Safety-Pins and Rubber Bullets

I threw a party Saturday night.

A lot of people showed up late, because they were at my city’s anti-Trump rally.

I did not attend, as much as I dislike Donald Trump.

I’m more of a proactive guy, rather than a reactive guy.

I had already spent the last 18 months of my life protesting Donald Trump by doing everything in my power to get Bernie Sanders elected, so I didn’t see the point in crying about it now.

Instead I threw a Thank God This Fucking Election Is Over party and we imbibed alcohol from various lands and talked about what we could do to make the world a better place, despite our recent catastrophic election.

One lady said that she had been creating care packages for the homeless and was just keeping them in her car and passing them out to people who needed them.

Another lady said that she was working on creating an activist website.

Another guest was convinced that the Green Party was the answer.

I passed out Bernie Sanders buttons along with the challenge that people wear the buttons everyday, as a reminder to people who might be afraid, that they had allies.

“Bernie Sanders has superseded politics and is now a symbol of love and equality” I reasoned aloud.

Everyone liked the idea or maybe they just liked the idea of getting free Bernie buttons.

Regardless, everyone took a bunch and everyone put one on.

Then the safety-pin people showed up.

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The safety-pin people had just come from protesting Donald Trump and told us that by wearing a safety-pin we could signal people who felt fear of violence and discrimination that we were a safe person.

“Oh, just like my Bernie button idea!” I said.

“No.” they said “This movement involves wearing safety pins.”

“Oh, like the paperclip resistance of Nazis during WW2!” I said.

They all looked at me like I was crazy.

No one had ever heard of that.

Someone produced a box of safety pins and soon everyone was wearing them, strutting around, feeling good about themselves for defending the downtrodden..

“So what happens when bad people wear safety-pins to trick people into letting their guards down and becoming victims?”, I asked.

“Oh Mike!!” one girl said “Don’t say things like that!!”

I had sucked the air out of the room.

They didn’t want to worry about things possible complications.

They wanted to wear their safety pins and feel good.

I could hear the sound of a thousand corporate think-tanks conspiring on ideas to make millions from this new trend.

“Don’t be outdone by your liberal suburban friends. Our fair-trade safety pins are all organic and help get clean water to aboriginal tribes in developing nations. These safety-pins are just $49.95 each and symbolize to the world that you are much more compassionate than the people who wear the competitor’s safety-pins.”

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As much as it smacks of the worst parts of white-guilt liberalism, I honestly don’t have a problem with the safety-pin.

Although I’m confident if we researched the origins of the safety-pins passed out at anti-Trump rallies across America, we would probably find they were ironically created in Chinese sweatshops by eight-year olds.

Still I know the wearer means well.

And it’s important to not underestimate the sacrifice these protesters are making.

After all, when a Hillary supporter pierces a safety-pin through their $250 Aeropostale sweater it’s a greater sacrifice than when I do it, in my ratty $2 thrift-store t-shirt.

Not to say that everyone who protested also voted for Hillary.

More than half of the protesters arrested at many anti-Trump rallies didn’t even bother to vote.

If only there had been something they could have done BEFORE the election to stop the government from falling under alt-right control.

If only there had been a candidate who actually beat Trump by 18-24% in head to head polls, that they could have rallied around when they had the chance.

If only there had been a candidate that could have kept Trump out of The White House, who had a longstanding record of defending the LBGT community and a perfect animal rights record.

If only there had been someone who had spent their entire life fighting for civil rights.

If only there had been some other option besides Hillary Clinton, then maybe all of these Trump protesters would have been getting drunk with me by my bonfire instead of waiting until AFTER THE FACT and then protesting A DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED PRESIDENT!!!

If only there had been someone like that, then all of this silliness could have been avoided.

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But I guess these protesters were probably pretty busy during the last 18 months, when there was a clear and present danger rising in our nation.

They probably didn’t have time to worry about such things as universal healthcare and ending mass incarceration and a for-profit prison industry that funds the wealthy elite.

Who can be troubled to vote when there are book clubs and youth “everybody wins” soccer games to attend.

Why volunteer for a crowd-funded candidate when it is “her time”.

Why bother working hard when your candidate is simply “more electable”?

Just be “with her” and ignore the “basement dwellers” screaming about the giant orange iceberg protruding through the fog.

After all, a safety-pin on your NPR tote bag just means so much to the 20 million people who will now lose their health insurance.

Everyone knows that a safety-pin clipped to a Whole Foods bag will be more than enough to offset the tens of thousands of elderly who will die as a result of the GOP gutting Social Security.

In the light of Trump’s alt-right Supreme Court justices and the threat they will pose to Roe v. Wade, perhaps we should all wear tiny coat-hangers instead.

Too soon?

Okay, we will stick to safety pins (get it? stick?!?).

I’ll take Symbolic Gestures That Don’t Mean Shit for $500, Alex.

In the event of a crash, your safety-pin can be used a flotation device.

You’ll still sink and die.

But at least you’ll feel extremely good about yourself while drowning.

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All kidding aside, I hold no grudge against the safety-pin movement.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling good about yourself, as long as you actually take action and really stand up for equality.

I don’t begrudge anyone grandstanding for minorities, as long as they are willing to actually engage in true activism.

