Elizabeth Warren’s Mistake In 2016

I acknowledge that in 2016 I came very intensely after Elizabeth Warren. Like many of Bernie’s 2016 supporters I was hurt by her endorsement of Hillary Clinton. I think Warren has since almost made up for the error by coming forward with genuinely radical and necessary policy platforms in her presidential campaign, policies that remind us that she was once a people’s hero in the fight against Wall Street and can be once again.

Her plan to cancel student debt is as pivotal as Bernie’s Medicare for All or prisoner voting rights platforms. Her open challenges to Joe Biden on his ties to the credit card companies is commendable and so is the work she has put into protecting consumers for this entire decade. She deserves credit where credit is due.

With all of that said, I am still a little bitter about what happened in 2016. I realize it is somewhat trivial to complain about what could or should have been, but damn it I am genuinely convicned that if she had not played the 2016 primary as cautiously as she had we would not have a Trump presidency.

Here is what I mean, because Warren waited to endorse whoever won the nomination instead of endorsing Bernie from the beginning of his candidacy she hurt his campaign, a campaign that would have easily defeated Trump in the general election. Yes, I am still a “Bernie would have won,” kind of person and truth be told I probably always will be.

It is understandable why she waited to endorse the definite front runner instead of taking a stand early on. At the time it made sense as the politically cautious move to stand for a united Democratic party against Trump. However that caution came at a price. It hurt Bernie’s ability to develop the klout needed to counter harmful talking points spewed by the Hillary people.

When Warren endorsed Clinton she went from being a darling of the Occupy alumni to another mouth piece for neoliberals, at least in the eyes of Bernie supporters who also supported her. One of the reasons that Bernie, and Warren for that matter, have stayed so popular is that several of us who came out of the Occupy movement remember them as the only public servants to demonstrate admiration and respect for the movement and its sentiments.

So Warren did not only hurt Bernie by endorsing Hillary late in the election, she hurt herself. By endorsing Clinton and by endorsing her as close to the end of the primary as she did, she synonymized her name and platform with the vomit inducing identity politics of Hillary’s campaign. Instead of having her working class values and background tied to Bernie’s pro working class platform, she attached her identity as a woman to Clinton and by doing so she helped enable the “only sexists vote for Bernie” talking point of Hillary supporters, a talking point which erases and hurts all of the non male supporters of Bernie.

Had Warren endorsed Bernie from the get go, the myth of the “Bernie bro” would have been squashed and would have had no foundation to grow. Also, with her endorsement would have come her very extensive and supportive base, but now that base is arguably very much in the establishment camp because of her hesitancy to get involved with the primary until a front runner was decided. Warren is now synonymous with supporting establishment capitalist democrats like Hillary, which is folly because Warren’s policies are arguably much closer to Bernie’s than they ever were to people like Clinton, Harris, Biden, or Booker.

I want to make it clear, I do understand why Warren didn’t endorse Sanders, but I think it was a mistake that inevitably cost Bernie the primary and damaged Warren’s reputation as a challenger of big money capitalism, which in-turn gave us the shitty general election that birthed the Trump presidency.

But what hurt Warren the most is the fact that despite her policy and platform being much more in line with Bernie’s she endorsed someone with completely opposite values to her. Warren has much more incommon policy wise with Bernie than she ever will with the Clintons and Bidens of the world. The fact she did not make that clear in 2016 not only hurt Bernie but it hurt her, because now there are leftists like myself, who do remember her public challenges to Wall Street and her bold demands for consumer protections and market regulations. Now it is hard for me to get excited about her candidacy because I still view the Clinton 2016 endorsement as an act of political cowardice. I used to think it was straight up betrayal, but after getting involved with politics as an activist and as an organizer I’m willing to say I understand why she did what she did in 2016. However let us always remember that understanding an action is not the same as supporting it.

Will Liz Warren make the same mistakes this time? It is very possible that she will. Warren clearly is a politician who acts with caution. I do not fault her for being tactical but I will fault her if that tactic comes with compromising her values. However I can say that if she remains consistent with her demands for canceling student debt and if she does not backtrack support for Medicare for all then I would be genuinely happy with a Sanders/Warren or Warren/Sanders 2020 ticket. However I would be thrilled by the idea even more if she stepped up and admited that not endorsing Bernie in 2016 at the beginning of the primary was a mistake.

