Wednesday, February 17, 2016

THIS! IS! AN ELECTION! *Leonidas kick*

Do Bernie Sanders supporters seem angry? Why is that problematic? Are they being mean? You claim you're seeing it. I don't claim to see it myself. Where do we go from there? Perhaps we simply have different standards as to what constitutes meanness. What you call "harsh" or "over-the-top" I might simply call passionate argument. And why wouldn't supporters of the underdog, the candidate whose record points to a genuine agenda of fighting for the people, be fired up in supporting their candidate? 

The "Bernie Bros" myth has been thoroughly dismantled and debunked, but the seeds of propaganda have already taken root. The Clinton campaign has crafted a narrative spin, or as she herself may call it (with questionable accuracy) an "artful smear," so that every time the former Secretary of State is criticized, no matter how legitimately, it comes across as a bit harsh. Any challenge to Hillary Clinton's entitlement is viewed, through the lens of the nauseatingly polished establishment media, as a radical threat. 

We're chastised whenever we mock the former senator and First Lady. Meanwhile, she insults our intelligence by insinuating that she can't possibly be part of the establishment because, hey, haven't you noticed, she's a woman. 

And haven't you noticed that Sanders is a secular Jew? 

The spin is most likely this, I think: Clinton and her supporters viewed her ascent to the presidency as inevitable. That's the entitlement I'm referring to. Then, to the shock of everyone with a severely impaired memory, Bernie Sanders started to present a serious challenge that entitlement. Suddenly, the underdog was an enviable position. Clinton began echoing Sanders' message of tearing down the establishment, which was brilliantly satirized by Andy Borowitz. 

This leads us to Clinton using her gender as proof of her outsider status, and her insults to the average Democratic voter's intelligence. 

And if it seems desperate, that might be because it is. Clinton supporters want her to win the candidacy, obviously. But they didn't expect to actually have to try. What they portray as degrading and vitriolic offenses from Sanders supporters, I again view as passionate banter. Because, after all, apparently the perspective of one or two people is enough to paint an entire base of supporters as one despicable thing or another (oh, we're all sexist douche bags? Well you're a bunch of political casuals who are entitled enough to very rarely ever suffer the consequences of being completely and utterly fucking wrong). 

So what is it? Is Hillary Clinton more "electable" (what the hell does that even mean, really?), or is she an outsider? Is that a false dichotomy? Isn't that what Sanders supporters have been saying from the beginning? Is Hillary Clinton a strong leader, a feminist not at all hindered by her gender? Or do we need to tone down our rhetoric, despite the fact that we're deciding on the future leader of the free world? 

Electability is expensive. Clinton's campaign has a lot of wealthy donors, and to draw attention to this plain and simple fact is not a "smear." Sanders' base of support is not wealthy, but it's by and large quite young, politically inclined, and LOUD. Perhaps, when we curse, make flippant jokes and remarks, and seem impossible to really deal with, it's because we're compensating for that very expensive electability. 

This is an election. Nothing is guaranteed. Since we're going to judge and prescribe each other's behavior, perhaps it would behoove you to actually act like it's an election. 

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