The idea held by some in Liberal and Progressive circles that voting for Hillary, despite her glaring distaste for democratic ideals and blatant corporate support, because she would at least be a better President than Donald Trump, completely misses the point movements like Bernie or Bust and Never Hillary or folks like Green Party Candidate Jill Stein or Socialist Councilwoman of Seattle Kshama Sawant, who have called on Sanders to run outside the Democratic Party are trying to make. It’s not a matter of “Bernie VS Hillary” or “Our Candidate is better than yours and therefore must win”. All who stand against Hillary Clinton from a Left Wing perspective are not doing it out of vanity or some Cult of Personality that has been built up around Sanders. We are doing it in the name of democracy itself.
Do you so-called Progressives voting for Hillary, supposedly with reluctance, really think all the Anti-Clintons are simply interested in self-aggrandizement? We are fully aware that a Trump presidency would result in chaos for various reason. If the “lesser of two evils” conception has any validity at all, obviously Trump is the more evil of the two. But if you give this notion of having to choose one evil or another and then doing your best as a citizen under one or another validity in the first place, you have already removed yourself from anyone’s political revolution.
Trump’s legitimacy as a presidential candidate exists because President Obama defaulted on his promises of Hope and Change. He embraced and enacted policies which threw the large segments of the working class already brainwashed by the inane rhetoric of the Republican Party and the Religious Right into an even larger void of despair. Obamacare was Romneycare. Social security policy, until very recently and due to the push of political revolution, was to cut benefits yet again. The NSA was given carte blanche to collect everything on everyone. Drone strikes which miss their intended target 80 percent of the time continue to do harm to the Middle East. Libya was annihilated. The Trans Pacific Partnership was spearheaded.
Would you call all of this happening yet again, only with a white woman rather than a black man, justifying it all to the public and giving a handful of Liberal concessions that do nothing to halt a slide into further corporate totalitarianism, “Progressive”? Clinton’s Presidency would sin against the Nation she claims to want make Progressive far more than Obama’s. Who would the Trump be then? When does the “Lesser of two evils” argument stop being a justification for inaction? When David Duke is the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee? When the Koch Brothers start funding Democratic candidates campaigns?
Political revolution is not Sanders creation just because it is his position. It was a motion within the people which already existed. Revolution is a wave that rolls in once the waters of history are propelled by force of the People. The current revolutionary wave in the United States is not the result of Sanders, Sanders is merely surfing upon it. And a wave does not roll back and break because a surfer falls off his board.
As Sanders himself said, his campaign isn’t about the simple ecstasy the oppressed classes might feel by having someone who speaks on their behalf in the White House for the first time in several decades. It was to help distill those feelings of anti-establishment indignation which raged directionless into a movement to change the system, to inspire to mobilization and organization those who had decided to wallow in the apathy and cynicism which permeate our era. The People chose Bernie Sanders to represent them, Bernie Sanders did not choose the people to fulfill an agenda. Though Sanders has stoked the Progressive movement he does not own the Progressive movement. And neither will Hillary Clinton.
Vote for who you like in the general election, or don’t vote at all. At this point voting for a Commader in Chief has yet again become meaningless. That’s just fine. Because the time for casting ballots is over. Now is the time to vote with our voices, our feet, and our action. Now is the time to go beyond a simple campaign and an individual orator, and take matters fully into our own hands. Allowing “party unity” among the Democrats is allowing the Progressive elements of the Democratic Party to be negated by its corrupt leaders.
Allowing the Democrats to tell grassroots democratic movements not to perpetuate their acts of civil disobedience and instead pledge their allegiance to Clinton, a war criminal, a former (and future) advocate of fracking, a former enemy of LGBT rights, a woman who referred to the impoverished blacks who were the primary victims of her husbands “War on Crime” in the 90s as “superpredators”, who faces an indictment from an ongoing FBI investigation, and who is by any measure a bloodthirsty tyrant when it comes to foreign policy and continuing America’s endless wars and imperialist attitudes, is by no means “Progressive.”
If at this stage we begin to encourage passivity, we have squandered a grand opportunity. If we return to a vague faith in and indifference towards political authorities who are elected by the 1 percent, who collaborate with terrorist states abroad, who have no problem whatsoever being complicit in the military interventions which have for the last two or three decades stoked hatred for the United States in other countries around the world, there will be no progress and in the future there will very likely be no Progressives. The battle now has to be waged in Congress and in the streets. No more talk of giving up simply because one or another President is spewing the State of the Union address to reassure us all that nothing is wrong.