Listen to Puppets

As a writer, comedian, and turnt-up academic with a distinct fondness for all that is tastefully obscene, I have no idea what is politically correct in 2017, so I’ll just say this: I voted for Hillary Clinton in every election where I was eligible to vote, and I regret all except the last.

I hardly doubt my vote would have made a difference in New York, but I specifically regret my irrational disdain for Bernie Sanders, which was based solely on the fact that his voice gave me anxiety.

I posted this article yesterday, and because I recently decided to become hella famous on, I’ve since opened my Facebook to the general public so if you scroll back far enough through various feeds you’ll know that my unique version of alt-feminism is mostly satirical. It does not come at the expense of self-deprecating dick jokes and demoralizing listcicles (“45 reasons why women really should get back in the kitchen”).

This is, has, and will always be my shtick, but because a long-time friend of mine — a very famous journalist— recently said he couldn’t decipher my politics via social media, I thought I should clarify: Hillary needs to bow out and women — white women, myself included — need to be knocked down a peg and realize they are not the only ones dealing with -isms in this country.

If you’re a fairly intelligent person and you’re #stillwithher, let me give you a set of alternate facts (which are called opinions, by the way, and while I could not be more aroused by the romantic notion of free speech, I have a fairly decent understanding of media economics, and in an era of ad targeting, surveillance marketing and pay-to-play journalism, a Putinized media regime almost seems enticing).


Speaking of Facebook, the malignant digital deathtrap recently served up this reminder:

Two years ago this week, I took a morning off from work to see Hillary’s first campaign speech as a presidential candidate. It’s also the first and only time I heard her discuss economic policy: her vision for a ‘growth and fairness economy,’ her hopes of breaking down barriers for women — particularly women of color — to enter the workforce. I stood and clapped. Wow! Much woman! Such history!

Proudly waltzing in to announce my endorsement — #ImWithHer!!! — a likeminded female (& POC) colleague slapped an issue of Time with Elizabeth Warren on the cover on my desk as if to say, “GET WOKE, Saslaw.” Here’s your female role mode.

Of course, I agreed in theory, but remained a steadfast, starry-eyed Hillary stan until the end.

However, in those two years, it became significantly harder for me, a 31-year-old woman to 1). negotiate financial agreements, 2). make any sort of money as a creative person, 3). go on a job interview without having a man at the other end of the table promptly assess my ring finger to see whether I plan on “popping one out” in the next 5 years, 4.) advocate for various colleagues (which included POCs, but also younger white men) and 5). get paid in actual money, because now whenever I pitch projects — be it words, video, photography, etc — I’m usually met with a counter offer (“how’d you like to be paid in exposure!”)

But enough about me. I’ll be fine. I’m white cis woman (albeit half-Jewish) so if I don’t end up with an opioid problem, there’s a solid chance I’ll live long enough to pay my student loans.

Aside from our country’s economic future, my concern lies in the number of black and brown bodies we’ve buried at the hands of a careless police force, all while murderers continue to walk free because U.S. law enforcement seems ill-equipped to wrap their brains around the concept of systemic racism. If you’re a white person, you’re now hyper-aware of the dangers and disadvantages that come with being a minority in America. Non-POCs who grow up in rural areas may never have the same opportunities as those of us here on the coasts, but we don’t risk death every when we leave the house. We are far less likely to end up in prison.

This is important.

But when you’re born in this country, you are given a monetary value based on race, orientation, gender, and family affiliation. IN THAT ORDER. If you’re not a Vanderbilt, Kennedy, Trump, Clinton, or Jenner-Kardashian, you’re pretty much worthless, so until you hop on YouTube and start monetizing your next unicorn frap slime tutorial, the lingering notion of an American dream is a fallacy no matter which schools you attended or how hard you tried or how many boozy nights you spent surrounded by a bunch of flaccid dicks in Nantucket Reds trying to get ahead in the media industry. Social mobility doesn’t exist, but the Internet levels the playing field.

