I had a gloomy conversation the other day. I was catching up with an old mentor from my high school and college years; someone I deeply respect and appreciate. However, you can probably guess where things went wrong. She asked me, since the presidential primary season was over, if I was on the bandwagon for Hillary. At first, I was a little shocked, because I figured she couldn’t think that someone like me would do that. But then, she revealed that she was an active and working HRC supporter, and then I just got sad.
What I realized over the conversation, and what she pointed out, was that I had changed since I left the stunted political climate of my home state. I’m from a “red” state, and I assume that HRC is almost universally considered “liberal” there. It must be extremely hard for real progressive movements to inform the people in places like my home state. But I don’t think my mentor was simply missing the info she needed to have a progressive candidate; I think people who used to be liberal, just don’t see or care about the biggest problems facing our future. You know- the wealth disparity, climate change, constant war, stuff like that.
How could she expect a staunch Bernie supporter to change into a neo-lib, just because the primary ended? I hoped she would indicate what convinced her to go to bat for HRC. From what I gathered, she felt a connection to Hillary due to a shared working background; the type of work where women were (and still are) subjected to consistent subliminal sexism. I can imagine that living in that world might make people feel closer to each other, like combat vets.
I guess it would be like me, telling someone that I want a third Obama term because I know how much it can suck to be a black dude in America. “Let’s be clear:” I would not vote for a 3rd Obama term; I voted for him in 2008 because I thought he was going to be progressive, then I voted for him in 2012 because I thought he learned his lesson after the mid-terms. I guess I hadn’t learned mine. This time, it’s just too obvious.
Anyway, let’s wrap up the unfortunate conversation. I told my respected mentor that I couldn’t support someone who is fine with constant war. When my mentor proceeded down the general route of “well, this is other people’s fault,” I knew it was over. So many people have given this pass to Hillary. As long as they can point a finger at Trump/Bush/Reagan/Bill, it is an excuse to ignore significant concerns with Hillary’s war philosophy. Coincidentally, HRC just started some program called “Together for America” with the purpose of building support with right-wingers, including war-hawks like John Negroponte. Surprise!
You don’t get to take some of it, but not all of it.
Now, I know that Hillary has the Trump card, which works extremely well for her. She doesn’t have to answer any hard questions; just wait for the next huge “mistake” by Trump to distract everyone from the truth. The HRC fans must continue the Trump distraction because there is not much else there to inspire pride or admiration. Showing off an endorsement from the supporter of Contra death squads? It’s a good thing Trump isn’t serious.
Plenty of people don’t really care about politics. Obviously, I think it’s important, and it saddens me that there is so little interest overall. What else could we expect, however, given our pathetic level of civics education for our students? But things are changing. Thank the spaghetti monster for the internet; it seems that every new wave of youth is better informed than the last. I hope that we can grow up as a civilization fast enough to save the future, because the lies we consume from the neo-conservative/liberal elite of our society will eventually leave us begging (and warring) for scraps.