It bothers me that people can show up and protest Trump’s DEMOCRATIC election over a candidate who needed $uper-delegates to “win”, when the people of Standing Rock are fighting for their basic human right to water.

Why don’t these protesters show up in North Dakota and stare down the armored police?

Perhaps it’s easier to complain and wear pins than it is to stare down rubber bullets and attack dogs.

Still, there is nothing saying that we can’t do both, so when I see my friends wearing safety-pins, I will congratulate them on their commitment to activism and ask them what they are working on at the time.

I will probably even help them with whatever initiative they are working for and hope the next time we have the chance to vote for an honest candidate who actually cares about the American people, we don’t bury our heads in the sand and support a corrupt corporatist who has taken money from for-profit prison lobbyists and stood on the broken backs of the very minorities we are suddenly so concerned for.

Because when you don’t vote or you support an inferior candidate based on gender, then your safety-pin becomes the liberal equivalent of Republican “thoughts and prayers”.

I choose to believe that my safety-pin friends are awake now and ready to fight against any and all oppression that may come our way.

I choose to believe that America is awake now.

And I really hope that we are.

I’d really hate to see a bunch of people running around in 2020 wearing staples on their clothes.

Or an actual stapler..

Or a three-hole punch..

Or any other office supplies, for that matter.

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When Michael isn’t dressing silly and attending Planned Parenthood rallies with his daughter, he is an independent writer. You can support his work by clicking HERE and donating $1!!
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Trump or Clinton? Hell No!!

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Americans are angry.

But not angry enough.

They should be in the streets shutting down corporate profits.

I have visions of semi-trucks parked across interstates and major cities occupied.

I have visions of the American government trying to figure out how to stop a determined populace that responds to injustice by standing united.

I have visions of corrupt politicians and bankers fleeing America, fearing prison.

I see, in my mind’s eye, a million people marching in unison, demanding justice.

But these visions are ripening on the vine.

We aren’t there yet.

Multinational corporations rig a “Democratic” election to appoint Hillary Clinton, who is nothing more than a figurehead for corporate profits and never-ending war…

People gather around the water cooler to complain.

Racist, white police-officers, sworn to protect and serve, MURDER unarmed black men..

Maybe we take a knee at a sporting event.

Our government poisons the water supply and the food.

Innocent children die.

But hey, football is on.

Americans have been domesticated.

We are afraid.

We are spoiled.

We are pacified.

Injustice has become entertainment.

We are too busy.

We are distracted.

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As bad as all this is, when Donald Trump is President, things are going to get worse.

This is Germany 1933.

The police unions have endorsed Donald Trump.

We’ve seen what Trump thinks of protesters.

He encourages violence against them.

He touts the Second Amendment while oppressing the First.

In Trump’s America, protesters will be murdered and he will say..

“They’re disgusting. We’re trying to fix this country and these people hate it. They hate America. They got what was coming to them.”

His followers will cheer for blood in the streets.

Decades of America’s corporate greed and subsequent destruction of opportunity have led to a deep-seated desperation in our blue-collar workforce and Donald Trump has tapped into that.

Trump’s white supremacist supporters are stockpiling weapons, waiting for Martial Law, so they will have permission to kill blacks, gays, Hispanics and liberals.

They call themselves patriots.

Trump gives their movement license.

Trump fuels their fear.

Trump fills them with bravado.

“Make America Great Again” is the same code as “All Lives Matter”.

It is rhetoric that translates to “ban and bomb all Muslims.”

It is hyperbole that says “black people need to know their place.”

It is oration designed to stir the rage of people who were led to believe that it is their birthright to have superiority over others.

When Trump vomits forth hate-speech about deportation forces and punishing women who have abortions, he taps into an angry segment of our population and encourages it to creep out of the darkness.

When Trump makes fun of the handicapped, children on playgrounds follow suit.

When Trump points his tiny finger of blame, people are assaulted.

Trump is sounding the alarm to gather the forces and to round-up all those responsible for your pain and suffering.

He is the ruling-elite telling you to kill your neighbor, because they stole your crumbs.

He is fascism, come to America, wrapped in the flag.

He is paranoia personified.

Bernie Sanders was right when he said that we must do “everything in our power to stop Donald Trump.”

But you can’t ask us to vote for Hillary Clinton, Bernie.

That’s asking too much.

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This was the “Democrats” election to lose.

They had two strong candidates and the GOP could not produce a decent opponent.

A year ago most liberals would have agreed that Bernie was the better candidate, but that Hillary was still better than Donald Trump.

But Hillary lied to us.

She took us for granted and she mocked us.

She insulted us and she stripped away our voting rights.

And she cheated.

She cheated in an American election against a good man.

She cheated the American people out of $238,000,000 (the amount that we donated to Bernie Sanders).

She cheated us out of our literal blood, sweat and tears, that we shed while working tirelessly, in an “election” that we never had a chance of winning.

We sacrificed far too much to just forgive and forget.

I remember telling my kids that we couldn’t afford to do certain things, because “Bernie needs our help.”

My children volunteered with me.

We went broke, driving anywhere we could to help canvas.

Speeding tickets, gas, damage to vehicle, oil changes and lost wages.

We spent the last several months trying to recover from these excursions and millions of Americans made the same sacrifices.

