not in our stars, but in ourselves
Please caucus for Bernie Sanders today. Please send the first strong signal – beyond all the noisome polls and trending topics and talking heads – that Bernie is the best chance we have for meaningful change to our badly broken political system. I hope it goes without saying, but none of the Republican hopefuls will do anything to help anyone who earns under $250,000 per year (and that’s putting the estimate pretty low, really). But I also think it goes without saying that Hillary Clinton, who’s as establishment as establishment can be, will also fail to make positive, meaningful change if she wins the nomination and/or the presidency. Some of the links below may be repeats, but have a look at them all again anyway:
– Amber A’Lee Frost for The Baffler, “My Kind of Misogyny“: “A bevy of feminist [ed. note: I would have put feminist in scare quotes there, but oh well] bigwigs—who all seem to support Clinton, coincidentally—have been alerting their readership to the figure of the ‘Bernie Bro,’ the supposedly sexist, white, and male Sanders fan who is polluting his campaign with unrestrained hatred of women. While sightings of the species are remarkably rare (even in this age of screengrabs), the feminist pundit class insists that Bernie Bros are everywhere. Amanda Marcotte doesn’t give us much detail on the ‘he-man woman-haters club’ she says Bernie has attracted, but she does allude to Reddit. Which sounds believable enough: dig through the garbage, and you’ll probably find some trash, right? Unfortunately, I don’t think you could find a sexism-free corner of Reddit, or of any political orientation, for that matter; it’s a sexist world out there, and it’s not as if Hillary’s supporters have never exhibited explicit animosity toward a woman in politics.”
– Lucia Graves for The Guardian, “Sanders Outshone Clinton on foreign policy at the debate. But who watched?“: “According to Sanders, Clinton is an interventionist who would have Americans charging into entanglements overseas without enough consideration for what comes next. It’s that very approach, he says, that, when Clinton was Secretary of State, drew the country into a quagmire in Libya; and it’s the same approach, he contends, that currently has the US facing a similar situation in Syria.”
– Liza Featherstone for The Nation, “Why This Socialist Feminist Is Not Voting For Hillary“: “Clinton was honest about how deeply at odds with any democratic-socialist movement she is. ‘We’re not Denmark,’ she said, praising the ‘opportunity’ and ‘freedom’ of American capitalism. With this bit of frankness, Clinton helpfully explained why no socialist—indeed, no non-millionaire—should support her. She is smart enough to know that women in the United States endure far more poverty, unemployment, and food insecurity than women in Denmark—yet she shamelessly made clear that she was happy to keep it that way.”
– Betsy Woodruff for The Daily Beast, “Hillary: Deport Kids. Just Not Too Many“: “Her new anti-raid position is a sharp departure from her past stances on the issue. In fact, as recently as 2014, she expressed support for sending undocumented children who crossed the Mexican border back to their home countries. […] ‘Which unaccompanied child refugee isn’t deserving of protection?’ said Matthew Kolken, an immigration attorney who represents immigrant children. ‘How are they going to deport them? They’re going to have to deport them by going into their homes to physically take them, which is a raid.'”
– The Editors of The Nation, “Bernie Sanders for President“: “Sanders’s approach is different and better. The senator hasn’t talked as much as we would like about global challenges and opportunities, and we urge him to focus more on foreign policy. But what he has said (and done) inspires confidence. An opponent of the Iraq War from the start, he criticizes the notion of ‘regime change’ and the presumption that America alone must police the world. He rejects a new Cold War with Russia. He supports the nuclear-weapons agreement with Iran, and he would devote new energy to dismantling nuclear arsenals and pursuing nonproliferation. He has long been an advocate for normalizing relations with Cuba and for reviving a good-neighbor policy in the hemisphere. Sanders’s foreign policy would also create conditions for rebuilding a broadly shared prosperity at home. He would lead an international effort to end the crippling austerity that threatens to create another global recession, and he would champion a green New Deal to combat climate change. And as a leader of the opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, he would undo the corporate-defined trade regime that has devastated America’s middle class.”
