Wednesday, January 15, 2020

No U.S. Presidential Candidate Is Worth Worshipping

Human beings really need to collectively do some soul-searching and generally think about how they form attachments and build a sense of identity. The so-called "stan" culture has been creating problems since long before the term came into being and we're really telling ourselves with the current term. As far as I can tell, and I've looked into this because I didn't want it to be true, the term "stan" really does come from the Eminem song "Stan" which tells the story of an Eminem fan of the same name who becomes so obsessed with his favorite rapper than he ends up killing himself and his pregnant girlfriend by driving off a bridge.

The song is absolutely meant to be a warning against hero-worship, and yet we use it to declare our allegiance to public figures. At first, it was largely applied to celebrities. But, of course, it has clearly spread to politicians.

You know I'm talking about the Bernie Sanders v. Elizabeth Warren thing. I really wish Liz's campaign had not decided to go this way. From what I understand, her campaign was the first to make the accusation, and Liz later confirmed it herself. But she also made it clear in the debate last night that she does not want to make it a thing.

Too late, it's a thing. After the debate last night, #NeverWarren started trending and I was ready to throw my laptop out the window and into the snow.

Look. It was understandable when it really looked like the DNC rigged the caucuses for Hillary Clinton. I understood the anger then, particularly as I felt it myself.

But this? Warren and Sanders are not even that different. I'm going to try and craft an in-depth comparison of the two over the weekend but what I expect to find is that Sanders is a little more to the left than Warren. But they're both progressives, with neither reaching the realm of actual socialism.

As someone who could actually be considered far-left, more interested in anarchism than socialism, they're both functionally the same to me. And they're certainly not worth dying for.

I'm convinced at this point that electoral politics can help mitigate harm but will not save us. Neither Bernie Sanders nor Elizabeth Warren can lift us out of the quagmire we've made for ourselves. They won't be able to overcome Republican fuckery in order to get the legislation we would need to pass to stop the climate crisis from reaching holy fuck proportions.

I'm old enough to remember thinking Obama would solve the country's problems. I thought we were on a path to somewhere incredible. Look what happened.

Did Bernie say a woman couldn't win the presidency in 2020? Maybe. I don't fucking know. None of us will ever know for sure. Maybe he did and forgot. Maybe there was a misunderstanding in the conversation. People are insisting that "one of them is lying" but guess what, there are other options. Wires get crossed in discussions all the time. Maybe Bernie was disagreeing to something that Warren thought was the possibility of a female president in 2020 but that he thought was something different. Maybe neither of them is an asshole.

But we can't know for sure. Is Bernie sexist? Yeah, of course, he's a man who was raised in a sexist society. Is Warren antisemitic? Again, yeah, of course, she's a Christian raised in an antisemitic society.

Bernie has already said and done problematic shit, just like Warren has. And this isn't even that bad. If Bernie had straight up come out and said "yeah, I don't think the American public is un-sexist enough yet that we could elect a female president in 2020," I would have been like "okay there's a good chance you're right but you, as a man, should not be discouraging any woman from running" and then he would have been like "oh that wasn't my intention at all, look at all these times throughout the years that I've encouraged Warren to run for president" and I would have said "oh cool yeah, well, man sexism sucks" and he would have been like "word."

That's how my conversation with Senator Bernie Sanders would have played out.

The point is that neither Bernie nor Liz is worth this shit. This is about harm reduction. Fight for your preferred Democratic candidate until the nomination and then please don't throw us all to the wolves unless you have an actual good reason not to vote for whoever it is, like being a Native person who can't stomach voting for Warren.

At the very least, become an actual anarchist and do real work in your community to reduce harm and vote for nobody because you don't believe in participating in a system that is this fucking mess.

Okay???? Later.


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