I’m not going to lie, the 2016 presidential election has been absolutely exhausting all around. When I hear people talking about the election, I try to tune them out. When someone asks me what I think about it, I do my best to tell them I really don’t feel like talking about it. This whole process has been totally ridiculous.
I’m not just talking about what I’m seeing on the Republican side of things, I’m also talking about the on-going, bitter feud between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters.
We’ve reached a point where I really won’t be shocked if Republicans win this November. An election I thought was going to be a slam-dunk has turned into an event where many on the left seem to be going out of their way to screw things up. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Progressives, liberals and Democrats bickering between the two candidates as if they’re really all that different.
I hate to break it to both camps, but there’s not nearly as much of a difference (voted on the same side of the issues 93 percent of the time) between Clinton and Sanders as some of their supporters might think. Though I can see why some think that there is. Like never before, people have wrapped themselves up inside their “bubbles” of pro-candidate bias where they’re inundating themselves with nothing but “your candidate is amazing while his/her opponent is awful” information.
But when you get right down to it, Democrats are in the envious position of having two solid candidates heading toward the party’s nomination. Good Lord, look at what Republicans have to choose from. Two candidates who the party doesn’t even want winning the nomination, who are both pushing the GOP to the brink of total collapse. Two men who’ve built campaigns by pandering to hate, bigotry and ignorance.
Yet quite a few on the left are whining and bickering over the relatively small difference between two candidates who both want to:
- Raise the minimum wage.
- Protect gay rights.
- Expand our current health care system.
- Protect Social Security.
- Make college more affordable.
- Protect women’s rights.
- Raise taxes on the rich.
- Expand efforts to combat climate change.
- Pass immigration reform.
It’s so completely and utterly stupid.
I hate to break it to both sets of supporters, but politics isn’t a sporting event. Despite what anyone might think about their particular candidate, they’re all flawed people at some level who often lie and distort the truth to push a narrative.
It’s exhausting watching this foolishness play out. Here we are, barreling toward one of the most important elections in many of our lifetimes, where literally millions of Americans face an uncertain future if Republicans win, and many on the left are selfishly bickering over silly nonsense.
For months I’ve been saying and encouraging everyone to #VoteBlueNoMatterWho. For me, this election isn’t about changing everything as much as it is about setting up the future and protecting everything we’ve accomplished up until this point. It’s about ensuring that the millions who’ve gained access to health care don’t lose it while we work to improve it. It’s about protecting all the advancements we’ve made on gay rights and climate change. It’s about keeping a Republican from potentially turning the Supreme Court into an ultra-conservative arm of the GOP for the next 20-30 years.
This election is about protecting women, minorities, immigrants and the voting rights for all those people the GOP desperately seeks to disenfranchise.
And while I know neither Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders are perfect, and they might not even be able to accomplish a whole lot as president (not unless we give them the Congress to do something), I know damn sure that either individual – on their worst day – is one million times better than any person Republicans would elect to the White House.
But if some on the left don’t grow up and learn our lesson from 2000 when many liberals stayed home (or voted for Nader), we’re going to repeat that exact same nightmare that was the George W. Bush administration. A disaster that, nearly eight years later, we’re still recovering from. Only this time, under a “President Trump or Cruz,” I’m really not sure if this country will ever be able to recover from the unimaginable damage that either individual will almost certainly inflict upon us.
As Bill Maher (a Bernie Sanders supporter) recently said, these petty “my candidate or bust” people are going to be the “death of liberals.”
I think he’s absolutely right. If this keeps up, it might very well be the death of liberals and liberal ideology in our national discourse.
As for me, I’m going to do what I’ve said I was going to do from the start, vote blue to protect everything liberals have spent decades fighting for. I know that a flawed Democrat is a hell of a lot better than anyone Republicans will nominate this July. And if the GOP does manage to win this November, when history looks back upon this election (one that liberals should have easily won – such as in 2000), I won’t be part of that group of people who helped give Republicans the power they needed to destroy this country for generations.