It is all too easy to rail against what has been going on in the Republican Presidential campaign. In fact, the hyenas of the profit-hungry news media – who are equally and rightly disparaged from each edge by Bernie and Donald – throw gasoline on any small ember of hatred and hostility that looks as if it might not catch fire on its own. The news media creates news that sells rather than reporting on what happens.
I have been hesitant to publicly weigh in on the hegemonious xenophobia and racist rhetoric seething from the Republican candidates and splashing the rest of us with pus laden mental sepsis. Honestly, like so many others, I expected the madness to dissipate by now, leaving in its place the usual kind of moderately ugly candidate pandering to the right-of-center while trusting the more overtly racist and nationalistic citizens to trot in line.
I will admit to being shocked by Trump’s success, and equally amazed that rightwing Marco Rubio is considered more moderate and ‘establishment’ than Cruz or Trump. In the same way that the national news media aided-and-abetted Bush’s prosecution of the Iraq War, and the frightening assault on civil rights in the wake of 9/11 (unselfconsciously termed with Orwellian flair, The Patriot Act), they have gleefully contributed to the rise and prominence of Donald Trump. Hate-mongering and sound bite politics is as much a product of corporate greed from the newsroom as it is a political class.
Yet the size of the keep-our-white-privilege-and-Christianize-the-nation voting block is obviously larger than I thought.
If the rightwing is able to take hold of the Senate, House, White House, and Supreme Court there will be a lot more than terrorists and criminals hoping Apple keeps the back door closed. The hapless middle will vote with anyone they think butters their bread better, so there is no counting on Independents to staunch the infection. The worst-case scenario is far more possible than we want to imagine.
Those who vote for Bernie or Hillary must band together this summer and build a groundswell of opposition to the madness on the right.
Both Bernie and Hillary have deep vulnerabilities for the general election so it is important that neither one of them do too much to exploit and damage the other now. Whichever candidate wins the nomination, all of us need the winning candidate to be as strong and complete as he or she can be next November.
With Trump, Cruz, and Rubio in mind, and the dark heart of ruthless House Republicans broiling in brine beneath them, I urge Bernie and Clinton partisans to go gently in this night so that we might be as strong as we can be for the next, most crucial, fight. Be passionate but don’t burn bridges or effigies because come August, you simply must support with vigor whichever one is the candidate.
Judy Kahrl says
Thank you for saying this so eloquently. In some ways we are in frightening times. But let us not allow our fears to separate us from what can unite us and quiet the rancor that is flying around.
Cam Miller says
You’re welcome. With people like you and GRR we’ll get through.
R. Sue Rhodes says
My thinking is aligned with those expressed in this posting. ie, Don’t spit in your soup.
Peter S Conover says
Nope, can’t agree with you here. Bernie, I believe, is quite honest and ethical, as I have dealt with him personally as a veteran. I fear his big government approach would make America a very different country than it has been through history.
I think Clinton lacks any sense of honesty and ethics. Quotes from three biographies of the Clintons indicate that she treated those under her supervision or even in her way with contempt, disrespect and quite liberal use of the word that rhymes with luck.
My choice was Dr Ben Carson. I prefer Rubio after him.
Cam Miller says
I am always grateful for some diversity of opinion here! Thanks.
Lesa Quale Ferguson says
Agree!!! Agree!!! For the first time, Dave and I are split – he is all fired up for Bernie and I am the same for Hillary. We decided to support our respective candidate now and then whomever wins we are all in for that candidate.
As for the Supreme Court, I wish Obama could nominate himself
Stephanie Mesler says
It is sort of rare that I disagree with you, but this is one of those rare times. I believe my responsibility next November will be to vote my conscience, just as it will be when I vote soon in the Florida primary. I do not think it is my duty ever to vote for a candidate I cannot trust even if that means casting what may be a weightless vote, one that cannot tip the scales at all because the candidate I choose has no chance at all of actually winning.
Winning should not be my concern when casting my vote. Voting my conscience is what counts in the long run. If we all voted for candidates we truly believe in and left out any concern for winning (this not being a ballgame, after all), the face of American politics, of the Democratic Party in particular, would be quite different.
In this particular election season, the Republicans are indeed too frightening to be believed. But there they are, each one a worse potential president than the next. It is laughingly obvious that I would never vote for any of them. But, to my mind, there is also an enormous difference between one democratic candidate and the other. I trust one of them; I believe in what that one proposes for our country. The other, I could not vote for in good conscience. If that less trustworthy candidate wins the primary, I still will not trust that one. I believe it would be morally wrong to vote for someone I believe would not be working for voters. If that candidate wins the primary, I will vote for a third party…or write-in the candidate I do trust…or not vote at all if there is no one at all worthy of support.
I understand the idea that the republicans are so frightening that they must be stopped. Really, I do. But I believe we fail to really rectify the problems we face as a nation when we continue to cave to pressure to support “the one who can win.” When we do that, we bolster the two-party system and the power of those who already have and abuse power. In the end, we don’t want abusive power in charge, do we? How do we make the deep and lasting changes we want if we keep towing the party line out of fear?
Cam Miller says
I get this sentiment and I will vote my conscience in the primary, then, when it comes to the general election I will not allow my desire for the perfect to lessen the opportunity for the good. Nonetheless, these are difficult and wrenching decisions – rarely obvious. Thanks for posting your argument.