The “Democratic” Party’s mistreatment of Bernie Sanders and his supporters painted us into a corner.

I am terrified by the looming specter of a Trump presidency, but still I cannot bring myself to support the embodiment of everything I have spent my life fighting against.

If you were just a casual Sanders supporter (was there any such thing?) then perhaps you could just pull your Sanders sign up and replace it with a Clinton sign.

But for those of us who gave our entire lives to this movement, it is not even a serious consideration.

Sorry Bernie, I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton.

She simply does not deserve my vote.

Hillary and the DNC burned the bridges.

It is unreasonable to expect us to rebuild them.

Maybe if the “Democrats” lose an election that they could have easily won, then they will learn to listen to the people next time.

But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

A supporter of former Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders wears tape across her mouth in protest on the floor at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

Perhaps the protests I am looking for will not be held in the streets.

Perhaps the next great protest in the United States will be held in the voting booth, where millions of liberals, that Hillary Clinton took for granted, will stand up in the face of tyranny and choose to vote their conscience instead of caving into the fear that the “Democratic” Party is banking on.

Maybe there is finally enough anger on the left to motivate them to get off their asses and actually build a true third-party for the people.

Maybe liberals will finally start paying attention to down-ballot races and midterm elections and rejecting corporate candidates in favor of true Progressives.

Maybe people will finally learn that voting with their dollars is where the real power lies and they will abstain from buying from the corporations that destroyed our democracy.

When confronted with the “choice” between being shot in the face or poisoned to death, the intelligent choice is to choose neither.

When confronted with the “choice” between someone who threatens to use nuclear weapons or someone who claims to be so ignorant that they did not know that “C” stood for classified, the rational person chooses neither.

When confronted with the “choice” between someone who will appoint alt-right Supreme Court judges or someone who secretly supports TPP, a trade agreement that will put corporate tribunals in charge of our government, the compassionate person says “HELL NO!!!”

Enough lesser-evilism!!

Hillary Clinton is pulling a Band-Aid off slowly, whereas Donald Trump is ripping it off fast.

Either way, it’s going to hurt.

Vote for Jill Stein or write in Bernie Sanders.

In an insane election, these are the only sane choices.

Some will say that this is throwing your vote away.

Nonsense.

Throwing your vote away is when you vote for someone whom you don’t believe in.

Throwing your vote away is voting for Donald Trump, a hate-monger who’s been spending daddy’s money and filing bankruptcy and charging it to the American tax-payer, while telling the people who are footing his bill that their poverty is the fault of other poor people.

Throwing your vote away is voting for Hillary Clinton, a warmonger who rode her rapist husband’s coattails into politics by representing a state that she wasn’t even a resident of, while supporting fracking and taking millions from the fossil-fuel industry.

With either one of these fools, you are doing more than throwing your vote away.

You are throwing your planet away.

You are throwing your dignity away.

You are throwing innocent lives away.

Neither have any business stepping foot in the White House and I do not and will not recognize their authority.

If you are insulted by your corporate “choice” for President, I suggest you exercise your Constitutional right to open rebellion.

Join with me in pledging to fight whichever one of these criminals is unfortunate enough to take office.

Let’s commit to being real activists.

Let’s commit to taking back our government.

Let’s lose the battle and win the war.

Hillary or Trump?

I choose neither.

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Polyamory with Bernie and Jill

FINGERUPToday I needed to go into a government building.

I was told to grab a number and take a seat.

I sat down and opened my tablet.

As I pissed away my precious time looking at memes I did not understand and kittens I could not pet, I was interrupted by a loud

“Hey!!”

I looked up to see a police officer towering over me.

He continued..

“You aren’t allowed to have that in here!!”

He was pointing at my tablet.

I contemplated my next maneuver.

Who was this pathetic little man in front of me?

Without that badge and gun, I bet he wouldn’t be so brave?

Understanding the rules of society and my lack of power in the situation, I contemplated my choices.

I really needed to get those forms.

I drove all the way down here.

And now this bully was throwing a monkey wrench in my day.

There were several hours of people in the queue ahead of me and I had neglected to bring a book.

If I had to put my tablet away, I would just have to stare into space the entire time.

There was only one intelligent choice.

“I’m sorry.” I said “I didn’t know.” and closed my tablet without a trace of attitude.

He walked away feeling like a big man.

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Without anything to distract me, I was forced to watch the other people waiting.

I wondered about their lives.

A man, about my age, walked in and pulled a number.

He had a tattoo of a razor-blade across his Adam’s apple.

He sat down and pulled out his phone.

The officer had a chance to feel worthwhile again.

He walked briskly from the corner until his crotch was even with the razor-blade man’s face.

“You can’t have that in here!!”

The man looked up.

There was no processing options.

He knew exactly what to do.

“Oh, Super-Cop, eh?!!” he said, standing up.

Then he added

“I don’t need this shit!!” and then “Fuck you!!” halfheartedly under his breath as he walked away.

The cop stared daggers in the man’s back and fingered his taser.

The cop thought better of it.

The razor-blade man escaped unharmed.

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Eventually my number was called.

I had my meeting and all went well.

Because I went to the meeting my son will be able to get the medicine he needs to stay alive.

I wondered about what I would say to my son, had I chosen to rebel against the power-mad cop.

