Why I’m not voting for Bernie in the primary.

Before i go into this, I want to say that this vote is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Not just the hardest vote I am going to cast. One of the hardest things i’ve had to decide to do as an adult. I am gravely aware of Clinton’s role in financial systems, her role in Libya, the synthetic dynamics of her slow evolution in gay rights, and the damage her and her husband’s policies and belief systems did to black america. Another thing I want to say is that-in a sense and by coming out as a Hillary voter in the post of this article-I broke my own rule in regards to inserting myself into interpersonal conflicts in gender. Women are catching hell for being for Bernie or against him for any principled reason, and I don’t want to add stress to anyone conscious decision in any way.

Also, the idea of a transformative, revolutionary candidate who rhetoric speaks to the best of us has a tremendous power for me. The idea of a of upending the political system to make democracy something new and more humane is something that has a tremendous power for me. But to enact a political revolution, you will need a local and national political base that will move to your like minded political will. Given the political reality of the gerrymandered field, you will need to extend a tremendous amount of outreach and support to democratic candidates. You will need to give them the capital in order for them to run the campaigns to take the political risks with you and reach the voting bases to re-affix the political map.
To this moment, Bernie Sanders hasn’t raised a fucking dime for a single democratic candidate in the united states. http://www.politico.com/story/2016/01/clinton-sanders-party-fundraising-217293 Not for a senator. Not for an alderman. Not for a city councilman in Nashua. Not a million. Not a hundred. Not a ATM food stamp card. Not a single. Fucking. Dime. This isn’t running a democratic campaign. This is running a stunt. And yes, many of you don’t want to hear about George Mcgovern. Many of you will point out that Democratic Labor and the establishment kneecapped Mcgovern and didn’t give him a chance in 1972; and that Sanders has a stellar labor record. So did Mcgovern, however. And the systems that broke him are even more menacing than they were in 1972; which is why you need a political machinery foundation behind you to make your case; you need people to be for you by showing you will be for them, you need people to fight with you because you will make that revolution palpable to them in ways besides a speech.
And Sanders hasn’t show that much interest in doing that. Bernie can talk about wanting the scared, middle america trump vote in speeches, but he has barely lifted a finger to try to get said voter in his action. And to be honest, the majority of Sanders voters that I have seen haven’t showed that much interest in doing said actions either, or really trying to reach out to the Obama coalition. No, i’m not just talking about the first few months of the Sanders campaign when the candidate was unable to talk about race for more than five minutes without shutting the conversation down or resorting to white left boilerplate rhetoric about how class trumps all. I’m not even talking about when the BLM activists interrupted his meeting in the park, and how the trauma and pain of…. two black women interrupting his meeting in the park caused masses of “radical liberal progressives” to veer their racial rhetoric to the right of Donald trump. ( To be honest, I’m as mad at BLM as much as I am at Bernie bros right now)
No, I’m talking about Bernie Sanders outreach to the black american voting bloc being….a rapper with a problematic history with black women and a deeply divisive scholar who has a history of resorting to racial slurs in regards to Obama. YES, I UNDERSTAND KILLER MIKE AND HIS POLITICAL ART IN THE BROADER CONTEXT TO HIS BRO BULLSHIT AND THAT HE HAS SOMEWHAT LESS BRO BULLSHIT THAN THE GARDEN VARIETY POP RAPPER. But A: hip hop hasn’t had majority black buying base since I was in middle school and B: Jesus christ, the majority white audience that buy hip hop records and the black democratic voting block (that skews overwhelmingly female )are two different things. And the way they talk to that base is to have somebody with a that a formidable history of locker room bullshit be one of their head spokesmen. I don’t know if Bernie supporters are still butthurt about the sisters interrupting the rally, but Jesus Fucking Christ, their are millions of black women in the dem voting block and they have to matter more than that.

