Friday, August 14, 2015

Our apparent insufferability when it comes to Sanders/Corbyn


It starts with: I genuinely dislike being mocked for a political position that is considered and, in my estimation, more that simply not without merit, but righteous. (Virtuous? Correct? The best available under the circumstances?)
(Not that I'm enraged, I just happened to see that conversation and thought Woolf's passage dovetailed with my dilemma.)

Then, I keep bumping into tweets from clever people, whose opinions I respect, mocking liberals (esp. white liberals) for being enthusiastic about Sanders. (Corbyn, if  they're talking about Labour instead Democrats.)
So, having the natural desire not to be considered a boob, I re-interrogate my support and advocacy of Sanders and continue to find it reasonable on the following grounds:
  • His progressive positions on matters of domestic and foreign policy are evident, long-held, and objectively better than those of his Democratic competitors.
  • Likewise, his positions on social and racial justice. Starting from our most vulnerable, underserved, impoverished, and disadvantaged citizens, and working from that population with the greatest need to encompass the working poor, to what's left of the working and middle classes, to the well-off, his policies give us the best shot of addressing our greatest needs as a society and promoting the general welfare. In my judgment, however we identify and align with any group having endured ongoing discrimination, whether as  minorities, women, undocumented workers, LGBT, prisoners, what have you, there's no candidate among the major or mid-major (so here I'll put the Greens & Libertarians, if you want to count the Constitution Party, um, feel free, I guess) parties that could reasonably be expected to work in the context of our current political framework to accomplish some degree of their platform. If you want to make a case for Dr. Jill Stein, I'm listening. Before Sanders entered the race, that was the way I was leaning. But Sanders has, I think all of Stein's positives, and has practical experience that makes him a more viable candidate.  
  • I find no evidence he's compromising his principles to pursue higher office. Rather, he's making a strong case for this principles and helping them enter the mainstream, or at least the idea of them not being considered hopelessly outside mainstream thinking forever.
  • He's a political professional who could reasonably be expected to be effective in, not overwhelmed by, the office he's running for. 
Entirely supportive of #BlackLivesMatter, and not at all bothered by protestors disrupting a Sanders campaign event, I agree whole-heartedly that the movement has legitimate concerns which they are appropriately insisting be heard and addressed. If you want to say, "Sanders needs to do more to address our concerns," I'm with you. I understand the Secret Service isn't going to let you do the same to Hillary, and that GOP candidates probably aren't even going to let you in the door. 

In that vein, I also agree with those who say, "Look, nobody is doing more in the context of running for office than Sanders." That doesn't mean we don't continue to hold his feet to the fire, but it does mean ... and this is where I get trepidatious, but am going to shoot my white liberal mouth off anyways ... eventually all y'all who think Bernie and his supporters are not doing enough are going to need to put up or shut up. *ducks*

What I mean by that is: we're in the nascent stages of the 2016 election season, and protest without platform, without a candidate, is not a demerit. Not yet. Eventually though, we're going to have names on ballots from which to choose our next President. If Sanders isn't your candidate, and you want change, you'd better have one. (Is this it? Is this presentiment, and the way it informs my attitudes now, the root of my insufferability?) Yes, be against all bad policy all the time. But there's going to be a new President, and knee-capping the best hope for society moving forward, is going to become counter-productive for all of us. It's not yet. And I'm not saying "shut up," now. I hope I never do. That hope though depends on there being action beyond protest at some point in the not-too-distant future.

But, I've drifted. This was supposed to be about me, dammit!, and trying to figure out what I'm missing, what the valid point about is that makes supporting Bernie Sanders now a mockable offense. Me, I'm not mocking anyone because they don't support Sanders. I'm not mocking Hillary supporters, or the idea of supporting Hillary. I'm not mocking supporters of Jill Stein -- heck, I may find myself casting that vote. (I am mocking supporters of all the GOP candidates though, because that crowd, holy fuck, what a bunch of malevolent clown shoes.)

My position is this: it's possible to support both #BlackLivesMatter and #FeelTheBern, and to do so even when factions of the two camps butt heads. If I'm suffering from Ageing, White Lefty Dude Hippie Stink, or something, I want to know. (And I want to not!)

But, apparently, you're going to have to explain it to me like I'm five. Because I don't get it.

I'm listening though. We're months away from me telling anyone (who doesn't plan to vote Republican, Libertarian, or Constitution) to shut up. Maybe though, this discomfort is just something there's no answer for? By virtue of who I am, and what I think about policy, and how intend to vote, and how I advocate ... do I just need to get over myself and let the gibes roll off? That's not so hard, I guess. In the end, we all carry a sign that says something when we march, and we all march into a voting booth at some point, and what we do behind the curtain is only one of many steps.

Just don't expect me to take being kidded without giving it back. You feel me?



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