Tuesday, May 10, 2016

My message to #Bernieorbust folk

Today's post has a soundtrack. Listen to this as you read

This election season, I am having flashbacks to Aught Eight and the Obama v Clinton arguments we had at Drinking Liberally, which got so tiresome that Roxanne Cooper and I abstained and bonded over our mutual love of Battlestar Galactica.

Good times those.

Now I need to  find someone to talk to about Mr. Robot.

These days things have gotten worse,  Social Media has amplified the arguments (now about Sanders v Clinton) to the point that you would think Sanders is being completely ignored by the Media (he isn't) or that he is actually winning but because of a broken mainstream media and a corrupt Democratic party, he is losing. Or the Dems are purposefully denying the will of the people (also, not happening, at least to the extent my FB feed would have me think).

The same camp would have us believe that Clinton is the Spawn of Satan who hates Black people and is a Republican in disguise. She has certainly said some questionable things, but what politician hasn't?

The other camp wants me to know that Sanders doesn't have a chance in hell and his pie-in-the-sky rhetoric is nothing but empty idealism with no real-world application.

I don't believe any of it. The age of click-bait headlines and opinion-driven journalism has made the academic in me die a little bit every day. I thought my students were bad at proper citation.

Otherwise intelligent individuals have posted some of the most unreliable sources coupled with caps-lock heavy posts. I've even seen Reddit used as a "source" of information. Fucking REDDIT.

The pro-Bernie Left has sunk to the levels of the Anti-Acorn or anti-Planned Parenthood Right.

And the pro-Hillary-Left hasn't learned from '08 and has written off Sanders as a joke, and is defending an admittedly flawed Political Party.

This doesn't help the actual, and beneficial debate we need to be having about Clinton and Sanders' records, their ability to win, and eventually, lead.

Especially when, no matter who wins, an intransigent Legislature will more than likely continue to block everything either a Woman or admitted Socialist purpose.

And what really get's me, and the impetus of this post, are the folk on the Left that will not vote if Clinton is the candidate.

The #Bernieorbust cult claims that they won't care if Drumpf wins because then we will finally have the Revolution we have always wanted and finally tear down a broken system.

They do not propose an alternative, other than "the system is broken so fuck it" and this same attitude gave us Bush II with all his foreign and domestic horrors. Not to mention an arguably more dangerous Ted Cruz, elected by a tiny minority because people didn't show up to vote when it really mattered.

Samantha Bee, one of the better standard bearers of Jon Stewart's legacy, makes the argument that not only do we have Ted Cuz because of low midterm election turnout, we have Governors and State Legislatures enacting racist Voter ID laws, transphobic bathroom laws, and anti-abortion laws.

That's right, if you listen to the anti-Clinton propaganda pushed by the Right ever since the 90s, and don't vote, we get Drumpf/Cruz, and shit gets worse. Tearing the system down by not participating has real-world, often deadly consequences for a lot of people. And your Revolution ain't happening. Sorry, if you didn't revolt in '04, what will be different now?

I agree that the system is effed, and that Clinton is a Centrist and an opportunist, and also that Sander's offers some very attractive, but sometimes impractical, Populism (who also voted fro the same Crime Bill cited by the anti-Clinton camp as evidence of her evil). But hyperbolic Facebook posting is not helping

I also think that Clinton is not patently evil, has a great deal to offer, and when pushed to the Left she moves to the Left.  I also love that Sanders is succeeding in such a way that the conversation has been forever altered, and is helping push Clinton to the right side of History (or Left side of History, as it were).

So let us just promise that we won't read USUncut, or UpWorthy, or Reddit, (or unverifiable Memes, God help me the Memes!), calm the fuck down and really talk reasonably about how we on the Left can move our country the right direction.

Also, go vote, the only way to change the System is to properly organize and make the System work in our favor.

In the words of my friend Booman (someone you really should be reading):

"You can tell me that this is a rigged system, except it was precisely this system that allowed Barack Obama to overcome the institutional advantages the Clintons had in 2008, when holdovers from Bill's presidency dominated the DNC and many state and county level positions.
...
And I don't think this system disfavors outsiders if the outsiders are good (and early) organizers. I do think it disfavors anyone who thinks they can take over an entire power structure without winning over a substantial part of that power structure to their side, but that's part of what organizing is all about. Without that kind of organizing, you're relying on magic, and I don't believe in magicians."