Hillary Clinton and the DNC have fucked up too monumentally to ignore. They’ve screwed the pooch too raw for their victims to continue to tolerate them as the lesser of two evils. The other evil in question, Donald Trump, is a more credible leftist than Hillary, anyway, especially now that neoliberal milquetoast Tim Kaine is on the Democratic ticket. We’re still expected to believe that this double dose of bourgeois supremacy is an improvement over a competing ticket headed by a candidate who is promising, more and more specifically, to force the government to stop kicking the little people while they’re down. Fuck that.
This goes beyond mere tone-deafness or ineptitude. Far beyond. The Democratic National Committee spent the entire primary campaign insinuating that Bernie Sanders was a racist and a sexist supported by other racists and sexists. They condescendingly pretended that Bernie’s significant number of nonwhite supporters, some of them quite vocal, did not exist or were race traitors. There is evidence that they threw primary elections at the county level in New York (where the voter registration rules were already unjustifiably onerous) and California to benefit Hillary. Most recently, instead of picking a credibly populist or socialist running mate as a credible concession to the socioeconomically dispossessed constituencies they had just spent half a year smearing and disenfranchising, Hillary picked a left-authoritarian gun control fetishist and TPP promoter whose qualifications, we were told, included fluency in Spanish, after leaking a proposal to instead choose James Stavridis, a noted international butcher of men.
There is no way that anyone making these decisions takes poor, downwardly mobile, unemployed, underemployed, uneducated, or otherwise unsuccessful or insecure voters seriously. It’s painfully obvious that we are expected to defer to our betters and dutifully listen to their lectures. After the Republican Party surprisingly failed to stop its own populist insurgent, despite a frantic effort, there was a collective fit of pique about how Trump’s electoral success was evidence of too much democracy. These disaffected voters, we were warned, were exactly the mob that the Founders had tried to temper with republican checks and balances, back before Andrew Jackson gave landless cracker boys the vote and ruined it all. Trump’s rise lured avowed progressive liberal Democrats out of the woodwork to express reactionary extremism the likes of which would have been controversial in 1832.
What was left mostly unsaid was how fucking insane and crooked Trump’s Republican opponents had been. Trump was keeping the Republican tradition of authoritarian extremism in law enforcement and national security alive, but he had trampled a field of religious establishmentarians, self-righteous bourgeois supremacists, starve-the-beast Randroid zealots, frothing neoconservative warmongers, unionbusters, a notorious corporate looter, entitlement concern trolls, a Seventh-Day Adventist lunatic who had proposed using tithing as the basis for a reformed tax code, and a flagrant me-too wannabe dynast. Trump banished, if only temporarily, a pretty good sampling of what was wrong with the Republican Party as it had been constituted for several decades. He is now the standard bearer for a party whose platform includes a call to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act. There’s something fishy about avowed secular liberals who claim to have center-left fiscal tendencies and yet say that they would rather cast their lot with one of these godbotherers or bellicose corporatist tax cut fanatics than with the guy who just beaten out the lot of them. Their attitude suggests that maybe they aren’t really liberals or leftists.
I write all of this as a frequent Democratic voter. I voted for Jerry Brown twice, both times as a registered Republican (for purposes of Poizner abatement). I voted for Barack Obama in 2008. I voted and campaigned for John Kerry in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, at a time when the local electorate was two thirds Republican. After I moved to Philadelphia, I voted for Dwight Evans, the last-place finisher in a quietly post-racial mayoral primary. (The 2007 mayoral race was post-racial enough for three blacks, two whites, a Republican, and Milton Street. Street, best known as a fruitcake mayoral brother, had a hidden history as a serious politician who had introduced legislation to decriminalize marijuana as a state assemblyman in the early 1980’s. When that failed, he apparently decided, not without wisdom, that it was more to his liking to be a local gadfly and entertainer than to try to reform a hopelessly authoritarian state as a backbencher.) This year, I changed my party affiliation to Democratic and voted for Bernie.
I don’t regret these votes. I believed strongly in Kerry’s position on civil liberties. I supported Evans’s position on civil liberties and police oversight and thought that his proposal to bring John Timoney back as police commissioner, regardless of how or if he’d be able to pull it off, was worth a shot. Obama disappointed the hell out of me, so I voted for Gary Johnson in 2012. Moonbeam V. 2.1 and 2.2 has generally been pleasant, and I was impressed by the Governator, too, so that’s most of my adult life that California has not been governed by grandstanding authoritarian shitbirds in the Wilson/Davis mold. I was impressed by Sanders’s economic platform and hope that he’ll actually manage to force Clinton to the left by sticking around in the party.
But that’s just a hope, not an expectation. He’s going up against an ugly, vicious machine, one that barely pulled out a victory within the past two months by deploying an arsenal of dirty tricks to sink his own run for the presidency. I still think he has sincere reasons for trying to reform the Democratic Party from within and do not harbor any ill will towards him for doing so. He has made a damn good effort this year, and I have not heard anything to suggest that he’s selling out or even giving up in exasperation.
