Today is four days from the 2016 election. I’m exhausted. I worked tirelessly campaigning for Bernie Sanders’s candidacy for the Democratic nomination, all the while feeling frustrated as I watched the media cycle through ignoring him, dismissing his candidacy (and, by extension, his supporters), and creating an insulting a false narrative about his supporters as either young, naïve, entitled brats or misogynistic “Bernie Bros.” I worked day in and day out with men and women from all ages and races—most of whom were older and retired—to overcome the Clinton–DNC–mainstream media machine to get our progressive issues and candidate a fair hearing.
Since the Democratic National Convention, I’ve worked for local progressive candidates while avoiding conversations about whether I will vote for Clinton. Partly because I’ve vacillated on the question; partly because no matter what I answer, I have friends who will rail against my decision; and partly because I live in New York, which will go blue and thus all its votes will go to Clinton regardless of who I vote for so it’s silly to care whether I will vote for her.
But I am so tired of this presidential election.
As we all know, Bernie Sanders didn’t win the Democratic nomination for president. But despite the monumental crony-party-corporatist forces against him and, by extension, his supporters, Bernie Sanders won 46% of the delegates. Imagine what we could have done if the DNC had actually been neutral and the media had treated Sanders like a possibly viable candidate—which, particularly after tying the first primary and taking a landslide win in the second, is what he was.
Today we are on Day 29 of the WikiLeaks Podesta email dump. I don’t care about Clinton’s damn emails. I care about Podesta’s.
Because what we knew was happening but couldn’t prove is now prove-able. It’s now painfully obvious that the DNC was not neutral—not even close. It’s now clear beyond a doubt that the Democratic establishment is corrupt, insular, and infinitely arrogant. And to me, a vote for Clinton is a vote for what they did and what they’ve become. Even if (as is possible in NY) I were to vote for Clinton on the Working Families Party line, I cannot in any way send the message that I see Clinton’s route to power as acceptable.
And before you start screaming “BUT TRUMP! BUT TRUMP!!!!”—I also want Trump to lose. And I know that Clinton is the only candidate on the ballot capable of defeating him—because that’s the way we’ve set up our electoral system and because the media largely silences parties other than the Republicans and Democrats. But even though, yes, I’d prefer a Clinton presidency over a Trump presidency, I don’t want a Clinton presidency.
Some (including people who were Sanders supporters) say we need to give Clinton a landslide victory to send the message that hate is not okay. But do we really think a landslide victory will make Trump supporters see the error of their racist, sexist ways? Really? And what’s the point of sending a message to people who aren’t in power?
We need to send a message to the people who hold the power.
So I don’t want a landslide victory for Clinton because I DON’T want her and all the DNC cronies who colluded to crush Sanders’s candidacy to think they have a mandate, to think they can do what they did again and get away with it.
I want Clinton to get 270 electoral votes—AND THAT’S IT.
I want her and the corrupt machine that put her there to know that she BARELY got that presidency and she ONLY got it because her main opponent was raping, racist, ignorant oompa loompa. (I originally wrote orangutan there, but I changed it because I actually really like orangutans.)
I want Clinton to see that this country is on the verge of tearing itself apart—and a huge reason for that is the neoliberal, corporatist policies that have ruled our nation for decades.
I want Clinton and all the corporatist Democrats to see that maintaining the status quo, that touting continued meaningless incrementalism will only make that discord worse—that our leaders need to make real, substantial changes that truly help the people of this country and, indeed, this world.
I want her and her horde of cronies to know that if they want a second term, then they need to institute the kind of progressive reform that is desperately needed, starting with getting money out of politics—and untethering herself and the other machine Democrats from their corporate benefactors.
And if in her first 100 days we don’t see evidence that she has gotten the message and is ready to follow the winds of change rather than fight against them, then on that 101st day, we—progressive activists across the country—need to start looking for an exceptional and strong candidate to primary her in 2020.