All in all, I do want to like Elizabeth Warren, I do miss the days where she and Bernie both were patron saints of the 99%. But until we address what happened in 2016 I will always have misgivings about her. I do not think Warren is bad, at least not as much as I used to, I do think she has to answer for 2016.

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Chelsea Clinton, Islamophobia and the White Supremacy of American Liberals

Yesterday a confrontation at a vigil between Chelsea Clinton and a Muslim woman who was in mourning over the Chirstchurch massacre went viral. The video shows that the woman stood up to Clinton for being present at the vigil after Clinton’s comments about Ilan Omar opened up a massive wave of islamophobic attacks against Omar. Clinton never apologized to Omar.

Clinton can be seen in the video listening to the women, but it is clear she is not actually registering the woman’s objections to her presence, or she is actively ignoring them. Clinton simply nods and gives a “non apology” that would make her parents proud.

Clinton replies to the woman’s complaints with, “I’m sorry you feel that way,” repeatedly. At one point in the video a comrade of the Muslim woman angrily asks Clinton, “What does that even mean?” To which Clinton gave no answer.

My dear reader, as a white male with a middle class background, please trust me when I say that I know what “I’m sorry you feel that way” means.

“I’m sorry you feel that way,” is, to be frank, a backhanded white people way of avoiding an actual apology. The objective of using those specific words is intentional, the purpose is to make someone think you apologized to them without actually apologizing for anything. It is annoying and backhanded, I have seen people in my white family do it all the time and it is one of the whitest things a person of privilege such as Clinton could do.

When someone says “I’m sorry you feel that way,” instead of just, “I’m genuinely sorry,” they are not apologizing for their actions but making it seem that you are the one who should be apologetic for yours. I can vouch on good authority that “I’m sorry you feel that way,” is Clinton’s passive aggressive way of saying “I did nothing wrong, you should stop bothering me.” There is a word for this, gaslighting.

Of course Clinton’s followers leap to her defense while ignoring the reality that defending a white woman who upset a Muslim in mourning just after a mosque shooting is in of itself an act of white supremacy and Islamophobia.

I got into several twitter debates already about this. Many said that the woman’s attack on Clinton, “wasn’t graceful.” This is the same kind of argument you hear from city council members or local politicians who get shouted down or cussed out by Black Lives Matter supporters when there is a police involved murder of a black life. Mayors and city councils are faster to get upset at a black person for saying “Bitch stop killing us!” because swearing in city council chambers “violates decorum.” Instead of focusing on the message, which is the “stop killing us” part of that sentence, these selective solidarity liberals focus only on the method.

Instead of focusing on the message of this woman, which was “your comments about Ilan Omar perpetuate this kind of slaughter and you have yet to apologize for it,” she is blatantly ignored because the woman spoke to Clinton with intensity and anger. Anger that was completely justified, especially since Clinton and the liberals who left Omar vulnerable to islamophobic attacks have yet to apologize.

To be in a position where you are more concerned with an oppressed person’s delivery of their message rather than with their actual message is the epitome of white privilege and Clinton and her supporters fail to see that.

Aside from saying that the woman was “not graceful” other’s have said that her rebuking of Clinton was a staged act because the woman was wearing a Bernie Sander’s “College for all, Medicare for all” t-shirt. Some tweets even read “Who wears a political shirt to a vigil? It was clearly staged.” Once again we see an act of white supremacy here. To tell a Muslim woman, or anyone for that matter, what they should wear in their time of mourning is not only bad optics, it is belittling and dehumanizing. This is not about her wearing a Bernie shirt, it is about the fact that she felt used and ignored and vulnerable, a vulnerability which Clinton enabled with her rhetoric. Does any of that matter to liberals? No, because they don’t like what she was wearing when she did it.

