Bernie represents change, and Hillary represents hope that if we’re patient awhile longer, we’ll eventually get something that is change-ish. If that assessment irks you, I apologize that it hurts your eyeballs to read about reality.
Before I get accused of being a “Bernie Bot,” “Bernie Bro,” a “Bodacious Braggadocios Bernie Blowhard,” or anything of the sort, understand my support of Senator Sanders doesn’t mean I blindly believe everything in his proposals will work like magical rainbow queefs from the vagina of a beautiful female unicorn. It just means that on the whole I agree with his overall message that we need to move our system of taxation and economics to a place where the most amount of people benefit. In fact, I’ve come to wish that ol’ Bernie would drop the socialism moniker and embrace “Eisenhower Capitalism,” which is what I believe he’s striving to achieve.
I’m definitely not saying that voting for Hillary is a bad thing; I’m saying that I sense a difference in the two candidates’ approaches that translate directly inoto how their supporters act and discuss things.
Hillary wants the things that Bernie says he wants, but she wants to work within the confines of the system and practice incrementalism. That way, she figures, she won’t scare off aging conservative Baby Boomers who still think she murdered Vince Foster and her husband’s a secret Communist. These are not silly things for her, or Sanders, to be aware of, because without a doubt if either of them win in November, they will face one hell of a battle from Republicans in congress.
But if all things are equal and congressional Republicans will fight tooth and nail against both Hillary and Bernie, then we should probably throw that argument for or against either of them away. Republicans don’t think they have to work with Democrats anymore, and it’s probably the same if you reverse the roles. So let’s all stop pretending we care about political opposition doing what political opposition does, because unless and until we give any president from any party a congressional body that will work with that president, it doesn’t matter.
Democratic voters, have a starkly contrasted choice to make, but that doesn’t mean that either candidate isn’t extremely qualified and able. It doesn’t mean that if you elect Hillary she won’t fight for change, and it doesn’t mean if you elect Sanders he’ll only act like a revolutionary and won’t moderate his tone. Then again, watching Obama interact with eight years of Republican obstruction again leads me to the end of a road where the destination is obstruction no matter who we elect.
Sanders supporters need to be very realistic with themselves. Firstly, his pathway to the nomination is closing and will close completely if he can’t pick off a couple Super Tuesday states. But even if he wins the nomination and the General Election, he won’t be a king. He will be a president, and presidents have very complicated jobs that don’t involve waving magic wands, despite what Republicans accuse Obama of doing. Sanders’ first hundred days won’t be marked with major accomplishments, but likely neither will Hillary’s.
I guess since I keep bringing it up, the makeup of Congress is far, far more important than who is elected in the fall. I don’t think that most Americans want the party that thinks rape comes in a variety pack with flavors like “legitimate” and “God’s blessing in disguise” in the White House. But we’re a republic made of smaller states, and a lot of people in those states are still religiously committed to social conservatism, and as long as Republicans feed them culture war red meat rhetoric, nothing will stop them from voting for Republicans.
What worries me is that a lot of Democrats I see are drawing lines in the sand over Hillary and Bernie, and they’re drawing them between each other.
The coalition that elected the first black president will break apart if people allow a healthy primary debate to turn into bitter animus, when in the end what we have on that side of the aisle is a choice between a man who represents a heavy foot on the gas pedal of change, and a woman who represents going the speed limit, and that’s it. Yes, Hillary is very much so representative of the status quo, but Bernie’s been in politics for 30 years too, so he knows how to play the game, as it were.
For my views, Sanders most closely represents what I want in a president, but that doesn’t mean that Hillary would work to erode the progress made over the last half-century or more in this country, so I could absolutely vote for her. However, there is one party that has been and will continue to attempt to break down and reverse the social and economic progress we made last century, and it’s the people who would love nothing more than to see Democrats fall apart over whether they wanted more “Hope” or more “Change” in their breakfast cereal.