Grading, grading, grading. . . .
Okay, that’s not the only reason for my silence. I’ve been thinking about a particular post and what I wanted to say and it all just got bigger and more complicated and more. . . ugh.
I don’t really need to write it—others are writing on the same topic—and, honestly, I’m probably not in the best frame of mind to write it.
It’s about the election, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Bernie Sanders.
(You get the “ugh” now, don’t you?)
I mean, I might at some point look particularly at the Trump campaign and what it did to burn through the Republican field and then to beat Clinton, but a big “Here’s the thing. . .” piece? Nope.
Why aren’t I in the best frame of mind to write it? Because I get really fucking angry even thinking about it, and anger and clarity do not mix well in my noggin.
It’s not even a reasonable ire at, say, the FBI and James Comey, or at the media—well, okay, a little bit at the media—but at the Berniesta dead-enders.
These folks are in no way the majority of Sanders supporters and, frankly, deserve no more attention that Jill Stein stans. But, goddammit, I keep running into them on Twitter and, yes, this means I should lay off Twitter but I kinda dig Twitter even though it drives me crazy so I won’t, and I keep getting pissed off.
God, even thinking about why these people piss me off is pissing me off.
Okay, lemme at this sideways. The particularities of the pissiness comes down to two, interrelated phenomena: the sanctification of the senator, and the bullshit illogic that the the only reason he lost to Clinton is that she cheated and the proof of this cheating is that Bernie lost.
That latter bit is bad sportsmanship, and I fuckin’ hate bad sportsmanship.
Yes, matches may be fixed and there is cheating in politics, but you have to bring, y’know, EVIDENCE of such cheating beyond an unhappy outcome.
And no, a party saying “you have to join the party in order to influence the party” is not evidence of cheating, nor is it unfair that long-standing Democratic politicians and activists would prefer, y’know, the long-standing Democratic candidate to the temporary-Democratic candidate.
Anyway, the bigger problem might be the former one: that Sanders is perfect and deserves no criticism, ever. Again, I don’t see this among most Sanders fans, but treating Sanders, or any politician, like some kind of savior is truly, madly, deeply wrong.
He’s a good and decent man, a good and decent senator who continues to pound on an issue which requires constant pounding: economic inequality. Good. Go Bernie!
But there are other issues, including ones related to that inequality, about which he doesn’t have much to say. That’s fine, really: no one can cover everything, and there are others who can air out those things. To mention this to Sanders-zombies, however, is to imply that He is Not Perfect, which is quite literally unbelievable. If Sanders must be right at all times and in all things, then any who disagrees or criticizes must be a heretic.
This is just shit politics. Like your politician. Love your politician. Volunteer for your politician—by all means. I really liked Obama, greatly admire him, and don’t think I will see a president as good as him in my lifetime. I think he is an exceptional man who failed well at an impossible job.
But there were things I didn’t like about his policies and questions I have about some of his decisions, and I am grateful for those good critics of his immigration, national security, and transparency policies in particular. And I think that some of the criticism he received regarding our carceral state helped to move him—alas, perhaps too late—toward some reform of our prison-industrial complex.
He was my president, and I was glad he was president. He wasn’t perfect, and didn’t expect to be treated as such, either.
I’m guessing that Bernie Sanders knows he’s not perfect and accepts that even those who quite like him might nonetheless wag a finger or two at him. Now, if only his worshipers could accept this as well.