I contemplated a world in which some men have dominance over others and how to navigate such an unfair existence.

I thought about Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and the turmoil our country as been in, as a result of our Schizophrenic presidential election.

I thought about my friends who supported Bernie Sanders in such an extreme way, that adjusting to the reality of a Hillary Clinton presidency has them angry and depressed.

 

I wondered if the same energy required to force real change in our government would doom that energy to implode if the leadership went missing.

 

 

I remembered when my friend said “Bernie or Bust is basically the Tea Party of the Left.”

I remembered being annoyed and saying..

“If you mean that we are pulling the Democratic Party to the left the way The Tea Party pulled the Republicans to the right, then sure.”

“That’s exactly what I mean.” he said “The Democratic Party has moved to the right as well. The Bernie Sanders campaign is about overpowering the movement of the Koch Brothers and the 1%. It’s directly opposite. Your movement is strong, because it is radical, but never lose sight that the ultimate goal is to move the party back to the left.”

He was right.

The Democratic Party is broken.

It’s neoliberal centrism no longer represents our values.

It’s so controlled by corporate interests, that it often neglects to represent the people.

So those who are justifiably angry at the Democratic Party have some choices to make and they have to make them fast.

November is looming.

435 House seats and 34 Senate seats are up for grabs.

The chance to usher in a new Progressive age in America is at hand.

And Bernie Sanders army of supporters are in complete control of our country’s destiny.

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But the Bernie people are angry and they should be.

They were mistreated.

They were silenced.

The election deck was stacked against them and what makes matters worse is that they are 100% correct about the flaws of Hillary Clinton.

They are right to criticize her hawkish war record.

They are right to demand her Wall Street transcripts.

They are right not to trust her, when she has repeatedly lied to them.

 

Many are angry that Sanders did not join with Jill Stein and get revenge on the Democrats for short-changing him.

But developing a third-party is a lot more than just running a President.

If you are serious about developing the Green Party, phone-banking, donating and canvassing are not enough.

If you are serious about developing the Green Party, then you need to make sure that there are Green Party candidates running for the important offices in your area.

And if there are not, then you need to run yourself.

If by some incredible set of circumstances, Jill Stein were able to win the Presidency, what would she be able to accomplish without a sympathetic House and Senate?

Do you have Green Party candidates running for Congress in your district?

 

Most districts do not.

So what’s the strategy?

How do we continue our Progressive momentum without supporting a candidate who represents everything we stand against?

We must decide and fast.

Because allowing Republicans to control Congress will absolutely destroy everything we have worked for.

What are the maneuvers that will optimize the progress we have made to this point?

Time for Independents and Greens to make some tough choices.

We only have two months to decide the fate of the world.

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So am I telling you that you should vote for Hillary Clinton?

You can do whatever you want.

It’s your vote.

I will be voting for Dr Jill Stein, even though I do not believe she has a legitimate shot to win.

I am voting for her, because I want to see more options on my ballot going forward.

I do not want another choice between a warmonger and a reality TV star.

I am voting for Jill Stein because Hillary Clinton and the DNC burned all their bridges with me.

I am voting for Jill Stein because she is the candidate who most closely represents my values.

I understand why Sanders endorsed Clinton.

He accepted the fact that the system was rigged against him, so he traded his 13 million votes towards a Progressive agenda, knowing that if we did our jobs in November, Clinton would be locked into supporting our positions or she would accomplish absolutely nothing during her one-term presidency.

Sure she is a liar, but she will not be a very effective one with a Congress full of Progressives.

As much as I hate that Clinton and the corrupt DNC’s cheating will be rewarded with the presidency, I will not compound this problem, by allowing her to run amok and do whatever she pleases.

Instead we need to insure that she works for us.

There are ways to force her to keep her word.

If you agree that Hillary is untrustworthy, then you must also agree that it is incumbent upon us to make sure we are pulling the strings that control her.

It is entirely possible to support Jill Stein and the Green Party, while promoting down-ballot candidates that further the values Sanders and his supporters worked so incredibly hard for.

If you want to vote for Jill, then you should.

Vote for Jill Stein to send a message to the DNC and Hillary Clinton that we do not approve of the way we have been treated.

Vote for Jill Stein because she has good policies.

 

Vote for Jill Stein because part of bringing the Democrats to the left is giving them competition from the left.

But how do Progressives vote in the down-ballot races where there aren’t any Green or Independent candidates to choose from?

Are we so angry with the DNC that we are going to refuse to vote entirely, thereby allowing the Republicans to keep control of Congress?

Because if we do that, we will lose everything we fought for and Bernie traded in his 13 million votes for nothing.

It seems to me that the most logical way to vote for these open seats is to vote in the way that binds Hillary Clinton to Progressive policies, while taking away her ability to repeat her hawkish patterns.

If we have Progressives in the House and Senate then we have complete control over her.

We can stop her from passing TPP.

We can stop her from declaring war.

We can even block her Supreme Court nominees if need be.

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I am sorry that I cannot stop Hillary Clinton from becoming president.

We all did everything we could.

Many of us went to Philadelphia to protest this heinous corruption.

I was hoping that we could get enough people there to shut down the city and for one night we actually did, but in the end there simply weren’t enough of us.

If you want to start occupying major cities and demand a Hillary Clinton indictment, then I am right there with you.

