John Seven: Both Democratic primary candidates worthy of scorn
NORTH ADAMS — At this point in the election cycle, I'm not sure what I find more annoying. Is it Clinton supporters who berate young women for being in the Sanders camp? Or Sanders people who lecture that they know better than the African-American supporters of Clinton?
Is it Clinton supporters who clutch pearls at the Sanders supporters who get too worked up? Or Sanders supporters who don't understand that screaming expletives at Clinton supporters is the single worst way to make a point?
Possibly, it's the Clinton people who cry sexism when the release of her Wall Street speeches is demanded. Equally, it just might be the Sanders supporters who treat the person you're supporting on the Democratic ticket as the ultimate measure of your soul.
Could be Clinton's refusal to accept the link between Wall Street and racism in our country. It just as easily might be Sanders' infuriating inability to explain it in a clear manner. Or his infuriating inability to exhibit willingness to address racial issues in a real way.
The latest flap between them involves campaign finance loopholes that Clinton is taking advantage of to raise money for the party. Sanders has jumped on the money-laundering hyperbole, while Clinton equates doing nothing illegal with doing nothing wrong.
Sanders ignores that the money Clinton raises benefits the whole Democratic Party, and a good chunk of it would benefit him if he were the front-runner, making a complicated controversy seem black and white.
Truth is, I'll go with whichever candidate, but mostly out of exhaustion.
Sanders says the system is rigged and corrupt. He's correct. That's why I'm baffled that he is actually interested in the presidency — the one place where he can do the least amount of good.
He frames this as a revolution, but it really isn't; it's a presidential election, which is about finding a person to work within the system as it already exists. The system is not going anywhere, even under Sanders.
I'd be thrilled to see actual revolution, but Sanders uses the word as a slogan designed as something dangerous, a process that preserves the system and operates within it. It is not dangerous. A presidential election is about as status quo as it gets.
Perhaps Sanders has no real interest in becoming president, and his actual game is to reform the Democrats. Sometimes it seems that way. Is that why he soldiers on even though it's mathematically impossible for him to win — to send a message?
With the message comes influence and power within the party. Sanders is no different from anyone else in the political game — he is seeking power, he just seeks it as a tool for reform.
But we all know power corrupts, and I don't see him as any different. Sanders and I agree about the system — where we part is that I don't see him as inherently more saintly than any other presidential wannabe.
In fact, I think the moment you step into the office of the president, you have compromised yourself. If he gets that far, he'll discover that. It's a deal with the devil.
Clinton thinks the system works fine. She is wrong. Her status as a creature of the system and the fact that the system is not going to change makes her as OK a candidate as any other of the Democrats could push for. You don't have to explain the filing system to her, at least.
We can watch Sanders bang his head against the wall or Clinton slither all over it. Both candidates are already damaged goods. We gave 'em enough rope and now see what they've done with it.
Contact John Seven at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @damnjohnseven.
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