There are legitimate criticisms of Bernie Sanders the candidate and of his supporters that can and should be made. But there is one argument that I’ve seen a lot that really pisses me off, and that’s the knee-jerk reaction of “you don’t support Hillary because you’re a sexist.”
The primary concern of rational voters should be first to keep the Republican Party from controlling all three branches of government, which they easily could do if they win in November. Call me whatever name you want for it, but yes, that means I think I the most prudent course for non-Republican voters is to support either Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, or anyone else you want, other than the Republican.
This stupid idea that someone can’t support anyone other than Hillary or they’re sexist is the same dunder-headed miscalculation that makes my fellow liberals immediately call someone a racist if they criticize Obama. I can say that he’s been way too drone-happy for my tastes and not be a sheet wearing Klan member, if you get my drift. The way I see it, there are at least four reasons why you’re not a sexist if you support Bernie Sanders, and here they are.
He’s Not a Sexist
Here’s the thing about words — they have meanings. The definition of a sexist is someone who believes one gender should dominate naturally over the other. Yes, we all know Bernie wrote that essay back in the 1970’s, but even that doesn’t really prove he’s a sexist. Not only does Sanders’ long and distinguished career show many instances of his standing up for a woman to have control over her own reproductive decisions, he’s also a much louder champion and advocate of things like mandatory maternity leave now. Whether or not Hillary is more or less a feminist than Bernie is kind of irrelevant here; the point is that Sanders is the farthest thing from a sexist, so voting for him doesn’t mean you support sexism, period.
You’re Not a Sexist
What a reductive and stupid argument to make — that someone is sexist because they don’t support a single person of a certain gender. Again, those pesky definitions trip up extremists. If you don’t believe as a man that your penis entitles you to dominate the world, you’re not a sexist. It also doesn’t mean you want women to be subjugated just because you don’t vote for a particular woman. Or are we to believe that we’re all sexists if we didn’t vote for McCain in 2008 because he chose Sarah Palin as his running mate?
You Might be a Woman
This is really the kicker, isn’t it? When people like Madeline Albright say that women will go to Hell for not supporting Hillary, or when Gloria Goddamned Anti-Sexism Steinem says the most sexist thing possible about young female Bernie supporters, it makes you wonder where the fuck common sense has run off to. The sheer number of women, both young and old, that are devout Bernie Sanders supporters immediately disproves any charges of sexism. If you want to live in a world where words have no meanings, go be “pro-life” and “pro small government” with the Republicans.
For Fucks’ Sake There Could Be Legitimate Reasons to Support Someone Else
At the end of it all, what really chaps my ass is the insinuation that there aren’t any legitimate reasons to support someone over Hillary Clinton. This is not to say that Hillary isn’t qualified or wouldn’t do a good job. But she is very much so a throwback to the old guard. Her husband was one of the most pro-corporate presidents and at a time when the people’s government most needs to be disabused from its incestuous relationship with Wall Street, it’s absolutely fair game to at least question her on her past ties to the financial sector, and that is literally the tip of the iceberg. Some liberally-minded folks actually don’t like war enough to take pause at voting for someone who is very, very hawkish as Clinton is. So you know what? Even though many of us will turn our support to her should Sanders not win, Hillary supporters should remember that no one on Earth has been found to defecate delicious ice cream yet, and the former Madame Secretary is not excluded from that fact of life.