But if you aren’t willing to do that, then you are going to have to control the other branches of government and that means voting Progressives into every office.

If your area doesn’t have any true Progressives running, then you will have to make a decision on whether to vote for the most Progressive candidate or to simply run yourself.

We cannot allow Hillary Clinton to start any more wars.

We cannot allow Hillary Clinton to give tax breaks to her wealthy friends.

We will support Progressive candidates, regardless of what party they are affiliated with, because that is the only way to keep a reign on her.

Not voting is not an option.

We’ve come too far..

And this election is simply too important to throw away.

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Donald Trump’s Tire Emporium

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Indiana is Trump territory, so I often find myself surrounded by good ol boys and me with my Black Lives Matter to Bernie Sanders button and my car plastered in leftist stickers.

This morning my neighbor was struggling with a flat tire, so I told him to throw it in my car and I drove to this wheel shop in the hood that I have frequented for years.

As they were working on his tire, you could see all the guys in the office pointing at my car and talking.

I imagined, perhaps falsely, that they were thinking I was a communist, even though I doubted that any of them could even give a definition of what the word meant.

I reminded myself that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.

I went into the office and asked if one of them would look at my tires and tell me if I needed any replacements.

I mentioned that I had to drive to Philadelphia this weekend.

They looked at my nerdy neighbor and my Bernie Sanders button and I imagined that I could feel a chill in the air.

Through an odd twist of fate, I end up standing in some wheel shop that’s 110 degrees, with my white entitlement, asking these blue collar dudes to get on their knees and look at my tires.

I always have trouble asking people to serve me.

I don’t like to put myself above anyone.

I have to remind myself that for this to work, we have to all serve one another.

One of the guys went out, hit the dirt, checked everything out and told me that all my tires were good and I tossed him a few bucks to adjust the pressure.

We don’t want any blowouts on the road to restoring democracy.

I stood there, trying not to look at my phone, because I was already feeling inconsequential and elitist and to even look at it would have been tantamount to firing a Hispanic maid for stealing money off the dresser and then finding it in my coat pocket a week later.

So I just stood there watching him air up my tire.

That was my penance for automotive ignorance.

When he was finished, we went into the office so I could pay and one of the guys asked…

“You need any Trump stickers for your car? I got a bunch?”

They all laughed.

“I’m good.” I said with a smile.

“What are you goin’ to Philly for?” one of the gentlemen queried.

“We’re going to stop Hillary Clinton.” I replied.

They all burst into laughter and said words of approval.

“I bet you guys like Trump for the same reasons I like Bernie.” I said “He doesn’t take any shit and he speaks up for the working man, guys like you and me.”

At the end of my sentence, I rolled up my sleeve, revealing my Bernie Sanders tattoo.

These guys all had tattoos and I wanted them to know that our tribes weren’t so different.

“What do you think of Trump taking Mike Pence as his VP?” one man asked.

“Honestly, Trump did me a favor. I’ve been trying to get that piece of shit out of Indiana for two years.”

There were laughs all around, so I continued speaking..

“Pence is always trying to take rights away from women. It’s her goddamned body. It ain’t none of my business what a woman does with her body and it ain’t none of Mike Pence ‘s business either.”

All the men nodded in agreement.

I thought how much better our world had become in my short life, that even these guys, who I probably don’t agree with on some issues, could still recognize that a woman’s right to choose is sacred.

I paid and got the fuck outta Dodge.

As I was leaving, one of the guys yelled.

“I think Bernie’s alright!!”

And one of the other guys said

“Hey! I do, too!!”

I Used to Be In Love With Hillary Clinton

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I used to be in love with Hillary Clinton.

Well not “in love”, but oh how I used to love her.

I used to talk trash about how amazing she was when I spoke to Republicans.

I used to say

“If you hate Obama, wait until you get a load of Hillary!!”

I had a Hillary Clinton bumper sticker on my car.

I idolized her.

Let me be completely honest.

I voted for Obama in 2008.

But it was an extremely hard choice.

What did I know about her back then?

Well it’s kind of embarrassing.

All I really knew was that she was a woman and that she was a Democrat.

And she was (and still is) an excellent speaker.

And honestly that was enough for me at the time.

And up until a year ago I felt the same way.

So what happened?

I have always been a politically active person.

I fought for immigration reform, went to Planned Parenthood rallies…

I was recruited to be the head of my college’s feminist group (they said I wasn’t like other guys, whatever that means) and I was a member of The Sierra Club and Amnesty International.

I protested both Persian Gulf wars (alone both times).

I’m a vegetarian.

I go to Pride every year.

I’m kind of a huge bleeding heart liberal.

My Democrat friends make fun of me.

I don’t have very many Republican friends.

I voted for Bill Clinton twice, Obama twice and even voted for John Kerry (honestly I wasn’t hugely excited about Kerry, but would have voted for a ferret over Dubya)

I have been a loyal Democrat my entire life and yet I can’t bring myself to vote for Hillary Clinton.

 

Why?

Here’s a short list.

And before I begin, I want to say that this has nothing to do with Bernie Sanders.

Let’s assume for a minute that Bernie Sanders loses the nomination and I have to choose between Trump/Cruz/Rubio/Kasich or Clinton.

