The younglings continue to break for Sanders, while the olds continue to hope that we can finally please oh please could we just please get a woman in the White House already what more does she need to prove to you people.
And since I’m apparently peeved about getting older, as well as increasingly anti-capitalist as those years insist on speeding past, I keep wondering why I don’t side with the people who know how to use “fleek” on electing someone unafraid to call out the Rockafellers for their depredations upon our society. (Is it a noun? An adjective? Verb? Dependent on context?)
Why am I unmoved by this apparently viable candidate whose platform consists of free college, universal health care, and prioritized mitigation of income inequality? Who’s Jewish? Why am I not only unmoved, but downright hostile to him?
Who am I?
Well, for one, I’m a person who voted for the leftier choice in 2008, campaigned for him in 2012, and watched as his lefty goals were stomped on repeatedly, exhaustively, and vigorously, such that even though our president read Franz Fanon in college (!!!!), we still have drones killing civilians, a doggedly for-profit health care system, lethal superbugs super-evolving in a super-warming climate, constitutionalists violating the constitution out of gleeful hatred of the president, and an increasingly febrile conservative culture that has produced domestic terrorists who have killed people at their doctor’s office just an hour from where I live.
A candidate a few shakes to the left of Clinton won’t get much farther than Clinton would. A candidate a few shakes to the left of Clinton already got elected, and he couldn’t get even a teeny tiny public option tacked onto the big ol private industry love fest we know as health care reform.
Arguably, a candidate who labels himself a socialist would do even worse in this climate than a candidate who labels herself a woman.
Furthermore, millennial critiques of Clinton as being a Wall Street shill and foreign policy hawk omit a few things.
- She was a New York state senator after 9/11, helping support a key industry of her state after it was literally blown up by terrorists. We live in an era of global capitalism defined by the financial industry, HQd in Manhattan. She’s a politician. She courts donors. She especially courts donors who are holding up our global financialized economy. Could her politically strategic relationships with Goldman Sachs promote a more responsible, less bubble-dependent, less exploitative financial system? That may be too much to ask. Plus, see above about how I now, after years of thought, blame capitalism for most of our social ills. Nonetheless, I won’t criticize Clinton for doing the job New York State elected her to do.
- She was our chief diplomat for 4 years. She more than anyone knows the benefits and limitations of non-military levers. Avoiding war was her job. And she used that job, with no precedent in the State Department, to explicitly help women and girls all over the world.
- I agree that stemming income inequality would help women as well as men and women of color. I also believe that Clinton will work toward this as intensively as Sanders, even if she masks her efforts in more salable language. So why not choose the person with a better resume?
- The “we want a woman, just not this woman” young feminist argument hurts my feelings. On her behalf. I wield no logic on this one. Just the feelings of a don’t-call-me-middle-aged woman relating to a grandmother whose career I admire (with reservations, but still, I’m a Monday morning quarterback on most of it) and whose stunning accomplishments are persistently undermined by a sexist media denigrating her tone of voice, her self-presentation, her ambition. By opinionators finding endless fault in her doing her goddddddammmm job.
- We want a woman, just not this woman: Who else is in line? Nikki Haley? Beyoncé?
- How long do we have to wait?
- No, seriously, how long?