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Monday, January 25, 2016

My Amazing Support of the Hillary Monster

A bravely "Anonymous" interlocutor in the Moot is amazed:
It's amazing how you will only support Hillary and wear blinders to her current and past corruption. And yes, I am a Demo but not a Marxist collectivist such as yourself.
Since I have repeatedly expressed my admiration for Sanders as a Senator and since I have repeatedly said I will both support and vote for Sanders if he is the eventual nominee -- though with great trepidation about his electability in an election the stakes of which are raised enormously both by the fragility of Obama's accomplishments and the present surreal debasement of the GOP field -- your statement that I only support Clinton is plainly wrong.

I do prefer Clinton as nominee. In this I am like millions of other Democrats who are impressed by Clinton's knowledge, experience, dedication to causes many Democrats hold dear, and who want a woman in the White House fighting in public ways to protect women's access to healthcare, equal pay for equal work, paid family leave, an exposure and end of rape culture, and an emphasis on the indispensability of supporting women and girls in the development of a flourishing planetary society.

Like Sanders I identify as someone on the social democratic to democratic socialist spectrum, and most construals of "Marxist collectivist" don't accurately convey my positions. I teach Marx in critical theory classes at the University level and I actually know what he said, after all. I can't know exactly what you mean by that designation -- it is true that I advocate for universal healthcare, education, and income payed for by steeply progressive taxation and that I believe many key common and public goods should be administered by and for the public rather than for parochial profit-taking. I also know that there is much more to actually accomplishing these ideal ends or even arriving nearer to them or even enabling the terrain in which they might eventually be achieved through struggle than simply knowing and saying that is what one ideally wants to achieve.

Clinton is a competent and connected progressive pragmatist with a voting record not much less liberal than Sanders' own, and like the politics of the Democratic Party in general Clinton's public positions have shifted leftward and I hope will continue to do so under pressure from organized movements from her left in which I, and perhaps you too, will participate. I do not know or think knowable or, hence, much care what is supposed to be in her "heart" any more than I do any other celebrity's, including Obama or Sanders or Beyonce. I am to Clinton's left as I am to the left of the country and to any electable president in my country, and I supported Obama over Clinton in 2008 as I would support a third Obama term over a first Clinton one now if that were an option. It is not; or more to the point, a Clinton administration looks to me like the best defense of the legacy of the Obama administration available to us.

I can't say that I have been thrilled with everything Clinton has done in her career, and I was not a great fan of her husband's administration. I take election and partisan politics seriously -- though I believe extra-partisan grass-roots movement education, agitation, organization are just as necessary to achieve necessary reform in the direction of sustainable equity-in-diversity from partisan legislation -- and whatever our disagreements you will find it hard to sustain your insinuation that my preferences are ignorant, uninformed, or reflect conspicuous blinders. Disagreement with you isn't the same thing as blindness, I daresay you will forced to concede even in the fullest froth of berniebuzz. Quite a lot of what is being called Clinton's "corruption" in the current silly season is (if you'll forgive me) patently idiotic hyperbolic nonsense from pampered narcissists whose purity politics play out in a symbolic field rather insulated from the real consequences in real lives of election defeats to white-supremacist patriarchal plutocrats in the GOP. If you are not one of these yourself -- and certainly not all Sanders supporters are, even if it sometimes seems all the loud ones are -- you know what I mean and are probably as annoyed by the phenomenon as I am.

You are of course free to differ with my calculation as to the electability of the superannuated, grumpy, disheveled avowed socialist (all of which I am too) Sanders vis-a-vis Clinton in the America we actually live in, or the feasibility of his implementation of single payer healthcare and breakup of the big banks as head of a party he has never hitherto been a member of and almost all the super-delegates of which are not supporting him, with little prospect of majorities let alone super-majorities in congress, and a host of enormously powerful rich stakeholders he won't even talk to arrayed against him. Be all that as it may, I wish your candidate the best of luck, and disagree though we may, I daresay you need no longer at any rate be "amazed" that an intelligent committed person of the left disagrees with you on the matter of a partisan presidential election.

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