Although I have the courage of my convictions, I won’t deny that there are times, maybe once or twice a month, where I wonder to myself if I am actually getting it all wrong. Like I am living inside my own bubble, and my bubble is wrong. This would be rich for someone like me who accuses both Republicans and Democrats — normal people who buy into the talking points of whichever political team they are on — of generally being guilty of the same thing.
Like, right now, if you are a mainstream Democrat you probably hate Trump and blame Russia for everything. If you are a mainstream Republican, you probably think Trump isn’t getting a fair shake from the “fake” news. Maybe both of these things are true, maybe neither are true, but what I’ve been saying is that neither matter.
All I care about are the issues, and the policies, and the future policies. That’s why I consider myself whatever the fuck you want to call it. Some say Progressive, others say Berniecrat, or Democratic-Socialist, or just plain Socialist. I don’t really give a shit to be perfectly honest, because the label is a lot less important than the fact that it’s not a Democrat and not a Republican.
All that aside, the people who share my point of view are not represented — not in the corporate media and not, with a handful of exceptions, in the government. This is a problem.
One of the people who does represent us is Professor Cornel West, who was a guest on Real Time with Bill Maher last Friday. Most of the show was the typical Trump-bashing and so on. Since he came back on the air in January, Maher has dedicated a shit-ton of his show to blaming everything on Russia and taking advantage of the low-hanging fruit that Trump provides. To that end his show isn’t a lot different than what you might see on CNN or MSNBC on a given night.
Towards the end, West and Maher had a heated back and forth. Since you already know what side I’m on here, I’ll simply transcript the juice after the video below:
West: Rule of law comes down hard on the poor and the well-to-do get off, or the police get off because they’re protecting the property.
Maher: But Hillary’s first speech was about mass incarceration.
West: Hillary gave speeches about all kinds of stuff, but it didn’t have a whole lot of integrity in it though, brother.
Maher: That is such bullshit.
West: That’s not bullshit at all. Look how they treated Bernie Sanders, man. They’re concerned about the Russians, but look how they treated Bernie Sanders. Bernie would’ve won if he had a chance. He would’ve won if he had a chance. Don’t defend Hillary. Hillary can’t even take responsibility for the fact that she lost the election… Don’t trot Hillary out on me now, brother.
Maher: He’s so wrong. He’s so wrong.
West: She’s better than Trump but don’t lie about the sister.
Maher: She’s better than Trump, that’s all I’m saying. A lot better than Trump. In so many ways.
West: That doesn’t take too much. Who isn’t better than Trump?
Maher: That’s not an answer. It’s glib. It’s beneath you. For someone who is such an intellectual that answer is beneath you.
Again we have the adults coming in to tell us what is right and what is wrong. Again we have millionaire comedians wagging their finger at us to fall back, get in line, and take the less-shitty of two totally shitty options. These people should be asking for our advice, because they were the ones who got it all totally fucking wrong.
This might sound crazy, but it is possible to both (a) say that Hillary Clinton is awful and (b) that she would have been better than Donald Trump. Admitting (a) does not automatically assume that everyone is all fine and dandy with Trump in office. That was never the argument we were making.
The argument was and is very simple: what made Clinton worthy of our vote? Was it so she could frack the hell out of the world? Was it so she could do nothing to reign in the greed of Wall Street? Was it so she could continue accepting huge sums of money from Pharma and insurance agencies? Was it so she could expand on the seven wars America is currently engaged in?
What exactly makes her terribly different than any mainstream Republican?
Donald Trump is an embarrassment to the fullest degree, but it doesn’t change the fact that the Democratic Party wasn’t willing to offer anything new to the American people. Bernie Sanders was the only left-side candidate who had a vision for the future, with policies that would actually help people, and he wasn’t even a Democrat. The first priority of the Democrats is to squash the interests of the working class, or labor. Defeating Republicans comes a distant second.