Sunday, August 28, 2016

Overview From The Tower

There’s an expression in AA: “Going to the hardware store for milk. It’s about reaching out to someone in your life for something you fervently want or urgently need – usually the romantic partner who’s wrong for you and incapable of providing what you need, but it also applies to dysfunctional families and bad friends. When you do this repeatedly – with the same wrong person or same type of wrong person, that’s an emotional/ psychological issue I’m not going to get into here.

What I am saying is that this expression explains why some people misguidedly support Donald Trump. Now, given their legitimately strong, desperate, understandable desire for major political change and substantial economic improvement, I could address the pathos and confusion that has led to their pointless trip. But since we’re confronted with the very real possibility of an ignorant, arrogant, prejudiced sociopath being elected President of the United States, I really don’t have time for such compassion.

There’s also the sobering fact that many people are going to precisely the right person for what they want: someone who will empower their assorted prejudices as well as undo the social changes they find repugnant and threatening. This is the issue we not only do have time for, but must confront if we want America to be [relatively] sane, current, and both nationally and globally functional.

It’s ironic but true – and I’ve said this before: Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump were flip sides of the same coin. Both of their followers want a political revolution, economic equity, and significant social change. It’s just that one team wants it progressively, inclusively and lovingly, and the other wants it regressively, exclusively and hatefully. And in this instance, the latter won the candidacy and the former didn’t.

I’ve always admired Bernie Sanders’ ideas and courage as an Independent senator, even though he was often the sole voice of reason and solution, only dimly heard (and frequently ignored) through the raucous din of a complete lack of political bipartisanship and remarkably uncreative, highly compromised “leadership.” I was a Bernie Presidential supporter for about five minutes but gave that up because I knew that this country was never going to follow-up The First Black President with a Socialist Jew. Most Americans think democratic socialism is communism by another name, and anti-Semitism in America is still very much alive and well.

So that leaves us with Hillary Clinton, who I’m perfectly happy with, indeed increasingly happy with. It’s really a mystery to me why so many people dislike and distrust her. I  know she’s done things in the course of her political career that weren’t on the up-and-up, but our political system has never been on the up-and-up – and she learned how to function within it. What makes her so especially terrible? She lied? She stood by her philandering husband? Benghazi? Her high-priced speaker’s fees? The fucking emails?

(Not for nothing, but government communications technology is so bad, so outdated, she could have opened an AOL email account, let alone use a high-tech private server and still not done any harm.) Now she’s a “bigot,” as well as allowing the Clinton Foundation to have [unspecified] politically influential super-power? Are you kidding me? Do Democrats, Independents, and rational Republicans (okay, that’s an oxymoron,  but still…) not see that in the tradition of Great Lies Repeated Often Enough, Trump’s signature “Crooked Hillary” rant has seeped into their heads?

Listen. We have two choices. A shrewd, dangerous madman or an imperfect but highly intelligent, experienced, basically decent woman who in fact has been positively influenced by Bernie Sanders. She’s not a political revolutionary, but she also won’t sail us off the edge of a flat earth. The Green Party’s until-recently-unheard-of Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary Johnson are diversions we can’t afford this year.

Not voting is a political petulance we also can’t afford. For many Americans, the ability to vote has been severely compromised or outright eliminated by Congressional redistricting, State-established voter suppression laws, and a Supreme Court that decided this would be a good time to decimate the Voting Rights Act.

Everyone in their right mind who can vote must vote and we must vote for Hillary Clinton, because not allowing Donald Trump to become President is the only issue that matters. You can go to the hardware store for a progressive political revolution another time. And while you’re there, you can pick up some milk.

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