We are not even at the first real primary of the 2016 election and liberals are at each others’ throats. In a truly breathtaking show of inter-party bickering, the lines have been drawn. And the ugliness being displayed on social media has many other liberals worried. Oh, sure we’ve fought before but never before has so much been at stake. This election will have far-reaching consequences and we need to win it.
Many liberals, especially those of us who have been involved in several elections, are genuinely worried. We remember that, yes, there was a lot of contention during the 2008 primary. Both Clinton and Obama supporters were passionate about their candidates. But, when Obama came out on top, Hillary Clinton threw her vast support — and her husband’s charisma — behind the Democratic nominee. And we won.
In an op-ed on the Modern Liberals website, Erin Nanasi voiced her concerns. Speaking for many of us, she points out the vitriol that is being flung by both sides and that it has conservatives giggling in glee. Because they know that as long as we can’t heal this rift once a candidate emerges, they are a shoo-in to win back the White House. And then?
The next president will choose Supreme Court nominees. A conservative president will choose judges who want to reinstate DOMA and DADT, overturn Roe v Wade, and keep Citizens United. The next president will decide if the U.S. should continue being a perpetual invading force, or if we can stop making veterans. The next president just might be a man who wants to ban all Muslims from entering our country, or a man who thinks carpet bombing means surgical strikes.
This isn’t just rhetoric. It is a cold hard fact. If we fail to keep the presidency, someone who thinks only white, male Christians matter will be sitting in the Oval Office. Just look at states with Republican governors: stringent abortion laws, withholding Medicaid, drug testing for welfare recipients… the list goes on. And fiscally? Just take a look at Kansas.
Social issues? Forget it. Any strides made in LGBTQ rights will be taken away faster than you can say “homophobia.” They’ve said so. All of the GOP candidates support some sort of defiance of the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality. All support re-instituting DOMA. Abortion rights? What rights? The GOP’s stance on women’s reproductive rights is as dismal as can be. Two of them don’t even support exceptions for rape and incest. Not Christian? Tough luck. They are the only “true” religion so the rest of us can just suck it.
Nanasi points all of this out, wondering what people who say they won’t vote for anyone but their candidate want. Those who say that they will sit this one out in such a scenario don’t seem to understand that it’s not about them.
Yeah, that will teach us all a lesson. When abortion is illegal, when we’ve blown up most of the Middle East, when discrimination is a protected right, when gay marriage is illegal again, when the 1% gets richer while the middle class continues to disappear, you can smirk and say ‘Showed you.’ And when you need health insurance, or an abortion, or you want to marry your same-sex partner, remember the moment you decided not to vote. Remember the exact second you chose to bitch and whine rather than to join with others to keep conservative sociopaths out of the White House.
Harsh? Maybe. True? Definitely. We need to remember that the primary isn’t a horse race, it’s more of a job application. And we have two excellent resumes to go over. Neither candidate is perfect but, for the love of all that’s holy, don’t let that stop you from supporting one or the other when we move into General Election season. Because there will be no take-backs. No mulligans. No do-overs.
We need to keep our eyes on the big picture. Either Clinton or Sanders is better than anyone the GOP has trotted out. Either of them. So, please, do support the candidate of your choice during primary season. But don’t be ugly to those who support the other one. Because we all have to pull together to make sure our country doesn’t fall into the hands of the sociopaths in the GOP.
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