(that’s what she said). But seriously, I know we’re all tired of this political Punch & Judy show. This election cycle is divisive to say the least and we’re all sick of listening to everyone spout off their opinion no matter how ill-informed it is. I had to say something, though, cause… I mean… REALLY PEOPLE???
If you support Bernie Sanders and have pledged your vote to him, he gets to decide where to cast it. He’s a wise man and imho any Bernie supporter who doesn’t respect his decision is not a true supporter. I keep hearing “Well he’s a pushover/sellout/spineless/whatever and I will do what he doesn’t have the courage to!” If that’s you, stop shaking your fist for a sec. Have a seat, take a deep breath and listen up.
Inbound links from unaffiliated websites that point to a particular site. For instance, my backlinks are all websites not located on my server that contain a link to kristinachilds.com.
I get it. You’re upset. I’m upset, too. Disappointed? Me, too. Furious about the DNC emails? Well… me, too, but for an entirely different reason. If you’re only reading (and believing) the shocking headlines, you don’t have the whole story. When you’re done reading this, go over yonder to visit Mr. Allen Clifton. Misleading and/or flat-out false headlines are multiplying like mosquitos in a swamp. What’s worse, they are getting rewarded with higher search engine rankings because people keep linking to them without verifying their content. This is compounding misinformation and bloating misdirected anger.
Current Google rankings are primarily based on backlinks. Manipulating (or manipulated) bloggers and news outlets know that most people never read past the headline, so the more shocking the headline, the more shares they’ll get. The more shares they get, the higher their ranking is. The higher their ranking, the more traffic their website gets. The more traffic their website gets, the more ad revenue they receive. To simplify: The more outrageous and angering their headline is, the more money they make. Unfortunately, this is also the fastest way to spread diseased sentiment. Which is exactly what Trump—and Putin—want. You’re going to be seeing a LOT more of wild, outrageous and manipulative headlines to feed your anger in the coming year. Always at least skim the content, then ask yourself who the originator of the content was and what their stake in the matter might be. Look objectively at the writing quality as well. If the article contains bad grammar, a lot of editorialization and/or misspellings, it’s probably not written by a journalist and is likely sourced from the rumor mill.
Game of Elected Thrones
Do you play chess? No? You should really try it. I am so grateful to my dad for teaching me to play… and at such a young age (5, I think). It really changes the way you think and is invaluable to developing critical thinking skills.
Chess is a game that forces you to think 4-7 moves ahead. For each of these moves, you have to consider possible outcomes, how you would react to each of them, and then determine which of those moves your opponent is most likely to choose. Once you’ve got that, you now have an array of choices that either get you closer to or further from your goal. Eliminate the ones that hurt you and start narrowing down your options to the best one. This is about the time my brain’s RAM maxes out and I start forgetting stuff, which is why (even though I had a blast) I lost every single competitive chess match I’ve ever played. But smarter (and less ADD-striken) people are able to take it one step further.
With each progressing move, people like Bernie Sanders (and the Grandmaster, I suppose) are able to analyze many possibilities through end game. And for each of those, all the potential moves they themeselves could make, then all options their opponent would have after that and another level after that. And another after that. Politics is not unlike a game of chess. Bernie has undoubtedly surmised the DNC end game, and with it the most likely outcome if he had continued to battle for the nomination. I mean, he’s got all the tools he needs to determine the possibilities, is privy to information common citizens will never know, plus a massive staff analyzing poll data 24/7. I wish I’d had that sort of help during those chess tournaments. Lucky bastards.
Prospects Not Awesome
If Bernie is at least as smart and experienced as me (spoiler: he way mo’ smarter and experienced), he would have concluded that confronting the DNC’s suspect nomination process would require a legal battle. A significant one. It would be ugly, drawn-out and divisive enough to keep media and voter attention away from the actual issues, and would—most likely—do so all the way through the general election. Then again, maybe not. Best-case scenario, a legal battle would provide enough animosity among the factions in the Democratic Party to literally serve Trump the oval office on a platter. A gold-plated one. Chinese-made, with an aluminum core.
At that point, who is he really serving? The people? His politically bloodthirsty followers? Himself? Now ask, who is he hurting? Being the global player that America is, and assuming that Bernie puts humanity ahead of a grudge, he knows Trump cannot be allowed to take the Whitehouse. If he did, he would have made life worse for literally every human on earth. I trust that he played out all possible scenarios, all reactions therein, saw the end game and realized it ended in one of two ways:
- Concede to Hillary, combine your base’s support and keep Trump’s tiny hands of the launch codes by:
- Brokering a deal to concede on the grounds that:
- He is given freedom (and maybe white house support) to continue growing the movement he’s started
- Hillary integrates his platform into hers (something she’s already been doing)
- Brokering a deal to concede on the grounds that:
- Force a stalemate with Hillary by doing one or more of the following:
- Challenging the actions of the DNC
- Demanding investigation into alleged voter fraud in many states
- Challenging the um… less-than-sensible ways some caucuses determined their delegates
- Running as an independent 3rd party candidate in the general
The Hard Truth, Proven by History
— Charlie Cook, March 2004
New York Times via Huffington Post
Without a legal battle there would be no nomination. Even with one, there’s no guarantee. Understanding that means the longer he fought, the more votes he would ultimately be sending to Trump. Or worse, to one of the many no-chance 3rd party candidates who should really take this Dan Savage article to heart.
