As a Bernie supporter, I was quite clear that if Bernie didn't win the nomination I would vote for Clinton. After I saw the first version of the DNC platform, I said there was no way I would vote for Clinton, if the platform remained as written. I don't think I've ever gotten so many emails and comments. Bernie supporters loved me — "I can't vote for her either!" — and Clinton supporters reviled me — "You are handing the election to Trump and pissing on all the women who fought and died for our right to vote!" The sane and rational discourse my the MAWT fb page was famous for took a nose dive.
In my rebuttal I wrote that the idea that a 63 year old woman with virtually no structural power, held more sway over the way people voted, than the DNC, was ludicrous. "That's it, blame it the DNC for your irresponsible choices," somebody wrote. Oh for heaven's sakes, I wasn't blaming the DNC, but I was holding the DNC responsible for the sleigh of hand. Theoretically, when Clinton made the unprecedented move of allowing Sanders five representatives on the platform committee, it was to unify the party. Theoretically, when Clinton made the unprecedented move of allowing Sanders five representatives on the platform committee, support for progressive issues would be included in the platform. Yet, Clinton's and Wasserman-Schultz's representatives rejected every single recommendation by the Sanders people, including. but not limited to, anything that had to do with climate change. When Cornell West said, "Morally, I can't vote for this," I was with him.
Clearly, I was not the only one who had issues with the first platform. After it was made public, headlines on lefty news pages screamed, "Progressives Thrown Under the Bus!"and the DNC received 90,000 petitions demanding the inclusion of climate change. In the next remarkably contentious committee meeting, the Sander's people fought tooth and nail to get progressive issues into the platform. They didn't win much, but what they did win is notable; namely amendments that supported pricing greenhouse gases, prioritized renewable energy, and limited fracking. Prioritizing renewable energy is a first in America, so this is huge, and humanity is forever in Josh Fox's and Bill McKibben's debt.
The platform was immediately and proudly spun as the most progressive in history. Fast forward to the convention and I am watching Hillary's acceptance speech. "WE wrote the platform together," she said, "now let's get it done!" The crowd went wild, clapping and cheering and carrying on. "But, but, but," my brain sputtered, this wasn't a "we" thing. The only reason anything progressive was even in the platform was because of how hard the Sander's people fought. Hillary was taking all the credit for all the work the Sander's people did, when her representatives fought every one of their recommendations. The Clinton campaign stole ideas from the Sanders campaign throughout the entire primary season but this was so blatant my brain snapped.
Still, knowing everything I knew, I cried like a baby watching the convention, because I was so deeply moved. I cried as I witnessed the fervent hopes and dreams in the eyes of everyday people. I cried that there was finally a woman candidate for president in my lifetime. I cried when Michelle spoke, I cried when Chelsea introduced her mother. And afterwards as I got ready for bed I remember thinking, "Wow, if I didn't know anything about politics or the machinations of the political machine I'd be a believer." I'd been shamelessly manipulated and I knew it, but shameless manipulation is the point of conventions — rah, rah America! And after watching both conventions it was pretty damn clear that one America is white, and the other is a melting pot of every color and both the Republicans and Democrats are using the people to their benefit so the 1% can continue to do what it has always done. Make a lot of noise over here by setting the people against each other, so you can do what you want over there.
Bernie's unwavering focus on economics and the dire need for economic change had the 1% shaking in its shoes, which is why the the DNC rigged the election for Hillary, and liberal elite came out for Clinton as early as they did. I respect Bernie and I'm pretty fucking tired of people saying oh he folded, he gave into his overlords. Bullshit. Bernie knew exactly what he was doing. He stayed in the race as long as he did to to get progressive issues into the platform. That would be the platform that Hillary said we wrote together. That would be the platform that prioritized alternative energy. I think he was absolutely right to endorse Clinton, because there is no question that a Trump presidency would be the worse thing that could happen to this country. I thought Bernie's endorsement of Clinton at the convention was pure genius. Everything he said she stood for was something he stood for. He set her up brilliantly. Politics is a game of quid pro quo; Clinton not only owes Sanders, she owes Warren, big time.
I don't think Hillary is the anti-christ, and I never have. If you take the time to do the research, you will see that she has one of the better progressive track records in recent history. Yes, she's a politician, no worse than some and worse than others, playing the political game like all politicians do. Someone said to me, you're voting for her because she's the lesser of two evils. Maybe yes, maybe no, but I'd rather deal with the devil I know, and work for progressive control of the Senate and the House, than some crazy man incapable of rational dialogue or thought, who gets his kicks stalking a middle-aged-woman around the stage and spewing abuse. He reminds me a great deal of my ex-husband when we were going through our divorce some 30 years ago.
My ex-husband was more interested in destroying me than hammering out the details of the divorce that would keep our four-year-old son free and clear of as much hurt as possible. I got so caught up in protecting and defending myself against his lies and innuendo, I missed the facts; namely, I had certain legal rights that all the character assassination and horrific behavior in the world couldn't change. Hillary never lost her grasp of the facts, of the details, of the issues being discussed during the debate, in spite of the terrifying stalker behind her, huffing and puffing nasty asides and interruptions. She did not engage his abuse; rather she kept the focus on the debate and the issues, and my respect for her knew no bounds; as much as when she went to bat for Richard Holbrooke.
Trump is a mouthpiece for the enraged; those who see the world as black and white, don't understand what happened to the "American Way," and are quick to blame the "other," for what's wrong. Trump can't beat Clinton with rational, intelligent discourse, he doesn't have the mind for it or the temperament, so all he has left are the tools of the bully — stalking, character assassination, and snide asides. Sound bytes for the terrified, intent on terrorizing others to make themselves feel safe. Trump is accusing a sole woman of being responsible for every ill that plagues this country and the world. He and his followers and a goodly number of Sanders followers are blaming Hillary for the downward spiral that American has been locked into as global corporations have taken control over every aspect of our lives. In other words they are accusing her and holding her responsible for man's downfall from paradise. As if the rules God set up had nothing to do with it.
Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools. Katherine Manaan MAWT
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