– Roqayah Chamseddine on her own blog, “Rejecting Bourgeois Feminism“: “Their works in defense of Clinton hinge on emotion and a prospective future that has no basis in reality, especially when one examines her history as Secretary of State. Their arguments are bolstered by superficial social justice performances and liberal neologisms, wherein policy is simply an aside rather than the very heart of the matter. When faced with policy issues their critics are often told that Clinton is ‘problematic’, that she ‘has some issues’, or something similar. They refuse to engage with material concerns, reject internationalism almost outright, and rummage through a laundry list of accusations against ‘Berniebros’ even when vocal detractors are women. Setting up the Berniebro straw-man has become their knee-jerk response to any critique, no matter how tempered and thorough—if they can’t formulate any kind of refutation they fall back on a ritual: ignore critics and tweet something against ‘bros’ to thousands of followers who will laugh and throw forward some support.”
– Corey Robinson for Jacobin, “Bile, Bullshit, and Bernie“: “Back in 1985, that old dinosaur of a socialist Bernie Sanders was signing a Gay Pride Day Proclamation on the grounds that gay rights were civil rights. Back in the 1990s, while the Clintons were supporting DOMA and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, that old dinosaur of a socialist helped lead the opposition to both policies on the grounds that they were anti-gay. And throughout his career in the Senate, Sanders got consistently higher ratings from civil rights organizations than Clinton did while she was a senator. The only thing this whole episode is a reminder of is how poorly journalists do their job. Speaking of the establishment, Clinton is now claiming that it’s Sanders who’s the establishment, while she is, I don’t know what.”
– And lest you still believe in the Bernie Bros strawman, here’s Glenn Greenwald for The Intercept, “The ‘Bernie Bros’ Narrative: a Cheap Campaign Tactic Masquerading as Journalism and Social Activism“: “There are literally millions of women who support Sanders over Clinton. A new Iowa poll yesterday shows Sanders with a 15-point lead over Clinton among women under 45, while one-third of Iowa women over 45 support him. A USA Today/Rock the Vote poll from two weeks ago found Sanders nationally ‘with a 19-point lead over front-runner Hillary Clinton, 50 percent to 31 percent, among Democratic and independent women ages 18 to 34.’ One has to be willing to belittle the views and erase the existence of a huge number of American women to wield this ‘Bernie Bro’ smear.”
Look. You can vote for whomever you like. If you persist in thinking that Bernie has some kind of tin ear when it comes to women’s rights, gay rights, civil rights, economic injustice, foreign policy, etc., etc., etc., then go right ahead and contribute to the status quo by voting for HRC or one of the more clearly labeled right-wing candidates. If you’re still undecided between the two, take this handy test to find out with whose policies you tend to agree (and note well that Bernie’s policies have remained pretty consistent throughout his long political career, while Hillary has pretended to veer left during this campaign – thanks to the groundswell of support for Bernie’s policies).
Please don’t be fooled into thinking that, just because Hillary is a woman, she’s a suitable feminist candidate. Margaret Thatcher was also a woman, but she didn’t exactly do much to help the women of England. Watch Bernie talk about his campaign, and watch Hillary talk about hers. Bernie refers constantly to his policies, his principles, his partners. “Not me, us,” he insists. Hillary refers most often to wanting to be president. Granted, you need to have a certain amount of passion and dedication to want one of the more difficult jobs in the world – but I don’t see any of that passion or dedication as being directed towards improving the United States of America. I see it as being fueled by ego – and if you think that’s some sort of gendered criticism, you can literally shit in your hands and clap. No one is a more furious feminist than I am, and nearly every policy Bernie proposes, nearly every principle he espouses, will improve life for millions of women in this country and beyond. You cannot say the same for an unabashedly capitalistic war hawk.
In short: feel the Bern. If the above doesn’t convince you of who’d be better in November, maybe this will:
No lies detected.