50 States of Grey

50states of grey

“Sometimes I wonder if there’s something wrong with me. Perhaps I’ve spent too long in the company of my literary romantic heroes, and consequently my ideals and expectations are far too high.”
E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

Hillary Clinton had a good day on Tuesday. On Wednesday, media pundits and her supporters began demanding obedience from Bernie Sanders supporters. They cracked the whip and demanded we submit and get in line. I see no evidence that it worked, but I saw plenty of that narrative.

If you’re a Bernie supporter that this narrative IS working with, I have questions. Did you really think the political revolution would come easily? Did you believe that Bernie Sanders would have it easier than Democratic Party golden-boy Barack Obama? Get a paper lunch sack out and breathe deeply into it. Most states haven’t even voted yet.

Let go of your romanticized ideals that the establishment would just roll over and spoon with the revolutionaries calling for big systemic change. It will never happen. Lower your expectations that the general populace is sick and tired of the status quo. Many are lazy and complacent. Many have purchased into the mindset that liberals are losers that the media has pushed for over 30 years. We’re not going to win every heart and every mind. However, we have to show up and do the work. We have to raise funds, make phone calls, knock on doors and, most importantly, we have to vote. This thing isn’t over. You just have to decide if it’s over for you. Are you going to submit?

There are 2523 delegates left that can be won through primary elections. Hillary leads Bernie by 320.

Forget about “super delegates.” I can’t even believe we’re still debating using delegates who don’t vote until the convention and have historically switched support to align with the voters when they finally do vote. It’s a psy-op by the media at best and propaganda at worst.

I’ve been called a lot of names in my day, but one that no one would ever dare use to describe me as is a God-damned submissive. I will not lie back and take a beating or a bullying without a fight. I try to and appreciate those who speak truth to power. I have no attraction to the powerful, enforcing their demands upon those weaker than them.

As I type this, President Obama is about to appoint a center-right moderate to the Supreme Court. I don’t need to pretend that I know anything about legal records of justices I’d never heard of until Scalia died. It’s just a fact. Obama will appoint a center-right justice. That’s where he governs from; and the truth of the matter is, whenever the extreme-right throws one of their little hissy fits, establishment Democrats give in, continuously moving the nation to the right of center.

I’d scream out my safe word if we’d established one already. I’d scream “SOLIDARITY!” for all to hear, in hopes the pain would stop. To restore balance in America, we on the left have to pull back from the massive shift to the right our nation has embarked on these last four decades. We have to stop submitting to the demands of the powerful and start making some of our own.

The persecution complex of the left is troubling to me. We let Reagan take a dump on the chest of American liberalism whenever he wanted. At least he’d rub down Tip O’Neill with baby oil after gutting school lunch programs and inflating the military industrial complex. When that relationship ended, we went out with his friend George for a little while, who was a bit nicer, but still liked the rough stuff, like bombing brown people. In the 90’s, we got pretty serious with Bill Clinton, who was nice to us in public but brutal behind closed doors. He gutted the social safety net, deregulated the markets and the media, and made a new form of slavery possible through the private prisons systems. We ignored all of that, but when he cheated on us and got impeached and disbarred for lying about his sexual assault of a different woman, we finally moved on.

Broken, we accepted it when George’s son George forced himself on us. His cruelty was the worst of them all. He tortured people. He started two wars simultaneously. He spied on us and downsized the regulators in government who kept us safe. When we finally got out of yet another abusive relationship, we decided to start seeing Barack, a charming, energetic, captivating man who spoke about love and hope. However, all of these years of abusive relationships had damaged us, and Barack was not much different from George’s son George. He squandered his political capital, forcing us all into business with the powerful insurance lobby, but hey, at least some of us can now get our bruises checked out. Not all of us though.

The American left started thinking we should start seeing women. We fell in love with Elizabeth from Massachusetts, but she didn’t reciprocate our affections. Hillary had been trying to seduce us for decades now, but we were never attracted to her. We chose Barack mostly to get away from her.

Then, Bernie started coming around. He was so nice. It felt really good to be cared for with such passion. Sure, he was older and didn’t always say the right things in public, but he was tender, and we craved that sort of compassion so dearly. I like that he doesn’t have some stuffy corporate boss paying his way through the campaign. That’s so very sexy to me. I don’t mind picking up the dinner check if it keeps him honest. Our friends in the media are always bad-mouthing him though. They ignore him whenever he’s around. They tell me I should go out with Hillary. They tell us it will help us avoid having to go out with that misogynistic racist who built all of those tacky hotels. All our friends in the media ever want to talk about is that misogynistic racist who built all of those tacky hotels. I think they’ve got a thing for him.

