This is a message to my fellow journalists. And also to the editors that frequently write the headlines. I know you want those sweet sweet clicks. I understand. The only way you get money for your online articles is to make them go viral so that they actually generate a decent amount of ad money. I wish there was a better system, too. Have you considered something other than capitalism? Anyway.
Election Hell 2020 has already begun. So far, Elizabeth Warren and, oddly, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee have jumped into the race. There's plenty of speculation about Bernie Sanders trying again. Of course, Joe Biden is a strong possibility. And there's a significant amount of people who now want Beto O'Rourke to run after his close race with Ted Cruz.
And we couldn't wait a single day into 2019 to start declaring that discussions over candidate's records and stances are WAR.
Inside Bernie-world's war on Beto O'Rourke
I couldn't find a gif of this but it perfectly encapsulates how I feel.
Look. People arguing online is not and never will be a "war." Just shut the fuck up.
We're going to have a big problem over the next year and 10 months because people want Trump out so badly and are so terrified of a repeat of 2016. Those people include me. One term for Trump means half as much damage to the economy, the country as a whole, and of course, fewer early deaths for marginalized people including black children sitting in the car and Latinx children surviving a walk across the entirety of Mexico just to die in our custody. I hope.
What we need to realize is that we have two paths to consider. One is to pick a neoliberal "centrist" type like Joe Biden or Beto who will be likely to continue shitty border policies, or at best bring us back to the Obama era situation which was still designed to deter people from coming here and brought us the most deportations of any president until Trump. That path also continues the trend of shifting to the right to appeal to moderate Republicans, who are still shitty and still want refugees and poor people in general to die, but are less obnoxious about it. Which sets us up for something even worse than Trump in the future.
OR we could appeal to the growing group of actual leftists who are so tired of establishment Democrats that they don't want to go out and vote for them but would go so hard for a real progressive. Even for Bernie, who still isn't progressive enough for my liking, but it might be a while before we have an actual communist running for the office of President in any kind of hopeful manner.
Democrats don't want us to take the second path because it threatens a lot of their power. How will the establishment Democrats function without their big corporate donors? So they'll attack these efforts while framing challenges based on their records and political stances as "attacks." And it's going to be really annoying.
So if journalists could at least not contribute to that bullshit, that would be great. Looking up Beto's record and being like "hey he's not actually progressive, we just loved him because we hated Ted Cruz so much and also handsome" is not an assault, it's not a BERNIE VS. BETO SMACKDOWN, and it's not war. People get heated in online discussions but these news sites have a bad habit of blowing things way further out of proportion. So just stop. Resist the urge, okay? We can talk about unity AFTER the primaries. After.