On Monday night, the gloves were off. During what is the typical Iowa Caucus Spectacle, the biggest punches were not between Republicans and Democrats (even though there were a few jabs), but between Democrats themselves. Why? Well, for starters, a caucus IMO is the most ridiculous form of electing officials, but outside of that because there are two contenders (sorry O'Malley) whose supporters believe so strongly in them that the other must be the Anti-Christ. Literally.
When it became apparent around midnight that it was going to be a late night with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton at a virtual tie and votes still rolling in, Iowa did what Iowa does during a tied race: they toss a coin and the winner gets the vote.
I wish I was making it up, but this IS actually a thing and apparently it was a thing during 2008 between Obama and Edwards (Clinton came in third during that Caucus) and helped determine the winner in that tie. As fast as the coin could drop, the media and Bernie Sanders fan base began flooding social media with reports of discontent and fraud, and my typical uneventful commute home was filled with rage and disgust.
"There's no way six separate coin tosses by six separate groups of people could ALL go in Hillary's favor, so it was rigged."
"There's no way Hillary won the actual vote because she has such strong ties to the Democratic Party in Iowa."
"There's just no way Hillary won with a popular vote because she is an establishment shill."
First off, as improbable as it may be it is still a probability that she could win all six coin tosses, just as winning the lottery is a slim but probable probability. Just as getting struck by fucking lightning is a slim but probable probability. Just as improbable as it may be to get bit by a fucking shark (unless you're in Australia. Australia will just kill you), it is still a probable probability. I mean, for fuck's sake, this woman TAKES THESE HITS WITH SUCH GRACE and does not falter. Any sports fan will know these accusations are about as ridiculous as the New England Patriots tampering with kick-off coin tosses to have them go in their favor a ridiculous amount of times. It's #CoinflipGate, only in this case it's a Presidential nominee's credibility at stake, not a National Football League team, and at its basis is a backlash that Hillary Clinton has faced for literally decades.
So, because of this, I woke up this morning to a flood of Facebook posts, comments, articles, memes, GIFs, table talks of how Hillary Rodham Clinton is rigging the primary election and touting herself as a Progressive while being a corporate cut-back mooch and BLAH FUCKING BLAH. The memes displaying side-by-side the top-donors for both Sanders and Clinton resurfaced as well and all of a sudden you can't post one single positive article about Clinton without being attacked for it. Since when did the Democratic Party, at least this time around, turn into the snake pit? Both Clinton and Sanders themselves have remained relatively congenial towards one another, but the supporter bases are beginning to crumble into disarray.
Here are the facts:
* Yes, Clinton has accepted donations from investment giants such as Citigroup , Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase & Co., and from media giant Time Warner, while Sanders has not. You know who else received large donations from these same donors? President Barack Obama, the SAME president who initiated and signed into law the Dodd-Frank Act, some of the most sweeping and substantial financial regulations in the United States since the Great Depression. The SAME president who came out in favor of net neutrality while Comcast and Time Warner fought tooth and nail to dismantle it. Sometimes unfortunately it is what you need to GET.STUFF.DONE in an election, especially so if you are a woman running for a position that most never would have thought a woman could ever run for.
* Yes, Clinton has changed her views on various causes throughout the decades. You know who else has changed theirs throughout the years? Besides nearly every politician ever, President Obama when he originally did not support same-sex marriage but finally came out expressing full support in 2012. You know what else? As it was so eloquently put by Courtney Enlow in her recent article, progressivism IS a political view of progress. Ten or twenty years ago it was a rough time to vocalize support for gay rights, never mind same-sex marriage, even if you were a supporter and ESPECIALLY if you were constantly in the political public eye. This does not mean you flop to gain votes, this means you either come out of hiding or finally come around to forming an opinion appropriate for the times.
Additionally, on the surface wide-sweeping reforms on health care and wall street regulations seem all good and dandy when touted, but the thing is it's not that easy. I wish we could just elect someone, completely overhaul a current system and restructure it to resemble those of Nordic countries. I mean, who wouldn't? It's necessary, and it is a fundamental right that someone should have access to affordable health care without the fear of Goldman Sachs blowing up their mortgage money in faulty investment schemes and leaving them homeless with a $50,000 health care bill. However as proven with the Affordable Care Act, these changes need to be incremental and not a full-blown revolution. Not just because it's incredibly hard for a President to introduce and institute legislative restructuring during a tenure even when both houses of Congress are in his/her favor, but because the guys who founded this country set forth rules so it couldn't happen that way. Not to mention the damage it could cause to the Democratic Party's chances during the subsequent election cycles.
You need to test your fresh coffee first or you'll just end up burning your fucking lips off while your tongue resents you.
So here it is: I REFUSE to apologize for being a Hillary Clinton supporter. I REFUSE to apologize for calling myself a progressive and supporting Hillary Clinton. I REFUSE to apologize for believing she is the best option as the President of the United States of America. Apologizing is acknowledging a wrong and in no way is this a wrong (unless you're voting for Trump, Cruz, Rubio, etc. Their views are archaic and poisonous for the entire human population) – voting is a right given to us by our Forefathers (how cool would it be if there was a Foremother? COME ON ) and it should be utilized instead of apologized for.
I'll leave with this anecdote:
I have this vivid memory from early high school where I'm in the passenger seat as my mum and I are driving home. My mum is the most apolitical woman I've met, but she's always been passionate about one politician: Hillary Clinton. Sometime during our conversation, I explained to her that my reason for not liking Hillary Clinton is because "she seems bitchy. Just really bossy." Her eyes squinted in thought and her head tilted to the side as she jumbled in her head how she was going to phrase her next question to me. After a few seconds, it was as clear as day:
I stared at her with the same squinted eyes, not really knowing how to answer the simple but loaded question. And after what felt like an eternity, she eventually asked me, "If she was a man, would you consider him to be bitchy and bossy for the same exact behavior?" And ever since then, my eyes opened from their questionable peek and never looked back. I began to delve into Hillary Clinton and realized she's not "bossy," she's not a "bitch," but she's a strong, charismatic, and intelligent leader.
Apparently a woman can be all of those things while retaining her assertiveness, and Hillary Clinton became the childhood, adolescent, and adulthood role model I never knew I had for doing just that. She's been fighting for my rights, my mother's rights, and the rights of every citizen young, old and in between her whole life. So I refuse to apologize for supporting her, for believing in her, and I sure as fuck will not be made to feel guilty for doing so or made to believe I am a mindless, non-progressive Shill for Hill.
Disclaimer: And I can't believe I even have to fucking point this out – just because I am not voting for Bernie Sanders in the Primary election does not mean I do not admire, respect, or agree with his policies. To me, he is just not the right choice, but will respect those who do and I only expect the same.