It’s hard to look at the headlines when you’re facepalming. But I see my Facebook feed alight with various opinions on the election, all of which are wrong – so rather than screaming OH, FOR FUCK’S SAKE at all of you individually, let me pull you into the corner and have a brief but compassionate talk:
To My Moderate Conservative Friends:
This is a tough time for you. For years, I’ve said “The Republican party is saturated with racist jerks who’d like to raze the Constitution to the ground,” and you said, “No, no, that’s not who we are, we believe in firm laws and equality.”
Then you wake up to discover that your official candidate’s a guy who literally doesn’t know how many articles the Constitution has, and David Duke is so thrilled by Trump’s candidacy he’s come out of the woodwork. You’re not a racist – I wouldn’t be friends with you if you were – but you’re realizing that Trump is representing an ignorant, anti-science, pro-white wing of the party that you tried very hard to convince me didn’t exist.
Worse, those people you claimed didn’t exist (or were just background noise) are, in fact, dominant.
That is a moment for soul-searching. And from what I see, y’all are doing it. And I commend you for that. And a lot of you are refusing to vote for Trump, as is correct.
However, while you’re soul-searching, take a moment to reflect deeper.
Because the party elders tried very hard to convince you that all of your fellow Republicans were as upstanding as you were – because they knew you might leave the party if you actually understood a lot of the people who stood with you were racists waiting for an excuse to stand back up again. This uncomfortable dissonance you’re feeling right now is because they knowingly suckered you into believing that your reasonable concerns were what most Republicans felt – and now you’re seeing that yeah, maybe not all, but a lot of Republicans are pulling that lever out of nationalistic white pride and foreign hatred.
You’ve been suckered already. This is a fact. It’s not shameful unless you refuse to learn from it.
I’d like you to ponder the fact that a lot of your hatred of Hillary Clinton may come from the same people who misled you about your fellow voters.
You’re not obliged to like her, of course. But consider that much of your reflexive “NEVER HILLARY!” information came from the same sources that told you yes, all your fellow Republicans want is what you want. Consider that a lot of the scandals around Hillary come from a thirty-year, well-funded, unending campaign to turn up dirt on her, and that campaign stemmed from the guys who suckered you.
I’m not saying she’s great. (Oh boy am I gonna unload on her in a second.) But if you’re seething with reflexive Hillary Hatred after years of headlines, take a moment to remember who fed you those headlines, and the other things they were feeding you. Then reexamine that from a more sober point of view.
(And if you’re starting to type your frothing answer on WHY HILLARY IS THE DEVIL within five seconds of finishing this discussion, you have failed to ponder. Try again. Try harder.)
To My Liberal Friends Saying “There’s No Difference” Between Hillary and Trump:
There’s no delicate way to say this, but do me a favor:
Look down at your hands.
Yeah, every one of you who said that and looked down at your hands will have noticed that you’re white.
It’s pretty easy to claim there’s no difference when you’re not the one he’s targeting. I get that you’re mad, and it’s a legitimate anger; Hillary’s a prickly candidate.
But do you think the Supreme Court Justices that Trump will nominate – and he will nominate them – will make no difference in your lifestyle ten years down the line? (Go look up Antonin Scalia’s record, then ponder Trump’s statements of Our Beloved Scalia, then ponder what the court would rule with four of him on the team.)
Do you think that your LGBTQ friends will be treated the same in a Hillary-as-President world versus a Trump-as-President world?
Do you think that Hillary will respond exactly the same to Putin’s invasion of foreign countries, when Trump has said explicitly that he won’t?
Do you think police reform and Black Lives Matter will be exactly the same in a Trump world versus a Hillary one?
Sure. Get mad. Claim that Hillary’s an awful candidate. But saying “There’s no difference” is the most selfish kind of tantrum, the kind where you don’t get the candidate you want and you overlook the many and manifest differences between “Not good” and “apocalyptically awful.”
