I wasted entirely too much time yesterday indulging my need to argue with liberal Clinton haters. These things can quickly become a death spiral for me, so now I need to do this thing where I attempt to wash my hands of it on the totally-false-but-earnestly-made promise that this will be my last word on the matter ever.
First, let me say this: I know that the Bernie-or-Bust movement is probably not something I should be so worked up about. I know that they’re getting more coverage than is warranted because they’re loud and obnoxious and it’s good for ratings. I know that by arguing with them I am only perpetuating a cycle of horsefuckery that doesn’t necessarily help matters.
Having said that, I am incapable of shutting my mouth when people are being stupid fucking douchemonkeys and behaving in a way that has even the remotest potential to lead to very real and very negative consequences for other human beings and I can’t really apologize for that tendency—not in the gun debate, not in the LGBTQ rights debate, not in any other debate. I just can’t. Sorry/notsorry.
In all of these arguments I’ve been having, the favorite thing people like to whip out and slap me with is the assertion that I am—brace yourselves—a Hillary supporter. The super weird implication being that it’s useless to debate the Hillary vs. Bernie issue with someone who stands on one side of that debate. (This was incredibly perplexing until someone explicitly accused me of being paid by her campaign to shill for her, at which point I realized that’s what a lot of these people think—that no one could possibly support Hillary unless they were taking money from, like, Wal-mart or Monsanto or whatever.)
Supporting Hillary is not something I should feel compelled to defend myself against, but here’s the thing—and I’ve said this before but I really can’t stress it enough—I’m not really a Hillary supporter, at least not in the only way their willfully feeble minds can conceptualize it—i.e. not in the way they are BERNIE SUPPORTERS. (Let me be clear that from here on out I am talking about Bernie-or-Bust people only.)
I’m not sure I know how to articulate this, but I’m going to try…
I am congenitally (maybe pathologically?) averse to joining clubs, by which I mean that I basically have zero allegiance to any entity other than my family, friends and ideals. I don’t have any clothing or paraphernalia bearing the logo of either of the colleges I’ve attended; there’s not a sports team on earth that I give a solitary shit about; I’ve lived in five different metropolitan areas and I don’t feel anything resembling a real hometown-style affinity toward any of them, including my hometown; I am not religious.
And so it makes sense that I don’t get particularly lathered up about particular politicians either. There are no saviors in politics; there’s nothing magical about any one politician. Sure, I was pretty excited about Barack Obama in 2008 (and he has made me proud for eight years), but I would just as easily have gotten behind Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton or Dennis Kucinich. There was never a moment at which it was Barack-or-Bust for me.
As I’ve written before, I was on the Bernie train for about six months. (As of today, it is still true that I have given more money to Bernie Sanders than to Hillary Clinton in this primary.) I got off that train because I did not like the darkening tone of the campaign and the inclination of Sanders’ most ardent supporters to cripple the likely nominee by piggybacking off the attacks of the right wing nutjob machine.
Still, if Bernie Sanders’ had won the Democratic nomination, I would not have been even remotely disappointed. I know there are people who would have been, people who would have lost some sleep, people who would have maybe been nasty about it even, but they would have been wrong and I would not have been one of those people. I would have instantly and enthusiastically thrown my support behind him.
I have absolutely no allegiance to Hillary Clinton the person. None. Zero.
My allegiance is to a basic set of ideals about the direction we should be headed in—and I’ve never been anything less than annoyingly full-throated about what those ideals are. For what it’s worth, here’s where I fall on the Political Compass:
I’ve been ranting and raving about wealth inequality, universal healthcare, LGBTQ rights, civil rights, separation of church and state, abortion rights, and gun control for about 20 years now—and still I don’t have the nerve to think that my opinion or my vote is worth a penny more than someone who just got involved a few months ago when they first went to a Bernie Sanders rally, saw a bird land on a podium, and thought they’d been baptized.
I do, however, think it’s pretty fucking audacious to wade into a debate with me only to dismiss me as a sellout or lackey or political fanboy—or to merely label me a Hillary supporter and drop the mic (and then pick it back up and yell some more incoherent, unsubstantiated shit about fraud and treason).
I am way more than that just a Hillary supporter. But you, BERNIE SUPPORTER, you are merely a fanatic. You can’t imagine what it’s like to think strategically and pragmatically about an election because you are essentially at a tent revival, under the sway of a single charismatic figure who says he can heal you and everyone who comes to him. And those who don’t come to him? Well, they can go straight to the fiery pits of hell, those stupid corporate motherfuckers; they deserve whatever’s coming to them and we can all laugh in their faces when they get it because we are the righteous, we are the anointed ones, we have the ultimate source of knowledge and we will take all that shit and go home and leave them to burn in their devotion to the false ones even if it means we must burn with them bwahahahahahahaha!! Burn, bitch, buuuuuurrrrrnnnnn!!! Beeeeerrrrrrrrn!!!!!
Cool, bro. Meanwhile the rest of us will be over here doing the real work of getting shit done one step at a time, one election at a time, with or without you—because fanatics come and go and can’t be counted on for more than brief paroxysms of excitement and effort after which they retreat to whatever useless shit they were doing before they found a shiny object that made them feel powerful for a hot second.
We are not devoted to a particular person at a particular time. We are devoted to the advancement of ideas about what it means to be a civilized society. We know that this is a long-term proposition that requires perseverance and persistence. We know that we can’t have it all today. Or tomorrow. We know that if we give up after any perceived or real loss or setback we will only be damaging the very things we claim to be fighting for.
If Trump wins this election, I know you’ll probably take a full minute and a half break from your video games to masturbate in the self-satisfied glory of the delusional belief that you were right, but I want you to know that I will never, not for one second, regret having told you and your walking messiah complex of a candidate to fuck right off to Fucktown.