Oh, how those lyrics have been playing on a loop in my head the past few days as the DNC has gotten underway. And while this convention completely embarrasses the shitshow put on by the RNC last week in terms of speakers, message, representatives, party platform, and a true rainbow coalition of attendees, there is always enough embarrassment to go around when it comes to politics.
I am speaking of the diehard Bernie Sanders coalition who have left their stain by booing and attempting to drown out the speakers in front of them, including Bernie Sanders.
It is shameful. It is childish. It is the exact same behavior they have openly mocked in GOPers for the past eight years. It is petulance born of not getting their way; it is tantrum throwing; it is embarrassing; It is thoughtless.
And embarrassing, tantrum laden, thoughtless petulance will not win the day come November.
I get it, I do. There is disappointment. But guess what? There is always disappointment. Come these conventions, one side and their supporters always lose their shot. Come November and the general, one side and their supporters always lose, too. This is not new information. This is not history making. This is politics. Anyone acting like they are staring into the sun for the first time and having their retinas *surprise!* burned is disingenuous at best.
I voted for Bernie in the primary. Let me make that perfectly clear. Not because I hate Hillary. I do not. I admire the hell out of that woman. Because I have been paying attention for YEARS, not just in the past year as the muckraking, lying, and shit flinging has ratcheted up. And at this point it seems that the GOP led witch hunt which has produced NOTHING has been more effective at swaying Bernie supporters who needed reasons to hate Hillary, than in swaying anyone on their side.
Is she perfect? Puh-leez. Someone explain to me who is. Bernie? Get a clue.
Perfect does not exist. But she is the most qualified person to ever seek the office of the President.
Again, I voted for Bernie in the primary. But hear me now: I have zero problem voting for Hillary in the general. Because I understand what is at stake.
I have a transgender son. His very existence is threatened by the small minds, religious zealotry, and discriminatory legislation of the GOP. Their careless rhetoric and demonizing of my child has put him in more danger.
I have two daughters who are viewed by the GOP as less capable of handling equality, and unable to shoulder their own decision making.
My discomfort at not getting my way with Bernie; my petulance, my righteous indignation completely shrivels up and dies in the face of protecting them by standing with the party that not only acknowledges their existence and worth, but stands with them.
I have watched as so many comment threads fill up with heated dialogues about voting for a third party candidate or not voting at all because people did not get their way with Bernie. These same people claim to be advocates, champions of equal rights, supporters of sick people accessing insurance, friends of the LGBTQIA community.
Let me make this very clear: If you are willing to throw your vote away - and yes, voting for a candidate who has zero chance at winning is the same as throwing your vote away - you are NOT an advocate, a friend, or quite frankly, a very big thinker. And you may as well collect your things and go stand in line with Trump because that is what you are endorsing.
Advocacy is more than just changing your Facebook profile pic or liking an article from time to time. That is fadvocacy, because it makes you feel good in the moment, gives the impression to others that you care about their marginalized lives. Real advocacy is HARD. It requires determination, forethought, and constancy. It requires ACTION. And in this case, it requires that you get beyond your disappointment and look at the bigger picture. Throwing your vote away like some toddler denied a second helping of Goldfish crackers will have crushing consequences for REAL PEOPLE.
That so many seem unwilling to untangle themselves from their bruised egos and see this just reinforces what I have always said. People care in DIRECT PROPORTION to how close they are to an event, disaster, illness, or issue.
Is this an attempt to shame some of you into opening your eyes? Absolutely. What you will do will impact other people. It will impact my child. And do not give me this "My vote doesn't matter" line. IT MATTERS. Now more than ever. Not just because it would be our first female President. Yes, that is cool, history making, wow-in-my-lifetime! But more because voting Democrat will protect people who need protection. Just because you may not be one of them, does not absolve you from responsibility.
The next President will impact the Supreme Court for decades to come. Those judges will impact my child for decades to come. The GOP party platform gleefully goes after my child for simply being who he is. It goes after my daughters who will have even less control over their bodies under their bullshit religious "morality." Their party platform allows for conversion therapy - which is torture.
But hey, if you're not LGBTQIA, have daughters or ovaries of your own, have or love someone with darker skin, or worship other than Christianity - then this really doesn't impact you at all. So you go ahead and keep stomping your feet, BOOing your loudest, and throwing your votes in the Trump toilet. And when it all goes to shit, and the realities begin to affect REAL PEOPLE, you can stand there and cling to your righteous indignation like you didn't have a hand in it.
YOU WILL HAVE HAD A HAND IN IT.
The GOP cannot win if people who understand the big picture VOTE blue. They do not have the numbers. Their bigots, zealots, white nationalists, misogynists, and cadre of willfully ignorant are outnumbered. Just as they have been outnumbered the past two general elections when they swore they were going to win in a landslide.
But if your big picture capability only extends as far as your own mirror (which, incidentally, you are not looking in or surely you would see how much you look like what you castigated for eight years), then you will be handing them not only the White House, but your permission to hurt people like my son.
No one likes not getting their way. Welcome to life. But this time there is far too much at stake to indulge in tantrum throwing.
You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need.
We need your vote come November. My son needs your vote come November.
Petulance will not win the day come November.