The woman who picks up my kids for school every morning is voting for Hillary Clinton.
We have a system.
She drops them off in the morning.
I pick them up in the afternoon.
It saves both of us money and it lessens our carbon footprint.
Because, you know, we care about those things, being as we are both liberals and all.
Did I mention that this woman is voting for Hillary Clinton?
And I don’t trust just anyone with my kids.
My friend is incredibly trustworthy.
She’s an awesome human being and I care very deeply about her.
We’ve been close for a long time.
We watched each other’s kids grow up.
She’s like a member of my family and I’m like a member of hers.
I love my friend.
Did I mention that she is voting for Hillary Clinton?
Yeah. I know, right? What’s up with that?
I mean, how can you be a decent human being and support someone who is pure evil?
I was wondering that as well.
So I asked her.
You might imagine that my friend was once a Bernie supporter and now she is following Sanders’ request to vote for Hillary to defeat the evil Donald Trump.
You might imagine that she is “holding her nose and voting for Hillary”.
You might imagine that, being as she is such a close friend of mine, that she actually hates Hillary Clinton, but is just falling on the grenade to keep the Supreme Court from being all up in her uterus for the next 40 years.
You’d be wrong.
She’s freaking crazy about Hillary Clinton!!
My friend works for the government and has been following Clinton for years.
When she lived in D.C. she actually met Hillary and shook her hand.
She has a Hillary sign in her front yard!!
She used to hide it when I came over, but then I told her…
“I don’t hide my Bernie sign. You don’t need to hide your Hillary sign.”
Before our state’s primary (which Bernie won) I made several efforts to speak with my friend about Bernie Sanders, but she became upset each time and for a while she stopped speaking to me altogether.
That was probably for the best.
It probably saved our friendship.
I’m kind of radical about Bernie Sanders.
After Bernie dropped out and endorsed Hillary (GRRRRR!!!), I asked her if she was ready to have The Talk, the talk that ALL Sanders supporters must have with their Hillary friend(s) if there is any hope of the friendship returning to its previous form.
There are YUGE fundamental differences between Sanders supporters and Clinton supporters.
I can be friends with anyone, but if you vote for Hillary Clinton, then there is always going to be an elephant (or a donkey) in the room of our friendship and we are going to have to talk about it.
Because on the surface it would seem that I am in support of universal healthcare and you oppose it and the idea that poor people don’t deserve the same rights as the wealthy is deeply offensive to me.
Without sitting down with you, I would probably never be able to understand how you support fracking, when I am so radically opposed to it.
I’m going to need to hear your thoughts on this.
As a Clinton supporter, I would gather that you support big corporations running our government and I am violently in opposition to this above all, so I’d like to hear your reasoning on that subject as well.
Also, I’d love to hear your thinking on why you believe that it’s okay to lie to the American people repeatedly and hide your Wall Street transcripts, because I know that you are a super-smart person and I’ve always thought of you as extremely ethical.
And I know that you don’t want to see our children murdered in some billionaire’s war, so why is it that you support a candidate who wants to install a no-fly zone over Syria, a move that will likely lead to war with Russia.
I mean, you knew about all these things, right?
You have the Internet and know how to use a search engine, right?
And you actually want to know the policies of the person you are voting for, right?
I don’t want to overwhelm you.
I’ve got literally hundreds of concerns about your candidate and I need to know how you can feel good about voting for a woman who takes millions from the fossil-fuel industry and has no real plan to deal with climate change.
So can we talk?
Because right now, I’m feeling like I don’t even know you.
And I’d hate to let something as trivial as the fate of the entire world come between us.
Like I said, my friend is awesome.
She invited me over..
She was very cordial…
She poured the wine..
And we talked.
My friend agreed that healthcare is a right, not a privilege.
“So why didn’t you vote for Bernie?” I asked.
“Because Hillary is fighting for universal healthcare too.”
“No, she isn’t! In fact she said that it would NEVER happen!”
“She NEVER said that!”
I obnoxiously pulled out my phone and showed her the video.
“Well it must be out of context. Hillary would NEVER say that. Look, my main reason for supporting Hillary is that she supports equality for women. Women do not get equal pay and Hillary will address that, as well as other important women’s issues.”
I thought about bringing up Berta Caceres and other women who died as a result of Hillary’s foreign policy.