Other defenders of Clinton have argued that “she was an invited guest,” and she didn’t “deserve” to be called out because she “came to the vigil in good faith.” First of all, the Clintons, or any capitalist for that matter, has never done anything in “good faith.” There is always an ulterior motive to anything the capitalist class does. Clinton was not there to mourn with muslims, she was there to be seen mourning with muslims.

It should also be noted that there is nothing to be suprised about here. The Clinton’s have a long record for both enabling white supremacy and using the optics of black or brown people’s issues to make themselves look good. Clinton being present at the vigil is similar to her father going on Arseno Hall or her mother moving to Harlem, it is a chance to be seen amongst an oppressed group without actually doing anything to help them. Let us also not forget that Hillary bragged about having slaves at the Arkansas governor’s mansion (prison labor was in fact used during their entire stay) or her infamous “superpredators” comment. Nor should we forget the crime bill signed into law by her husband which has perpetuated the modern day Jim Crow of prison labor to increase exponentially. Clinton being at that vigil was an attempt to use non white people for optics, period.

There is no excuse to defend Clinton on this one, yet of course liberals will do it because liberals will do anything to protect their identities as the progressive and understanding ones, even though their desire to carve out a progressive identity is coming at the cost of black and brown lives and is inevitably perpetuating the very forms of hatred they claim to be against.

To suggest that this act was staged because the woman was wearing a Bernie shirt is belittling and reductionist to her sense of mourning. To give the woman instructions on how she “should have” approached Clinton is an act of white supremacy. To defend a white woman who perpetuated Islamophobia with her rhetoric instead of listening to a Muslim woman’s righteous outrage is in of itself further perpetuating Islamophobia and therefore is an act of perpetuating white supremacy. This shows that liberals only express solidarity when their capitalist narrative is agreed with. Liberals claim they want to stand in solidarity with muslims, but clearly it has to be the right kind of muslims I.E. not ones who support Bernie Sanders or criticize Israel.

This whole situation sums up why we must abandon liberalism and why we must embrace socialism and communism, however we must do it from a place that actively rejects Islamophobia and all other forms of hatred. If socialists are to be the the active agents against white supremacy that we claim to be then we must also actively work to reject Islamophobia. This means we must not fall into the liberal trap of being selective with our solidarity. We must stand with muslims whether or not their stories or perspectives agree with our narrative. We should actively be incorporating their perspectives into our narrative and dialectic. A failure to do so would in-turn perpetuate white supremacy. We also must not reduce our Muslim comrades to just being victims in need of our help. The woman in the video is clearly not someone who needs a patronizing helping hand, but rather she is clearly an active agent in resisting the oppression that is Islamophobia as are most of the muslims in places such as Palestine who are actively fighting against their oppression.

The woman in the video had every right to confront Chelsea Clinton and Clinton clearly has no remorse for what she said and did to Ilan Omar and she refuses to see how that affected not just Omar but muslims as a whole. Those leaping to Clinton’s defense are actively defending white supremacy and are either being belittling or selective in their solidarity. Socialists must show support for muslims but that does not just mean attacking Clinton or supporting muslims who fit our narrative. It must mean that we elevate the narratives of Islamophobia’s greatest victims. To over come white supremacy we must be actively incorporating all of the realities of oppression into our analysis. To forsake Islamophobia or perpetuate it is to perpetuate the same white supremacy that prevents black families from getting justice and is splitting child and parent at the border.

Clinton had no business being at that vigil, liberals have no business defending her presence, and socialists must make it our business to be active agents in ending all dimensions of white supremacy, we can forsake nothing if we are to be active agents against oppression. If you disagree with me, well then, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Link to video on twitter

Elizabeth Warren, proof the DNC is pathetic (Not a GOP endorsement)

Those who know me and follow this blog know that I am proudly a rabid Sander’s supporter.  Yes I am a Bernie Bro and I will embrace that attempt at a deragatory slur with pride.  I will continue to support Sander until the word’s “I concede” come out of his mouth.

That being said, I am a realist, the odds are Sanders will not be the nominee and I do acknowledge that and accept it.  However the out of touch joke that is the DNC is epitomized by the, for lack of a better word, betrayal, of Elizabeth Warren to the Occupy Movement and young people who essentially catapulted her political career.  Warren herself is an admirable individual, do not misinterpret my criticism as a lack of respect for her, but I must make the observation that Elizabeth Warren was never in fact this angel of the people we made her out to be.

