By: Kevin Hassett
First things first, we need to make sure Bernie beats Hillary, so register by October 9th you stoner twenty-something New Yorkers. It may seem like nobody likes Hillary, but that’s because you live in a bubble. She is riding a crushing wave of inevitability. She’s famous, and before Obama was even re-elected it was generally agreed upon that she would be the next president. The first black guy, then the first female guy. Everybody knew that’s how it was going to go, and everyone knows Hillary Clinton. No one knows anything she’s accomplished, but everyone knows she exists and is moving up the ladder, and has been for quite a while. She’s gotta be some sort of senator or house representative for people to make her president, right? She’s probably representing New York. Maybe Connecticut. Pretty sure it’s not California, but you can never be certain. Oh wait no, she was the Secretary of Defense when that guy was killed in that embassy in Benghazi. She might still be that.
Hillary has been weaseling her way up the political ladder, pretending to agree with whatever is popular at the time to further her career under the guise of evolving ideologically. She evades questions questioning her motives almost as deftly as Donald Rumsfeld, the Lizard King himself; When asked a simple and repeated question of whether she hid her pro-marriage equality beliefs due to the political climate or she was actually morally against marriage equality until recently, she gave convoluted paragraphs in response ‘thanking goodness’ for some vague American hope.
Hillary is lizard scum. A homophobic two dimensional schoolgirl right out of The Shining always awake 24 hours a day every day keeping an eye on her stock in the world and carrying out the bidding of The Dark Ones with no personality at all. She leeched on to that strange slow talking man with no sense of humor who famously got a probably mediocre blowjob by pure force of twisted American power, and she has her thugs clear out entire barber shops so she won’t get bothered by commonfolk while she gets five hundred dollar haircuts designed by a panel to maximize her appeal to voters. A common whore with far too many connections.
Such behavior has come to be expected as a necessary evil of the American political system. Bernie Sanders represents something wholly transcendent of the American political system. Someone who has unwaveringly spoke out for, stood up for, and actually done what is right. He refuses to run any sort of smear campaign, so I’m going to try to do it for him. One of the biggest early arguments against Bernie is that people of color support Hillary and don’t know who Bernie is. This is just because Hillary has been more of a celebrity claiming to aspire to take up the cause of oppressed minorities, rather than someone actually working tirelessly behind the scenes to concretely improve how minorities are treated. In the 60s, Hillary was interning for Barry Goldwater, who openly and adamantly supported segregation, while Bernie Sanders was leading civil rights rallies in the south side of Chicago. Bernie is still devoted to equal rights for minorities, and is a vocal proponent of police reform, speaking out against repeated instances of unnecessary violence by police on minorities. Bernie has been arguing for the legalization of gay marriage since the 80s, when it was actually radical, while Hillary was against it as recently as 2013. Hillary voted for the Iraq War, Bernie voted against it. He consistently voted against and criticized the fascist Patriot Act, while Hillary voted to reauthorize it. She has a net worth of over $20 million dollars, and he has a new worth of about $300,000, and Hillary is using corporations and a Super PAC to finance her campaign, while Bernie is relying on small donations from supporters. Bernie has taken a principled stance against the corrupting influence of corporate America and the billionaire class, and is therefore refusing to use a Super PAC, which puts his campaign at a huge disadvantage. But so far, The People have been raising almost as much money for Bernie as the money-oozing skyscraper robots bothered to pull out of their greasy mile-wide pockets for Hillary to do their bidding. The list of Hillary’s top supporters is a list of corporations, while Bernie’s is a list of labor unions. Hillary’s husband signed into law legislation that resulted in marriage inequality and mass incarceration. Bernie’s wife led the fight to open a youth center that became a legendary punk rock venue by the end of Bernie’s tenure as mayor. Hillary was on the board of Wal-Mart, whose owners are as wealthy as the poorest forty percent of America, while Bernie was a documentary filmmaker. In Hillary’s most unforgivable move, she led the fight against letting teenage boys play Grand Theft Auto.
