And Yet: Second Thoughts on Supporting Bernie Over Hillary

Some honest wrestling in the brain right here:

Let us say, and why not, that you are someone who supports affirmative action. Indeed, if you read this here bit of bloggery and don't support it, then many a day, you must grit your teeth and roll your eyes at the bleeding heartedness of the whole damn thing. And let us say, and, indeed, why not, that you don't support affirmative action only as a way to right past wrongs. Sure, yeah, non-whites, non-straights, non-males got a shit deal for a long, long time in our Land of the Free, and mostly they still do. But, being an open-eyed, open-minded sort, you see another good in affirmative action. You know that diversity - of races, genders, religions, and numbers of piercings - in and of itself is a great thing. We know from, like, science that diversity promotes better thinking, better workplaces and schools, and better all-around humans.

Shit doesn't change unless change happens, you know. What was once exotic becomes mundane. When President Obama was first elected, it was as if, truly, something had permanently altered in the political landscape (and hardened the assholes into chafed, tightly-puckered assholes about race). Now, for a generation of voters coming of age, the thought of a black man as president is no longer an impossibility. For a good chunk of their lives, it's just the way shit is. And ain't that a beautiful thing? Isn't that all you could ask for? When Cory Booker or Deval Patrick run for president, far fewer people will give a shit that they're not white. (To be sure, many will, both for and against them. This is a gradual process, but it starts somewhere.)

On Friday, the Rude Pundit offered the reasons why he is supporting Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary. Since then, he's been hit with a ton of shit about how wrong he is. Some of it is thoughtful, in the "Hey, what about the gun stuff? Or what about Bernie's vote for the CFMA, which helped bring on the sub-prime mortgage crisis?" category. Some of it is not so thoughtful, in the "you're a fucking asshole and I hope you die" camp. It's all well and good, and the former gives the Rude Pundit something to think about while the latter makes him just wish the whole fucking election thing were over already. (Full disclosure: He really wishes the whole fucking election thing was over most of the time.) He can shake off the valid points and the insults. But one thing sticks in his craw about supporting Sanders over Hillary Clinton, and that's the affirmative action part.

We have a chance to elect the first woman president in American history, a Democrat, and, frankly, that's not something to be taken lightly.

It's rather appalling that the United States, which is presumptuous enough to think of itself as the banner waver for women's rights, hasn't had a woman lead it when fucking India, the Philippines, Indonesia, and other places that are not exactly bastions of feminism already have.

When he floated this idea on the Twitter outrage grinder, the Rude Pundit received tons of variations on "Yes, but not this woman," Hillary Clinton. He gets it, but when, as some did, you compare Clinton to Sarah Palin or Carly Fiorina, you're just a fucking idiot who'll say anything to make whatever bullshit point you think you're making. And if you think that Elizabeth Warren, who is more liberal than Sanders, is coming in to save the day (and, Jesus, some days he wishes she would), you don't get Americans, most of whom aren't on the Twitter outrage grinder and don't give a fuck that Grizzly Bear and Dead Projectors played Sanders's rallies.

In other words, no, you shouldn't support Clinton solely because of her sex. However, affirmative action is supposed to say that, most things being equal, and maybe making a few allowances, you should go for the applicant who adds to your organization's diversity. This is not to mention what we risk losing if we go on feeling the Bern (which, for fuck's sake, is such goddamned dumb slogan, like Sanders is a bladder infection); we risk letting Republicans nominate and elect the first woman president. You don't like this woman? You can be guaranteed that you really won't like that woman.

In otherer words, the Rude Pundit has this fucking gnawing feeling in the back of his skull that he can't shake. In 2008, it was easier to support Barack Obama over Clinton because you could say that you were supporting the black guy and, hey, it's about time to have a non-white in the White House. Sure, you can say that Sanders would be the first Jewish president, but, you know, he's still an old white dude and we can elect the first woman president. Maybe, in and of itself, that's just a net good for our country.

In otherest words, we have the chance to do something truly historic. In that case, maybe we need to let up on the anti-Hillary booing and the dollar-tossing and the chants against her. Maybe we need to make sure she's elected. Maybe, good liberals that we are, we should give a shit about that.

This is all a bit incoherent, some mental masturbation. Honestly, the Rude Pundit might not know what he does until he's in the voting booth and facing the choice. Fuck.