As the primary parade marches West, the complexion of one party’s race has only solidified—or in this case petrified, like a prehistoric tree or a piece of dog shit. Donald Trump seems to have taken his once-fringe-relegated ideas and tapped into America’s darkest impulses—toward a single, no-nonsense, personality-driven executive to turn their angry mob screeches into the law of the land without any pesky due process needed. What could possibly go wrong? I would suggest that anyone with a Trump sticker on their car crack a book besides Rich Dad, Poor Dad or anything by Michael Savage. Perhaps something rooted in history. Then take a look at what you’re doing and try to feel the appropriate amount of shame. Note for Trump voters: Shame is something people feel when they know they’ve been wrong, ignorant, offensive, or in any way acted like a douche. You might remember it from your mommies teaching you manners. End of note.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, Hillary Clinton is still being treated as the heir apparent to the White House. But Hillary’s grip on what once seemed hers for the taking was loosened considerably by Bernie Sanders as Washington, Alaska, Hawaii went to the polls on Saturday. Bernie didn’t just beat Hillary in these caucus states, he called into question whether any state outside of the South (and probably Hillary’s so-called home state of New York) was a lock for her. Taking Washington with 72% of the vote, Alaska with 82% and Hawaii with 71%, Bernie Sanders revealed that Democrats at the polls want him as their nominee a great deal more than Hillary’s superdelegate numbers suggest. Superdelegates, for the uninitiated, are essentially Democratic party members who can close their ears to the rabble screaming Bernie’s name if they so choose, no matter how many more votes he gets than Hillary. Sound a little open to corruption for a party that’s at least supposed to be progressive? That’s because it is. Hillary’s superdelegate total is still laughably higher than Bernie’s, which could prove problematic if he doesn’t continue to surge.
This brings up the interesting point that Bernie Sanders is doing far, far better in states with a caucus structure than the closed primary structure that clearly favors Clinton by disallowing registered independents to vote. The political establishment favors Clinton, and in a race against Trump she may as well be the reincarnation of Eugene Victor Debs, that’s how quickly this reporter will vote for her. Not only do I believe she’d be a remarkably capable leader as someone who’s been intricately involved in the process for decades, I also want young women all over the world to feel the same empowerment and possibility that young black men felt when Barack Obama was elected in 2008. I want to be able to say that after 43 old white guys in a row my generation was part of the one that finally changed things.
But the states in which Bernie continues to out-perform Clinton bring more and more of her lack of leftist political credibility to the fore. In each state that has chosen to legalize and regulate cannabis for adult use, Bernie has taken a commanding lead. Hillary continues to take tiny steps back from her new left of the left-of-center position—largely forced on her by Bernie’s surprise success—by doing things like endorsing the skills of Henry Kissinger (real-life Bond villain and second wave Fascism enthusiast). Meanwhile, Bernie continues to take tiny steps forward in convincing the country at large that maybe Democratic Socialism isn’t akin to all-fire damnable pinko Russki communism after all.
Whether Bernie gets the nomination or not, he has reinstituted a political left that hasn’t existed in the open in America since McCarthyism made “All-For-One and One-For-All” sound like “Which way to the bread-line, comrade?” to American ears. It’s not a mistake that the states who are in favor of moving on from outdated notions like the war on drugs are also the most adamantly in favor of overturning other all-american backwardnesses like the most disparate levels of income in history. It’s those states that realize most keenly that you can change the status quo without the world being overtaken by a biblical flood.