-all system, funded by legalized bribery. The system was screwed up from its inception. IMHO - a proportional representation system would have been much better. Then we could all vote our conscience and know our votes counted and our representatives would have to do the dirty work of forming coalitions and making compromises in the legislature. But that isn’t our system. In our system, the voter has to make the compromise or throw away their vote. To make matters worse, the voter who loses ends up with no voice at all. This sucks but it is not going to change, short of an outright revolution. Check with me on an idea about that, by the way, albeit for the long game.
I want Bernie to win and it isn’t over yet, but it doesn’t look likely to happen. If he does not win, I will vote for HRC. Yes, HRC is a corporate, pro-fracking, pandering, waffler, who shifts with the political winds. That last part is actually a good thing because we might actually be able to get her to listen, if we twist her arm hard enough. But we can actually count on her to do some good things:
- Defend a woman’s right to choose;
- Appoint center-left jurists to the Supreme Court;
- Fight Republican election fraud and gerrymandering (note I said ‘Republican’ election fraud and not all election fraud);
- Appoint Democrats to the FEC, the SEC, and the FCC;
- Acknowledge the reality of climate change – and maybe even actually do something about it;
- Support wind and solar instead of obstruct it;
- NOT vilify religious minorities.
But this is all ‘she, she, she’ which is inherently bull-crap because Presidential politics is not really about the individual personalities. It isn’t about electing HRC or Bernie or Trump alone – it’s about the entourage they bring with them, the machinery that got them there, and the constituency at their back. If HRC ran as a Democrat and somehow the Republicans ran an identical clone of HRC taking the same exact positions, I would vote for the Democrat. Democrats bring in Democratic advisors and administrators and are voted for by Democratic constituents who pressure them to do things in their interest. Substitute ‘Republican’ in the above statement for the Republican corollary. That in itself is enough to make a difference.
And whatever slightly Populist things the Donald has said in the past and over the course of the campaign, he is running as a Republican and his administration will be drawn from the same old Republican machinery. And we can see that happening with Trump. It already looks like Trump is lining up the same economists that helped Ronnie trash our economy 36 years ago. Dick Cheney’s already endorsed him. Whose head are we likely to see pop up for Defense Secretary? The other Donald (Rumsfeld) maybe?
Where HRC is objectionable – foreign policy and fracking and trade agreements, especially – compared to Trump, Progressive Activists may be able to move her in a positive direction. And we might even be able to overturn Citizens United. I’m not being Pollyanna about these things – it is the simple reality that we have more of a chance of getting good things done under her administration than under Trump’s. While it may not be as good as we want, it is significant – don’t dismiss that lightly! It’s real and worth voting for.
I have no illusions – the Democratic Party has changed. A lot of damage was done by Bill Clinton when he invited Al Fromm and the DLC in and I have heard convincing evidence that all that was funded by the Kochs. Not voting or throwing away your vote on a third party is how you give in to that – the way to fight it is to get into the Democratic Party and change it.
Although I have a very low opinion of HRC, I think a lot of the outrage has been fueled by the Right. They have been dumping on her for 30 years. Although I have a lot of real concerns about her positions on trade, fracking, and war, especially in the Middle East, I think that Whitewater and especially Benghazi have little if anything behind them and are made up mostly of Right Wing smear tactics.
Regardless, can you actually tell me that any president in the nation’s history was not corrupt or disappointing in some way? For all the good FDR did, for instance, as governor of NY, he was corrupt and centrist, and the evidence that he had foreknowledge of Pearl Harbor and allowed it to happen is pretty overwhelming. And yet, he did a lot of good. That is the nature of realpolitik – the good comes with the bad.
Yes, Hillary stinks, but she beats the crap out of Trump, and although I say it every four years, this year I’m serious! If the Republicans get back into the White House, I’m out of here – to Hell with it! Because it is the end of democracy (such as it is) in this country.
Meanwhile, what are all you ‘Bernie or Bust’ers going to say if HRC wins the nomination and Bernie falls in line and campaigns for her AS HE PROMISED TO DO at the beginning of his campaign? Are you going to accuse him of selling out?
And what are your tirades doing? If HRC wins, I don’t want her constituency to have any illusions about her, so I’m fine with dissing her as long as you’re still encouraging everyone to vote for her and other Democrats when it comes to the general. But what I worry is that you are discouraging others from voting at all, and that will affect the down-ballot races. We need the House and Senate back as much or more than we need to keep the White House.
Throwing away your vote on Jill Stein is stupid and childish. It is basically throwing a tantrum because you didn’t get what you want. And I understand that – we came damn close to getting the real thing! But it was a lot to expect, and even Bernie would be sure to disappoint us in office in some way or worse yet, get Wellstoned … (and don’t talk to me about a Sanders/Clinton ticket – that would be a death sentence for Bernie!). Bernie disappointed me long ago when he dismissed the 9/11 Truth movement.
I have voted for third party candidates in the past – mostly Greens – but it has always been when the lesser evil candidate was safe and did not need my vote. This time, the Republicans have opened the flood gates on voter suppression and election fraud and whoever wins the Democratic nomination will need every vote he or she can get, so I’m not taking anything for granted.
No, the thing to do after HRC gets elected – if we are so lucky – is to infiltrate the machinery of the Democratic Party and turn it into the party we want, just like the damn Tea Party did to the Repuglicans. That’s not just my theory, by the way – that’s a fact. Conservative Think Tanks put together and distributed a DVD telling conservative activists how to become Republican Committeemen and take over the party and they did it. That’s how the Tea Party happened.
The progressive revolution will take time and work, but now we have some very special take-aways – we finally have reason to believe that there is a large and growing constituency for democratic socialism in this country – ‘socialist’ is no longer necessarily a dirty word!
The alternative to that legwork is to either ditch this country or get in the streets and get stomped by the jack boots.
Meanwhile while you’re throwing your tantrum, pounding your fists on the floor, your ass is sticking conveniently up in the air for Karl Rove to screw.