There was a time, not so long ago, when I was desperate to see Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office.
As an aging feminist, I was beyond excited at the prospect of the United States finally inaugurating its first woman President. For many years I’d followed her career. I admired her intelligence, her calm temperament, her attention to detail and her ability to articulate complex ideas.
Entering the 2016 primary season, I was a big Hillary supporter. I so wanted a woman in that office. I had so much hope that this country would finally begin to step forward out of the dark ages and begin to put our misogyny behind us.
But I had to struggle with my progressive beliefs. It was pretty obvious that Hillary’s positions were far to the right of my own. Eventually, I became a Bernie supporter.
I canvassed for Bernie. I donated to his campaign. Phone banked, mailed out letters, joined focus groups. I went all-in for the first truly progressive presidential candidate I’d ever seen in my life.
Naturally, I voted for Bernie in the primary.
But when Hillary got the nomination, I put aside my disappointment and I supported her. With my time, my money, with my precious vote.
Even though I had friends who were Bernie delegates and who told me in no uncertain terms how unfairly they were treated at the Democratic Convention, I still got behind Hillary. Even though I’d watched Democratic insiders like Debbie Wasserman Schultz attacking Bernie during the campaign, I STILL got behind Hillary.
I held my nose, crossed my fingers and I voted Blue No Matter Who. In fact, so did Bernie Sanders.
Look where that got our progressive hopes and dreams.
So now we find ourselves three years into the national chaos that is the Trump administration. Like every other clear-minded voter, I’m sick in my heart, my soul and my stomach every time I turn on the news.
The Democratic primary season is in full swing. This time I find myself in the unexpected position of having two wonderful progressive candidates in the race. What an embarrassment of riches.
Once again, after doing my due diligence and listening closely, I’m still a Bernie voter.
And this is where the pressure from my fellow liberals has been difficult to ignore.
“Vote Blue No Matter Who,” they urge. “The goal is to get rid of the cancer in the White House.”
My friends urge me to vote for a centrist in the primary because theoretically, that person would have a better chance of defeating Trump. It’s vital, I’m told, to support the Democrats because “we” are so much better than “them.”
There is a certain logic to this argument, of course. Like everyone else, I’m eager to avoid WWIII and to stop the earth from turning into a giant cinder. But I’m also really sick of the same old, same old that has gotten us here. I’m fed up with incrementalism. I’m all done with “Now is not the time.”
Mostly, however, I’m thoroughly disgusted with the way that the two parties have turned our democratic process into a ridiculous game. Our elections have been turned into “if you win, I lose.” We’ve been taught that we have to be loyal to our team instead of our own needs and wishes.
So I’ve been feeling trapped. I don’t want people to accuse me of single-handedly re-electing Donald Trump if I fail to support a moderate, centrist, corporate-controlled incrementalist. But I don’t want to hold my nose and vote for someone I don’t support. Not again.
Today, at last, I finally feel free to cast my vote for the candidate I believe will be the best at promoting my beliefs. No matter who is nominated by the Democrats, I plan to vote for Bernie Sanders in the general election.
I can finally breathe and trust my own judgment.
And I have none other than Hillary Clinton to thanks for that fact.
I say this because the former Secretary of State, the woman who lost what everyone considered to be a guaranteed election, is on national TV talking shit about one of HER party’s top candidates.
Because she appears unable to tolerate being out of the headlines for more than a week, Hillary is promoting her new memoir. In that book, and in interviews to promote it, Clinton gleefully tells us that Bernie could never be a successful president.
Not because she disagrees with his progressive ideas (although she obviously does), but because, are you ready?
“Nobody likes him.”
Right. Nobody likes him. None of the cool kids want to sit with him at lunch.
So, the best way to defeat a president who acts like an eight-year-old is to act the very same way?
Finally, when asked if she would support Bernie Sanders if he does manage to win the nomination, Mrs. Clinton said that she “isn’t ready to go there yet.”
This means that Hillary F*in’ Clinton has no intention of “Voting Blue No Matter Who.”
And now I don’t either.