WE ARE ALL HILLARY CLINTON (and Bernie is too)

If you want to cut right to being made angry, scroll down to *****

Whatever you think is all good, I just have my issues all around with every motherfucker along the political spectrum. I love you both because of and in spite of my issues with you (partly because you are great and worthy of love and and partly because I’m a complicated idiot). Please know that some of my words might come off as angry but they’re being said with a full heart and as much of a smile I can muster right now.

I’ve said from the jump that I’ll roll with Bernie for as long as he can keep going. Part of that is that at the very least, Bernie is bringing/has brought attention to issues (particularly economic inequality) that otherwise would be entirely forgotten. That’s pretty commendable. Part of that is that Bernie seems like most of my ideals in the flesh.

I wish Elizabeth Warren were running. She’s not, so I’m rolling with Bernie (even though he has his blind spots). I voted for El Viejito in the Arizona primary (angry farts in the wind, y’all). I thought I made a donation to his campaign but I’ve checked my records and I can’t find evidence that I have. It’s likely that I had that “Donate to Bernie’s campaign” page open for a while with the intention to donate but nuked it when I closed a browser that had grown to having a million tabs over a month and/or had to make better/more immediate use of those funds I was going to donate.

If Bernie doesn’t get the nomination and HRC does, I’m voting Hillary. Straight up. Pretty much any vote that doesn’t go to the Democratic nominee for president only increases the chance of a Trump or Cruz presidency. I know that sounds cynical but it’s true (at least where I stand … maybe it’s less true where you stand. Let me know.). Anyway …

***** All that said above, this is the most important part ant it’s here where people are going to get upset (which is fine — I’d love to hear your responses):

1. #BernieOrBust aka #TakeMyBallAndGoHome is an easy stance to take if you are a straight, white male or line up with almost any combination of those three aspects of orientation, race/nationality, or gender.

2. WE ARE ALL HILLARY CLINTON (and yes, that means you reading this right now). Cheer if you want to, take a deep breath and release it (either out of relief or resignation), and pop a promethazine if you feel like that will help — either way, let that point settle in your belly for a bit and accept it. Don’t fret, though, because it turns out that Bernie Sanders is Hillary Clinton too. (I’ll explain in a bit.)

3. If you think that American politics are about hope, change, and revolution … uh, that’s really too bad.

So, let’s dig in:

1. #BernieOrBust aka #TakeMyBallAndGoHome is an easy stance to take if you are a straight, white male or line up with almost any combination of those three aspects of orientation, race/nationality, or gender.

If you are a straight, white male or line up with almost any combination of those three aspects of orientation, race/nationality, or gender, it’s really easy to say that you’ll withhold your vote, vote third party (Jill Stein, y’all!), or do something that pretty much puts the presidency in the hands of the GOP. That might not be your intention but sometimes intentions don’t line up with their practical effect in the world. If you’re hollering #BernieOrBust, consider that, when it really comes down to it, it won’t be your neck on the chopping block if we get a Republican president.

If you are straight and you effectively ensure a Republican president via #BernieOrBust, it’s not your personal rights that will be increasingly infringed upon as anti-LGBT laws & measures gain hold in more states and lead to a groundswell of support for rolling things back for people who don’t identify & live as straight people.

If you are white and you effectively ensure a Republican president via #BernieOrBust, you won’t have to personally deal with the rising tide of tossed racial epithets & violence from people emboldened by the idea that the nomination of a Republican president (or at least anyone but Bernie or Hillary) is evidence of this being a great time for taking America back from the non-whites who will eventually outnumber them. You won’t have to deal with the legislation that’s to come, whether slyly veiled in its effect on minority communities or flatly out-and-out racist.

If you are a male and you effectively ensure a Republican president via #BernieOrBust, you won’t have to personally deal with women’s reproductive rights being rolled back state-by-state, leading to the eventual overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court. That’s barely the tip of the iceberg I imagine and I wish I could be more articulate at how bad a GOP presidency during this time will be awful for women but my own blind spots as a male prevent me from thinking beyond what to me will be most significant.

Vote your conscience, sure. It’s a bummer, though, that as someone whose slot machine reels came up with some combination of 
[ — | straight | white | male | — ]
your conscience will largely be safe at home while other people end up suffering in very real ways.

I can’t speak to the experiences of other people who didn’t have some combination of the above but even with my level of privilege having been born straight and male, I’ve never been exempt from considering what it’s like to fit in and/or navigate a society (if not a world) that’s primarily geared toward white folks. In many cases, that reality has been thrust right in my face, usually in unpleasant ways, sometimes in humiliating ways. I don’t expect people who are white to understand what that’s like exactly or at all; that’s not any one person’s fault, it just is.

I keep writing and rewriting a sentence over and over knowing that there’s no way that what I assert in that sentence will be taken at face value, will be accepted, or will at least be thoughtfully considered rather than instantly reacted to defensively. So, sigh, fuck it, I’m not gonna write that sentence … just know that as a white person, you might not understand what it’s like to express a thought trying to share an experience as a non-white person and to have it immediately disputed, dismissed, and often recklessly & violently shot down as stupid, invalid, or only reflective of my personal shortcomings or flaws (and I have plenty of both; they’re just not the only things that define me or my thinking).

2. WE ARE ALL HILLARY CLINTON (and yes, that means you reading this right now and also, Bernie Sanders)

If part of your opposition to Hillary is that she’s not as pure or true to ideals that you can stand by, please LOG THE FUCK OFF Facebook and stop contributing your time & energy to an entity that reinforces the status quo that you so righteously purport to be against.

If you’ve read any part of my rambling, it’s super likely that you’ve sold out or bought into the capitalist machine in some way. It sucks, it’s almost inevitable, and it’s practically the unavoidable way of today’s world. Even Fugazi has a Facebook page. It hurts, right?

