This is me every time I hear another person vow they’ll either stay home or vote for someone other than Hillary on election day should Bernie Sanders not win the nomination:
These people are supposedly the real progressives, the ones who won’t be cowed and manipulated by the lamestream media into becoming mindless Hillarybots. The irony is that a huge chunk of those who swear they’ll never vote for Hillary are basing their opinion on ‘facts’ that have been manufactured or manipulated by the GOP for the past 25 years in an effort to eviscerate her and make people hate and distrust her, and they gleefully hoover it up and regurgitate it all over Facebook feeds and comment sections everywhere. All of this bullshit is pretty easily debunked within like five minutes of googling and a bit of independent thought, but it’s easier to just carry on insisting Hillary is an evil closet Republican (who I guess just votes the same way Bernie does 90% of the time in an effort to further pull the wool over our eyes) and repeating the same tired old rubbish the actual Republicans have been feeding us since the 1990s. I mean, wake up sheeple!
(And this is the point where you pause whilst the Bernie or Die camp calls you an obvious paid shill and an idiot who lacks the courage to join the revolution and instead just wants to maintain the status quo. Done? Great!)
But the real head-explodingness is this fucking stupid idea that if we let the Republican (which at this point is gonna be Trump) win and just wait four years, things will have gotten so bad that Americans will finally snap out of their mindless stupor and the revolution can begin in earnest. 2020 will be Socialistapalooza! We just have to sacrifice our fellow Americans, many of whom we may even know and love, to the gaping maw of the right-wing agenda for four years and allow our country to actually fall off the edge of that precipice its been teetering on for god knows how long, and once everyone is either bankrupt or dead from lack of health insurance or living in a Muslim ghetto with yellow crescents on their arms or being rounded up and sent back to Mexico to help build The Wall or bleeding to death from a botched abortion in a dodgy hotel room or cancelling their wedding because marriage equality no longer exists or living out their Snake Plisskin fantasies and attempting to escape New York, then we can start again from scratch!
I will admit that there is a small, dark, shrivelled-up little corner of meanness in my heart that thinks, ‘Yeah, OK, fine, let the bad guys win, you smug motherfuckers. Let’s see what happens in four years.’ And when the revolution doesn’t come, I can look all these dumbfounded assholes in the eye and tell them I was right. Great revolution, guys! Well done!
But this feeling is only fleeting; I don’t really want this to happen, not only because it would be the most Pyrrhic of victories, but also because I remember how I felt in 2004 after the re-election of George W Bush. I had expected to wake up on the Wednesday morning after Election Day to a better and more hopeful America. I was certain that Bush would lose. But instead I spent that morning crying and feeling hopeless and dejected, and my Republican-voting father poking his head into my room to rub it in didn’t make it any better, and all the righteous indignation I could muster didn’t change the fact that America, as far as I was concerned, was fucked.
One can argue that four years after that, we got Obama, and things got better. So sure, let’s have eight years of Trump horror instead of four! How far do we want to take this? How much misery do we want to force our friends, our loved ones, our neighbors to endure for the chance to start again at zero instead of at halfway there? How many lives do we want to gamble with for the sake of being right?
You might as well have voted for the Iraq war.