Hello millennials! I am a middle aged mom who is voting for Hillary Clinton and I want to talk to you. Maybe I am an old curmudgeon, but this election has me more down than any I have ever experienced. People are being downright awful to each other, misinformation is rampant, and a lot of people have strong opinions on things that they don’t really understand at all (Panama anyone?).
Bernie Sanders is trailing in delegates and it looks like he will not become the Democratic nominee despite all of your best efforts as a supporter (or Facebook posts). I get it, it sucks. I have been there. I stayed awake for almost two days waiting for Al Gore to become President (this was before Facebook so I phone banked for him, on a LAND LINE). I sat at Faneuil Hall and watched John Kerry concede with tears in my eyes. It sucks, it really sucks. I was in your shoes 8 years ago when I was a Clinton supporter and she lost the nomination to Obama. You should take the time to talk to some of the people who worked on the McGovern campaign… talk about a bummer.
In a country where more than a third of all eligible voters don’t even cast a ballot, it’s hard to complain about participation but you Bernie kids got me like WTF? Remember where these campaigns started, it was almost cordial. The pundits even said that in terms of policy, Clinton and Sanders weren’t that far apart. Now look where we are?
Here’s an example that sent me into a rage this week… Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend decided that it was unfair that New York had a closed primary and that the voter registration deadline was so far in advance of the primary. TWO DAYS BEFORE THE PRIMARY! This was all over Twitter and my Facebook feed. He repeatedly tweeted (with misspelled expletives) Bill de Blasio to fix it. Seriously??? I feel like a simple google search could probably let you know that you’re tweeting up the wrong tree Ezra. There are pluses and minuses to a closed primary, perhaps you should research them.
Welcome to the Democratic system of the United States of America! There are complicated checks and balances all over our government. Closed primaries and super delegates are part of that system. The Democratic party has made changes in both of these areas over the years for a few different reasons. When I was younger, I didn’t like super delegates… but now, many elections later, I see them as a necessary evil. You should look into it, form your own opinion.
So after this election, if Bernie Sanders loses… don’t stop. Find out what you’re going to do to keep our democracy alive. What do you want changed and what are you going to do about it? So hey kid from Vampire Weekend, you don’t like that New York has a closed primary? Do something about it (Hint, it’s not Bill De Blasio that you need to start lobbying).
This isn’t the end. There are school board elections, ballot measures, city council, state senators… the world is your oyster. Do your research, pick a candidate or cause. They won’t all be winners. But sometimes they will, and you will know that you have affected change.
Pick your party. You may be an Independent, a Democrat or a Republican. You may have another few primaries like this where your candidate doesn’t win. When Obama had the nomination in 2008, I was sad. But I supported him. You know who else did? Hillary Clinton; she stumped for him up until election day. That’s what you do to keep your party strong. I don’t need to remind you of everything that’s at stake in this election… there are racist policies, plans for a border wall and an empty seat on the Supreme Court that you hear about every day.
It’s taken me a while but I have figured out who I am in this system. I am the rally-going mom, I’ve got t-shirts and bumper stickers letting my neighbors know that I support Hillary. If you see me in line for coffee somewhere or we meet for lunch, I am probably going to bring up the election and tell you why I support Hillary. I am a fundraiser, a party thrower; parties with wine and a lot of great discussion about the causes at hand. Some people write petitions, some people go door to door, some phone bank, others organize. Who will you be?
Also, let me tell you… Hillary is my girl. I think her policies on gun control, health care and education are better than Bernie’s; so I am voting for her in the primary….but if she doesn’t win. Guess what? I am voting for Bernie. I’m going to get over the nastiness of this primary and start talking to my neighbors about Senator Sanders, I may even throw a party… a party with wine.
(artwork taken from magneticmag.com)