Archive - Apr 13, 2015

I Guess I'm Sort Of Ready?

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Memo to Hillary Clinton: LET THE PANDERING COMMENCE.

I cannot stress this enough. Given the likelihood that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016, it is vitally important that I, personally, be pandered to as much as possible between now and Election Day.

What happens after the inauguration is, in many ways, irrelevant. Not that it's irrelevant, but I'm way too familiar with the inevitable outcomes of American rule to expect anyone to live up to even a fraction of their pandering. But I need them to pander nonetheless.

I want to hear about climate change. I want to hear about living wage. I want to hear about bankers in jail. I want to hear about expanding Social Security. I want to hear about police reform and progressive taxation and infrastructure and closing motherfucking Guantanamo Bay and actually stabilizing the Middle East, not breaking more of it in the hopes that the rubble will somehow be more stable than the buildings were.

And it's not just about what I want. We also need to hear these things. We need the Democratic nominee, whoever they are, to offer a full-throated defense of liberal and progressive ideas, whether they govern with them or not. Because it's been far too long since we've heard anyone do that.

Right now, on the right, the argument is being made that it's OK for a cop to shoot a guy eight times in the back because the guy, who by the way had a warrant out for his arrest because he owed money, made the cop angry. Geraldo Rivera said this. It was a thing that happened on television.

The most toxic, insane ideas fly around these days like it's nothing, like breathing. Maybe, if you're lucky, enough people yell at one or two of them that it gets knocked back for a while, but nobody changes their minds. Geraldo Rivera didn't learn from saying people who wear hoodies deserve to be shot, he just came out a couple years later and said that people who anger police deserve to be slaughtered.

Contesting toxic ideas doesn't do a hell of a lot of good. Changing minds is a Sisyphean task. The right is essentially putting themselves out there, in all their hateful, bugfuck glory, and hoping there are more of them than there are of us. If Hillary doesn't do the same, that may well be the case - there aren't a lot of people these days in that weird little triangle the Clintons made for themselves in the 90s.

Of course, it's entirely possible that this strategy will also fail. But if that's going to happen, there's a way it can happen that'll make it easier for the rest of us going forward, and a way that won't. 1990s Hillary Clinton did not make things easier. Let's hope 2015 Hillary does.