We’ll get back to those two. Let’s take a brief detour to the other side, the dark side. The Republicans. There are 29,352 republican candidates seriously considering running for president. There’s Ted Cruz, the sad-baby-faced pausing-for-effect Canadian pretending progress is unconstitutional, there’s Chris Christie, the fat anti-marijuana hot dog salesman from new jersey whose henchmen caused a multiday Armageddon-esque traffic jam in a sleazy blackmail revenge scheme for a judge’s endorsement or something, there’s Vladimir Putin’s wife, who is running as a double agent under the code name California and is aggressively pushing a preposterous invasion of Russia with jarring conviction in order to throw off the scent with no taste for subtlety or grace whatsoever, there’s Ben Carson, the clueless amnesiac bank teller who came out of a traumatic brain injury convinced he was a neurosurgeon, and there’s method acting comedian and cult musician Scott Walker who famously wrote Creep by Radiohead. That was all a waste of time. There is one republican candidate that America is seriously considering electing as its next president. Nothing makes me feel dirtier or more ashamed than discussing seriously the presidential candidacy of reality television personality Donald S Trump. America right now loves its TV star running for president. Sure, Mr. Trump is rough around the edges (racist and sexist) but at least he speaks his (racist and sexist) mind!. Sadly, the rest aren’t worth discussing. The cheating rapist good ol’ boy repbucliams who still at least pretend to believe weed is as bad as heroin and abortion is as bad as murder, the evolution-denying, abstinence-preaching babbling dupes and lizard people of the Republican party are being overshadowed by a moron from TV. They are rats scrambling and biting each other in a futile effort to get out of the shadow of Trump, declaring him a false prophet and maniacally praising the almighty Reagan. Reagan, the conservative deity, the great advocator of debunked trickle-down nonsense who has been basking since Day 1 in the coincidence of the Iranian release of the hostages on the day he got signed into office, which happened due to meticulous behind-the-scenes negotiation by President Carter. Father Reagan, passer of the highest peace time tax increase in the history of America, tripler of national debt, declarer of amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants, illegal seller of weapons to Iran, giver of aid to Islamic militants n Afghanistan. Sorry for the tangent, but Regan sucked, and he didn’t even suck enough to deserve deity status from fuckwit conservatives. Anyway, the other republicans are losing their own made-up game, stumbling to out-Christian each other while the die-hard Christians support the man who has done the least to conceal he hasn’t read the bible, telling interviewers some version of “it’s private” when they ask him about his favorite lines of scripture. Born Dunmore Throop, he inherited his Daddy’s trillion dollar sky scraper flipping company and went on to prove that you can be a moron and still keep a colossal company off its knees. Known to everyone for his stupid gimmicky tv shows where he says “you’re fired” to either unknown slick-haired lizard-boys with fathers’ friends in The Industry or to Meatloaf and Lil Jon in a three second clip that is put on repeat for 44 minutes plus commercials, he has the grace, personality, and demeanor of your whiskey-drunk uncle who thankfully lives seven hours away in the middle of his second divorce.
Ok, Donnie has a demonically keen eye. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have made it this far. He’s got snake blood and some sense of how to run things and control people. Otherwise, his kids would be the unkempt-hair ennui-ridden drug-brained train-wrecks that all other children of famous rich people are, instead of cyborg lizard clones intent on keeping the family business up and running at all costs. He might not understand the psychology of it, but he understands how to implement the psychology of structured submissiveness, which is an extremely dangerous quality, especially if he doesn’t understand it. I can’t imagine he does. A mad eyed fingerpointer with unusual but unrebellious hair blaming a single ethnic group for his nation’s problems with zero evidence and a lot of rhetoric that sounds convincing to the oppressed-feeling members of the majority race, half as strategy to capitalize on bigotry and half due to his personal share of that same bigotry, promising to remove them to make his country great again. But you’re not allowed to make comparisons to that man in serious journalism, it’s too easy, too reductive.
Trump is a curmudgeon of misinformation. The kind of misinformation that gets crafted either for money or hate by the half-witted top garblers of the crumbling conservative illuminati like Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, and that gets misquoted in articles written by the backwoods of the internet and then chewed up by bottom feeding white trash stewing in their own misplaced confused hatred and filth. He waits for misinterpreted misquotes to get all the way down the conservative cultural food chain before picking up on them and capitalizing on the whole thing.
The fact is, the things he’s saying are lies. Illegal immigration both costs us less than he says it does and less than his deportation plan would cost us, there is no link between vaccinations and autism, constant mass shootings are not just an unsolvable fact of life in the only country that has them, and President Barack Obama was in all probability born in the United States of America. To run on and give credence to nonsense shouted and reshouted by the lowest common denominator of people in this country until it’s all anybody hears is not only distracting from the real problems at hand but extremely dangerous to everybody in this country and any other country that gets in our way, especially if he wins and implements this absurd platform based on racism and fraudulent statistics and attractive simplifications of the ills of our land. Trump is a demagogue and it is no longer sufficient to merely laugh until he goes away. Trump is relying on the misinformed, on the gullible, on the bigoted, the racist, the lowest common denominator, Nixon’s silent majority of scared angry old timey rabid fools, as his base. He is either purposefully manipulating the easily manipulated or he actually believes in what he’s saying and is very stupid, and it’s hard to say which is more dangerous, but both are very, very dangerous.