Let’s take Bernie Sanders completely out of the equation and imagine that I have to vote for her just to keep the GOP out.

I still struggle to do it.

It’s like asking me to choose between death by burning or death by drowning.

I choose neither.

I would choose to vote for Jill Stein if it comes to that.

At least then I could live with myself.

But I cannot feel good about myself, if I vote for Hillary Clinton.

Here’s why.

The TPP and Her Lying About It

The TPP would be an absolute disaster for America. We would lose millions of jobs overseas. The Internet would fall under control of multi-national corporations and our own government would be at the mercy of these corporations.

It’s a disaster.

Hillary Clinton helped write it and toured the planet for five years selling it to the world’s governments.

But then…

When she found out that Sanders opposed it, she publicly stated that she opposed it too.

That is a blatant lie and you can check that for yourself.

Emails to high ranking Democrats show that Hillary is pressuring them to pass TPP.

She is lying until she gets into office so she can pass it.

That alone would be good reason not to vote for her, but there’s more.

 

Hillary Clinton Receives Money From The For-Profit Prison Lobby

This is beyond wrong.

In fact, it’s downright Republican.

For-profit prisons have quotas to reach.

They make money from keeping their cells full.

They then turn around and charge the tax-payers money to incarcerate people.

But violent crime has been on the decrease in America for 30 years.

So for-profit prisons lobby our government to pass stricter laws and pressure police forces to make arrests where no arrests are needed.

They pass three strikes policies and mandatory minimum sentences.

But, it gets worse.

The prisons then force prisoners to work for .02 per hour (that’s right TWO CENTS PER HOUR) and then sell the products and services to bidders at a markup.

In short, for-profit prisons target poor minorities.

They are, in effect, modern slavery.

I cannot support a candidate who takes money from prisons for profit.

 

Hillary Cut Funding To Low Income Families

Hillary likes to talk about how she headed the Children’s Defense Fund.

What she fails to mention is that while she was head of the CDF she actually cut funding to the Welfare programs that were in place and replaced them with weaker programs that caused immense suffering for poor American families.

I am not holding Bill Clinton’s Welfare Reform bill against her (although she did speak out religiously in favor of it).

I am talking about Hillary’s choices.

When I was a Hillary Clinton supporter, I used to talk about how experienced she was.

What I didn’t know was that nearly everything she has touched has become worse as a result.

Gutting Aid to Families with Dependent Children was, quite frankly, a Republican maneuver.

I do not know how one can do this and call themselves a Democrat.

 

Wal-Mart and Union Busting

Hillary Clinton spent six years on the board at Wal-Mart, a company notorious for using sweat shop labor and for treating their employees unfairly.

Wal-Mart has also knowingly been responsible for the destruction of the American small business.

Wal-Mart has made it their strategy to pop-up in the middle of a small town and set their prices to drive mom and pop stores under.

I would be willing to overlook this as a past indiscretion if it weren’t for the fact that Hillary had a previous history as a union busting Republican lawyer and still receives hundreds of thousands of dollars from Wal-Mart to this day.

The Democrats I know won’t even shop at Wal-Mart.

They certainly would not support a candidate who has an ongoing relationship with such a corporation.

 

In a Word, Monsanto

Hillary Clinton receives money from Monsanto lobbyists and has spoken out in defense of Monsanto on numerous occasions.

Hillary is more than just a little involved with Monsanto.

In fact, Monsanto lobbyist, Jerry Crawford, is her senior adviser.

Monsanto’s Roundup has been linked to childhood cancer and there is some evidence that it may be linked to autism and other diseases.

Monsanto was instrumental in destroying family farming in America.

GMO’s are a serious issue and Hillary’s ties to Monsanto alone are enough to disqualify her with many liberals, myself included.

But there is so much more…

 

Climate Change

Hillary Clinton simply does not have a plan to deal with Global Warming.

This is undoubtedly related to her ties with Big Oil.

Hillary talks a good game, but upon inspection of her plan you see that she has no actual plan.

If we do not address Climate Change now, then there will be no planet for our children and grandchildren to inhabit.

It is absolutely the most pressing issue facing our planet and I cannot support someone who takes money from entities who contribute to this crisis.

 

Hillary Clinton Sold Arms to Countries That Sponsor Terrorism While She Was Secretary of State

When I first heard about this, I thought it was a Republican smear campaign.

So I looked into it.

I was shocked that Hillary traded arms to countries secretly for hidden donations to The Clinton Foundation.

You cannot say that you oppose terrorism while you arm the terrorists.

This alone is enough for any Democrat to reconsider supporting Hillary Clinton.

Just think how we would feel if we found out that a Republican did this.

We would want them thrown in prison.

Why should we feel differently about someone who calls themselves a Democrat?

Are we hypocrites?

 

Getting Money Out of Politics

Ask any American and they will tell you that the biggest problem in American government is that our government represents corporations and not people (and no, I’m sorry, but corporations are NOT people.)

Hillary Clinton is not equipped to get money out of politics as she continues to take money from lobbyists.

Talking out of both sides of her mouth, claiming to be a candidate of the people, doesn’t hold water when you see that she continues to hold her hand out to anyone who will drop a six figure check into it.

Until we have a President who will stand up to corporate lobbyists then our government will not represent The People.

