I guess I should contribute to this, huh? Well, time to commit.
Pierogi! Vodka! Fur hats and whatnot! Ra, ra Rasputin, lover of the Russian queen!
Moskau, Moskau. Wirf die Gläser an die Wand! Russland ist ein schönes Land!
Ho ho ho ho ho. Hey!
Привет товарищи! Я пишу вам от славной американской базы Матери-России, чтобы петь хвалу каждому политическому деятелю, которого вы лично не любите. Я также даю пищу всем моим русским товарищам, которые хорошо работают, прячусь под вашей кроватью и в вашем шкафу ночью и взламывая ваше амазонское эхо, чтобы дать вам больше рекламы.
Это старые новости, но я просто хочу раздражать всех людей (которые, в отличие от этих злых консерваторов, совсем не боятся иностранцев), которые считают, что противостоящие политические взгляды – это вина России. Путин выставил рекламу, поддерживающую Берни Сандерса. Я просто сказал.
I don’t speak Russian. If this is a horribly illiterate translation, blame our Google overlords. Now that I’ve beaten that joke into the ground, let’s move on to the actual content about #WalkingAway from the Democratic party.
I am not a Democrat. Yes, I know–I’m a genius and a hero. Really, though, I don’t understand why saying that earns anyone in 2018 America any flack. Even in its mutated form of #WalkAway from vague liberals, I don’t see why it has gotten so much flack. It has been painted by Democrats and left-leaners as alt-right, pro-Trump, conservative schlock organized by evil Russians to stop the Blue Wave from occurring in the upcoming election cycle. It’s a very odd alliance to me because the Bernie Sanders crowd has every reason to walk away from the Democratic party; but they are, for some reason, some of the main people throwing a hissy fit over the (comparatively very small) movement’s mere existence. The other main players are, of course, the Clinton-esque establishment Democrats who have been taking a well-deserved beating from all sides ever since Trump was elected.
If I had to guess why the alliance happened, it’s probably because the Democrats used their influence over major Old Guard media outlets (pretty much the only influence they have left at this point) to convince everyone that #WalkAway was an arrow pointing in one direction and one direction only–toward Trump. That is not the case. It’s certainly the case for some people, don’t get me wrong. You’ll see plenty of MAGA hats contributing to the hashtag talking about how they voted for Obama twice and hope to vote for Trump twice as well. I guess I want to contribute to this to show that this isn’t a one-way street. Leaving the DNC doesn’t inherently mean jumping aboard the RNC bandwagon. It really shows how bad bi-partisanism has gotten when that’s automatically assumed.
You can leave the Democrats and put an R on your voter ID. Or an I. You can leave to join the Green Party or the Libertarians or the Democratic Socialists or the Social Democrats (which are two different things, btdubs). I wouldn’t even point to the new MAGA enthusiasts as people who joined the Republican party seeing as how the RNC fucking hates Trump for not being an old guard establishment Republican. If anything, the #WalkAway movement seems to be about rejecting the Democrat/Republican paradigm to support populist candidates like Trump, like Bernie, like Rand Paul, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (who all represent four different political ideologies). It’s not just about Russia trying to stop muh Blue Wave.
And I’m technically a part of it. I was a liberal in a very conservative, rural small town in the South. I would have voted for Obama had I been old enough to vote for him. Both times. (This is, of course, before I was more politically involved and realized that Obama wasn’t that great and did some highly contestable things. If I had known that back then, he’d only get one hypothetical vote from me, not two.) I’m registered to vote in local elections as an Independent now, but my first voter registration was as a Democrat. This last presidential election was the first one I was old enough to vote for, and I voted third party. I initially supported Sanders, but after the embarrassing BLM kerfuffle, it would’ve taken a lot for me to vote for him had he taken Clinton’s spot as the official Democratic nominee. I did highly consider voting for Trump before realizing that I didn’t want him in office as much as I just didn’t want another corrupt political dynasty candidate in office.
Now that I’m moving to a state that doesn’t have the “Independent” voter option, I’m honestly not sure which party I’m going to sign up under. The fact that I’m so ambivalent about it is evidence enough that I’m a #WalkAway case, I assume. Establishment Democrats and establishment Republicans strike me as mostly the same thing. Yes, they have different divisive social issues they like to push, but, in the end of the day they seem to do the same things once they get in office. Bush was a warmonger who gave guns to random countries and insurgency groups under the table, who fucked up our educational system, who let Wall Street fuck us in the collective ass, who started Gitmo and spying on citizens, who made the school-to-prison pipeline even worse. Obama is a guy who pretended to be a dove before revealing himself to be a warmonger, who continued to fuck our educational system, who did nothing about the criminals on Wall Street and even bailed some of them out, who not only did nothing about Gitmo but went after more whistleblowers than Bush could dream of doing, who had the NSA do even more spying, and who had even more potheads prosecuted than Bush did.
