Primarily Speaking

image of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton standing beside each other at a debate, laughing, to which I've added text reading: 'Do you fear Trump getting the GOP nomination?'

Not only does Senator Bernie Sanders not fear gold toilet aficionado Donald Trump—he's coming for Trump's supporters! "Sanders told CBS's Face the Nation that many of Trump's supporters have legitimate fears stemming from income inequality that Sanders is best positioned to address. 'What Trump has done with some success is taken that anger, taken those fears, which are legitimate, and converted them into anger against Mexicans, anger against Muslims,' Sanders said. 'In my view, that is the not way we are going to address the problems facing this country,' he said. Instead, Sanders supports a platform of bringing citizens together to push Congress to pass laws that address income inequality. He said that many of Trump supporters are 'working class people and they are angry' because they are losing their jobs to overseas firms, cannot afford to send their children to college, and are working longer hours for lower ages."

I mean, no one will get any argument from me that Donald Trump is the uncontested champion of racist scapegoating, but he didn't invent it. When his supporters crow approvingly about how he says what "everyone" is thinking, they're indicating the preexistence of these beliefs, which Trump merely cynically and expertly exploits. It's naive to imagine that generations of conservative scapegoating can be eradicated simply by offering a legislative alternative to people who define themselves ("Real Americans") explicitly in contradistinction to the people they other and blame.

Economic policy is crucial to addressing endemic bigotry, but it must come packaged with intersectional analysis that straightforwardly deconstructs that bigotry in order to effectively dismantle it.

It simply isn't and never will be enough to suggest "a platform of bringing citizens together to push Congress to pass laws that address income inequality," not only because there are serious technical problems with Sanders' coalition fantasy, but because the very Trump supporters to whom Sanders imagines appealing with this platform are profoundly suspcious of and hostile to the federal government.

It's a nice idea, but it's unrealistic on every level. People sneer at Hillary Clinton when she describes herself as a pragmatic progressive, and there are lots of spaces in which we need big progressive thinkers who prioritize aspiration over utility, but the presidency isn't one of them.


Speaking of Clinton, she also tops, for the 20th time (!), Gallup's poll of most admired woman in the world. President Barack Obama is the most admired man in the world.

series of images of Clinton and Obama campaigning together in '08, smiling
Still some of my favorite pix of these two ever.

In other Clinton news, here's a really interesting piece in the New York Times about part of her work with civil rights activist Marian Wright Edelman: In 1972, Clinton traveled to Dothan, Alabama, "to help prove that the Nixon administration was not enforcing the legal ban on granting tax-exempt status to so-called segregation academies, the estimated 200 private academies that sprang up in the South to cater to white families after a 1969 Supreme Court decision forced public schools to integrate." It's a compelling piece about a particular time in the nation's history, and the last paragraph is powerful. Damn.

Presumably, Martin O'Malley is still running for president.

On the other side of the aisle: Senator Lindsey Graham has dropped out of the presidential race. Sad trombone! And then there were 13!

Dr. Ben Carson, quickly fading fast after voters realized he is kind of a weird dipshit, is reportedly on the precipice of dropping out but is definitely still giving kind of weird dipshit interviews!

Even though President Obama stole the win, Trump took second place in Gallup's most admired man poll, tied with Pope Francis. Yeah, that sounds about right.

In other news, trainwreck Jeb Bush, pugilist Chris Christie, Joe McCarthy impersonator Ted Cruz, corporate power-failure Carly Fiorina, real person Jim Gilmore, professor of Bible bigotry Mike Huckabee, "moderate" John Kasich, charisma void George Pataki, proximate apple Rand Paul, thirsty jerk Marco Rubio, and waking nightmare Rick Santorum are all still running for president.

Talk about these things! Or don't. Whatever makes you happy. Life is short.

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