Nominating Hillary Clinton was never pragmatic. It was never strategic, rational, or more “grown up.”
It was the opposite of all those things.
Several months ago, the polls were clear: Bernie Sanders was vastly outperforming Clinton in match-ups against Trump.
For months and months during the primary cycle we knew this.
A real pragmatist would have looked at that situation and said, “Bernie Sanders is clearly a safer bet against Donald Trump.”
But that’s not all.
We also knew, for months, that much of Bernie’s base was being drawn out of the proverbial woodwork. I’m talking about young people—and people in general—who might normally vote Green or not vote at all. These particular voters, who supported Bernie Sanders in large numbers, were not quiet about their disdain for Hillary Clinton. They told us they wouldn’t be Trump-scared into voting squarely against their values, principles, and political interests for a candidate—a party—that does not represent them. Say what you will about the ethics of that position, you knew the Democratic Party would lose those voters with Hillary Clinton as the nominee.
A real rational mind would have looked at that situation and said, “Wow, with Bernie, the Democratic Party will have these independent voters in November. With Hillary, the party will not.”
And oh, right, Hillary Clinton has been under investigation by the FBI for almost the entirety of our election cycle.
A real “grown up,” maybe would have looked at that matter and said, “What a huge liability.”
And let’s not forget that demanding way less than what you actually want is not an effective political strategy in the US. The US conservative movement has been running the show for decades because they understand how the system works. You fight for exactly what you want, tooth-and-nail. You don’t make concessions before reaching the bargaining table. You don’t reach across the aisle.
A real strategist would have looked at our political system and said, “This isn’t a fucking Kumbaya campfire singalong. You don’t embrace half-measures like Hillary Clinton.” (And really, she wasn't even a half-measure; she was just a right-wing candidate running as a Democrat.)
The punchline: Hillary Clinton supporters paved the way for a Trump presidency, yes—but for what?
Taking a gamble during the primary cycle might have been justified with someone like Bernie Sanders. He was talking a big game about serious change, about undertaking an overhaul of our society and political system. That, understandably, might lure someone to play the odds a bit.
But Hillary? She is the establishment, the status-quo. She is corporate governance, drone wars, military coups, for-profit health care, human rights violations, and growing wealth inequality incarnate.
So, why? Why the risk?
Was it worth it?