Tragedy: A Winning Strategy

There are worse things from a legality standpoint in the #PodestaEmails, but nothing has so thoroughly disgusted me than this reveal a couple days ago.

A daughter of a Sandy Hook victim, reacting to Clinton mentioning her mother.

Some of you might remember a widely shared piece originating on the website Medium that was then picked up by the media written by a survivor of gun violence. The survivor, Clai Lasher from my own state of NH, survived being shot in an instance of domestic abuse and her editorial was aimed at Bernie Sanders and his record on guns. While many Bernie supporters, including me, found numerous factual errors within the piece, it was difficult to know how to approach the situation, not wanting to attack Lasher, while still trying to clear up the misunderstandings surrounding his record. Like most moments in campaigns, it was eventually forgotten, but it had a definite impact and likely swayed some undecided voters. The editorial can still be read here:

So when this Podesta Email came out, I knew exactly what it was referencing and I quite honestly felt physically ill:

Aside from a few paragraphs personalizing the editorial to reflect Lasher’s personal experience, the majority of the published piece was written by someone else, presented to the Clinton campaign, and then shopped around to be published via Medium by “a survivor of gun violence? An advocate or family member?” In fact, given that the individual who sent the message offered to “personalize depending on who we want to use as an author,” I doubt Lasher wrote a word. Even worse to imagine, she may be completely unaware of the fact that her name was slapped on this hit piece to begin with.

And this is most definitely not the only low blow Clinton landed on guns. She also famously politicized Sandy Hook, trying to exploit the loss there to attack Sanders, attempting to paint him as being in favor of gun manufacturers over the families of that town, an absurd accusation that relied on the oversimplification of a complicated issue to inspire a gut reaction. Look, the human beings are the true reason we fight for these policies, so they are a vital part of the debate, but when you exploit their emotions in an effort to land blows on an opponent, particularly in dishonest ways, the disrespect is overwhelming. It’s particularly ugly when you participate in the same exact system of legalized bribery that allows the NRA to keep progress on these issues from being made.

Time and time again, Hillary Clinton has demonstrated her fondness for politicizing tragedy. She cares about Wall Street because 9/11. Before the country was thrown into tailspin by the housing crisis, she went down to Wall Street and said “cut it out.” After it was made clear that Black Lives Matter despises her, she gathered mothers of black Americans who were killed by guns to campaign with her down south, standing for applause at one of the debates, before ignoring them for months while the campaign moved north, only remembering them when the convention came around. While it has proven to be an effective tool in demonstrating the ugly ignorance of Islamophobia, Hillary was more than happy to use a family’s grief for politiucal gainwhen she had the gold star Khan family come out and bait Trump, personally insulting him, knowing he would be incapable of shutting up, and then framing his attack on them as an attack on their son. Recently we had emails showing Democratic operative Gina Glantz treating Flint as a trophy.

“First, on her passion — I thought the trip to Flint was brilliant. Getting ahead of him around “caring” can be repeated. I am thinking — though may be unrealistic given the shortness of time — that there must be any number of low income communities with high rates of asthma or other stuff in South Carolina sitting next to fossil fuel plants belching out toxic material or at least unhealthy fumes. Not on the scale of Flint but for sure to be found all across the country. And there is a federal policy <http://www.governing.com/gov-institute/voices/col-racial-equity-poverty-epa-clean-power-plan.html> to tie to it as well as action steps including big story in CA about use of cap and trade $$ put into a healthy air fund (AB 535). I heard Maya Yoshitani from APEN <http://apen4ej.org/> (see below) talk about it -a fantastic story of climate change, federal-state action, poor communities, jobs. Bet you could find instances in every upcoming state if you wanted to create a “theme” appealing to young people (climate change) and people of color (though there must be white communities affected as well) and anyone who could benefit from potential job creation.”

Bernie met with citizens of Flint in a non-publicized, private event. This photo was not widely shared.

I’m not naive. Of course I knew this was part of the game, but to see the Clinton campaign speaking like this, clearly demonstrating a complete lack of actual empathy for the Americans they plan to exploit for votes, well it’s just sickening, especially in a year when we had a campaign that demonstrated how successful you could be with sincerity.