How Bernie Sanders has used basic queer theory in debates to remind us all of the true detriment to our society.
By David Mosqueda
Bernie Sanders has focused his campaign on wealth inequality which is extremely gapped in our country. He has referred back to Wall Street as the main target of the greed that is ransacking America, more importantly, ransacking the middle class. He has made it his obligation to hold accountability to Wall Street for all its misguidedness that is crumbling the infrastructure of our nation, the people. Hillary Clinton has claimed that Sanders is intact a single issue candidate, that he only seems to think billionaires and millionaires are to blame, and private interest groups and Super PACs; however, Sanders remains the only candidate to understand the diverse effect this greed has had on our culture spanning from Racial injustice, to Economic Injustice, to Criminal justice and Women’s Rights.
Sanders has many times repeated that the private interests groups, like those we find on Wall Street, have done nothing but funnel money into campaigns and politicians so that they can progress to legislation in their favor. Clinton has claimed that she has had no private interest sway her opinion, wonderful, but that does not make it untrue for every politician. Clinton continues to criticize Sanders for continually returning in debates to the special interest groups, but perhaps this is not outlandish. Perhaps Sanders has a very basal understanding of Queer Theory, and that is what he is practicing.
In introductions to Queer Theory, it is taught that in the main function of the study is to question the foundations of institutions. It is only in this questioning that we can truly incite change of the societal norms. That is exactly what Sanders is doing in all his speeches and in all his debates, for that matter. For example, questioning begins with an institutional basis, Education, for this matter. So, then the questioning begins, why, for instance, does an institution of education fail to provide accommodations for all people not limited to Transgender, Transexual, and Intersex peoples?
The answers lay in two places we can say that the issue stems from those few in our society that are uncomfortable acknowledging there exists outside of the societal norm, an outlying exception, and also a discomfort with a discussion of sexuality, as it does not appease to the majority of the groups in our society. In an all encompassing answer it boils down to heteronormativity, there exists in our society only two genders defined by sex, predetermined from birth by genitalia, and these two sexes are only existent for the purpose of reproduction. Yes, yes there are multiple causalities that are at work here, but heteronormativity is the umbrella term under which the causes fall. This same practice can be applied to our modern day society.
Questioning racial injustice we turn to locations like Ferguson, or Baltimore, even, to understand how we have allowed, after decades of having fought for civil rights, we remain with an increasing race problem in America? We can allude to institutionalized, and systemic racism, but in these the systemic racism can be allocated to policing. In these two cities, we can look at the militarized police, which has an extreme effect on the psyches of African American youth in the cities. The militarized police can be explained by the heavy presence of gun lobbyists in the government, and even more the private prisons special interest groups funneling money into individual politicians.
So, now we have a problem, and in the end, what it boils down to is a group of politicians that may, or may not, have been persuaded by private interests giving money to progress their causes in government. But, just as Sanders has repeatedly argued, we are aware that there is money, but to be ignorant as to the purpose of this money in any regard is a gross injustice to all the people that feel the effects of these private interests, and that purpose simply put is not to just throw money away, it is to gain the politician in the pocket. Basic Queer theory has taught us one thing and that is that we can question everything as much as we want, and find every causality, but there is always an umbrella, one that looms largest over these injustices.
Clinton can argue that, yes, she takes money from special interests groups and that the money she has received in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs, has in now way persuaded her votes, but she can not say that she has not heard arguments from politicians who have been persuaded by big money and in turn that has swayed her vote. Then again we can look at her donations. Omitting Wall Street she must account for having voted for the Iraq war, and being the most widely supported candidate by Gun manufacturers. Omitting Wall Street we must look into credit card companies, big pharmaceutical donations, private health insurance companies.
Sanders has queered politics. He has taken into account every causality for our biggest problems in our country, and he has understood that yes, each causality is as serious as the next, but in that, there is one umbrella causality that outshines them all, greed. The one that takes away from the public interests and shifts politics toward the private interests and that is a corrupt campaign finance policy. One that shifts money to politicians in hopes of corruption, and again to be ignorant to the purpose of this money is a gross injustice to those that feel the full effect of these private interests, Low-income America, Middle-class America.
Sanders has done what so many have only dreamed of doing. He has revolutionized politics, there will never be a time in which we can look at an issue and think, that it is not corruption at work. Anytime a case goes against the public interest why is that, perhaps it is because the public interest can never be as loud as a Super PAC. Sanders has done to politics what Queer Theorists do to all institutions on a daily basis. Most importantly Sanders has queered politics, and in a greater feat, Sanders has queered the presidency.