That said, I am not, not, NOT following the Democratic Party’s procedural operations as an Inside Baseball curiosity. I do not regard any of this as entertainment or sport. It’s the country’s business that’s at stake, and I do not have the patience to keep watching from the sidelines while they fuck around and scheme to throw my kind, the poors, under the bus again. They’re out of mulligans. If they don’t deliver the goods, I’m out of there. They need to do more than just ceremonially demote Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
I’ve discussed my shitty treatment by self-important elitists at length in these pages before, so I won’t rehash my full bill of grievances now. What I will say is that in addition to kicking me when I was down, blaming me for not using my education and intellect adequately to help myself, and doing little to nothing to concretely help me, a number of these people are now basically telling me how to vote. No, I do not take kindly to this. It’s no longer just an expectation that I show unrequited loyalty to Dickinson College instead of wondering why Dickinson, believing so strongly in networking and the power of institutional affiliation, doesn’t drop the fucking pretense and hook me up with a job. I prefer to take my corruption with extra grease, which is why I respect Tammany Hall for being hard micks who gladly hooked up a hard mick with a job in the streets department. No, now I have an additional duty to country or learned people or some shit to vote against the only viable presidential candidate who is talking like he might put a stop to the rampant credential-whoring, peasant scab labor exploitation, and international labor arbitrage. A major party is running a presidential candidate who is explicitly rebuking the bourgeois Red Queen’s Race and insisting that a person who didn’t stay in school should be able to make a decent living on a factory floor again, and I, as an educated person, have a duty to vote against him because he has some uneducated followers and says things that make other educated people butthurt longtime. Never mind that the educated people he’s upsetting are largely the same ones who have been treating me like shit for close to a decade for not getting with the program.
Is Trump a flawed vector of fellow-feeling, elite restraint, and socioeconomic equity? Definitely. He’s a clown who impulsively appeals to lowest-common-denominator bigotry. But the Democrats had a candidate this year who ran a more magnanimous, higher-minded, more thoughtful, more specific campaign on an ideologically compatible but more robust platform, and they sabotaged him. The Republicans tried to sabotage Trump, but they were ultimately unsuccessful, and their process was ultimately more resilient and fair. If there are two viable parties and one of them is apparently much more corrupt than the other while the other has a halfway credible reformist on its presidential ticket, I have no duty to stick with the corrupt party. That’s bullshit. It’s just fucking bullshit. Telling me that I should vote for Hillary because I previously voted for Bernie, Moonbeam, and Long Face is like telling me that I should write a #BlueLivesMatter thank-you note to Monty Robinson for his commitment to police field supervision and highway safety because the Red Bluff Police night shift did a quick but excellent job of simmering down the big guys next door who were banging on the walls and assaulting each other while I was trying to get some rest. It’s like saying that I should go hang out with Charles Cullen and the Trenton plexiglass as a show of gratitude to my late grandmother’s med-surg nurses for doing all they could to make her last two hospitalizations pleasant. (Say, Nurse Cullen would be a good cultural fit for hospice work.)
Yes, we’ve reached the point of woke Monty Robinson and doped-up Charles Cullen memes again (try to get some sleep). You, too, can Communicate to Create (TM) your own land of make-believe, in which the decedent unfortunately died at the scene [as a result of his being tazed by you] and that kind of thing, but even sexy male nurse Lynn Majors memes cannot rival the Democratic National Committee for sheer repulsive filth. Really, I offer these comments as fleeting acts of mercy, escapism to momentarily distract us all from the crushing duty of trying to right our sinking ship of state so that we’ll perhaps feel less desire to flee to the jurisdiction of the RCMP. Honestly, and I’m hardly even being flippant here, Kwesi Millington for President would allow us to reflect on the subtle contrast between so, this one fellow was unfortunately killed during an incident I was involved in, vs. We Came, We Saw, He Died. Only one of these two is known to have celebrated the public sodomy, summary execution, and meat-locker state viewing of the guy who turned out to actually be holding Libya together, just as his reluctant defenders said he was. But that’s the difference between accidental killers who got drilled in worst practices at Depot and freaky sadists who hijack party nominating processes because they are driven by a sheer will to power. That’s the difference between something resembling actual humility and “I’m humbled to be your nominee.”
If our choice is basically between two hideously coarse candidates, there’s little reason not to choose the one whose policies look less dogshit. Look at it this way: I’m already totally convinced that Hillary Clinton is destructive and dangerous, but I can’t tell whether Donald Trump actually rivals her as a threat or is just putting on a toxic masculinity act because that’s his thing. The WaPo has another panic piece up accusing Trump of reminding some writer of Putin. My dad sent me the link, but I don’t particularly feel like reading it, let alone linking to it. I don’t need more reheated conventional Beltway wisdom about how Boogeyman T is like Boogeyman P; there’s too much good writing that I don’t have the time or energy to read without wasting it on shit like that. Besides, I’d be floored to discover that Trump is as competent as Putin, or that Hillary Clinton is. I have read somewhat extensively about Putin, in Russian and in English, and although I have strenuous objections to aspects of his human rights and civil liberties record, I do not at all believe that he’s treated fairly in the Western press. For opposite reasons, neither are the Clintons.
We’ve gotten to the point at which a vote for Trump can be a vote against propaganda and for honest labor. It’s bizarre that we’ve come to this, but the Democratic Party as a nation’s leading leftist faction is bizarre in its own right. No, I do not have any reason to apologize to the Democratic Party or to anyone else for thinking about voting for Trump. If anything, the Democratic Party should apologize to me and several dozen million other people for shoehorning a garbage candidate through its nominating process, doubling down on the elitism by adding Citizen Kaine to the ticket, and telling us all to put up and shut up. Putinism isn’t how democracy works, but the Democratic Party in 2016 isn’t, either. Demanding pro-Hillary agitprop from Matt Taibbi as a condition of his continued employment in the chattering class isn’t democratic or civic. Many of us have intelligent reasons for wanting to shake this motherfucker up and see what falls out. This isn’t an interest that can be suppressed with outbursts of name-calling. I say this as someone who doesn’t even like the guy or his party, but if y’all want us to turn back from voting for Trump, you need to show us that he is not, in fact, a better class of shithead. We won’t be getting a good candidate with a chance of winning the presidency this year, but the philosophy of lesser evils cuts both ways, and as I see it, the Democratic Party is the bitch that could really do to be cut this fall.