 

And nothing says “ I am a white person who hasn’t spent that much time paying attention to black studies in the last fifteen years” then someone who name checks Cornel West’s support for Bernie, or name checks West for damm near anything now https://newrepublic.com/article/121550/cornel-wests-rise-fall-our-most-exciting-black-scholar-ghost. And who in their rabid ass mind looks at someone who resorts to such racial firebombing as “ Obama fears free black men because he was raised in a white household” and thinks, “yeah, he can get us the black vote” Are only pure bred black people allowed to “ feel the bern”.

(And also, PLEASE, LORD, I HOPE none of you tell me about how those month of Sundays he spent as a civil rights volunteer and those two times he voted for Jesse are examples of his racial saint hood. This has been hard for a lot of white people to understand, but allyship is an ongoing, complex, life long thing; not something you can achieve with the checklist of acts; and Sanders played into so many African american’s worst nightmares about white people by waving those acts he did as a young man in front of the faces of anyone who questioned him about race as if he had the champion checklist and can never never never be questioned on the subject again._

(And yes his pivot this fall-his attempts to talk to/about black people for more than five minutes- is pleasant. But I thought this election wasn’t about pivots? I thought i was supposed to chalk it up to the M. O of a soulless politician every time a candidate changes their mind about something. Lord knows, I’m never supposed to say that Hillary has evolved as a person. And given that Bernie could barely spend five minutes talking about race before the altercation at the park, and realized that he had at least talk to black people to get the black vote; what in the world would make me believe he won’t go back to being mister “all lives matter” again if he gets the nomination?)

And for all that, people can say “ you know Robert, everything you say  is true, but i’m just as scared of Hillary’s negatives and how they have the potential to damage this country home an an abroad”. And they would be right. I feel a tremendous trepidation with my vote. I know I am voting for a tenuous ideal-Clinton the modern, evolved politician who can be brilliant at the nuts and bolts business of government-as much as Sanders voters are voting for the man who embodies such ideals in his speeches. I have open daymares about a future president Clinton kneecapping human rights for political expediency in a republican congress, and wonder what the hell am I doing. I’m not voting out of fear. I’m voting out of terror.

And there is a sizeable part of me that would like to be wrong. There is a part of me that wants Sanders to be the most transformative candidate in the history of this nation, so revolutionary he won’t have to do the basic things a candidate needs to do to win a campaign, and win on sweep of his message alone. There is a part of me that wants Sanders to be the person who is advocating for women’s rights and civil rights and not the smug epitome of phony white liberalism he was before August. If he gets the nomination. I’ll vote for him with the kernel of hope that he might be who he say he is. If the Sanders revolution happens, I’ll be the first to write I was wrong, and I will open the floor for people to expand on why

But in order for him to get this, he has work to do, and you are for him, you have work to do too. In order for this dream revolution to happen, you are going to have to persuade a voting block to vote for him that hasn’t voted before. That means you are going to have to convince a whole bunch of people who don’t want to vote for Sanders to do so. Which means you are going to have to lay out arguments that are a little more detailed. You are going to have to lay out financial plans that have a little more teeth and battle plans to get them enacted; and without a scintilla of outreach to any democratic pol to help you do this, I don’t know how in the world his revolution is going to happen.

But I know how you won’t do it. You can’t splatter middle america with memes saying vote for Bernie or you’ll slap em. You can’t troll Middle American Women who say they are more comfortable with Cruz than Sanders by saying that Bernie is a better feminist than them. If you don’t think he needs to do more, If you think that you don’t have to make an argument to the populace outside your bubble, if you think you don’t have to lay out plans to appeal to demographics outside of radical social media spheres, and if so many of you think can just shout down middle america the way you so many of you shout down every non white man who doesn’t think Sanders is Gandhi, you got something coming. If Sanders doesn’t show me or his skeptics a political wherewithal other than the late Tolstoyan esthethicsm that is his wont, and if Sanders stans treat a general election like the sheltered shit show that their social media feeds often are; then we’re gonna have a defeat that makes Mcgovern’s campaign seem like a win in comparison.

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