There’s a meme of a tweet making the rounds that many Democrats and liberals are sharing that I think needs addressing, because it’s reductive and more than anything it’s a shitty analogy. So here, below is the meme/tweet:
For starters, I get it, I really do. Trump and Bernie couldn’t be more dissimilar if they tried, so anyone who actually does jump from Sanders to The Donald is acting really foolishly. But, I really hate shit memes like this because it also lumps every single Bernie or Bust voter into the same category.
You might say, “This doesn’t apply to you because you’re not voting for Trump!” But the meme implies that I am, and I’ve seen way too many people tell me that I’m de facto voting for Trump by voting for Jill Stein to believe that people won’t interpret this meme to mean that we’re all willing to “drink bleach” because we didn’t get our way.
I’ve pointed this out I don’t know how many times now, but I live in California. Perhaps one of the most safely blue states in the country. If I lived in a swing state, I would probably not be Bernie Or Bust. Some poor misguided people are actually hopping from Team Bernie to Team Trump, but I’ve personally seen several high-profile Bernie supporters condemn that kind of madness, like NY Daily News columnist Sean King’s post:
Dear Bernie supporters, Today kind of sucks, right? The media, the President, and the Democratic Party have pretty much moved on from what we helped Bernie build over this past year. What we make it moving forward is in our hands. I think we have some pretty amazing options, actually.
So please, Hillary Hawks and Democrat Rah-Rah Types, do yourselves a favor and stop acting like all of us who are choosing not to vote for Hillary are in some way voting for Trump, or that we’re all not voting at all. You know how you hate it when conservatives generalize about liberals all being economically illiterate pansies who hate guns and America? Well…you’re kind of doing the same exact thing when you lump all Bernie or Bust people together.
To pretend as if there are only two options for every voter in every state is just idiotic. Right there this meme fails. But let’s get into this beverage analogy a bit more.
What if you’re like me and choosing to vote for Jill Stein instead? I’m not drinking bleach. I’m doing something more along the lines of this:
“I’m tired of drinking beer that tastes like piss, so I’m going to try a different brewery this time.”
That’s what I am going “Bernie or Bust” for; desire to have something new. I know, that makes me a selfish, white, privileged, shitlord, right? Well, okay. Then again, when people were fighting to end slavery or Jim Crow in this country, how many were called selfish for being unyielding when it came to pushing for what they want? The thing about change is that it’s hard, and most people default back to their factory setting of “meh” really easily, which lets them then sit in judgment of other people who are still fighting for it.
The truth is that this country is huge and is made up of 50 different states that have a myriad of factors at play within them. My decision not to support Hillary has nothing to do with her being a woman, with her supposedly stealing the nomination, or anything like that. It comes from taking into account what I want to change and realizing that she will probably not be the champion for change I feel this country needs.
Yes, this makes this decision a selfish one for me. But, well, every vote is a selfish decision ultimately because even when you’re saying “I’m voting with everyone’s best interests in mind,” you’re still judging that based on your own, personal views and are pretty much speaking on everyone else’s behalf, presuming you know what’s best for them. So to call me selfish is kind of silly in this context.
The bottom line is that I understand the desire to shame people out of voting for Donald Trump. He’s a dumb, dumb son of a bitch who shouldn’t be trusted walking a dog, let alone running a country. He’s a walking pile of human shit, and I mean that pretty much literally. But in making statements like these, you alienate people who generally believe the things you do, but simply disagree with the notion that we absolutely must choose between one of two candidates. That’s basically trying to dictate someone else’s vote.
I’m not choosing bleach over beer. I’m choosing wine. I’m choosing a different beer. Use whatever booze-and-poison analogy you want to, but none of them really mean anything if someone is choosing to vote for someone other than Trump or Hillary.
Is this fucking election over yet?