Some post-California thoughts on the election

1- Bernie Sanders just *didn’t* drop out…

but he’s just delaying the inevitable. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to vote for the man – he embodies a lot of the fundamental things we need to embrace – but we’re talking about an upset in a corporately-controlled political party. If he had taken the nomination, it would’ve disproven some of the things he stood for, ironically. What he and his supporters did was completely unprecedented and they should be proud of that. The fact that they won so many delegates is still something to be hopeful about.
2- There are A TON of things I dislike about Hillary Clinton (just as there are with Barrack Obama), but I will vote for her for two reasons: 1- She’s a woman. When there are no good policy-based choices, at least there’s something to be said about finally having a woman as president. Today’s children would benefit from seeing that. May they grow up without (or with fewer of) the moronic ideas about gender that we grew up with. And 2- She’s not Donald Trump.
3- There are a lot of things to be said about Donald Trump, just as there are a lot of things that Donald Trump has said, and in both almost none of them are good. At this point, if you don’t grasp how dangerous he and the movement behind him are, then I probably won’t convince you (and neither will anyone else).
4- I can’t wait for the scholarly papers and think pieces about the Bernie Sanders’ Dank Meme Stash group in the coming years. We live in interesting time, and it’s cool to see the future of politics and communication happening in front of you (even if it is generally obnoxious). Doubt it? Give it a couple years and check back in.
5- Speaking of “Bernie or Bust,” I think that there is a time and place to vote with your conscience, but this is not it. Several people have made this point before, but not voting against Donald Trump while also not having to worry about how his policies will affect you is not the best way to use your privilege. (This is me saying I’m not telling people of color and other minority groups how to vote)
6- above all else, I think that grassroots activism is an incredibly important tool for making change. There are quite a few (young) Bernie supporters that weren’t politically active before, that have spent the last months knocking on doors, phone-banking and meme-making that will spend the months after Bernie drops out in comatose-like depression. That’s totally valid, but let me make two requests: go vote against Trump on November 8, and don’t waste all of the epic networking you just spent the last six months building. I can’t think of any meaningful progressive action taken by a president over the last 50+ years that wasn’t caused by pressure from activists. Presidential elections may be a million times sexier than organizing at the local level, but that doesn’t mean it’s not critically (and more) important. With today’s issues – chiefly, climate change – this world needs all the help it can get.
7- I remember September 2011. OWS really felt like a revolution (and it was, in a sense). Most people today would say that Occupy was a failure, that a bunch of jobless hippies camped out in parks, that they never had demands, that it was all a waste. Most of those curious observers that became passionate occupiers all across the country know that’s not true. What OWS accomplished wasn’t concrete policy changes or officials elected. I covered student activism for two+ years and have talked with tons of environmentalists all around the state. One of the near universal things these driven, passionate individuals have in common is an “Occupy story.” People become really political for different reasons. What matters is that they are really political.

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