Hillary Clinton represents corporate interests.

Hillary Clinton does not represent The People.

You simply cannot represent both simultaneously.

 

The DNC

Hillary Clinton’s manipulation of the Democratic National Committee to deprive the American people of a fair election in 2016 have been deplorable.

She knew she had the nomination wrapped up so instead of giving a fair shake to the other candidates, The DNC and Hillary colluded to have only six debates and they put all of the debates on at inconvenient times, against popular programs, so that the American people would not watch.

From a strategy standpoint I understand, but this is America.

Hiding your competition is not fair to the American people.

The front-runner should be bold and take on all challengers.

You should win because The People want you.

Not because you manipulated the election process.

But it did not stop with simply refusing to have debates.

Time Warner, who owns most of the mass media, is one of Hillary Clinton’s largest donors.

They have a vested interest in her winning and it shows in how they report “the news”.

Hillary also receives money from News Corp (aka Fox News).

Rupert Murdoch, half-owner of Fox News is a longtime friend and supporter of Hillary Clinton.

This is unfair to the American people and I cannot support a candidate who tries to manipulate our election process.

Once Sanders had caught her in the National polls, Hillary stopped hiding and demanded more debates. Sanders, a respecter of Democracy, complied.

More debates are good for Democracy (there were 28 Democratic debates in 2008).

Trying to cheat the American people out of their chance to see their options is anti-Democratic.

Furthermore it is apparent that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is working together with Hillary Clinton and Third Way Democrats to ensure that the deck is stacked against her opponents.

And recently it came out that many of the pro-Hillary pundits were actually on her payroll.

This means that when you see someone on “the news” telling you why you should vote for Hillary, that you are not getting an impartial opinion.

And that is not what The Democratic Party is supposed to be about.

We are supposed to be better than the Republicans.

 

The Podesta Group and Child Labor

Much of Hillary Clinton’s campaign money comes through the chair of her campaign, John Podesta, head of the Podesta Group.

Podesta gets money from Merck which uses child labor in India to farm Mica for their products.

Hillary Clinton knowingly takes money from child labor.

Many of these children are as young as five years of age.

 

I cannot feel good about myself, supporting a candidate who profits from child labor.

Wall Street

Yeah, yeah…

I’m sick of hearing about it too, but the fact of the matter is that you cannot represent The People if you are being controlled by The Banks.

America has dropped from the world’s top economy to 23rd overall.

The rich are getting richer and the middle-class, which was the backbone of our economy, has all but disappeared.

This is all a result of Wall Street manipulation.

Furthermore Hillary is keeping secrets about what she said during her Wall Street speeches, where she was paid $153,000,000.

When challenged to release the transcripts she said that she would release them when the Republicans did the same.

I do not want a President who waits for Republicans to set her morals and ethics.

I want a leader.

Hillary’s refusal to release the transcripts, which are in her possession and solely her property, is enough of an implication to make even the most die-hard Clinton supporter wonder what she is hiding.

I could talk about Hillary’s conflicts of interest for hours, but the bottom line is…

You cannot represent The People, when you are beholden to The Big Banks.

 

A Repeated Pattern of Racist Comments and Actions

From her implication that black teenagers are “Super-predators that need to be brought to heel.” to “Black men in hoodies are scary.” to her relationship with racist, genocidal war criminal Henry Kissinger, to the way she treats Black Lives Matter protesters, there is a repeated pattern of racism that seems to seethe out from Mrs Clinton.

When you back this up with some of her questionable policy decisions and support of her husband’s crime bill that targeted black Americans, you start to get an overall picture of a woman who at the very least, does not understand the problems facing black America.

 

DOMA

Hillary Clinton toured the country speaking out in favor of Bill Clinton’s Defense of Marriage Act, a bill that legalized discrimination against gays and lesbians.

DOMA devastated hundreds of thousands of lives.

But that was the 90s, right?

She’s evolved since then, I used to say.

Hardly.

She continued to speak out against gay marriage and is on record as recently as 2013 as stating that “marriage is between a man and a woman”.

Then suddenly, when the tides in the country had shifted, and marriage equality became inevitable, Hillary changed her position and became an overnight ally.

Sorry Hillary.

As someone who has been fighting this battle since I was 16 years old and lived through DOMA, that just doesn’t work.

You were against us, then you were for us, when it was convenient for you.

That doesn’t fly.

Which leads me to the next reason I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton…

 

Which Hillary Clinton Will We Get?

Hillary seems to change her policies based on what suits her best at the time.

It seems that she says what people want to hear, then later does what suits her corporate lobby interests.

While this might make her an excellent politician, it makes her an untrustworthy leader.

America is in a very perilous place currently.

We have an economy that is devastated.

We have enemies, both foreign and domestic, who seek to destroy us.

We have a fractured government.

We cannot have someone in office who lies to us.

I cannot vote for someone who puts their own best interest ahead of our country’s best interest.

 

The Iraq War

It is not just that Hillary voted for a war that killed 175,000 innocent people and created Isis.

It is that she actively spoke up for it and sounded like a Republican while doing so.

She not only spoke up for this unjust war, but was front and center speaking, convincing others to vote for it as well.

We will spend our entire lives trying to recover from the worst foreign policy blunder in American history.