Though she is much closer to Sanders when it comes to her stance on many major issues, those of us who used to be her rabdid supporters made a grossly misguided error in our support for her.  The stark difference between Bernie and literally every democrat, including admirable ones like John Lewis or Warren, is that Bernie was not actually a democrat until this election, and he only declared a party affiliation out of political neccesity.  I have to remind everyone of a sad truth about Warren, she was always a democrat.

“But James, the democratic party is so pragmatic and stands for all these progressive issues.”

Out of politeness, I usually repress my urge to yell, BULLSHIT, but since this is my blog I can say whatever I want, so let me just say that is pure bullshit.

Now before anyone misinterprets this as an appraisal of the GOP, think again.  I may dislike the DNC, but I despise the GOP and the current state of their even more anachranistic party speaks for itself.  I am not going to just state the obvious, we all know the GOP sucks, but I am going to make the less popular observations about these democrats that are constantly painted as benevolent saints when they are just lessers of two evils.

The DNC is in fact the lesser of two evils, the pragmatic nature of the people in the party makes them more open to necceasry changes in public policy.  That is fair and should be noted.  However the party has demonstrated that the truly progressive agenda of the Sander’s campaign.  The platfrom that Clinton and the whole DNC NEEDS to adopt if they ever want to win over Sander’s supporters, and millenials as a whole, was essentially rejected by the platform commitee, including diginity for the Palestinian people and Universal Health Care.  The DNC, the party of Warren, the party she has always aligned with, made that decision.

Warren’s endorsement of Clinton is understandable, Clinton is the likely nominee and Warren is mostly concerned with beating Trump, which is totally fair.  But you cannot just run a campaign on fear of the opposition when you don’t actually represent the views of the people you want to win over.  Warren is like anyother life long political democrat, blatantly out of touch with the real world and road blocking real change by allying with the people who are causing the problem.  By standing on that stage she is putting her party ahead of the needs of the people, which is what all democrats do.  She has been a democrat from the beginning, you cannot claim to support the people if you are a life long member of a party that has never infact represented the modern people.

I respect Elizabeth Warren, but I no longer support her.  The DNC is a joke until Sander’s platform becomes the inherent platform of the party.  Yes we need to beat Trump, but we also need to stop letting two out dated and out of touch parties make the decisions that affect the lives of everyday people.

The day after the DNC rejects the core of Bernie’s platform, Warren stands on a stage proudly declaring. “I’m With Her” Excuse me as I roll my eyes at such a laughably egomanical campaign slogan, but I still like what Sander’s has to say better, “This is not about me, this is about us.”

Dear Secretary Clinton,

Dear  Secretary,

Congratulations on your victory.

Congratulations on claiming a win when the votes of 3 million were legally barred.

Congratulations on Wyoming where you won, even though you didn’t.

Congratulations on Arizona where the elderly, the crippled, and others waited in blistering heat, never to have a vote cast.

Congratulations on your victories, hollow though they be.

But I ask you Secretary Clinton,

I ask you from the bottom of my heart as someone who respects you.

Believe it or not at the bottom of all my rhetoric, there is respect.

So I ask you Madame Secretary,

Where were you?
You claim to have always fought for civil rights,

where were you?

You claim that you can take on the banks,

where were you?

You claim to be ready to lead our nation in combat.

Where have you been?

Were you there in 2005 when Jorge came back from Iraq, a once youthful soul, so bitter at the sites, the murders and rapes endured and seen in war?

Where were you when he came home?

Where were you when my black brothers and latino sisters had their families torn apart?

Where were you when the Libyan child choked on shrapnel, or when the Iraqi girl was gangraped by our own uniforms?

When I saw the greatest minds of my generation, starving hysterical naked, because their own leaders, their own saviors, got up in front of millions to say, “Your love is wrong.”

Where were you?

I know where you were

YOU sent Jorge to Iraq.

YOU said those words.

YOU sent brothers and sisters to rot.