(I don’t mean to harp on FB, everything is problematic: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nike, Adidas, Walmart, Safeway, Costco, Disney, Netflix, NBC, General Electric, Verizon, ATT, Twitter, Reddit, Clear Channel, Viacom, General Mills, Kelloggs, … it’s endless.)

Holding Hillary to a standard that you can’t abide by — if you’re claiming #BernieOrBust and reading this — is hypocritical. That doesn’t mean you’re a bad person; it just means you’re human. I get bummed out by my own hypocrisy but then I open up Nintendo’s wonderful new social game, Miitomo, on my iPhone (on Verizon!) and make my little avatar wear amazing outfits that wins me more coins to purchase more cool things within the app that encourages me to log in each day under the guise of having fun with friends & getting to know them via the clever little questions Miitomo asks them. It’s pretty cool, soothing, and helps me forget the Chinese workers being paid outrageously low wages in crazy, pretty inhumane conditions to make all of our smartphones.

We’ve all compromised and not stuck to our ideals & personal principles in some way — WE ARE ALL HILLARY CLINTON

I’ve been wary of supporting Hillary Clinton since the beginning because of the many tradeoffs I feel she’s had to make to get to the point of being a presidential candidate. As Lauren Besser so heartbreakingly pointed out in her essay, Had Bernie Been Bernadette though, Hillary played the same game that male politicians, playing it in the same ways that they have, and now she’s being penalized for it via the canonization of Bernie Sanders, Male Politician.

Before I go in on Bernie (OOH YEAH, SNAP INTO A SLIM JIM!), if you’re #BernieOrBust who are you voting for in your local elections? Who are the representatives or senators that you’re planning to back? Are any of them as pure as Bernie? If so, wow, awesome! If the other people you are planning on voting for aren’t as pure as Bernie, HOW CAN YOU DO SOMETHING SO AWFUL? That’s crazy that you would even consider voting for anyone who isn’t as true to the ideals they profess (and that line up with your beliefs), right? Who the hell did you vote for before Bernie came to national prominence? Maybe you’ve been contributing in some way to this skewed political system? Oh shit! Now you’re compromised and not as pure as Bernie!

As far as Bernie:

Bernie Sanders Won’t Answer Whether Hillary Is Honest and Trustworthy
by Andrew Kirell | 12:49 pm, August 2nd, 2015 

Asked by ABC’s This Week guest-host Jonathan Karl whether Clinton is “honest and trustworthy,” Sanders resisted:
“I have a lot of respect for Hillary Clinton. She is somebody I have known for 25 years. I am not going to be engaging in personal attacks against her. I’m not going to be engaging in personal attacks against her. She and I disagree on many issues. The American people want a serious debate about serious issues, not personal attacks.”

So that wasn’t a ringing endorsement of HRC at all but what happened to that Bernie Sanders? The one who focused on issues and not attacking Hillary? The one whose supporters followed suit? Sounds like he’s gone back on his word, y’all.

If Bernie can at some point profess having a lot of respect to Clinton, why are so many #BernieOrBust folks all about outright declaring their contempt for her? Or maybe Bernie, at the time, was playing the game that a politician plays when trying to get elected. OH NOES, BERNIE SANDERS IS ALSO HILLARY CLINTON!

What is Bernie, a lifelong independent, doing trying to nab the Democratic nomination for president? It’s almost as if he knows that a third-party effort for the presidency would have almost certainly failed and that his only chance is to hop in bed with Democrats. Why, if straying from his ideals & principles is anathema to Sanders, has he not spent the last 40 years building a viable third-party, after his resignation from and the death of the Liberty Union Party, rather than working with tainted establishment Democrats over the years and being willing, if he gets the presidential nomination, to work with those same despised moderate Democrats in the future.

The problem is that you can’t jump into the mainstream Democratic machine to be a cog and then be upset that someone who’s been a prominent cog in the machine and dedicated for decades to that machine, is the cog that’s favored by that machine. Either Sanders is dumb or he’s playing the game. And I have a feeling that Bernie isn’t dumb.

It’s almost as if Bernie Sanders is a politician who understands the how the game of politics is played.


3. If you think that American politics are about hope, change, and revolution … uh, that’s really too bad.

Despite what I’ve said and the tone of what I’ve written, I’m actually a pretty positive and hopeful person. That said, it’s a bummer to know that people have actually exalted any politicians of any stripe.

I don’t even have the time or energy to go through all the ways that American politics only reinforces the status quo. All I can say is that it’s ridiculous for Bernie supporters to talk certain talk when the system we’re working in won’t allow the walk to be walked anyway.

Yes, that’s not inspiring to consider but neither is a Bernie Sanders who’s adept at playing the game of politics as well as anyone else nor are #BernieOrBust folks who are essentially pledging to not care what happens if Bernie doesn’t get the Democratic nomination for president. What an amazing privilege to not have to care about how your daily life will be affected by our new GOP overlord.

If you’re straight, white, male, or any combination of those three things, know that whether you intend it to or not, #BernieOrBust comes off as selfish, entitled, and sexist (if not misogynist). Additionally, if you’re #BernieOrBusting, I’ve become pretty skeptical of you because, largely, it’s not your throat that going to be cut by GOP policies. I don’t really have any sympathy toward any of the yips of how the media or establishment Dems are in the tank for Hillary. This is the game that Bernie has continually chosen to play rather than mounting a third-party movement. It’s the game that you’re buying into while carrying a banner of revolution.

“Some folks try to front like they so above you/
They’d tear this muthafucka up, if you really loved you.”

Please clap.

Not for me — for you, for reading this rambling, for contemplating & considering this much, for getting this far, for deserving far better.