I cannot vote for someone who has repeatedly shown a tendency to go to unnecessary war and repeatedly shown a lack of judgment and capable leadership.

 

Honduras, Libya and Potential War in Syria

Clinton’s role in the regime change in Honduras and Libya has lead to the slaughter of innocent people in both countries.

It would take hours to outline the full scope of Hillary’s deceptions in these situations, but when she talks about the conflict in Syria, it is clear that if she is elected to office than many more innocents will die.

As a Democrat I cannot vote for someone who will send American troops off to die without just cause.

As a human being, I cannot put someone in charge of the world’s most powerful military, considering that on several occasions she has already used that military to strike down the innocent.

Quite honestly, Hillary is similar to most Republicans in her approach to war.

 

Underhanded Campaign Tactics

In 2008, Hillary Clinton suggested that perhaps Barack Obama would be assassinated so she could win the Democratic nomination.

In 2008, Hillary Clinton circulated a photo of Barack Obama in a turban and started a campaign against him, stating that he was not a Christian.

This turned into the Birther movement which haunted Obama and detracted from his effectiveness as our nation’s leader over the next eight years.

In 2015, she took an excerpt from the first Democratic debate, where Bernie Sanders said “We have to stop shouting at each other (referring to Americans) over gun control.” and used it in campaign ads to say that Bernie Sanders was a sexist who wanted women to be quiet and know their place.

In 2016, she stood on a debate stage and lied about Bernie Sanders’ voting on a bill that her husband actually introduced.

These are Republican tactics.

These are just a few examples.

There are many more.

I cannot in good conscience vote for someone who spreads lies about good people like Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders.

I just cannot trust someone who does that.

 

A Pattern of Silencing Victims

From Bill Clinton’s sexual assault accusers, to a huge list of people who have crossed the Clinton’s and ended up in dire straights, there is a growing number of people who say that Hillary Clinton has threatened them into silence.

When I was a Clinton supporter, I chalked this up to opportunistic people, trying to get a cut of the vast Clinton fortune, but there are just so many and they all say the same things about her.

Couple this with Hillary’s seeming inability to tell the truth (remember when she bragged about landing under sniper fire in Bosnia and then the video emerged of her elaborate celebrity greeting) and you have to at least wonder if there is some credence to the claims that Hillary Clinton silenced sexual assault victims.

As a feminist, that is a deal-breaker for me.

Which leads me to what is perhaps my most important reason…

 

I Have a Daughter

I took my daughter to vote for Barack Obama both times that I voted for him.

I wanted her to experience, what I felt, was a huge step for our country in the area of race relations.

I openly wept the first time.

I was excited to vote for Hillary for similar reasons.

I wanted my daughter to see that when she grew up, that she too, could become President.

I wanted her to grow up in a country where women were treated equally.

Having a female President would be proof that we were, at least, moving in that direction.

You can imagine how heartsick I was when I found out that Hillary was not a good example for my little girl.

America is long overdue for a woman to be President.

Indira Gandhi lead India fifty years ago.

Why has America been so slow to give equality to women?

I don’t understand it.

But I now realize that electing someone who is a poor example for my daughter is actually a step backwards for women.

There is a growing list of powerful women in government.

We can only be a few years away from electing a female President.

When we do, I want it to be someone my daughter can be proud of.

Hillary Clinton is simply not that woman.

When I started this, I was determined to fit all of the reasons I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton into one neat little article.

I have failed.

There are just too many to cover.

But I have one more that is of great concern to me…

 

She Is Not a Good Candidate Right Now

The numbers show that she would lose to three of the top four Republicans and would beat Trump by only one point (she loses to Cruz and Rubio by seven points respectively and to Kasich by three points in historically accurate Quinnipiac polls).

Once you include the fact that she is clearly hiding something in her 38,000 deleted emails and that her IT person, Brian Pagliano, has been given immunity by the FBI and DOJ, it is clear that Hillary is not a good candidate to support in this crucial time for our country.

With this indictment hanging over her head she will most certainly lose to the GOP.

Can you imagine the ways in which they will use this information against her, over and over and over again?

She is facing federal indictment during an election.

Democrats deserve better than that.

The next President of the United States will have the opportunity to appoint either two or three Supreme Court Justices.

The GOP has control of The House and Senate.

If they gain control of The White House and The Supreme Court as well, then Democrats are effectively locked out of government entirely.

A woman’s right to choose will be gone.

All LBGT+ rights, GONE!!

It’s too crucial.

As a Democrat, I need a candidate who will beat the GOP.

Not a candidate who is facing federal indictment during an election.

I used to be in love with Hillary Clinton.

These days, not so much.

It always hurts when you allow yourself to be duped.

I didn’t really know Hillary.

I projected my wants onto her.

I believed that she represented me and when I found out that she didn’t it hurt.

I’ve moved on and I sincerely hope others will learn the things that I did.

I do not believe that Hillary supporters are bad people.

I believe they are just like I was.

Life is busy.

Who has time to research politicians.

Pretty lies are more fun than ugly truths.

 

But I can’t support someone who has done the things she has done.

Maybe you will think I am just a scorned, former lover.

All I know is that the more I learned, the more it hurt me to see someone with so many people looking up to her, do things that hurt so many.

I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton.

I cannot live with blood on my hands.

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