Thursday, July 21, 2016

Fight the Celebritocracy. Vote Clinton.

There are moments when I, in moments of Occam’s Razor-devoid tin-foil hattery, look at the two most-disliked nominees in American history and think we’re all being punked. Punked by the Clintons and the DNC who looked at the odds and found literally the ONE more-disliked candidate Hillary could beat. Punked by a failed reality show clown, fired-by-NBC fake “successful businessman” who will, mark my words, after he loses in November, have a shiny rehabilitated and recharged brand, probably a new TV show…or network…after pretty much crashing and burning as a nut case fringe birther before this awful year 2016 dawned.  It’s a fun parlor conspiracy game to play. But seriously, if “they” can engineer that then they’ll have zero trouble engineering the resurrection of the Public Option and medicare opt-in at 55 and subsidized state university tuition for millions of american college students. And that, I’m 100% ok with. Sign me up for that conspiracy. Again, thanks for hanging in there Bernie.

But the real “conspiracy” isn't a conspiracy at all. The primary, if not exclusive, blame for all of this goes, in my view, to the ratings, if it burns-it-leads, celebritocracy selling, enabling, enforcing, media. And Trump has been burning and leading the coverage from day one. The coverage afforded Trump….over Bernie, over Hillary, over Jeb, over Gary…..over every last human being with a scintilla of experience, credibility, sincerity, integrity, or 5 damn minutes of public service has functioned as the coal shovelers heaping loads into the boilers, keeping the lights burning on a campaign that should have been ignored and laughed into oblivion long ago. 

I’m voting for Hillary Clinton. And if you ask my opinion I will tell you: so should you. No I don't like many of her foreign policy positions or record. Yes I’m saddened by many on the left who I thought would be too, but bafflingly weren't, or, when asked about foreign policy answered with “she’s fierce” or some equally culty fact-devoid response.  Yes I think it’s your right as a citizen to vote for whomever you please, with no recriminations from me or anyone else.  Have at it, citizen. 

But it's simply not as simple as "voting your conscience." The system matters. And we are governed by, and participate in, a two party system, in function and design, de facto and de jure. First past the post, single member voting districts, winner take all. Look all that up if you're not up on the arcane systemic wonky stuff,  but it essentially boils down to this: If you’re not voting for the second place winner, you’re always voting for the first place winner, regardless of whom you vote for.  No I’m not happy about it either. I’m tired of the lesser of two evils crap sandwich we get served on a shiny silver platter every 4 or 8 years. But if you really want to change that, hit the streets and advocate for alternate voting or other systemic things that will break the two party system. Not by chiming in every presidential election with the same old gripe.  Til then, play by the rules of the game you’re currently playing. This isn't the Kobayashi Maru scenario where Kirk gets to hack the game and change the rules. Voting for Jill Stein aint gonna do it, as much as I like and respect her. Yes I want to send a message to the Democratic party. But I did that already, and I didn't prevail: my vocal support of Bernie Sanders submitted as evidence. And more importantly, his enduring campaign successfully garnered progressive concessions/commitments from the eventual nominee, despite sadly not winning the brass ring. Was/is the system rigged? Um sure ok fine. But let's be honest: we’re all “the man” here. I'm "the man," you're (probably) "the man." We all “rig” the system by participating in it and by reaping the rewards it bestows on our first-world, stable, safe, sated, comfortable lives. You don't get to opt out and be a barstool, brunch, or Facebook radical every 4 years for 5 proverbial minutes AND be taken seriously. Not to mention the fact that it  won't be our lives most threatened or damaged by a Trump presidency, it will be those far more marginalized and excluded from those rewards.

So if you live in a swing state like Ohio or Florida…or maybe even Pennsylvania this year (ugh), I respectfully submit you consider your vote and how it will matter and vote for Hillary Clinton. If you’re in a blue state and supported Bernie, just swallow your righteous anger and vote for Hillary. Otherwise you’re throwing away the commitments his candidacy won from Clinton. That’s how the system works after all.  If you’re in a red state and just cant vote with us lefties, just go ahead and vote for Gary Johnson, he’s pretty ok by me.  Anything else will add your name to the ranks of witting or unwitting President Trump enablers. And just because it’s your right to do so, doesn't make it right to do.