I’m simply not a fan of the media. They have a lot of control over our perception of, well, everything. So I saw the news today that Hillary Clinton is the presumptive nominee. In the era of Donald Trump, who can’t speak a word with more than two syllables without nearly popping a blood vessel, I wonder how many people are able to differentiate between what a nominee is, as opposed to a “presumptive” one.
See, the articles blowing up my Facebook wall go on and on about how Hillary has made history. I have no doubt she will make history. But she hasn’t yet. Why? Because all of these media outlets are counting Superdelegates in her total count. They can vote for whichever candidate they like. They can change their minds at any time. Guess what? They have changed their minds throughout the course of the campaign and, further, they still can. Wouldn’t it be embarrassing for Hillary if, say, Sanders won California, racked up a huge amount of delegates, and some superdelegates switched? It’s totally possible.
That’s why she’s not anymore the presumptive nominee today than she was in the beginning of the race. Until she gets a majority of PLEDGED delegates (the ones who can’t change their mind), she’s a candidate just like Bernie.
This is a good segue into my feelings about Hillary and her campaign. I’m a Bernie supporter. I’m not a Hillary hater. I endorsed him way back in May of 2015, before I thought he had any shot. Turns out, his message resonated with people far more than anybody would’ve predicted. But that didn’t stop the media and Hillary-supporter narrative that Bernie had no chance. He was just a quirky child deserving of a pat on the head.
Let’s look at some of the narratives I’ve heard for the past year:
- “I’m glad Bernie’s in… I agree with him on the issues. But Hillary is going to win.” Or “Hillary is more realistic.” These didn’t affect my support of Bernie. Why? Because neither of those statements is an argument for Hillary’s candidacy.
- “Hillary is the most qualified candidate.” When somebody says somebody deserves a vote because of qualifications, I’d like to know what those are and I think many voters feel the same. I agree she’s qualified. But so is Sanders. So let’s hear some more! But I’ve had Clinton supporters tell me “she’s proven her qualifications, I don’t need to list them.” Okay, then. Conversation over, I guess. What about those people who don’t know much about her? (See: Young People) What about people who are worried about her scandals? (I’m not one of them, but many are.)
- “Hillary will crush Trump, Bernie will lose badly.” Simply false. Every national poll shows Bernie outperforming Trump. Period. Now, do I think Hillary will crush Trump? Yes. I think a marsupial posing as a human would do better than Trump. But again, we have another BS argument.
- “Since Bernie can’t win, he should get out; he’s ruining it for Hillary.” There’s the entitlement that really gets under my skin. I’ve heard this argument not since the beginning of his candidacy, but rather after he began winning states. He’s entitled to run. People are entitled to vote. If the Democratic process is hurting Hillary (I don’t think it is), then that’s her problem and she should make a better case for herself.
The last bullet point draws my ire from many Hillary supporters. She isn’t entitled to this nomination. She has to earn it. She didn’t earn it in 2008. Or when she was Secretary of State. Or First Lady. Or whatever. The only way to earn it is now, through a campaign, through votes. Until the end.
The system is broken. Superdelegates and caucuses need to be eliminated and primaries need to happen all on one day, like the general. And primaries should be open, regardless of registration. But we have the system we have, and Bernie has plugged forward despite every bit of conventional wisdom being against him. His run has energized young people. His run has created a new base that is energized (locally, the Bernie supporters are trying to get involved in the Democratic Party). He’s drawn attention to issues that bode well for Democratic victory. He’s also far more dynamic than Hillary, and a far better debater.
And the icing on the cake: his platform is better for the working class.
That’s not to say Hillary’s platform is bad. It’s not. She’ll make a far better president than Trump, obviously. But the media, in calling this race (something it really has no right to do at this point) is going to do one thing: suppress votes. The only person who benefits from this is Hillary. New voters and young voters who hear from the media, over and over, that Hillary is the nominee are going to be less likely to show up.
It’s a strategy. It’s cynical. And it’s typical of our corporate media. She’s clearly their preferred candidate and they just did her a solid.
But she didn’t win it yet.