Bernie Sanders said in a CNN interview earlier this morning, Friday, June 24th, in all likelihood, he will vote for Hillary Clinton. What a god damn bummer.
We don’t get very many real leftists in the general election. Last was Ralph Nader in 2000. Nader’s run ended with him being blackballed from the Democratic party; which had previously worked with the independent since his inception into national politics in the mid 60’s when he single-handedly exposed the automotive industry’s blatant disregard for it’s consumers’ safety with his book Unsafe at Any Speed. And I’m sure, in similar fashion, Sanders was asked to play ball or else; which meant mobilize his large portion of the youth vote in an act of solidarity against the certain destruction that would follow a Donald Trump presidency. After all, we don’t need another Bush fiasco.
“…When millions of people lost their jobs, and their homes, and their life savings, the obvious response to that is that you’ve got a bunch of fraudulent operators and that they have got to be broken up. That was my view way back, and I introduced legislation to do that. Now, Secretary Clinton was busy giving speeches to Goldman Sachs for $225,000 a speech.”
– Bernie Sanders on Hillary Clinton and her ties to the 1%, CNN Debate 4/15/2016
Well I call bullshit on Sanders playing ball. Hillary doesn’t need his portion of the youth vote. She has the machinery of the big blue behind her, and Trump is as likely to win the presidential election as Gary Johnson. This is all grandstanding.
First… this issue of the legitimacy of a Donald Trump campaign. He has created strong branding for the secured voting demographic of forty-five years and older who are mobilized by fear, tax breaks, xenophobia, nationalism, and just pure bigotry. This demo always votes right. This demo is scared of young faces and young ideas. This demo doesn’t care about the inconsistencies or lack of continuity in a candidate’s history and life with their campaign promises and narratives. As long as the strong talking points are motivated by the weird narrative of, This is mine. It was better in the past. Heritage, not hate. Poor people are lazy or millionaires waiting in line for their chance to step up and become the meglomaniac that we all have learned to worship in western culture. Outside of that demo and the contrarian independents who just want to watch the world get butthurt, he ain’t got shit. If the man wins, it’ll be because the left or morally woke doesn’t show up to vote.
Second… Sanders didn’t need to state who he was voting for when he is still vocally adamant about not endorsing Clinton till she commits to a portion of his talking points and campaign focuses. If he is telling the press he will vote for Clinton, then the deed is done. He has no bargaining chips anymore. Sanders said that shit and now I’m here writing about the death of the Sanders influence. I’ve had five discussions today about this already and I’ve been awake for two hours. He has traded in his name for a more secure route for Clinton’s presidency.
Third… what the fuck is the point of voting Democrat if you’re voting for a moderate Republican in blue? I’m sick of this goddamn lesser evil narrative that gets tossed around the watercooler, while our televisions and social media feeds spit binary bullshit of red and blue, left and right, humanism and empathy vs. the cold righteous hand of god.
We’re more complex than this. Why isn’t our representation more complex?
Simply put, we are belittled as individuals intellectually, emotionally, and socially to a backseat view of our own society. We spend all our time trying to survive in capitalism and keep up personal relationships that educating ourselves politically has to be narrowed down to the reading of a few headlines a day. Information is curated in a digestible binary view of the infinitely more complex nature of modern policy creation. There’s too much going on and we see too little of it.
The short version of all this: when money and power is up for grabs, everybody has a price point. I believe Sanders price point was a functional residency in the senate after the election. So we see again in American politics if you want to play ball, you have to stick a bat up your ass. Metaphorically speaking. Now Sanders is walkin’ bo-legged like everyone else.
Charles Ray Hastings Jr. is a musician, producer, and writer based in Huntsville, Alabama. The twenty-nine year old Alabama native has written, recorded, and produced over twenty-five solo and band albums and has had essays and short stories published through webzines, small press, and magazines like Before Sunrise Press, Two Dollar Radio, Flaneur, and That Lit Site.