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Sucking It Up In November

So you’ve all figured out by now that I’m supporting Hillary in the election, after a year of die-hard Berning. I planned on explaining my calculations in September, when everyone had a chance to calm down a little bit after the primary. Well, here we are so here I go. This one is going to be longer than my usual bite sized posts, so I hope that you will bare with me.

First let me start by saying that my opinion of Hillary hasn’t changed at all. I see her now, as I’ve always seen her: she’s a run of the mill corporatist democrat who, like every other corporatist democrat will put the needs of her donors ahead of the needs of the people. I have never seen her as a criminal, Satan, or the worst thing that could possibly happen to this country. She is a corporatist democrat, very much on the same spectrum as our current corporatist democratic president. She is an entrenched part of the establishment corporatocracy, and the only reason why some of you despise her and tolerate or even like President Obama, is that she’s been around for twenty more years than he had been when he became president. A long record is much easier to demonize and twist than a short record is.

I have the same issues with her that I’ve always had. The giant pile of Wall Street cash, her hawkish foreign policy views, her terrible votes in thinly veiled corporate giveaways like the Panama Trade deal (cause precisely no one seriously believed that opening up trade with a country whose GDP was equal to that of News Corp’s was going to create a glut of American jobs), and  a slew of other issues you can scroll down on my Facebook page to read.

I have always advocated voting in your own self interest, and I always will. Bernie was by far the best choice for my own self interest, and he still is (more on that later) but he didn’t win the primary and he’s not the nominee. So the question before me now is: what is in my own self interest, given my current options. Answering that question should not be done emotionally. Yes, the system was rigged against Bernie.  I wrote about this before we saw the DNC emails. None of the fucked up things that happened in the primary change the situation that we’re in now, and punishing Hillary isn’t in my self interest. Stopping Trump, who most of us agree is horrific on a level that makes me regret ever having said, “it can’t get worse than this” during the Bush years. Punishing her means foisting Trump on myself. That would not be a rational choice.

Trump must be stopped, but that’s not even my primary reason for supporting Hillary. Before I get to my primary reasons, let me address the dumbest of all dumb arguments that I’ve heard in the past few months, “You’re voting out of fear and that’s the only reason you’re supporting Hillary”. You bet your incredibly dumb ass that I am! Fear of real threats is how rational people think, and if more people in Germany had been more seriously fearful of what they were seeing in the early 1930s, Nazi Germany may never have happened. Being fearful of something that you know is destructive is the most reasoned thinking you can have. Don’t make that stupid argument to me. Your lack of critical thinking skills shines brightly when you do. I recognize that Trump must be stopped because I don’t approach politics with my hurt fee fees, and I can accept that the person I’m supporting now played dirty against the candidate I really believed in.

I still want Bernie, and the fact of the matter is that supporting Hillary is the best way for me to get some Bern in my government. Bernie is now one of the most powerful senators we have. The forty-six percent of the vote that he got in the democratic primary has garnered him a lot of political capital that would evaporate if Trump is elected. He won’t have any power in a Trump administration. He would have a lot of power in a Clinton administration (especially if democrats take back the senate). That’s just a fact, and we all watched him drag Hillary to the left during the primaries. Let’s give him the power to use our voices to keep pulling her to the left as president. Trump doesn’t give a flying fuck about your voice, and Bernie won’t have one at all if Trump is elected. That should be the only argument that needs to be made to liberals to convince them, but I’m not done yet.

Bernie’s candidacy showed us that there’s a groundswell for liberal change coming, but the fact of the matter is that we don’t have the numbers we need yet. The only way to stop an election from being stolen, is for it to not be close enough to steal. Now let’s assume that with no hard evidence at all (you know how I fucking hate to assume things without evidence, but I’m going to do it this one time just for you) that everything the DNC and Hillary did erased enough votes that it actually cost Bernie the election. Here’s what I believe we need to do to make sure it’s not close next time: elect Hillary.

