Hillary Clinton Introduces New Campaign Slogan: “No, We Can’t”
I’m resisting the urge to go on a long tangent about how I gave up my lifelong ambition of studying antipoverty policy.
Ultimately, in 2011, I realized I was misspending my youth trying to understand a problem no one cared about unless I could also figure out how addressing a social crisis could be achieved while also cutting governmental spending.
Which is a fucking absurd trap to find yourself.
Trust me, you can’t win.
You can perform years of dedicated research that cuts to the heart of a human crisis and no matter how clever and well-designed your proposal to change the world, policymakers will read your work and say, “Well, this sounds great and all but there’s no way we can do this.”
“Because we don’t have the budget to do anything. We’re laying off people next quarter. We’re doing everything we can just to keep the funding we have.”
There’s no incentive to study an American crisis the government itself says it won’t bother solving.
At every level of government, the funding for social enterprise has evaporated. Most offices that deal with everyday American problems tell you they’re doing everything they can to survive until the American people decide that poverty, hunger, education, illness and homelessness are political issues again. Until then, everyone’s going to have to suffer and die, I guess.
You don’t win a war by bombing your own civilians. But under America’s batshit cost-benefit policy regime, if the Yellowstone supervolcano were to blow up tonight and kill off half the nation, it’d be a huge win for bougie taxpayers. After their perfunctory crocodile tears, shitheads like Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush could go on TV and announce the silver lining: even lower tax plans!
And it’s through this batshit alchemy where American patriotism is synonymous with lower taxes that the suffering of millions of one’s citizens is transformed by the rich into villa rentals overlooking oceans most American children will never see.
And it’s through this obscurantism that social scientists have been conscripted by the promise of grant funding to aid in the government’s lunatic campaign to cut every scrap of public funding still left on the table. Better still, help broker public-private compromises by inviting corporations into the political deliberation process so lobbyists can guarantee government-organized profit streams. Either way, the poor ultimately get fucked and social scientists become complicit with and legitimize the fuckery. Economists most of all. That’s why their departments are the always the best funded.
So after finishing my master’s degree and realizing all of this, I no longer wanted to finish PhD. My advisors told me to take a year off instead, clear my head, come back to it fresh when I felt ready. But by then I hated everything about what I was doing. I hated everything about the study of poverty in America, the politics of austerity and how decades of careful, well-intentioned research gets twisted by politicians to justify half-ass reforms that make a few assholes rich by maintaining the poor just below the level of subsistence.
I didn’t want to spend my life helping to build the cages the government uses to contain the poor.
I didn’t pull myself out of that shit just to watch myself become a cagemaker.
And I see in Hillary Clinton exactly everything I never want to become.
Hillary Clinton is precisely the kind of obstacle that stands between us and solving a human crisis. She stands on stages with signs that say “Fighting for Us” when we know she’s fighting for concessions. She’s offering us scraps. Her hands are so tied she can offer us nothing but capitulation and compromise.
To defend her position as the arbiter of the government-finance nexus, she has to deploy neoliberal doublespeak. She has to make defeat sound like victory. She has to defend a financial plutocracy by trying to make us think it’s not standing right behind her every time she stands behind a podium and declares, “NO WE CAN’T!”
“I’m not interested in ideas that sound good on paper, but will never make it in the real world,” she insists. “Rather than build on the progress we’ve made, [Sanders] wants to start over from scratch with a whole new system. In theory, there’s a lot to like about some of his ideas. But in theory isn’t enough. A president has to deliver in reality.”
Your cages aren’t so bad, she yells. Stop being such babies. The Obama administration spent hours and hours with the nice private insurance lobbyists putting these things together, so you should be grateful, America!
Never mind that America asked for public healthcare and got instead a baroque system of insurance bullshit. No one asked for this shit. The only people who asked for Hillary Clinton’s “progress” are the health insurers and fuck them, frankly.
You know who I really don’t give two fucks about? Insurer-Americans.
So Sanders supporters are not delusional or “drunk” as Bloomberg Politics shat in a headline this morning. Sanders supporters are Americans demanding a human right that most of Americans want to see enshrined into law. Sanders supporters don’t care about Clinton’s lobbyist constraints.
We know Sanders doesn’t have any. That was his campaign promise to us.
So Sanders supporters are not asking the private insurers for anything.
We are demanding that the private insurers no longer exist.
We are demanding, as a people, through a democratic election, that their exploitative regime be dismantled.
I don’t really care for Hillary Clinton’s perception of “reality.” In Hillary Clinton’s “reality,” us poors stay separated from the care we need by a bullshit, do-nothing, for-profit industry that can’t exist anywhere else on the planet because no other nation would dare call itself civilized while denying its own people healthcare.
In Sanders’ “theoretical” America, the poor get healthcare and the private insurers can go fuck themselves, for all I care. For all you care, either, for that matter, I’m sure.
In Sanders’ “theory,” the American government does something decent for a change instead of 8 more years of sucking big industry cock.
So, you know what?
Fuck Hillary’s reality.
I, for one, think it’s morally imperative that we deny Hillary her exploitative reality in 2016.