Post-caucus, I’ve done bunk this election. I went to my neighborhood caucus and because they were short on volunteers (and because honestly, the neighborhood caucus was a delight), I went to my district caucus too. That was a cluster, but the district went for Bernie, which is what I’d wanted. We all know what happened, Hillary got the nomination and here we are, just a few days before election day.
I have been politically active in the past. This year, in spite of the fact that it is an election like no other (or so “they” keep telling us) I have been unable to muster the enthusiasm for phone banking or canvassing or whatever form of Get Out the Vote activism is available to me. I made a smallish donation to the DNC, I caucused twice, and I went home. I’m probably just like you, with the same excuses and rationalizations. “But it’s been a rough Fall.” Yeah, I know. I know.
I also watched a lot of debates. I watched a Republican debate early on because I wanted to see what was going on with The Other Side. I was completely flabbergasted by the rudeness, the personal attacks, the lack of substance, experience, anything of merit, really, from anyone other than John Kasich. Don’t get me wrong, to a lefty like me, he’s a terror, but I didn’t understand why the party didn’t back him. He had experience and policy, and I was impressed when, after someone tried to bait him to personally attack his opposition for the nomination, he said he’d rather focus on policy. I still don’t understand how the RNC ended up with Donald Trump as the nominee.
I watched a bit of the VP debate, mostly because I wanted to see Tim Kaine do whatever Tim Kaine does. Sadly, I could not tune in to this without also getting a fair bit of Mike Pence. I don’t know why Mike Pence hates women and queers so much, given that he self-identifies as a Christian. I’ve heard that Christ is supposed to be love, go figure, but I guess Mike Pence relates more to an Inquisition era interpretation where humans judge and punish for sins that those same humans have decided are against god. I thought pride was one of those sins, too, but hey, I’m not Christian, so maybe I’ve misunderstood much of what I thought Jesus was meant to be teaching his flock. Maybe it is “Hate they neighbor, especially if he’s not like you. If fact, let’s legislate to protect haters!” I might have got some stuff wrong.
My immigrant husband was out doing something while Tim Kaine was fielding questions about immigration. He walked back into the house just as Mike Pence began so we both got to hear, “We’ll round them up, and then, we’ll deal with the immigrants that are left.” This did not play well in the married-to-Americans demographic at my house, nor did it play well with the married-to-immigrants sector.
“What the hell?” asked Julius.
“I’m sure they’ll know you’re the GOOD kind of immigrant,” I responded, filling the room with toxic levels of sarcasm. “Also, fuck this guy. Just… fuck him.”
I wanted Bernie. I wanted a crusty old Jewish socialist in the White House, I wanted the first family to go for dim sum on Christmas day, I totally bought in to Bernie’s people over corporations rhetoric, his Robin Hood tax the rich proposals, the whole commie socialist agenda, I wanted that. And yeah, I would be willing to pay more in taxes to make it all happen. I still remember a totally random dude complaining to me about an Obama proposed tax increase on those earning over 200k annually “200k!” I thought. “I would like to earn 200k annually!”
I caucused for Bernie because I wanted the Democrats to boldly shift towards more socialist policies. But I didn’t think for a minute that he was going to win. My activism was strategic. I never adopted the Bernie or Bust mindset because the racist, xenophobic, misogynist, homophobic, anti-Semitic hate driven proposals of the Republican ticket, should they be elected, will have a very real affect on my daily life. (Plus, I love my Obamacare insurance. Sure, it’s flawed, but it’s a start.) I have to vote for Hillary because to not do so is to allow this ugly creeping hate to be normalized in society.
In addition to not going full Bernie, I never went anti-Hillary, either. She wasn’t my first choice but she’s certainly not my last. There are critics of her hawkish tendencies. I’d rather we never went to war, ever, but I also think she’s not afraid to use power if she thinks it’s the right thing to do. There are critics of her secrecy, but I think she’d never have run if she felt even the darkest corners of her house couldn’t take the scrutiny. There are critics of her past, and I’m one of those, but her policies have evolved over time. There are critics of… well, we can do this all day, and there are better sources than me for this information, so I’ll just say this: I think Hillary is a million times better qualified to run the country than her opponent. And if I don’t agree with her 100%, I also do not believe she will send us careening into a 1930s style era of fear mongering and hate.
Yeah, I’m one of those voters who is voting NO to Donald Trump by voting YES for Hillary. Yes, I’ve seen her resume, and it is impressive. Yes, her experience is deep and broad. Yes, she has progressive policies on deck and yes, she knows how to get shit done. Yes, I sent my ballot in a week ago and yes, I could have done so much more to move the needle on this election.
And yes, I’m with her. Of course I am.