Even if you choose to spend the next 70–80 years working for some hip millennial content farm, shelling out micropayments to New York University, Chase, Citibank, and the inconceivable number of medical institutions that bill you each month, the hard truth is that you were born with the wrong anatomy, or the wrong skin color, and you’ll be working hand-to-mouth until the day you die (or the day you get married, perhaps to Rob Kardashian — he’s single now, right?).

In order to hashtag thrive in corporate America we must “stay in our lane” (a phrase I’ve heard ad nauseam), and work with what we’ve been given, which is, unfortunately, second-class citizenship and a pair of tits, so if you can look at the world right now and think it’s going to get better for womyn just because we all started some private Facebook groups, I sincerely envy you.

And look, I wanted to see a female president as much as the next person, but a combination of HRC’s merch booth feminism and my cushy corporate job at Time Warner, INC blinded me to the fact a utopian mastrabutory fantasy of worldwide democracy and a steadfast devotion to self-serving capitalism are the root of our problems, which all began when Bill Clinton jogged into a McDonalds in 1992.

But I was 8 back then. Phil Hartman was still alive, and I could laugh at these things without guilt.

Look, Hillary is a chill Grandma with an impressive career, but she’s a fair-weather politician at best: even back in 2008, I wrote about how her attempts to hijack the zeitgeist fall flat with a generation who‘s been sold some sort of technicolor Nickelodeon fantasyland for far too long. We value authenticity over everything, and if she’s consistent in one arena it’s saying one thing and doing the exact opposite.

On the night of the second presidential debate, while everyone was spiraling over the Billy Bush tape, I saw a sliver of reason behind Donald Trump’s shitshow charade, not because he was particularly eloquent or because he carried a beacon of hope for our democracy, but because I saw someone willing to speak in laymen’s terms about the economic situation in this country. I texted a friend — “Trump is killing it” — and I wish I kept that text, because I remember waking up the next morning to a media blitz: Hillary NAILS IT! Trump creeps up on her like a pervy uncle! and oh — here’s some guy named Ken Bone, who I missed, because I heard all I needed to hear in the first 20 minutes and promptly fell asleep.

Nevertheless, I voted for Hillary not because I thought she’d be a great president, but because I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Executive Producer Donald J. Trump; because — save for lobbyists and Bill Cosby — I know that television producers, myself included, are some of the most morally bankrupt people to walk this earth, with the ability to bend and twist reality for our own personal gains.

Trumpcare is an ill-conceived nightmare, his immigration policy is nauseating, and he somehow managed to assemble the most god-awful cabinet imaginable (specifically: Sessions, Tillerson, Devos), but while Donald J. Trump and Robert J. Ritchie seem hellbent on BAWITDABAing us back to the 90s, I respect his candor, and the fact that he’s not a bot.

Most of the time, I appreciate him the way I appreciate my grandparents — sure, they have some pretty outdated ideas, like when my grandfather said Marine Le Pen was a strong role model, or when he waxes poetic about spanking women with whips on Easter Monday (a tradition in Slovakia!) — but the sad truth is that they’ll all be dead soon, so I should buck up and appreciate the hardships they faced; their grit and determination; the dirt under their nails…

The reason for Trump’s win is simple: there’s a vast wealth gap, and a huge generation gap. We have whole class of people who think white evangelical Christians are the only ones who have the right to exist in this country, but while DT is a bad man with a filthy mind; so is your grandpa, and my grandpa(s), and many red-blooded American men.

I don’t have to remind you that we’re all racists and misogynists; beneath our cardboard signs and ACLU memberships, we can be greedy, filthy, covfefe-spewing perverts. At the end of the day, we’re human beings. We’re all works in progress. No one is perfect.

Luckily, we’re also malleable.

Publicly clapping back at every single person who changes their opinion or disagrees with yours can and will kill us all, but take what I say with a grain of salt — and if you can’t stand me, listen to these puppets.

They got it right the first time.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Debbie Saslaw’s story.