YOU turned your back.
You say you have always acted the opposite.

You have always been the progressive.

I say, check the tape.

Is throwing a whole race under the bus to move your own agenda the opposite of what I accuse you of above?

Is turning your back on trans, gay, and lesbian citizens the opposite?
No doubt you refute my claims,

yet their is one thing you can not refute.

Your silence.

You “always supported” black americans, but stayed silent when they got rounded and locked up.

You “always fought” for the LBGT citizens, yet stayed silent for years while they were beaten, killed, and their love roadblocked.

You have helped recently, and you have listened and started to listen.

But your efforts are too late.

You’re followers may forgive you.

They may even exemplify and trust you.

But I will never forget.

I will never forget the villainous minds Iraq created of my friends.

I will never forgive any leader who let my friends think their love was wrong.

I will never forget the pictures of those Libyan children.

I will never forget Secretary Clinton.
Now, some fairness.

You do fight for women.

American women.

You stand by a women’s right to choice.

American women.

Do I question your actions that have done good?

No, in fact I applaud them.

But you can not say you have always done something,

when I can check the tape.

You can not say you are the radical, that you will be change,

but tell us to be patient 

to “be realistic.”
You do have math on your side.

This is a fact,

but math means nothing under manipulation.

You may call it nonsense, how dare I have a sense of right and wrong.

You may call it delusion, that we should work with the system the way Chavez, King, and many others did.  

After all, they didn’t fight, right? They just followed the established precedent, right?

You have common sense on your side.

It would have been common sense for Dr. King never to have gone to jail.

It would have been common sense for Cesar to just shut up and work.

It would have been common sense for your heroes to just accept that they could not vote.

And it would be common sense just to forget, and vote for you.

No doubt you see my point.

Common sense is safe, but it only protects, it does not challenge.
So Secretary Clinton,

forgive me for being less than excited over your victory.

Forgive me for being less than enthusiastic that you may lead this country.
The greatest enemy to Dr. King was not the hateful roadblocks,

it was the white moderate.

Secretary Clinton, 

Don’t pretend to be anything else.

You may have seen the light,

you may finally after an insultingly long silence be on the right side of history.

But you are the white moderate.

You are the chorus of Mississippi Goddamn.
I will not call you whore or slut.

You are neither, you are a person.

You are a strong person,

 a pillar of a woman.
Yet you insult us,

you insult everyone, by pretending you don’t have blood on your palms.

You insult us when you think we can’t hold you to scrutiny.

You insult us when it seems you think we won’t be able to check the tape.

But what was insulting the most?

Your silence.
Your silence killed more than any war, than any DOMA could.

Let me conclude by saying Madame secretary,

You are not Ms. Warren,

nor will you ever be.
So congratulations Madame Secretary, and best of luck.

No matter what happens,

all anger aside,

I assure you, you will need it.

A Clinton can run a country, but they damn sure can’t bring World Peace.

I know that I have never made my contempt for Hillary Clinton or the GOP a secret.  Though Sec. Clinton deserves praise fir what she has done for American women, I find her countless other policy failures and the blood on her hands enough reason to have reservations about voting for her, god forbid that should have to happen. (Feel the Bern.) But I digress.

I do want to make something clear.  I do not doubt Sec. Clinton’s ability to run the country, BUT this election will make a statement to the world about what kind of a country and culture we will become.  Essentially we currently have 3 options, slowly working it’s way down to 2.  The current three options for our future are as such;

1. Elect ANY conservative or GOP candidate and basically start the fight for civil rights, queer rights, women’s rights, and labor all over again.

2. Elect Ms. Clinton, get some minutely liberal social change that comes at a painfully long slow pace while everything else stays the same.  In other words capitalist war mongering will carry on business as usual.

OR.

3. We elect the man who used an omen on the podium to call for world peace.
Those are our options America, we are the world’s super power and we can set the direction of the next millenia. Do we want to start the fight all over again?  Do we want to continue with the blood of asian, african, and middle eastern children on our hands?  Or do we want to say to the world our days of imperialism are over and we are ready for peace?
Those are our options America, choose wisely.