At this point, you think I’m nuts but let me show you the data I’m relying on to make that assessment. As of 2013, the largest chunk of the electorate (by far) self identifies as “independents”. We have 25% identifying as republicans, 31% identifying as democrats, and 42% identifying as independents. Do I think that there’s a large block of people out there who sometimes vote for republicans, and sometimes vote for democrats? No. I think that those people vote for the party they’ve always voted for, but are so disgusted by that party, that they don’t want to be affiliated with them anymore. During President Obama’s first five years in office, six percent of democrats stopped wanting to be affiliated with the democratic party. During that same time period, three percent of republicans stopped wanting to be affiliated with the republican party. We have twice as many democrats leaving the democratic party during a democratic presidency, as we have republicans leaving their party. Here’s why I think that is: republicans can blame Obama for what’s going on with flat wages and income inequality because he’s president. They can still hang onto their party until the next republican president comes along and they have to one to blame but republicans. Democrats are being let down by the guy they voted for and are starting to see that the democratic party doesn’t represent them. The best way to keep this trend going, is to give them another democrat. A Trump presidency is only going to coalesce liberals around the democratic party.

If you want to keep Bernie’s revolution (no, I’m not saying that Bernie started it but he’s the one that gave it a megaphone) moving forward, you have to stop Trump from becoming president. This is the primary reason why I support Hillary. I’m not interested in taking two steps back before we can take another step forward. I’m playing the long game for my own self interest.

I am now going to give third parties more words than they’ve earned from me, what with the lack of seriousness they’ve demonstrated. “Where’s Aleppo”. Okay, we’ve dispensed of Gary Johnson so now on to Jill Stein. She’s an idiot (go ahead, click on it and judge for yourself). I hate to be the one to break it to you, but she’s a Herman Cain style idiot with less education than that highly educated idiot Ben Carson. No objective person can read that interview with her and not conclude that she’s an idiot. She wasn’t even asked any complicated questions about foreign policy or the economy. She was asked questions about topics that are in her own fucking platform. She clearly has no grasp of her own issues. I personally know two progressive podcasters whose Youtube subscribers exceed the number of votes she got in the last presidential election. They have both requested interviews with Stein, and she has declined every time. Why would  she be turning down opportunities to get her message out to a self selected progressive audience? Because she doesn’t want anyone to realize that she’s an idiot. Either that, or she’s not running for president. I realized she wasn’t actually running for president when I went to the events section of her website after the primaries ended, and didn’t see any campaign events. She didn’t start campaigning until August 25th of this year. She’s not trying to be heard.

Here’s a fun fact about Jill Stein: the second time she “ran” for governor in bright blue Massachusetts, she tied with “blank”. What do I mean by “blank”? I mean that people showed up to vote, cast votes on all of the down ballot issues and candidates, but found their gubernatorial choices so distasteful that they just left that line on their ballots blank. My only question is: did she not bother to campaign (as she has in two presidential elections), or did she campaign to the point where people realized that she has no idea what she’s talking about?

Forget the fact that neither the libertarian nor the green party are not taking themselves seriously with these clown candidates for a minute. Third parties are not viable in our current campaign finance system, and the great irony is that people who vote third party know that better than anyone else. Your “protest vote” is utterly meaningless, and the major parties don’t care what you do because they’re always going to win. Voting third party is literally putting the cart before the horse, which is why they haven’t moved forward at all in the past forty years. You have to change the system before a third party ever has a prayer of being viable.

No one cares about your “conscientious” third party vote. If your conscience leads you to be complicit in a Trump presidency, you need to recalibrate your conscience because sitting back and allowing horrible things to happen means that you own a piece of those horrible things. Just like the Germans in the 1930s. Yes, Hillary is a terrible candidate. Yes, I know she doesn’t represent your values. No, she will not be the only one to blame if Trump becomes president. Everyone who failed to show up to vote, or burned their vote on an idiot candidate will own a piece of every horrible thing that a Trump presidency brings.

Bernie is the only sitting legislature that can keep the issue of campaign finance front and center (where it should be). But let me repeat my earlier point: in order to get Bernie, you have to suck it up and swallow Hillary. If you don’t believe that Bernie can have an effect on Hillary and all the other corporatist democrats in congress, then you never really believed in his ability to do anything he says he wants to do.

I’m voting for Hillary for the same fundamental reason I supported Bernie: I’m voting my own self interest.

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