Angry… Upset… Saddened… Fearful about our country’s future… Absolutely disgusted…
These are just a few ways to describe how I’m feeling after the remaining primary elections. Bernie Sanders fought a great fight, he packed arenas around the nation, he mobilized young and Independent voters like no one before… But let’s get real here. The Democratic nominee was decided long before the Primary even began. The Democratic establishment had Hillary Clinton crowned since President Obama was chosen the last time and they’ve been running this faux-election that way ever since. It didn’t matter who ran against her… it could have been Elizabeth Warren… and it didn’t matter how many Independents or how many votes her opponent won; Hillary was going to be the nominee no matter what.
Under that premise, Hillary and the DNC that she bought, played the game in the most underhanded way possible to ensure there wouldn’t be another “upset” like there was in 2008. They’ve used voter fraud, they’ve disrespected and disenfranchised Independent voters, they’ve used ad-hominem attacks like calling Bernie supporters sexist and misogynistic for not supporting her and spinning false claims of violence, they’ve used an unscrupulous, easily bought media to slander and downplay Bernie’s movement while praising Hillary and downplaying her corruption every chance they got, and they’ve continuously added Superdelegates to the counts all along (even though they don’t vote until the end of July) to make it seem like any real challenger didn’t stand a chance. The reality though, is that after the first week or so of the contest, everyone expected it from Hillary and the DNC. As we seen with her contest against Obama, she fights dirty, morality be damned, and everyone knew it. Do I like it? Of course not…
Since the Supreme Court ruled on the disastrous Citizens United case, Democrats have railed against it, and rightfully so. Yet the second it benefited their establishment candidate Wall Street and Super Pac money was perfectly fine, even though they had a truly Progressive candidate promising to fight the fight they’ve claimed to want.
Democrats have stated they want to break up the “Big Banks” since they crashed our economy, yet they ignore the fact that their chosen candidate has taken millions in “donations” from those banks for private speeches, pretending that there is no conflict of interest, pretending like it won’t affect her decision making process. All the while a candidate promising to get money out of politics, like Democrats claimed to want, was ignored and insulted by them.
Universal Health Care has been a token Progressive wish for almost as long as the Progressive party has existed, but because their candidate doesn’t want to fight for it suddenly it’s a “pie in the sky” dream that’s “not possible”, even though a perfectly good Progressive candidate has been saying he’d fight for it with everything he’s got.
Free / affordable college tuition? Raising the minimum wage to $15? Strengthening Labor Unions? Expanding Social Security? Ending the use of fracking (which Hillary doesn’t seem to have any issue with)? The list goes on and on… All of these things are foundational Progressive causes that Hillary and the DNC are now claiming aren’t big deals or are impossible to achieve (they wouldn’t want to make their donors angry after all!)
So to me, the Democratic party has proven, without a doubt, that they are an establishment party just as much as the Republicans and that they will go where “Big Money” tells them to go. To Hell with struggling poor and middle class Americans. I don’t like it, but as I said, it’s expected. The thing that really makes me sick though, is that we had a truly Progressive candidate in the running, and supposed “Progressives” picked the Neo-Liberal, nearly Republican candidate as their nominee, all with a smug, self-centered, arrogant attitude (for the most part… There are exceptions of course). If anything, the Democrats have shown me that they are nothing more than sham-Progressives with claimed values that are all a lie. They had a chance to really push Progressive values forward with this Primary and instead they turned a blind eye and did what they were told to do by the Oligarchy. They bought the lie that their candidate cares about Progressive causes and turned their backs on a real Progressive who has been fighting for Progressive causes his entire career, not just when it became politically expedient to do so.
So what will I do now?
First off, I’m changing my party affiliation to either Independent or No-Party-Preference. Going forward, after this year’s presidential election, I will no longer support a party who only claims to be Progressive. I will try and get involved in as many Progressive causes as I can feasibly get involved in, and I will vote for truly Progressive candidates regardless of party affiliation, and I urge all true Progressives who are pissed off with this Primary election to do the same.
Secondly, for this election, which has so much on the line, I will most likely bite the horrible bullet and vote for Hillary in the general (supposing Bernie doesn’t run as an Independent…), regardless of how sick to my stomach it makes me. Some will say I’m just solidifying the establishment stranglehold on our democracy by voting for Hillary and ask why I would vote for her if I feel the way that I do, and the answer is simply “Supreme Court Nominees.” In my view, the next four to eight years (hopefully only four) will be a disaster either way… We will most likely be stuck in more long, drawn out wars regardless of whether Trump or Hillary wins, because they are both unapologetic warhawks (although there is a big chance Trump just puts on a show for his voter base… Here’s hoping…) But at the very least, with Hillary, we won’t lose any Progressive gains that have been made. In all probability, with a Hillary presidency, things will likely just stay the same. She is establishment by the very definition after all. She doesn’t want things to change. LGBT rights won’t be rolled back, environmental protections won’t be dismantled (except for the fracking issue of course…) we won’t see millions of Latino families broken apart, she might even fight to close the gender pay gap, and she most likely won’t nominate Conservatives to the Supreme Court (of course we might get moderates like Merrick Garland, which is still far better than any truly Conservative nominees…) That is the most important thing in my view.
Progressive Supreme Court nominees are the only silver lining I can see to a Hillary Presidency, but I honestly hope I’m wrong. As for a Trump presidency, there are absolutely no positives. Not even one.
So it once again boils down to voting for the “lesser of two evils.” It comes down to considering which candidate will turn my stomach the least, and in all honesty, I can never… Ever… See myself voting for a blatantly homophobic, misogynistic, greedy, racist, fraud. At least Hillary will pretend to be Progressive. Heck, maybe we’ll even get lucky and some minor Progressive gains will be made. At this point all I can hope for is that we won’t lose any ground with Hillary Clinton, and that if we do, America will finally wake up and realize that establishment candidates like Hillary Clinton don’t care about the American people; that they are in it for their own power, their own wealth, and nothing more.
Here’s hoping this nomination is just the dying gasp of the establishment and that the Political Revolution Bernie Sanders started will just be the beginning of a real Progressive movement that will sweep future elections. For better or worse, it looks like we’re going to find out.
James Garcia 6/8/2016