As Trump is getting inaugurated, I can’t help but think about this.
Jesus, the Democrats really dropped the ball this presidential election. This one will actually be raw and extremely emotional.
I am still incredibly salty about the decision of the Democrat party to run such an incredibly weak, scandal-ridden candidate for such a consequential presidential election.
I frankly don’t give a shit if she’s inspirational to you, the political class, or what her accomplishments were, or how much experience she has. Because they were undeniably great, and it frustrated me to no end how often Bernie emphasized that during debates, because doing anything else would immediately result in cries of misogyny.
I have a much simpler criterion based on cost-benefit analysis: do I trust this person to act in the public interest instead of being handcuffed for any number of reasons to concede to a tiny elite and allow the fundamental balance of power between the elite and everyone else to go unchanged? Do I expect this person to do the maximum good aligning to my personal philosophy to do good for the powerless in defense of the powerful, and, even more, empowering the powerless? I found no convincing answer here.
Or regarding her: handcuffed because of all these goddamn scandals that, whether or not they were malicious or determined criminally liable, demonstrate a perpetual lack of good judgment? “Frankly, the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your goddamn emails!” And that, even through perception alone, these scandals or the residual effects of them can sink her political capital when she needs it most to push through reform? Even possibly the first 100 days, particularly in a divided Congress? Whatever misgivings I had about Obama, at least he was incredibly clean from an ethical standpoint, and even then, he was subject to relentless ideological and procedural extremism from the Republicans that his hair has turned so white from the stress…
Even after all that, I know that Hillary > Trump. But I voted third party explicitly out of spite of Hillary (whereas still voting and halving the effect that is a vote for Trump instead of a vote for Hillary). Even had she won the presidency, I think a scandal or “scandal” was almost inevitable over the course of her presidency and the absolute shellacking in congressional and state levels the Democrat party has already sustained will just accelerate. Her very visible concessions to the tiny elite would stir backlash both from supporters and opposition. She would be incredibly vulnerable during reelection.
If the Democrat party really wanted a great third way Democrat who will give intelligent judgment and has the personal character necessary for the presidency, the closest thing that would get me to vote is a version of a third term Obama. Obviously, he can’t run, and then Hillary crowded out everyone else because #ItsHerTurn and #SuperDelegatesAndElitesWereWithHer. Don’t you see it’s always about her? What did Bernie say? Not Me. Us. Of the people who ran and were more moderate, Martin O’Malley, in spite of his disastrous tenure as mayor of Baltimore (and believe me, I watched The Wire and read David Simon’s analysis of his tenure as mayor, it is like a proto moment for Black Lives Matter and police brutality, a timebomb that would detonate with the death of Freddie Gray), but in spite of all that, he was infinitely a significantly more trustworthy character than Hillary was because none of his dark scandals are even remotely recent.
Then, any legitimate criticism of Hillary immediately resulted in a kneejerk reaction of misogyny or racism or an accusation that I or whoever is speaking is secretly helping Trump (“And we need ‘unity’ as Democrats!”), and those effectively silenced out voices that needed to be heard. It is my view that Bernie was a better feminist and more racially progressive than Hillary was! He is not a woman, and that matters from a perspective angle, but you need a holistic analysis! Being a woman does not automatically qualify you to be the best candidate to advance gender equality, and despite her impressive commitment to advancement for professional, middle to upper class women, already comfortable and privileged women, she paid absolute lip service to working class women, those who understand both how messed up economic hardship and being a woman are!
Okay, rant over. You know, my education places so much emphasis on ethics, and I think the cognitive dissonance with Hillary about ethics from so many of my friends (including and especially those who have gone through the exact same program I did) was absurdly maddening. I need to get this out. It’s a much easier blindspot to catch in retrospect, but I was seeing this pretty much since January 2016 when I really started paying attention, and to paraphrase Bernie, “it really doesn’t please me to see that what I had feared would actually come true.” It would please me that I hadn’t fallen on deaf ears in the first place…
I really need to sleep, restore my emotional health, but refocus on the intellectual side of politics that so interests me and that I hope would provide the template for reasoned discussion that actually changes minds. This is a shouting match and polarizing post, but I needed to vent.