The biggest story of Super Tuesday is the giant Independence Day mothership that now casts a dark shadow over our country, ready to rain fire and destruction down upon us. Ahead of yesterday, there was a lot written about what a Donald Trump table run might look like for the GOP and the nation in general. But even before the reality could take hold, the image of Trump’s spectacularly self-satisfied victory lap — flanked by a clearly horrified Chris Christie, playing the role of the man who just realized he sold his soul to the devil — was more than enough to make the situation alarmingly clear. A shameless, pathological liar and narcissistic reality show clown, a thin-skinned dictator leading racist crowds to sometimes violently toss minorities and other undesirables from his rallies, had just won the battle for the soul of the Republican party and was now nearly unstoppable on his path to becoming its nominee for President of the United States. The GOP has no one to blame but itself for the situation it now finds itself in, but none of that changes a damn thing for the rest of us. He is their monster — the monster they unleashed on everyone.
The second biggest story of Super Tuesday is maybe not as surprising or politically sexy, but it matters: Hillary Clinton won. There are already those trying to downplay her sweep of the South and the numbers that show a broad coalition of ethnicities and races turning out for her; those who are blaming, of all people, Elizabeth Warren for her win in Massachusetts; but in the end she took seven states. No, she didn’t shut-out Bernie Sanders, who had a very respectable showing by taking home four wins, but as polling savant Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight reports today, Sanders’s victories “tended to come by smaller margins and in smaller states.” Clinton’s lead is “pretty much insurmountable” given that she has a substantial delegate lead and when you consider the way the Democrats divide up delegate conquests, “Sanders would need to win by wide margins to catch up” in the coming weeks and months, the site says. These aren’t the words of a pundit or Clinton apparatchik; this is the math. Bernie Sanders certainly has the funding and the mandate from his supporters to continue to push forward, but the next couple of contests — certainly the March 15th mini-Super Tuesday that sees four states go to the polls, all of which Clinton is heavily favored in — should be more than enough to all but bring the race to a close. (Even with the next few states after that being closer contests at the moment.)
Now of course none of this is going to stop the Sanders army of True Believers from continuing to proselytize for their guy, and at face value there’s nothing wrong with that. Donald Trump is proof that almost anything can happen in politics, but make no mistake — he’s the product of years of cynically fomented rage and resentment, neither of which exists in any abundance within the Democratic electorate. And that’s precisely why Sanders’s “political revolution” isn’t catching fire the way he needs it to in order to win: only the far-left within the left is so disillusioned with Barack Obama that they’d support someone who wants to tear down his entire legacy and start over. Only the already privileged have the luxury of risking the social and economic advancements made under the Obama administration by trying to run a protest candidate against any Republican, let alone Donald Trump. That’s why Hillary Clinton has built a strong base with the underserved: they know they have the most to lose and therefore can’t take chances on a candidate who likely won’t win and an agenda that will be nearly impossible to implement, certainly not when pragmatic progress is already taking place.
On that first point, Sanders’s faithful will likely point to polling that shows Sanders faring better against Trump than Clinton would. But, as The Washington Post reports today, that polling is terribly misleading on its face and it doesn’t take into account a host of serious hurdles Sanders would face in a general election. He’s not in a better position to beat Trump. Period.
It would be comforting to think that maybe today, the day after he easily cruised to a Super Tuesday victory and the day his supporters literally assaulted a black woman at a rally in Kentucky and called her a “nigger and a cunt,” those still not acknowledging the threat Donald Trump poses to our republic would finally come around. This man is utterly dangerous. What he singularly gives voice to is dangerous. The notion of allowing him to gain control of our country, its military, its Supreme Court, to be the face of our nation on the world stage and to negotiate with our allies and enemies, should be offensive to all but the most unhinged and unserious. Letting Donald Trump anywhere near the White House should be out of the question. Believing that maybe a Trump presidency is exactly what’s needed to teach America an object lesson to finally push it to the far-left is either insanity or unforgivable irresponsibility. To think he can’t do immediate damage that will negatively impact the lives of millions of Americans is laughable ignorance. There’s word today that the Clinton campaign has already begun putting together a detailed strategy to succeed in attacking Trump where so many have failed to this point. That’s smart, given that the time to begin taking the Trump threat seriously in a general election was actually weeks ago. It’s hopeful that Bernie Sanders likewise is thinking about how he’d face Trump and that his plan for emerging victorious and dodging the vicious, relentless attacks that would come at him isn’t in any way fanciful. No matter who gets the Democratic nomination, that person has to defeat Trump. This isn’t a fucking game.
That’s the problem, though. Specific to this election, where America’s staring down the barrel of its own version of one of the ignominious fascist demagogues of history, there are so many still treating this like it’s something that can be screwed around with and not considered logically and reasonably. Obviously, I have some close personal experience with this because I’ve written about it before and each time I even tangentially broach the subject, the same swarm of progressive nihilist locusts descends upon this site. If you’ve ever said something online that wasn’t sufficiently Bernie-positive or which defended Hillary Clinton from the most irrational of attacks against her — or if you’ve simply pondered a Sanders path to victory considering the intransigence of, you know, math — you’re probably familiar with the response. It’s swift and merciless and I’ll go ahead and say it right now: it’s going to happen again as a consequence of this column. It’s going to happen here. It’s going to happen on Twitter. It’s going to happen on Facebook. It may even get me an amusingly detailed response posted at The Huffington Post, as one of my most recent pieces did.
