David Wilson

You must caucus for Bernie.

Only Bernie Sanders can stand up to Donald Trump on Trump's terms and defeat him. Americans left, right, and center are saying, "You're right, everything is fucked!" The sense of how fucked it is drives disenfranchised whites to Trump and disenfranchised millennials to Bernie. Even suburban soccer moms are driving around with 99-percent bumper stickers on their Subarus, watching their kids graduate from expensive colleges into functional poverty.

Sanders is the only candidate who believes what we believe. He is the only candidate who believes what you believe. He knows what politics is about, he knows what's wrong with this country, and he's not for sale.

Let's review.

The toxic economic hierarchy of this nation has worn our democracy down to a dull, blistered nub. If we Americans take a goddamn minute to be honest with ourselves, there's no running from the unfuckwithable truth: Slavery, cultural genocide, and the exploitation of natural resources were the main ingredients in the Original Capitalism™ on which this country was founded. The current versions of capitalism being marketed by both parties—Red Bull Capitalism™ (the GOP) and Diet Capitalism™ (the Democratic Party)—are no longer acceptable alternatives.

Americans get that now—and Bernie's been saying it since 1981.

We do not for one second buy the widespread delusion that Hillary Clinton could actually beat the Donald—i.e., the only remotely plausible reason why anyone to the left of Nancy Reagan would caucus for her on March 26.

Interestingly, the only people on the Stranger Election Control Board who voted to endorse Hillary Clinton for president were men. Yeah, we were surprised too. Wouldn't it mean something to finally get a woman president?

Yes. We deserve a longer break from the chain of old presidential white men who promote dick-swinging mediocrity like it's genius and who view structural oppression like a foreign film. There's also the fact that you'd have to be a hater of good TV not to take pleasure in the idea of Hillary Clinton wiping the debate floor with Donald Trump's orange face.

But if you look at Hillary's record, you will notice something about her vaunted progressiveness: It's almost all her early work, later undone by her own neoliberal chameleon act. For example, Hillary touts her work at the Children's Defense Fund in the 1970s as evidence of her progressiveness. In the 1990s, the CDF condemned the welfare policies then-first lady Hillary Clinton supported as "a mockery of [Bill Clinton's] pledge not to hurt children."

Sanders, however, has spent the last quarter century taking positions the country has since caught up with and agreed with him on: voting against war in Iraq, voting against the Patriot Act, voting against the erosion of the Glass-Steagall Act (bank regulation), voting against NAFTA (which even Hillary now disavows). Eighteen years before Hillary decided it was no longer politically expedient to deny gay people rights, Sanders decried a Republican congressman for dissing "homos in the military." Surprisingly even to us, he's effective at forming left-right coalitions, too—like when he passed amendments limiting bailout fund standards to protect American workers and forcing white-collar criminals to notify victims who are eligible for restitution.

And then there's the trust issue. Not even Hillary's supporters trust her. Barack Obama said she had an "authenticity" problem when he was attempting to praise her last week.

Hillary Clinton is a mask for the lie that social progress without economic change actually helps women, people of color, queers, and, increasingly, absolutely anybody of modest means. What's more, Clinton's recent lie that Nancy Reagan was an advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness reveals either Clinton's ignorance or her denial of how economic, social, and political realities intersect. Her social and political circles were either so insulated from the queers, people of color, and IV drug users dying in big cities that she wasn't aware of the Reagans' horrifying record on AIDS, or Hillary is once again throwing people under the bus while asking for their vote.

Hillary may have come around to marriage equality in 2013, but the economic machinery that marginalized victims of HIV/AIDS in the first place remains the same. It simply evolves its targets. And there is no question that Hillary is a Republican in disguise when it comes to money. For chrissakes, the New Yorker even pointed it out last week. Hillary is "surrounded by [Robert] Rubin's acolytes," referring to the Goldman Sachs treasury secretary who pushed Bill Clinton to flip on spending and deregulate finance. Those acolytes are Hillary's Dick Cheney, and like Cheney, they'll run the presidency.

There's just one piece of advice we should heed from the Clinton years—those years when the Democratic Party triangulated its soul away—and then you, Bill and Hillary Clinton, are dismissed, thank you very much. (And may you grow in old age to know who the fuck you actually are.) It's the advice James Carville gave to Bill when he was running for president in 1992.

"The economy, stupid."

It is the economy. Social change without economic reform is empty. We're not stupid.

Caucus for Bernie Sanders this Saturday.

The SECB is Sydney Brownstone, Christopher Frizzelle, Angela Garbes, Jen Graves, Heidi Groover, Ansel Herz, Tim Keck, Ana Sofia Knauf, Eli Sanders, Dan Savage, and Rich Smith. This is not a unanimous endorsement.