[Content Note: racism, denial of bodily autonomy, gun violence, queer oppression.]
Dear Bernie Sanders Supporters Who Keep Coming at Me:
If your life is such that you can make reforming Wall Street and getting corporate money out of politics your number one issue, well, good for you.
Now, will you please stop telling me that my life is like yours? It clearly is not.
For the record, I’m strongly opposed to the outsized influence of corporate money in U.S. politics and want Citizens United to be overturned ASAP.
But I don’t have the privilege of a one-issue revolution.
I live in a red state. The closest Planned Parenthood just closed down. Abortion access is literally life and death to me. I don't have the luxury of supporting a candidate who dismisses Donald Trump's remarks on abortion as a distraction from "real" issues and who derided Planned Parenthood as "establishment." If I find out I am pregnant tomorrow, I don't have time to wait for your trickle-down social justice that will (allegedly) come when we "get money out of politics."
I live in a red state. I don't have the luxury of bashing the Democratic party as "corrupt." (The local Republicans do that just fine, and by the way, "corrupt" is their code for "run by black people," so you might think about that.) I need a candidate who supports that party, who supports down-ticket races, and who doesn't go around bashing the only party standing between me and a neo-Confederacy.
I live in a red state. I don't have the luxury of acting like all corporations are the ultimate evil. You know what? Big businesses are one of the few forces that red state Republicans fear, and I'll take what allies I can when the issue is whether I and fellow queer folk have human rights or not. There are corporations that have pushed back against terrible gun laws, too. I know that without pushback from business interests in my state, I would have openly carried guns in my classroom, as has happened in eight states already.
To be utterly blunt: big businesses have been better allies to me on gun laws than Bernie Sanders.
Let that sink in.
This is not an abstract debate. This stuff is literally life or death. You have the luxury of calling corporate money "the civil rights issue of our time." I don't. Many Americans don't. Perhaps you'll excuse us for thinking that staying alive takes priority.
My house is burning, the Fire Department has arrived, and your guy is telling me that turning on the water is a distraction from reforming the Mayor's Office.
Screw. That. Noise.
I need a candidate who can do many things at once, who thinks in complex ways, and who gives a shit about people facing intersectional axes of oppression. In Hillary Clinton, I have one.
I'm under no illusion that she is perfect, but she clearly understands that my house is on fire. She's not lecturing me that I'm "distracted" from the real issues.
She's picking up the hose, and fighting the goddamned fire.