The Winner Of The 2016 Presidential Election: The Ability To Make Us All Feel Like Assholes
I need it to be over at this point. Almost a year before the inauguration, months before the general election, weeks before we’ve even (officially) determined the nominees, and I need this election to be over.
As I’ve stated before, I’m a Bernie supporter. So are several other writers for this site. And a large number of the writers are Hillary supporters. We’re able to maintain our working relationships and friendships through this tough time because we are what is referred to as “adults.” But even with my pragmatic outlook (Bernie will not actually be the nominee but he’s done a great job of voicing underrepresented issues. Hillary is not my ideal candidate but she’s completely qualified to be president and will do as good of a job as possible in office), I’m feeling myself sucked into the fight. I’m trying to catch people unfairly representing Bernie’s positions, or find evidence that the media in general is treating him unfairly. And what do I think while I watch this completely fair and legitimate segment on Full Frontal?
“I’m not like that. #NotAllBernieSupporters.”
And I rationally know that it’s nonsense to try to take that position. Bee wasn’t talking to or about me in the first place. Dustin wasn’t targeting the Bernie supporters who don’t get up and call Hillary a bully. Some Bernie supporters are assholes, and those assholes should be called out. I’ve had the opportunity to watch a candidate I support advance issues I care about, and really, that’s the most that I should expect. Because, and this is what I should always keep in mind, it doesn’t really matter.
Yes, I know, voting is important. And the President serves as the political leader and head of state for the country. Who we pick as President represents who we are as a people. But their actual job doesn’t really matter that much. Ted Cruz promises to repeal Obamacare the first day as President except that’s not how this works. Bernie supporters want him to march into the Oval Office, break up big banks, give everyone health care and raise the minimum wage. Except that’s totally not how that works either. Hillary isn’t going to be able to install protective devices into my uterus guaranteeing that I’ll always have access to birth control and abortion services, and Trump probably won’t be able to get anything done ever because I’m pretty sure he’s very stupid. Whoever we pick will work on directing a few small changes and, if they are very lucky, some larger legislation through Congress. Mostly they’ll be the person that we argue about for the next 4 years or so.
This isn’t actually a cynical position. It’s the only thing that’s keeping me from losing myself in the madness of the election
season year(s). I live in Illinois. We haven’t voted for a Republican president in 28 years, and that’s not likely to change in this election. Meaning the fact that I’d be happy to vote for Hillary doesn’t really matter either. I’d be casting a vote in favor of a candidate who will certainly win my state for a position that’s significantly less influential than we believe it is. But I won’t be going to vote for Hillary. I’ll be going to vote for the presidential candidates in the 2020 election.
That knowledge keeps me sane, and that sanity keeps me from being an asshole. And as we slog through the remaining half-a-goddamn-year of this election cycle, that’s the only way to really win.
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