In a lengthy blog entry, I’m excoriated for my absolutely correct assertion that if you’re a Bernie Sanders acolyte who’s content and even willing to sabotage the rest of the country by handing it to Trump if your man doesn’t get the Democratic nomination, you’re an idiot. Actually, maybe I was slightly incorrect, since you’re not just an idiot, you’re also an irresponsible child. Still, I got a 25-point dissertation on why Hillary Clinton is a Republican. And progressives don’t vote for Republicans. I’m sure it’s expected that I’ll try to refute this person point by point, but here’s the great thing about all of this: I don’t have to. I don’t have to do a damn thing. Because no matter how many opinions or how many instances of policy-making self-styled Real Progressives can point to from Hillary Clinton and claim are somehow un-Democratic — and her list of liberal accomplishments is inarguably long anyway — the general election will come down to only two people. And if she’s one of them she will be much, much better for America both short-term and long-term than the Republican candidate and infinitely better than Donald Trump, if he happens to be that Republican. To argue with this is an exercise in futility because it’s a fact. A two-candidate choice is a political reality. Another political reality is that even if you don’t vote, you vote — in this case, if you chose not to vote for Clinton in the general election should she get the nomination, you’d be tacitly voting for Trump, should he get the nomination. Simple as that.
So with that in mind, the only logical argument you have for not voting for Clinton, the Democrat, even if you have to hold your nose to do it, is that you either don’t think Trump is such a bad choice or you believe he’s a terrible choice but that’s precisely the point. The author of the HuffPo post insists that a Trump presidency will be the magic bullet that finally brings about the uprising that Bernie Sanders wouldn’t have been able to, should he not be nominated. “A President Trump in 2016 equals a President Warren in 2020,” he writes. Well, first of all, I can’t help but wonder if he’s gotten the memo that Elizabeth Warren is now an “enemy of the revolution” to the always reasonable “Bernie or Bust” movement after her alleged betrayal bore fruit for Clinton on Super Tuesday. Beyond that, though — God, what a fucking arrogant thing to say. Given that this person is a white man who lives in Portland, Oregon and the main issue he hangs his vote on is weed legalization — he’s argued with me before and apparently holds a grudge after our last go-round four years ago, while I seriously had to Google his name again — it’s nice that he’s willing to sacrifice underserved voters in the name of his crusade. I’m sure they appreciate that he knows what’s best for them in the long run, even if they happen to wind up being either frog-marched out of the country at gunpoint or forced to fight in a war against whoever-the-hell during the first couple of years of a Trump presidency. Want to know why minority voters are siding overwhelmingly with Clinton? There you go.
The last time political nihilists tried to convince us both parties were the same and that a political uprising was necessary to shake everything up — because as my detractor says, “it’s the rigged system, stupid” — we got 4,448 dead Americans in Iraq and countless Iraqis. We got 1,856 Americans dead Afghanistan and more than 20,000 wounded. We got 9/11, which started it all, because the idiot we figured was just like the other guy was too incurious to read his daily briefings. The two parties are not the same. They’ve never been the same. Anyone who says so needs to be willing to join the U.S. military immediately, particularly with the prospect of a President Donald Trump. Because while no one knows the future, here’s what Hillary Clinton won’t do: she won’t go to war with Liechtenstein because the country’s prince insulted her fingers. I’m exaggerating, but honestly by how much? We know that Clinton won’t attempt to round up and deport 11 million people. She won’t roll back civil rights advances, gay marriage, abortion rights, or health insurance coverage for millions. She won’t appoint Supreme Court justices that will undo myriad progressive achievements. She won’t build a giant, unnecessary wall along our southern border and get into an international dick-swinging contest about who’s going to pay for it. She won’t ban Muslims and encourage anyone to “rough them up.” We can be reasonably sure she won’t utterly ruin the United States’ standing in the eyes of the world.
Now of course none of this will sway the Bernie Sanders die-hards. I gave up on that a long time ago. So all that’s left now is to call this kind of stubborn lunacy what it is as many times as possible, because the higher Donald Trump rises, the more the existential threat to the United States becomes real. Bernie Sanders has done an unqualified good by pulling liberal politics further to the left than it’s been in years — and if by some miracle he goes all the way in the primaries, he has my vote. But even if he doesn’t, he’s made a difference. It would be a shame for his most fervent supporters to purposely, childishly fuck it all up. He’s already said he wouldn’t want that. But they’ve proven they’re not listening. They won’t listen.
I’d love to vote for Bernie Sanders, and if somebody who isn’t a supporter of his — because it seems like every article touting Sanders’s chances is steeped in confirmation bias — can show me a clear path to victory and to the implementation of his agenda, I’ll probably get in line. But until that happens, and as Hillary Clinton continues to push toward seeming inevitability, I won’t feel one ounce of shame in doing what I have to do to ensure that neither Donald Trump nor the party that created him get their hands on the most powerful position on the planet.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.