I know you wanted to vote for someone, but all too often we vote against someone to keep the Seventh Seal plugged nice and tight. And I’m trying to say this nicely, but your sputterings of “There’s no difference!” comes from the quiet white privilege where the only hardships you’ll deal with are the economic ones. A lot of people who don’t share your skin tone will suffer if Trump gets elected, and they’ll suffer in ways that a Hillary election will not cause.
There is a difference between the two of them. What you’re actually saying is, “I don’t want to choose between a terrible option and total annihilation.” I’m sympathetic.
But that is the choice on the table, at least in terms of electability, so stop saying there’s no difference. There is a difference. You just want all good choices, and you’re not getting that, so please. Wake the hell up.
To My Bernie-Loving Friends:
The leaked DNC mails are ugly, it’s true. But I have to wonder:
Have you guys ever watched a political campaign?
I suspect if you had leaked emails from the 2008 campaign, you’d find the DNC equally biased against Barack Obama, and people asking all sorts of ugly questions about how to handle his blackness. But we don’t. Why?
Well, because Putin didn’t want McCain elected as badly as he wants Trump in office. That’s the guy who leaked this stuff, at a time proven to be maximally damaging, and so when reading those emails you should get mad but you should also a) consider who wanted you mad and why, and b) wonder what the RNC emails would look like if they were leaked.
Because guys – this is how the sausage gets made. It’s ugly. It’s never pretty. They’re going to discuss voting blocks in ugly, reductive ways, and they’re going to figure out lines of attack, and yes the DNC absolutely needs reform…
But do you notice one thing?
Notice how Bernie never won the black vote?
You know, that black vote that’s literally the only thing holding Trump back right now?
Fact is, Bernie had the odds stacked against him, but he fucked up by not funding enough of his black outreach team, and bobbling easy questions on race. Yeah, I know you think he should have convinced the black vote, but the fact is that black voters have had a lot of guys promising vast change and then tossing them away once they got into office, and Bernie was unable to connect with them.
If Bernie had won the black vote, guess what? He’d be the damn nominee right now. And yes, he had some hurdles to overcome, but it’s like Gore vs Bush in Florida – yeah, the votes got miscounted, but if Gore hadn’t sold out to the right-wing and alienated the left then no hanging chad could have stopped him.
Say it with me, folks: Bernie fucked up. The odds were stacked against him, but he knew that black voters were key to the nomination – or should have – and he kept putting his foot in his mouth.
And Bernie is not an unassailable candidate right now anyway, and I wish y’all would stop saying that he is. Hillary went after him with kid gloves. And the Republicans stayed away from him because he was such a soft target that they were eager for him to get into office. If you thought Hillary was nasty, ponder ads saying that “BERNIE SANDERS WANTS UNDERAGED CHILDREN TO MOLEST EACH OTHER,” and yes, you think Trump would be afraid to go there if he wasn’t trying to siphon away your vote right now?
My point is that yes, the DNC did shitty things. But that’s all of politics, and your idea that it’s only the DNC that did something reprehensible is part of that conspiracy theory myopia you have. The RNC also does shitty things. Leaked emails from Bernie’s campaign would probably make him look terrible. Nobody looks good while debating how to get people to vote for them, and yes, this is awful, but it’s the kind of awful that’s so commonplace that experienced political operatives are going, “…okay, yeah, that’s how this works.”
Get mad! But don’t get mad as if this is a special thing that the DNC did because they are their own unique flavor of evil. Get mad because politics is shitty.
And then remember that Barack Obama likely had it just as bad in 2008 and he won. The system is rigged, but all systems are rigged, and you can win it with a flood of votes just like Trump did.
Unfortunately, Bernie didn’t, so stop talking about him like he was the unqualified best choice. The “Unqualified best choice” would have gotten the most votes in the end. (Which isn’t the only thing that would make a candidate the “unqualified best,” but it sure as fuck is the start.)
There’s reason Bernie is still choosing to go after Trump instead of Hillary, my friends. Examine that.
You fucking hired Wasserman less than four hours after she got kicked out of the DNC?
Are you even trying to look good, woman?
Jesus, I’m voting for you and that looks bad. Cut it the fuck out.
To My Enthusiastically-Voting-For-Trump Friends:
OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.
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