Recalling 2016’s media sabotage of Hillary Clinton–and acknowledging that she remains our most qualified candidate by far–makes our huge slate of 2020 candidates shine less by comparison. I’d be lying to pretend my lingering disgust doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm. Can that change? Absolutely. The debates start tonight–a first step in separating wheat from chaff. I’m a lot more enthusiastic about Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand than I am about any of the guys, with the exception perhaps of Julian Castro. I can promise once a true leader emerges, that person will get my full support.
Here are some more promises:
Anyone who demands loyalty pledges a year ahead of the vote, as if we’re not allowed to vet all candidates is going to be ignored and/or blocked.
The next time out-of-touch VP Joe Biden puts his foot in his mouth, I will say something. His current claim to be a master at civility who will miraculously make all the “reasonable” Republicans come out of the woodwork and work with him smacks of empty bragging, and is insulting to those who don’t share his white privilege. He knows better, unless you are telling me Biden withheld his “magic powers” for the 8 years he was Obama’s VP.
The next time wet-behind-the-ears Mayor Pete Buttigieg shows how much trouble he’s having dealing with people of color in his own South Bend, Indiana town and how little he is ready for the national stage, I will mention it.
The next time Beto O’Rourke proposes some odd plan about a military tax to non-military families when there’s billions of dollars to be had just raising taxes on the top 1% of the top 1%, I’m going to call it out.
Would the three of them be better than trump…surely…but we’re not ready to vote yet so there’s plenty of time to insist they do better.
And for the record, every time non-Democrat Bernie Sanders proposes yet another reckless over-the-top, ill-thought out plan, like forgiving college debt for all (including rich kids), showing himself once again to be a Trojan horse and spoiler… I’m going to say so. And if I have to see Sanders bloviating about his faux “revolution” while bashing Democrats on one more Sunday news show, I’ll scream.
I’m certainly going to object every time the media drools over one of da boyz and ignores Senators Harris, Warren, Klobuchar or Gillibrand, instead focusing on their “tone”.
I’m also going to bust Ezra Klein and his media brethren for pretending that Elizabeth Warren just invented being a wonky policy nerd when he well knows Hillary Clinton did it first and did it better. While not begrudging Senator Warren her platform, I know from endless research that the only reason any media male might be nicer to a woman not named Hillary is because Warren, for example, is still far from the seat of power. If another woman gets as close as Hillary did, she will get the treatment Hillary got.
No, the media will never get a pass on this, because past is prologue. Those who insist we “move on” enable irresponsible click-bait driven news conglomerates to play the same games in 2020. They are already doing it, with pithy magazine cover spreads to unaccomplished white males, emphasizing entitlement over qualification. They simultaneously bashed Senator Harris as a corporate whore, a cop and a sellout. First they called her a star, now they run her down. That’s how their game works.
Further, people seem to forget that in 2008 part of the reason the media was so enamored of Barack Obama was not only because of his charisma and oratory skill, but because he was running against Hillary Clinton – beltway media took every opportunity to elevate him while undermining her, both verbally and visually. I like the man and got to appreciate him more while he was in office. But the truth is the truth. For verification of this, you have only to read President Obama’s splendid, frank interview with Glenn Thrush his last year in office on this very topic. I applaud him for his honesty.
I can also promise that when 2020 rolls around, enthusiastic or not, I will get out and vote in my primary. I will vote in the general election and will likely spend money pushing my chosen candidate, whoever that turns out to be. Of course, I’d rather it be Hillary but I trust her when she says she’s not going to run. Here’s another thing I can promise: ANY candidate who takes a cheap shot at her in the name of pandering to a certain segment of the vote, pretending that one more visit to Wisconsin would have made a bloody bit of difference, you’d better believe that person is going to get called out. They won’t see a dime from me and they sure as hell won’t get my vote.
By way of a call to action, only if millions of us call our Congressperson and Senators demanding government accountability, paper ballots; demand news and social media accountability (looking at you, Facebook) and stop rewarding them with clicks do we have a prayer. But we must also maintain our ability to think critically and make the best choice, giving voice to all segments of the population, instead of letting the same blowhards dictate what’s “good for us.”
Yup, I’m good and pissed. And I’m nasty. A lot of Hillary’s voter still are. That doesn’t mean we won’t come out en masse to vote the corrupt, orange menace and his cohorts out of office because–news flash–we can multitask.
I can be furious at how 2016 played out, and how the Press is still failing, while still turning out to campaign for the person who’s going to oust that corrupt, unfeeling man.
All of this is to say, any Democrat who wants my vote is going to get it by running their own campaign and not taking cheap shots. She or he will win by being prepared, gutsy, thoughtful and by being respectful of the person or persons on whose shoulders they are standing.