I realize that Hillary Clinton’s supporters have their thumbs in their ears and are singing la-la-la to themselves as loud as they can.
But consider this: If you don’t like Donald Trump, then you shouldn’t like the policies that led to his rise.
This has been said before, but it wasn’t until I responded to an Existential Comics discussion, in which someone attempted to defend moderation, that I realized it: So-called ‘third way’ policies, embraced by Democrats following the McGovern and Mondale defeats in 1972 and 1984 respectively, which embraced neoliberalism and neoconservatism, have led to a condition of despair for a substantial segment of the U.S. population.
Including me. Just as I reject praise for Barack Obama, who so infamously responded to persistent unemployment in November, 2009, by saying “[w]e all know that there are limits to what government can and should do, even during such difficult times,” and then uttered platitude after platitude while doing absolutely nothing meaningful to aid and, in some cases, pursuing policies to harm people facing long-term unemployment and people who were underwater in their mortgages, I reject the notion that more of the same–which is what Hillary Clinton is most likely going to actually do–will improve matters.
Hillary Clinton enthusiastically embraced, until well after it was politically inconvenient to do so, these ‘third way’ policies–neoconservative to all but those who imagine a ‘liberal interventionist’ distinction (which they never explain) and neoliberal because neoliberalism is a neoconservative moral imperative–that lend authoritarian populists the power they have today.
But it’s worse even than that. Because if you want progress, you have to know that even if she wins, Hillary Clinton will never be accepted as legitimate by many Republicans. We will have, very likely, eight more years of the very obstruction that you so often use to excuse Obama’s dismal performance. Because even the most optimistic observers (apart from the likes of Nancy Pelosi) forecast continued Republican control of the House of Representatives and that Democrats will fall short of a supermajority in the Senate.
Even if Clinton were not beholden to corporate interests and especially Wall Street, even if she weren’t so willing to tell people what they want to hear, even if you could trust a word that comes out of her mouth, even if she didn’t embody the status quo in all its nauseating criminality, she would not be able to accomplish what you, having drunk the kool-aid, so enthusiastically expect her to do.
And those of you who think you can hold her to account should consider the negligible (but for an increasingly militarized police) outcome of every social uprising since the Seattle World Trade Organization demonstrations.
In this election, where we so vividly see the outcome of accepting the lesser of two evils, election cycle after election cycle after election cycle, in which we are now presented with two profoundly evil major party candidates, there is in fact no better time to reject two-party hegemony.
Because we all, all of us on the left and right alike, deserve better.
Devlin Barrett and Pervaiz Shallwani, “N.Y. Bomb Suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami Captured; No Others Being Sought,” Wall Street Journal, September 19, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/police-seek-man-in-new-york-bombing-probe-1474286549
Max Blau, Chandrika Narayan, and Steve Visser, “Suspect was acting strangely before Minnesota mall attack, sources say,” CNN, September 19, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/19/us/minnesota-mall-stabbing/index.html
Barbara Demick, Vera Haller, and Brian Bennett, “Suspected terrorist attacks in New York, New Jersey and Minnesota stir political debate,” Los Angeles Times, September 18, 2016, http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-new-york-bomb-20160918-snap-story.html