Thursday, June 9, 2016

Taking on The Man

I've been wallowing in ambivalence since Tuesday night, when the majority declared Secretary Clinton the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2016 election for President. There's a slim chance Bernie can end up winning in a contested convention. But even an idealist like me knows that's pretty unlikely.

It's weird, because I'm a fan of the idea of democracy, but since I tend to always be on the minority side of most issues, and my favorite candidate ALWAYS loses, there's that voice in the back of my head that thinks this whole "majority rules" idea sucks. Of course, if the majority agrees with me, then it's a great idea. But that never happens. Such is the life of an underdog lover living in a majority-rules society.

But, what's the alternative? Majority-rules is better than a dictatorship. Better than anarchy. So, I'll keep voting for the least reprehensible candidate like I always do. Like I did back in 1992 when I had voted for Jerry Brown in my first Primary, but ended up voting for Bill Clinton in my first Presidential election. Like I did for Bill Bradley and Al Gore. Like I did for Dennis Kucinich and Barack Obama. Actually, that's not true. I voted for Obama in our state caucus in 2008 because there was only one other Kucinich supporter in the room and so I caved and voted for the next least-reprehensible candidate.

I guess it's different because this time my favorite candidate seemed to actually have a chance to win. Bernie got my hopes up. I was shocked to find so many people supporting his candidacy. I've been a fan of Bernie Sanders since back when he was the United States Representative from Vermont, appearing on the Bill Maher show from time to time. Never in a million years did I think he'd run for president, or that people would actually come on board. But he did, and they did, and we all gave it a good shot. But it looks like the underdog won't win this time. Again.

I don't hate Mrs. Clinton like some Bernie supporters do. She's way more of a war-hawk than I am, and she's schmoozy and flip-floppy like most politicians are, but I understand that's part of the game, and she's winning the game. I'll vote for her over #Drumpf for sure. I'm just sad my guy lost. Again. And that, as always, I get to vote for the least reprehensible candidate. No wonder so many people just don't give a shit and don't bother voting.

But I can't do that. It's such a privilege to live in a society where I get to vote. Even if I don't get to vote for my favorite. Suffragists worked hard for women like me to participate in our democracy. It's an imperfect process, but it's the best we've got. It's certainly better than the alternative:

For most of human history, when somebody in the tribe decided they wanted to be chief, the "election" involved him bashing the current chief's skull in with a fucking rock. The chief was always just whoever was best at doing that. In much of the world, leaders are still chosen this way, only with more sophisticated weapons and/or the ability to brainwash uneducated people into dying for the upstart's cause.
So here I sit, thanking my feminist sisters for giving me the right to vote for the first female President, even though I feel rather ho-hum about her. I just think Bernie, despite being a man, would be the best person to take on The Man. Too bad the majority of my fellow democrats think otherwise.

Some of my progressive friends have urged me to vote for the presumptive nominee of the Green Party, Jill Stein. Sorry, guys. I'm not voting for Jill Stein. I have nothing against her. In fact, we're pretty well aligned, politically. I just don't want another 2000 fiasco with the Green Party getting 2.7 percent of the votes and the Dems losing by a tiny fraction, when some of those Green Party votes could have helped the Dems defeat the Republicans.

Ugh. Politics.