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The politics of narcissism con’t



Salon decided it would be a good idea to run this piece by Walker Bragman:

I am a 27-year-old, politically active, progressive millennial voter. I am a political junkie; my background is political science and American history. However, if Hillary Clinton gets the nomination (a big “if”), I will likely not vote for her, and will instead write in “Bernie Sanders” … and I encourage my readers to do so as well.

I never thought I would be encouraging people to not vote for the Democratic nominee for president. Looking at 2012, history illustrates that the only way to change politics is through primary elections: If you want change, vote for the party aligned most closely to that change, and participate in primaries, but when it comes to the general, select the “lesser of two evils.”

OK, so why . . . ?

Debbie Wasserman Schultz has disappointed me as a young, active Democrat.

Look, “kid” — btw Keats had been dead for three years by your age — Debbie Wasserman Schultz disappoints people every day. In fact, that’s pretty much her day job: disappointing people. Being personally disappointed by Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not a good reason for handing the 2015 version of the Republican party effective control of the entire federal government of the United States. Please read that last sentence again, and if doing so doesn’t cause you to reconsider, you’ll, as Michael Corleone once said, disappoint me.

Anyway, what exactly is so awful about HRC that you’re going to go all Nadar Nader, while employing a pretty good-sized media platform to encourage your readership to do so as well? I mean you were 12 years old in 2000, so even for a young, active Democrat, the 2000 fiasco isn’t something you have to google or anything. I was 12 during Watergate, and I remember that just fine. (And we didn’t even have Google in those days. If something happened so long ago in the past that you couldn’t remember it, you had to find a book to read about it, or you would never learn anything, and would end up saying things like “Richard Nixon was more liberal than Barack Obama.” And we liked it that way!)

The DNC’s leadership has seemingly aligned itself with Hillary Clinton, someone who, in my opinion, is an unqualified candidate for the following reasons:

1) Hillary’s personality repels me (and many others).

So the #1 qualification for a presidential candidate on your list is that you like her personality? Turn off your political Tinder app — you’re not going on a date with her.

OK to be fair you then move on to a bunch of substantive reasons why you prefer Sanders to Clinton. But what’s the relevance of any of that to the question of what to do, individually and collectively (after all you’re publishing this piece, not just casting a lonely protest write-in vote), in the general? Your answer seems to be, because electing HRC now would make it harder to elect Bernie or Elizabeth Warren in some extremely hypothetical future. Also, those contradictions won’t heighten themselves:

From a political science perspective, I see American politics through the lens of realignment cycles. We Democrats have a limited time to get done what we want to get done, which is why I would rather lose this election cycle due to low turnout than waste four years. . .

The 2020-2024 election cycles are far more important than 2016. Both the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court of the United States will be up for grabs. I worry that Hillary in 2020 will be an even harder sell than she is now, given the direction the electorate is shifting. The fact is, Hillary is not a progressive. She’s barely even a liberal.

This is the “tanking the season before it even starts just to get the #1 draft pick” theory of politics. Except the result isn’t a bad win-loss record, it’s massive amounts avoidable suffering for tens of millions of your fellow Americans. And that’s the best-case scenario in a President Rubio administration. How about life under President Cruz? Or President For Life Trump?

I realize this article is click-bait, and that Salon (who I write for quite often, and which actually pays its writers) “needs” to run it, sort of, in the same sense that it “needs” to keep giving Camille Paglia a platform to continue to wreak havoc on American culture and the English language. But still.

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