You can summarize that above rant with this quote: “Obama was putting kids in cages before it was cool to be outraged about it.”
So forgive me for thinking that there’s no difference between the two parties that matters. The only real difference seems to be that Democrats pretend to care about certain issues and the Republicans don’t bother. Oh look, Obama made a sad speech about racism after a gun-crazy neighborhood watchman shot a teenager for no reason. That makes him drone striking a teenaged American citizen okay!
As much as I hate to lend credence to the identity politics idea, I am forced to in this instance because it’s actually somewhat relevant to my #WalkingAway. I am a black woman. Democrats have made it very clear that they think they just own my vote by default. It’s not even entitlement at this point. In order to feel entitled to something, you must first admit that you don’t have it and that it should be given to you. As far as the Democratic party is concerned, I was born with a D next to my name. I was never not theirs.
And if the Democrats actually earned that, I wouldn’t mind. But what have they actually done for the black community, as a political party? “LBJ was a Democrat!” you scream from the balcony. Yeah, and he had to get his arm twisted into doing anything for the Civil Rights movement, with it boiling down mostly to him making a savvy political move that he saw an unavoidable. What did they do after that? Economically cripple black communities by establishing the cyclical dependency of the welfare state as a half-hearted attempt at reparations. Keep affirmative action going far past its expiration date, establishing the stereotype of the black worker/student as inherently underqualified and prone to getting hand outs. Start the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that contributed heavily to unjust black incarceration and a prison population that exceeds China.
Take Super PAC funding from private prisons. Ignore the infrastructure reforms that would lead to safer living environments in favor of supporting doomed social programs. Utterly ignore the gun violence that is killing young black men at epidemic-level rates, yet get all misty-eyed the second a mass shooting that can’t be classified as gang-related violence happens. Get up-in-arms about Collin Kaepernick not being able to kneel during the national anthem, but be utterly unwilling to address the larger system of social and financial exploitation of professional sports (that victimizes mostly black men) that makes the NFL’s curbing of free speech rights totally legal. Or how about the fact that Democrats overwhelmingly represent the young, family-less 20-something demographic that is the main culprit in displacing minorities in urban areas–aka the gentrification issue they care so much about until they don’t.
Anyone who reads this blog knows that I have a kinda like/hate relationship with Donald Trump. But if he got one thing right, it was the statement he made to black communities. “What do you have to lose?!” his grating voice boomed, spreading his arms wide. The Democrats, right on cue, accused him of racism . . . for parroting the exact same talking points about black academic underachievement and dangerous ghettos that liberals have been spouting for decades. (The ability to find grievous fault in Trump saying the sky is blue is yet another reason I wholly understand people flocking away from the Democrats.) Was he wrong, though? What does the black community have to lose?
Chicago and Baltimore and Newark and New York City and Philadelphia and Los Angeles have been blue for decades going on decades, and yet they are hubs of some of the worst living conditions for black Americans in the entire country. The black Democrat Baltimore mayor designated certain low-income areas as places that were “okay” to be destroyed by rioters just a few years back. Philadelphia was so extremely violent that the 1980s knew it more closely as Killadelphia. Living in South LA gives kids the same levels of PTSD as fucking war refugees. Southside Chicago is so universally shitty that its problems account for a very sizable percentage of the country’s overall violence and human rights abuses rates.
This isn’t me saying that voting in someone other than a Democrat would make those places better. But, hell, you could try changing something, instead of repeatedly voting in the same party that has repeatedly done fuck all to help the situation and then wondering why nothing changes. The worst element of it is that those people who are perpetually unhelped by having a Democrat in office are the same people who Democrats feel like they own the vote of. And they keep being proven right. Democrats have Stockholm Syndromed black America into thinking that they’re somehow the only political option available because everyone else is racist. Meanwhile, Hilary Clinton calls black men super predators to justify high incarceration rates in private prisons and carries around hot sauce in her purse to appeal to black radio hosts, and she still painted herself as the non-racist one because she had a D next to her name.
It’s called the Democratic Plantation for a reason. And just like plantations, the old guard Democratic party (and Republican party, for that matter) should be resigned to the past to be replaced with something better and more efficient, in a world with more than a handful of options available. But that change won’t happen until you leave it. Just walk away.