Monday, February 15, 2016

Joseph O. Patton: Back to your corners, Democrats


  What follows can only be described in Deep South vernacular as a "come to Jesus meeting," only I'm writing here and haven't thrown anything at anyone so far.

  Presidential primaries are spirited endeavors - political punches are thrown, false claims are made, stupid-ass memes are circulated, feelings are hurt, and ultimately a political party chooses its nominee for the general election.

  But the tone of many participants in the Democratic Party's primary to choose a nominee is rapidly descending into a truly ugly, divisive screeching match that holds a serious risk of damaging the party's eventual nominee, especially if the toxic blah, blah, blah on social media is any indication.

  Supporters of Bernie Sanders and supporters of Hillary Clinton have more than enough guilt to share in this respect. So I'm talking to you all unless of course you're one of those smug, self-righteous types who is stating that you'll refrain from voting should your candidate fail to win the nomination. In such a case you'll be voting for the Republican nominee by default and you're essentially a petulant spoiled child who is willing to throw an election just because you didn't get your way. So if you need to quit and take your ball home, go ahead and do so. Just be sure to stick it up your ass once you arrive. It's about as logical as going to a restaurant and nitpicking everything on the menu to the point where you refuse to eat. What exactly are you proving by starving yourself? At the end of this election game, you won't be able to cash in your smug points to redeem a prize, so just give it a damn rest please.

  To Bernie supporters: You're not in a cult seeking to eradicate all the "impure" or lesser denominations of the Democratic Party. You're not fighting a "revolution" of any sort, so please stop glamorizing what is merely a presidential primary campaign. And grabbing your junk and crowing about how you're the most liberal of all the liberally liberals of Liberal Town doesn't make you special or superior to other Democrat voters. Demonizing Hillary Clinton, slinging mud at her and even looking down your noses at her supporters isn't accomplishing anything. And trashing the Democratic Party considering your guy is running for its nomination is about as bright as seeking employment as a suicide bomber. On a related note, please drop the sanctimonious (and ill-informed) bullshit about "superdelegates" and your false claims of victimization. The DNC has used superdelegates since 1982, so please stop the crying and drop the laughable claim that Clinton's level of support among those individuals is tantamount to the process being "rigged" just because your team happens to be currently losing on that front.

  To Hillary supporters: Please drop the arrogance. Length and breadth of service does not mean a candidate should automatically receive the party's nomination. Treating Sanders and his supporters as foreign interlopers who just crashed the party - pun totally intended - just makes you look like arrogant assholes. Sanders' ideas and those of his supporters deserve just as much air time and consideration as yours. Also, merely supporting a candidate other than Hillary doesn't equate to not caring about women's issues. If you'd like to examine what misogyny and sexism look like, then you're free to peruse the GOP's slate of candidates. And please stop condescendingly dismissing the ideas coming from the Sanders camp as "naive" or "foolish," coupling that with a claim that Sanders' supporters lack knowledge of how politics works. Some policy ideas may seem far-fetched in the current political climate, but pissing all over ideas and optimism kills spirits and suffocates innovation. Democrats always win the battle of ideas, so don't act like the Republicans who carry a banner as "The Party of No."

  So if anyone's still reading this, please consider the serious ramifications of this divisiveness, the overly heated rhetoric, and the unnecessary, destructive family feud-style mudslinging. In your overzealous rush to support your candidate, many of you are unwittingly assisting the RNC, Fox News and eventual GOP nominee with your reckless smears and petty political pissing contests. We won't  benefit from smearing and potentially weakening the future nominee. We can and should have heartfelt debates over the merits of ideas and policies, but we can certainly do so without behaving like obnoxious, caterwauling children. This is perhaps the most pivotal, critical election of our lifetime, and people of good conscience who want to move our country forward cannot do so if we're too damn busy tripping each other.

  About the author: Joseph O. Patton is the editor-in-chief and founder of the Capital City Free Press. He is a former news editor for the Coosa County News, lead reporter for the Montgomery Independent and editor-in-chief of the AUMnibus, the student newspaper of Auburn-Montgomery. Patton is also the creator of and writer for the satirical news radio segment "Goat Hill Gossip," which previously aired on WAUD in Auburn, Alabama and has appeared on several Central Alabama radio programs as a political analyst.

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