I enjoy talking/writing about politics and get most excited when interacting with people with opposing views. Even though I love a good argument. I rarely get into them with people who believe mostly the same as I because there is frankly no point. I’m going to make an exception for those who are still, “Bernie or Bust.” Especially the black ones, because I have a pretty good idea of what bust looks like.
I was minding my own business when a real life friend, tagged me to a Facebook conversation where he was once again. Chiding those who planned to vote for Hillary in this election. He said, “It’s an analogy of being forced to eat shit or doo-doo just because everyone else is doing it, when you can have a choice to have an apple.”
No! You don’t get to choose an apple. You might dream of an apple. Salivate about one in a Pavlovian sort of way but you’re not going to get an apple in this election. It’s Clinton or Trump.
He said elsewhere, “I completely understand what you are saying and why others feel the same way. But that isn’t really voting if you are being forced to vote for someone who doesn’t and historically has created policy against your own people. Having a false choice is not a choice at all and I feel it’s disrespectful to the people that fought and died to give us the opportunity to cast a vote. By vote I mean to really express your beliefs and values without compromise or cohesion. Voting for bad people and policy has gotten us nowhere. We must be principled and disciplined and not view this as a fight or morals. We have to change now or we are dooming our kids to participate in the same flawed system.”
There’s a lot in there so forgive my lengthy response. You had, and took the opportunity to vote for the person who best matches your beliefs and values. He lost during the primaries. Because he’s no longer an option you appear to have decided to take your ball and go home as opposed to dealing with the remaining choices. Your supposition that it’s a “false choice” suggests that we’ll end up with the same approximate outcome without regard to the winner. In some elections, that might have been true. This time, you couldn’t be more wrong. Have you seen Trump and his, “Make America Great Again” motto? What do you think that means? Have you seen the Alt-Right cohorts of his? Bannon, Giuliani, Sessions, Gingrich, Ailes, Hannity; the list goes on. How is that going to turn out for America? Who in the Republican Congress will stand up to him? Even Ted Cruz sold out his wife and father when it seemed like his future reelection chances were sliding downhill. This is no false choice. And abdicating yours and encouraging others to do the same is being ridiculous as Sarah Silverman so astutely observed.
You alluded to Hillary having, “created policy against our own people.” I’ll assume you’re referring to the 70’s Crime Bill which as First Lady she certainly didn’t create but let’s assume she may have had some input. She spoke of some black gang members as being, “Super Predators.” She has some things in her history which should be considered. She also has a lengthy history on the right side of policy issues which should be considered as well and I have. That both Clinton’s helped implement policy (begun in the Nixon administration) that added to the mass incarceration rate of black people (as did Barack Obama in the stimulus package) is true. They saw it as a compromise with a Republican Congress who were determined to push something much harsher down our throats. The Crime Bill had the support of the Congressional Black Caucus and much of America. There were detractors at the time like Al Sharpton but there is plenty of blame to go around including every administration after Bill Clinton. Hillary now is pledged to continue efforts begun by President Obama to reduce mass incarceration and end profit motives for high prison populations. Trump is dedicated to flooding the inner cities with additional cops and throwing more minorities into jail as part of his “Law and Order” promise. This is part of your choice.
The system is flawed, agreed. It has been since the implementation of the Electoral College which is designed to favor small and rural states (read white people). It’s rigged with redistricting and gerrymandering. It’s rigged by voter suppression tactics. It’s rigged by the lack of protection of voter’s rights. The next President will likely make multiple Supreme Court nominations which will help determine whether the system stays rigged or whether it’s possible to offer protections and change. I think you know the kinds of nominations that President Trump would make. You spoke of “dooming the kids/” Throwing away your vote is a good start.
So for those of you who are still “Bernie or Bust,” what are you going to do? If you live in California or New York, Mississippi or Alabama, or any other state where your Presidential vote won’t make a difference. Feel free to make a protest vote, while continuing to fight for change. If you live in Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio and others. Think real hard about what bust looks like? You just might help us all find out.