Now, we’re at a crossroads in our relationship. Do we stick with the good man? Do we just take a break for a little while? We could have considered the Green party, if they hadn’t tweeted all that nasty stuff at us. Do we let Hillary have a shot? They say she’s into the rough stuff. I want to get away from that.

I, for one, am sick and tired of being victimized, and am standing up to ending this pattern of abusive relationships with our leadership. I’m sticking with Bernie, who has showed us that a better way is possible. Like any relationship, we just have to commit and fight for it to make it work.

I still believe in love and am committed to finding a true partnership, both in my personal and political life. I may be a straight, cis-gender dude, but I’m going all the way with Bernie. He will at least get to third-base with me.

Hillary keeps calling, but I’m just not interested. I don’t think it could last with her. People don’t like her. Six out of ten Americans don’t trust her. They say she can’t win a general election if one in every 10 Democrats won’t vote for her. I’ve read 33% of those supporting Bernie say they can’t vote for Clinton. Add in the fact that Independent voters are the largest voting block, and she’s the most divisive political figure in American history (yes, more than Trump, because he’s new to the scene), and I fear she’s guaranteed to dine and dash on our date if we go with her. She can’t win.

The only political party to get three full terms in the White House in modern history is when George H.W. Bush beat Michael Dukakis, who was never a popular candidate. The only reason Bill Clinton could beat Bush’s reelection bid was his ability to convince Ross Perot to run as well. That’s why I’ve never had issue with conspiracy theorists who say Bill Clinton convinced Donald Trump to run this time around. It’s certainly possible. I’m not sure I believe it, but it sounds plausible.

As stated earlier: There are 2523 delegates left that can be won through primary elections. Hillary leads Bernie by 320. The states that are left to vote favor a true liberal and progressive candidate. Bernie has good ground-game in many of them. I think we can make it work, together.

Bernie Sanders can win the Democratic nomination as much on Friday as he could on Monday. I believe in the policies championed by Occupy Wall Street, Fight for 15 and Black Lives Matter. Bernie Sanders has most in common with all of these movements, policy wise. Most importantly, he wants to reverse Citizens United and end the corruption of money in politics. Without that change, nothing will improve in America. With that change, we could usher in a new era of liberalism, because on the issues, the American people consistently poll in favor of Bernie’s proposals regarding social and economic policies. It’s getting past the lobbyist-funded two-party system and corporate-controlled mass media that holds us back. Bernie knows that. He’s told us. He’s pretty wise. He knows how to get things done without compromising his moral code.

I won’t compromise my moral code. I’m voting Bernie Sanders for President of the United States no matter what, even if I have to write him in. I’m phone banking and knocking on doors for him through November no matter what. I’m giving him what I can afford to donate until November, if he’ll take it.

Every state deserves to vote in the primaries and every voter deserves to vote. There are 2523 delegates left that can be won through primary elections. Hillary leads Bernie by 320. We could have a real future together.

Bernie is doing better in the primaries and caucuses than Barack did in 2008. Barack lost New Hampshire, Michigan, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas and Colorado, states that Bernie has won. Barack lost 21 states (including Ohio) to Hillary but still defeated her for the nomination. Bernie is winning the swing states like Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri and Minnesota, along with states like Michigan, New Hampshire, Maine and maybe belatedly Iowa. The bulk of the delegates needed for the nomination are still up for grabs. Bernie is expected to pull California and maybe New York. While the network “news” pushes Hillary, Bernie’s support across the country is increasing. Barack didn’t pack it up. He became President. Bernie is on track to do the same.

For that to happen, the American left needs to grow a backbone. We have to demand the Democratic Party play fair. We have to demand the media plays fair. We have to donate to, call people for and knock on doors in support of Bernie Sanders. More than all of that, we have to show up on polling day. I’ve read too many stories about millennials who chose rugby practice over voting, Ohioans who voted for Kasich out of Trump fear, or people who didn’t vote because the lines were too long. We can tweet and post on Facebook all we want, but frankly, the revolution doesn’t take foot if people skip out on the revolt itself. If we’re ever to change our relationship status to something committed with Bernie, it’s going to require hard work, like any good relationship.

There’s probably a flogging pun I’ve missed out on making throughout this missive, but I think you catch my drift. We can get out of our abusive political relationships and have a safe, mutually rewarding political partnership. I’ll hold your hand, you’ll hold mine. It will be okay. Deep breaths. The big states vote soon. Solidarity.

Opinions are Michael Salamone’s and do not necessarily reflect the view of TheElizabethian.