The etiquette of campaigning for political office
In a shorter period of time than it took for a Hillary Clinton staffer to come up with the hashtag #HillarySoQualified, it was hijacked by Bernie Sanders supporters with thousands of sarcastic Tweets about how Hillary is sooooo qualified to be the next POTUS with factual evidence of exactly what makes her so supremely UNQUALIFIED to be sitting in the big chair.
And it was beautiful. It showed a number of things:
- Sanders supporters, despite Hillary’s condescending insistence that they have no idea what they are talking about and should do some research, have in fact done just that. In the digital age, information is available to the average person in larger quantities and at faster speeds than ever before (almost overwhelming at times). And Hillary supporters hate it. OH, they hate it so much. They hate it so much, in fact, that they have begun to do exactly what Trump supporters do when confronted with facts, or are taken to test on the lack of their own solid factual base to stand on. They hide their heads in the sand, deride Sanders supporters as “kiddies” and “slackers” who only want “freebies”, and ignore actual documented facts that are available to them with a simple Google search. The #HillarySoQualified hashtag is proof of this – just take a look at some of the discussions you find when you search that hashtag.
- Sanders supporters agree with him that Hillary is not qualified to be our next Commander in Chief, regardless of the corporate mainstream media’s attempts to showcase her as the inevitable DNC nominee for the presidency. Forget the fact that she has held elected office for ¼ of the time that Sanders has. Forget the fact that Sanders has fought for the exact same principles, not only for his entire career, but for his entire life, even before he got into politics. Forget the fact that every smear and “kitchen sink” argument that the Clinton camp has thrown at Bernie has been answered and corrected, which leaves her grasping at straws. The reality of the argument is that as long as she is in the pocket of corporate donors she will continue to look out for their best interests, and not the best interests of the average American citizen. That alone makes her (and every other POTUS we have had in more than four decades) unqualified to lead this country out of the state of affairs that we find ourselves in. If Bernie wasn’t her opposition, the dirt and blood on her hands would be indistinguishable from the rest of the current presidential candidates that we find ourselves with. Her corruption comes to light because of the opponent that she is up against in this race, and the fervor that her supporters have becomes ludicrous when her hypocrisy and lies are under that kind of scrutiny.
- Most of what the Hillary camp is throwing around these days, aside from her assertions that she “knows how to get things done”, are twisted versions of reality that have already been spouted from the mouths of those talking heads on the “unbiased” cable news media outlets that support her, and are by and large discredited or debunked before they even make it to her Twitter feed, yet she still clings to them as her battle cry. Those that do make it a little further, such as the much criticized interview where Sanders “fumbled” a couple of answers (which couldn’t be furthest from the truth – look at how quickly they dropped that when they thought they had something else to cling to), are shouted from the mountaintops as gospel for a couple of days, until rational analysis is shown and they search for something else to try to hit him with. They try one thing and then, when it doesn’t work, they move to the next, and so on and so on. Meanwhile, Bernie’s stance has been the exact same for over 40 fucking years.
- Her campaign is now demanding that Sanders “take back those words”, as if that will make them any less true. Well, Hillary literally blamed the Sandy Hook massacre on Bernie. The Tweet is still up. She has not taken that back, nor will she (at this point, she can’t, it’s been up too long). And will she apologize to the families that had their children taken away from them for using those same children as leverage in a political smear? Probably not. This is all happening while she is on record as voting against banning cluster bombs and continuing to use these “weapons of mass destruction”, which have been the cause of death of hundreds of thousands of civilians, a large percentage of which were children. And that is just one of her deadly and destructive votes. But Sandy Hook was Bernie’s fault and he should take back his words that Hillary is not qualified to be President? This is akin to the playground retort, “I am NOT a poopyhead, you’re a stinky smelly-butt, YOU TAKE IT BACK!” If anything qualifies someone for the office of POTUS, it is a whiny insistence that someone take back some words that another person didn’t much care for.
- This is a competition. It is a race. It is the chosen method of American politics – proving to the American voters that one candidate is actually more qualified to be elected than the other. Why apologize for that? That is exactly what a political campaign is. “This is why my opponent is not as qualified as I am, and this is why I am more qualified than they are.” First it was “I don’t like your tone”, and now it is “How dare he suggest that he is a better and more qualified candidate than me?”
Since when is a retraction or an apology for claiming to be more qualified for an elected office necessary for winning election to that office? Are we really that desperate for a candy coating on every tough pill to swallow that we have to demand respect from our adversaries? “Say what you want, but don’t attack my voting record/campaign donors/aftermath of my terrible decisions”? That’s what American politics has boiled down to? If the Hillary camp thinks that Bernie’s attack on her qualifications was bad, and that she deserves the nomination because of it, wait until Donald Trump shows the copied checks from his donations to her and her husband’s campaigns. Will she call foul then? (Won’t happen, by the way, Bernie is going to take NY and PA and MD and CA, there’s just too many of us now – Delaware, as a tax haven itself, is a different story).
I’m not sure if this is simple desperation on the part of the Hillary camp. She took the gloves off first, and in a sad and disgusting way – holding the dead children of mourning parents resulting from a horrifying massacre over the head of a man who has proven time after time that he has more integrity than she ever dreamed of, as if that sad day could actually be blamed on him (especially considering that she just had a fundraiser with NRA lobbyist Jeff Forbes). All the while, blood of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of innocent civilians, including women and children, stain her hands so deeply that she will never be rid of it.
But, through it all, Sanders has stuck to the issues, and has called out her qualifications to be the leader of our country. He has not brought up the countless lies that she and her husband have been caught in, nor the treason she committed as Secretary of State by approving arms deals to countries who donated to the Clinton Foundation despite their hostility to our country. He has stayed true to his commitment to fighting against corruption in government and corporate influence in politics by looking out for the average American. He hasn’t stooped to hold hundreds of thousands of dead children over her head, even though their suffering can be directly linked to her, but after this, I wouldn’t blame him if he did. As Hillary and the establishment has shown, American politics is no place for a person of his integrity.