Bernie versus Hillary is white versus gray. But Bernie and Trump, that’s black and white. They both speak their minds and don’t act like other politicians, but one runs on hope and the other on greed and hatred. Good and evil. It’s never been this straightforward. Never been this honest. Never been this dire. The one good indicator of Trump’s unavoidable popularity is that Americans, liberal and conservatives alike, are fed up with the established Political Machine™ in which Americans pick which lying corporate puppet they hope will pretend to do what they pretend to believe in the best. America is fed up with the trite norm of guessing which smiling lying secret addict reptilian to vote for so that the indistinguishable elected can bribe each other and make shady back-handed deals and compromise on and ignore the issues they ran on and that they made pretend passionate speeches about fixing immediately. I’m hoping this is because America is taking a principled stand against shady lying thieving thuggish pigsnakes who we’ve been reluctantly picking over each other as if it will matter which one has the fall-guy title of President of the United States of America, but it could just be out of boredom. Politics are, after all, boring, and that screaming man from the TV is much more entertaining.
This is a nation which insists on being a global force, deciding who gets to have nukes and who is terroristic enough to invade. And this nation is coming to a particularly dangerous ideological and political crossroads. And, to paraphrase Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, Bernie is one of the few qualified men who truly understand what a fantastic monument to all the best instincts to the human race this country can be. Trump understands that a lot of people have been content with politicians pretending to want to revert the country to when it pretended it was a fantastic monument, but now the backwards and misguided of America want someone to actually do it. Right back to coat hanger abortions, the police pulling over and beating the shit out of anyone with dark skin and then dressing up as ghosts and hanging them from trees, strict gender roles, lobotomies given willy-nilly to bored housewives and rebellious teenagers, FBI scheming against radical dissidents like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Earnest Hemingway, the CIA giving acid to hookers to test mind control, and go right on with oppressed queers, teenagers getting pregnant and infected in the backseat of cars because their school is too catholic for its own good, prisons overflowing with racist crack to cocaine proportions, the CIA stumbling around the third world starting accidental civil wars over strange banana company monopolies, and teenagers who think guns are cool and who have been convinced that joining the military makes them a hero and that America is a moral beacon going to faraway countries and killing children for vague secondhand foreign policy and shady economic interests under the angry and confused notion that “freedom isn’t free” and then coming home to no home at all and killing themselves.
America is not the greatest country in the world. And contrary to what the sad eyed nostalgic speaker Jeff Whatever said in that internet-famous clip from the series premiere of Aaron Sorkins’s The Newsroom, it never was. It was founded on the rape and genocide of natives, the enslavement of foreigners, and the exportation of highly addictive cancer leaves meant to be lit on fire and stuck in one’s mouth and inhaled. It had a promising start with democracy and bloodless changing of leaders, but it also had imported human beings with no rights working for free en masse, its native population murdered and displaced en masse, and a rule where only white land owners could participate in government in any form, instilling a debilitating institutional racism, sexism, and classism, which is still far from fully eradicated. Supporting troops in half-assed nonsense corporate propaganda powerplay wars like Vietnam and Iraq is defecating on the memory of the incredible men and women who died fighting the fucking Nazis. Our foreign complications of today amount to a cultural war. It cannot be fought with brute force, cannot be won by simply having the bigger defense budget, and it maybe should not be fought at all. Our tons of bombs, all our gunships and tanks and helicopters and missiles, our bigger defense budget than the next eight countries combined, will not make small multinational extremist groups want to blow up Times Square any less, and there’s a good chance that will make them want to bomb it more. 9/11 happened because America was bumbling around in the Middle East, gathering “intelligence” and being annoying, occupying lands we had no business being in and pretending it was to make us safe. Flying a plane into a building obviously was an incredibly tragic and unfathomable overreaction, but it was a reaction. Osama Bin Laden wrote a letter to explain his motives. No one read it, they just wanted to get those bastards over there, make ‘em pay and make sure they know who’s boss. Haliburton and Co. conned the public into supporting a totally unrelated and disastrous invasion, banking on the ignorance of the average American. Bernie Sanders was one of the few senators to vote against the Iraq war, citing the enormous cost, lack of imminent threat to America, increased chance of a threat to America due to the invasion, and creation of power vacuums after removing Saddam Hussein that could mobilize more dangerous groups in the region vying for powers, like ISIS. There are a lot of people who will vote for Trump. There are a lot of belligerent, ignorant, xenophobic, knee-jerk. brainwashed sheep-people in America. But there are a lot of people who will vote for Bernie Sanders. Be one of them.