I considered bringing up the fact that Hillary Clinton basically starved over a million single mothers and their children when she gutted funding to the Children’s Defense Fund.
I thought about Jill Stein’s brilliant argument that when you make things harder on poor people, that you disproportionately hurt women.
I thought about Camille Paglia‘s points about how Hillary is anti-feminist and Bernie Sanders is a true feminist.
Finally I said…
“Then why did she pay her female employees .72 on the dollar compared to her male employees when she was Secretary of State?”
“No she DID NOT!!” my friend exclaimed.
“Would you like to see the evidence?”
“No, because it never happened.”
“It will take me five seconds.”
“I’ll research it on my own.”
“Will you?” I asked.
“No. Because it never happened.” she said.
We moved on to discussing TPP.
“Oh yeah! Hillary’s against that!” my friend said.
“She co-wrote it and toured the world selling it to other countries!!”
“But then she realized that it was a bad trade agreement and she came out against it.”
“Publicly, she did, but there are emails showing her pressuring Democratic Congressional members to pass it and then Obama sealed the emails, but I have the articles. Would you like to see them?”
“I don’t believe that, Michael.” she said exasperated.
“Well I have proof. Would you like to see it?”
“I’ll look it up on my own sometime.”
“Well you won’t find it on corporate media. Obama sealed the emails.”
“I just don’t believe that, Michael.”
“Okay fine. A year from now, when she is trying to push it through, I’m coming over.”
“Fine. You do that.”
“Good for you.”
“Bad for America. I won’t be happy when I’m right.”
The conversation went on like this for a while.
I talked policy and my friend agreed that Bernie’s policy was perfect, but then told me that Hillary supported the same policy.
When I tried to show her evidence that this was not true, she had no interest in looking at it.
She repeatedly regaled me with stories of how Hillary had overcome tough obstacles in her life.
There was the time when Bill had ran for some office and lost and became depressed and wasn’t bringing home any income, so Hillary had to take a job she didn’t like to support Chelsea.
It was as if she thought Hillary was waiting tables during the day and pole-dancing at night.
She truly believed that Hillary Clinton was some kind of rags to riches story.
To her, Hillary was the American dream wrapped in a pantsuit.
“Where did you get these stories?” I asked.
“Oh, I read her book.” she said.
“Oh, okay.” I said.
And there we sat, wasting time, speaking different languages.
I get my news from The Intercept and The Guardian.
She gets hers from CNN.
There was no Lexis…no common ground.
She thinks I’m a Bernie-bro and I think she is uninformed.
What it really comes down to is that my friend sees herself in Hillary Clinton and that’s why she voted for her and will do so again and no amount of inconvenient facts will deter her.
It’s more about identity politics, than policy and there is some kind of sorting device that rest just inside the ear of the Hillary Clinton supporter that takes all criticisms against her and files them into one of two categories.
Either they are right-wing conspiracies designed to take down this model of feminism or Hillary actually did it, but “sometimes women just have to do things that they don’t want to for the greater good.”
With this line of thinking, Clinton is always the hero or the victim.
She has fostered some kind of faux feminism that pulls in angry women of a certain age, who feel like they have lived similar lives.
Never mind that Clinton wouldn’t throw her Fiji water on my friend if she were on fire.
My friend is convinced that Hillary’s fake victory is somehow HER victory.
Just as your ignorant, racist uncle has been duped into believing that billionaire, Donald Trump truly understands his problems, millions of mildly annoyed suburban women will proudly march into the voting booth and fill in that little oval unknowingly supporting genocide abroad and feel like they are true feminists.
And while I love my friend and would do anything for her, I probably won’t ever completely get over this.
Every time I see Hillary ship more young people off to die and murder the innocent for financial gain, I will think of my friend.
When I see trade agreements pass that will continue to destroy the middle-class and ship American jobs overseas, I will think of my friend.
And each time I see Hillary lie, I will think about how my friend is eating up that lie and enjoying it, because it makes her feel good about the choice she made to support women everywhere.
Alas, despite differences in politics, I am grateful for my friend.
I am grateful for the insight she gives me into the mind of the Hillary Clinton supporter.
She’s a really good person.
It’s just that she has chosen to stay ignorant on this one subject that is very important to me.
And considering how miserable this entire election has been..
I almost wish that I had chosen that path as well.