Even before voting in the California primary next month, I've been thinking a lot about the November election. We now know that Donald Trump will be theRepublican nominee, and it appears likely that Hillary Clinton will be theDemocratic candidate.
(I'm still voting for Bernie Sanders next month, by the way.)
Anyway, if things break the way I expect them to, there's going to be huge pressure on progressive voters to vote for HRC to keep Trump out of the White House. This, by the way, is what I've been planning to do, because I am a one-issue voter, and that one issue is keeping power-hungry fascist demagogues out of power.
Which is why I've been troubled to see the behavior of the Democratic National Committee and many Clinton supporters. The DNC, whose chair openly supports Clinton. is doing its level best to keep the Sanders campaign out of convention committees, as well as any position of influence. And a lot of Hillary supporters are calling for Bernie to suspend his campaign in the name of party unity, fearing he's damaging their chances in November.
There's just one problem with that.
He's still winning primary elections, and the big prize of California is yet to come. That's one he could theoretically win, too. And as the current count of pledged delegates is something like 1716 for Clinton to 1433 for Sanders, California and the other states that vote on June 7 could be pivotal.
So yeah, he could still win in terms of pledged delegates. Looks like I was wrong about item #7 in my last post.
But what about superdelegates, you ask? Yeah, about that: they're mostly all for Clinton. But it's kind of hard to call yourself the Democratic party and have your elite, free-agent superdelegates voting against the obvious will of the rank-and-file. Not very democratic, that. There's an excellent article here that discusses this in some detail.
But I digress. Many Sanders supporters are understandably somewhat miffed that their candidate might win the popular vote and still get shoved aside because the superdelegates are engaging in voter nullification. A tweet I saw this morning stated their point rather nicely:
Yeah. There's that. In a year when the electorate is obviously and demonstrably sick of politics as usual, the Democratic establishment appears poised to ram through a candidate who is clearly part of the Washington and business establishments (former Walmart board member, former First Lady, former Senator, former Secretary of State) and who has massive negative approval ratings. They'll vote that way no doubt in part because of favors owed to both Clintons, as well as being afraid ofwhat might happen to the corporate contributions that flow into their own campaigns if the national party gives the finger to Wall Street by electing a self-described democratic socialist. That's understandable in its own way--why break up what is a very comfortable arrangement? Apart from all the cronyism and corruption, of course. And then there are the polls showing her losing to Trump, where Sanders would win comfortably.
Anyway, so what should a progressive voter do?
One answer is to vote for a third-party candidate like Jill Stein of the Greens. But then you risk a Trump presidency.
Another answer is to hold your nose and vote for Hillary. You'll help keep Trump out, but then the Democratic Party will have no incentive to change its ways.
A third option, which I refuse to contemplate, is voting for Trump. No doubt some will.
And finally, you can stay home and sit this one out. Some will do this, too.
What will I do?
I won't sit it out. At this point, I'm likely to vote for Hillary in November. But it's not certain. Much will depend on what transpires betweennow and then in the Democratic campaign. Because when it's all over, I have to be able to look at myself in the mirror and know that I voted according to my conscience. I don't want Trump in the White House. Then again, I don't want the Democratic Party to merely be a business-dominated,mildly right-of-center alternative to a Trump-dominated, batshit crazy neofascist Republican party, either. The Green Party is closer to my personal beliefs, and very, very tempting.
There is, however, one thing I do know.
If I end up voting for Hillary merely to keep out Trump--which may very well happen--after she and the Democratic National Committee have done everything in their power to keep Sanders-supporting progressives out of any position of influence, they will have earned an abandonment, and it will likely be the last vote I ever cast for a Democrat.