If you’re thinking about voting for Trump because he speaks his mind and won’t be bought or put in his place or follow any of the pedantic traditional conventions of politicians, Bernie does it much better.
If you’re thinking about voting Hillary because of feminism and you side with democrats on issues, you should vote for Bernie.
If you support Hillary because you think modest moderate compromises of slight victories and hopefully less slight losses are the best route for this country, because you think it’s more reasonable to elect a disillusioned cynic who bows down to made up rhetorical rules to further her own political career, because she is more like our idea of a real politician, which we all agree to hate, if you support her because you think things are best continuing this way they’ve been going under Obama at the same pace and that any higher glimpse of hope is too risky, you are a coward and a fool. Bernie made it clear that he would need a political revolution to accomplish what he hopes to while in office, and we can give him a political revolution if we don’t pussy out.
Hillary is a hack and Trump is a hustler. If you’re stuck between Bernie and anyone else, you’re probably too far gone.
Bernie’s whole career has been Olympic feats. He won his first election for mayor by 10 votes against a six-term democratic incumbent. He continued to run on an independent platform, defeating Democrats, Republicans, and someone supported by both major parties. Rich Tarrant, a businessman, spent seven million dollars of his own money on his senatorial campaign against Bernie Sanders, much of it on a smear campaign against Bernie. Bernie came out on top with less money but better ideas, almost 2 to 1. The stakes are higher this time around, but we can make history repeat itself.
Bernie is a Democratic Socialist. Conservatives have been using “socialist” as an insult for a while, conflating socialism with communism. The fact is America is already socialist. If it were straight democratic capitalism, it would look like Bioshock. Capitalism is cutthroat, capitalism is mean, and it leads inevitably to overpowered exploitative monopolies. Laws to break up monopolies are socialist. Social Security, Medicaid, unions, workers rights, that’s all socialism. Laws forcing you to save money to be able to live after retirement, that’s socialism. Otherwise, you’d only have the money you made, and if you didn’t save enough, too bad. Insurance is socialism. Everyone pools their money so that whoever is unfortunate isn’t totally fucked. If it were straight capitalism and you get in an accident or you’re sick, there goes all of your money, too bad. Socialism takes into account the human experience and forces some amount of human decency onto its citizens. America should be more socialist.
Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, these lands of cold and grey are the happiest countries in the world because of their socialist governments, with the highest ranked education systems and the most approved government. Bernie is one of the first elected Americans to admit that other countries have some things down better than we do, and he wants to look at these countries’ successes and try to learn from them and implement their policies instead of tweaking a policy that evidently doesn’t work.
Bernie proposes and pushes legislation instead of just declaring his stance. He introduced 69 bills in the last year alone. Bernie delivered an eight and a half hour speech against the proposed extension of Bush era tax rates, lamenting the death of the middle class and railing against the absurd and ominous level of income inequality. Bernie also reduced rates of cable while mayor of Burlington.
When someone who seems like an actual honest good person runs for office, there’s a familiar media shitstorm of irresponsible op-eds that declare the candidate has no chance, that we need someone who will more pragmatically play the dirty game of politics, not someone who will actually follow through on their campaign promises. They say it’s sad but true, it’s for the greater good, there’s nothing we can do. Those people should be shot. If everyone who doubted a candidate’s chance simply due to how unbelievably great they would be, how honest and well intentioned they are, actually voted for that candidate, the candidate would win.
Frankly we’ve had too much of people who scoff at anyone who enthusiastically pushes for any sort of reform because the scoffers understand how complicated and nuanced everything is. Complications let the greedy get away with greed, the evil get away with evil, the bigoted get away with bigotry. It’s time to stand up.
America can be the best country in the world if we can stop pretending that it already is. You need to mail a thing in. It’s a lot of work. You might need to walk down the corner and buy a stamp. First, we beat Hillary. Then we beat Trump. Then we beat congress. I’m not even going to go into the last one, it requires what Bernie has been aptly referring to as a Political Revolution. If you don’t register, you are part of the problem. If you don’t care, you should. You are dead weight, you are the reason republicans don’t lose, and you deserve to be cut off from society like a cancer. I will still hang out with you, but c’mon Tony. Just do it.