In the interest of knowing history (lest we be doomed to repeat it), also glance over a snippet of the 2000 election when Nader voters pretty much marched us into 8 years of war, human atrocities, an emboldened NSA and condescending TSA agents. I seriously wonder… if even 540 of the 100,000 votes Nader received had gone to Gore instead (resulting in Gore winning Florida), would we have a national electric or magnetic car grid by now? Instead of… you know… endless, reserve-bankrupting wars with no attainable goal… that create more terrorists than they stop by killing tons of innocent civilians… and benefit only a handful of rich white dudes who instigated them in the first damn place.
And yes, the margin—even with the election fraud—was that close. That’s how damaging it is to vote 3rd party before a 3rd party candidate has a viable chance of winning. Don’t believe me? Google it. Then think long and hard about voting Jill Sanders just to make a point. If you do, Trump will be able to nap, tweet and babble his way into the oval office.
He knows that we came close but couldn’t quite pull it off. He understands that the reason why is—for the moment—irrelevant. At the end of the day you either get the nod or you don’t. That, or you spend eons wrapped in legal, financial and sociopolitical turmoil only to still not get the nomination. Even if he did, he knows it wouldn’t come without a further divided party. Looking at what this all translates to doesn’t leave many options.
- If the party is further divided, Clinton can’t win. [End game Trump]
- If he had escalated the issue in the primary and taken the nomination, Clinton supporters probably would have gone #HillaryOrBust. [End game Trump]
- If Trump has the nuclear codes he’ll likely use them. Probably on day 34 when his vagina starts hurting and sees a clip of Trevor Noah or SNL making fun of his small hands. The world will either end or be populated by Cronenberg Mad Max people blasted back to the stone ages. [End game Errreybody Screwed]
- Put all qualms with the DNC on the back burner temporarily and keep a Democrat in office. With Hillary he’ll have a much smoother time continuing the movement he’s started. He’ll have the freedom to re-organize, rally his supporters, grow his base and—assuming he’s still kicking—secure the oval office in 2024. [End game: Live to fight another day]
What it Means
Look, I don’t like Hillary either. She’s status quo. She’s career politician. She’s more of the same and I don’t trust her as far as I can throw her. But put her next to the mental image of Cronenberg Childs and she looks so good I just might make her my baby daddy.
In my house we have a saying “Well, that’s where we’re at,” meaning “This is our current situation, so you can choose to be angry about what brought us here—something we can’t change—or you can choose to put your anger aside and figure out how to make the situation better.” We can’t allow ourselves to become prisoners of our emotions or allow ourselves to be manipulated by our opponent. And he is manipulating many of us.
For instance, ask yourself why Trump wants Bernie to run as an independent. Since you are reading this, you, like me, understand that Trump is little more than a self-serving, narcissistic sociopath who will say or do anything to be elected president. Trump isn’t going to make suggestions that would in any way threaten his campaign. It’s a trap.
Also ask yourself why Russian President Vladimir Putin is putting Russian hackers to work for Trump’s campaign. Why would he have his own army of hackers breaking into DNC email servers? Why would the commander-in-chief of the KGB care about the inter-office banter of the Democratic National Committee? Do you view Putin as trustworthy? Or as someone who has the best interest of the United States at heart? Well, for some reason he really doesn’t want Hillary in the oval office. So much so that he’s willing to do the bidding of someone he’d probably rather throat punch with a sharp object. That alone should be reason enough to respect Bernie’s choice and vote for her.
Take a lesson from 2004. If all of the left or left-of-center do not vote for Hillary, Trump WILL win. Don’t lie to yourself. Read the polls. Run the numbers. Don’t be a defiant fool and doom us all.
This is Where We’re At
Bernie is out of the race. Hillary is untrustworthy and needs to append “but the ends don’t justify the means” to her mantra “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” She’s still way less of a threat than Trump, who makes me fear for my actual, literal, physical safety. Seriously.
When the most respected and experienced republicans are getting up on the national stage and telling their constituencies to vote for the other guy, that’s a baaaaaad omen. And while there are a slew of candidates, only two of them have any chance of actually winning. I look forward to a day when that is no longer true. Unfortunately the electoral college and plurality voting make this nearly impossible. This needs to change. In the meantime, for this 2016 presidential election, if you want your vote to count—more than it possibly ever could by voting your conscience—close your eyes, plug your nose and vote Hilary. Take a shower afterwards if you have to. I’ll be doing the same thing: voting against Trump. After election day I will continue working on making this rigged and corrupt two-party system a thing of the past.
I sincerely hope that’s also what Bernie Sanders will spend his time doing, cause #ImWithHim.