Is this the end for Bernie? (If so, at least the epithet ‘Bernie bro’ will go, too…)

The media have called Ohio, one of the five states that held their presidential primary elections today, for Billary Clinton. Delegate counts aside, I think that in order to maintain his post-Michigan momentum, Bernie pretty much needed to win at least three of the five states that held presidential primary elections today.

(The media had already called Florida and North Carolina for Billary before they called Ohio for her too. [She already had been expected to win Florida and probably North Carolina as well.] As I type this sentence, Illinois and Missouri remain to be called.)

There has been a lot of blather lately, led perhaps most prominently by Bill Maher, about a supposed “Bernie or bust” “movement” — that is, Bernie supporters who are staunch in their refusal to support Billary if she, and not Bernie, wins the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

Don’t get me wrong; there is “Bernie or bust” sentiment, and it’s probably pretty widespread — I am a “Bernie or buster” — but I wouldn’t call it a “movement.” (Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t see a hashtag as a “movement.”)

This is the deal: Billary Clinton is Repugnican Lite, a Democrat in name only. She lost to Barack Obama in 2008 for a reason. The Democratic Party establishment has held those of us who are left of center as political hostages for many years now. “Who else are you going to vote for? The Republicans?” has been their shtick. As long as we, the people, keep falling for that lesser-of-two-evils bullshit, as long as we keep making it work for the “Democratic” sellouts, they will keep using it against us.

Thus, Bernie or bust.

We true progressives don’t have an unreasonable, petulant “purity test” that the poor, means-well Billary Clinton just can’t pass. That is a gross, intentional mischaracterization of our central complaint. Our central complaint is that we’re beyond sick and fucking tired of being promised “hope” and “change” by a Democratic Party that only delivers even more of the same, that thinks that pandering to certain groups of Americans is the same thing as actually improving the quality of life of the average American. We’re beyond fucking sick and tired of having sweet nothings whispered into our ears by our “Democratic” suitors who only then sell us down the river to our corporate overlords.

This also is the deal: I live in California. If Billary wins the Democratic Party presidential nomination, as she very much appears to be on track to do, in November she will win California and all of its electoral votes, so it won’t fucking matter that I won’t vote for her in November if she’s on the ballot.

(Seriously, people — take a civics class. Or at least educate yourself on the fact that the selection of the U.S. president is determined by the Electoral College, not by the popular vote, so no, in a very blue state like California, I wouldn’t be helping Donald Trump or whichever other demon emerges as the Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate by not voting for Billary in November. In November the Democratic presidential candidate will win the highest number of popular votes in California and thus will take all of California’s 55 electoral votes; California effectively already has gone to the Democratic presidential candidate, whether it’s Billary or actually Bernie.)

If you live in a purple or “swing” state, however, and you feel that you must prevent a President Trump, then go ahead and vote for Billary if she’s the “Democratic” presidential candidate in November, even if you don’t like her. Vote your conscience. Just don’t tell me how I must vote, because voting for Billary is against my conscience.

And let me say that as a gay white man, Billary has turned me off from her forever. She and her campaign cravenly have tried to paint Bernie Sanders — who is guilty of being (gasp!) a white man! — as a racist and a misogynist, which is beyond bullshit. (Yes, as I’ve noted before, Bernie Sanders is another white [albeit ethnically Jewish] man, but he also is the most progressive candidate running for the White House, and I always go for the most progressive [but at least minimally viable] presidential candidate.)

And Billary’s recent casual claim that Nancy Reagan (with her husband Ronnie) was just so great on the issue of HIV and AIDS revealed so much about her, about how she always has pandered to minority groups, to the historically oppressed. She wants our money, and she has the Human Rights Campaign licking her labia, so her insincere, pandering tactics sure work to a large degree, but she doesn’t even know the basics of our gay men’s history.

And that’s because she’s just another self-serving plutocrat who doesn’t give a flying fuck about us. She just wants our money and our votes. And she knows that we’re pretty easy to screw out of both. Just say the right focus-grouped things, raise the spectre of the Repugnican bogeyman winning the election, and we lemmings fall into line and fall right over the cliff.

Finally, I must address the term “Bernie bro” (I’ve also seen “brogressive,” although that one never really took off).

Here’s the deal: At least part of the reason that Donald Trump is doing so well is that in the United States of America to a large degree it has become open fucking season on all white men. I have especially seen this here in California, which is, overall, a pretty kick-ass, fairly progressive state, but political correctness can run amok, “victims” can and do become the victimizers (using their supposed personal victimhood as their sword and their shield), and feminism and racial justice do not actually mean that you shit and piss on and punch and kick every white man whom you see, because there is inherent guilt in being a white male.

Feminism grew out of the mistreatment of human beings because of their biological sex. To mistreat males because of their biological sex is wrong, too. Ditto for racism. To mistreat or to disfavor others because they aren’t white is wrong — and it’s wrong to mistreat or to disfavor others because they are white. Similarly, favoring members of your own race over other human beings is racist — regardless of your race. That your racial preference is benefitting rather than harming someone doesn’t make it less racist, and your racially preferential treatment of some probably does harm others, at least in some situations.

(And Martin Luther King Jr. encouraged us to measure each other based upon the content of our character, not the color of our skin. He didn’t put an asterisk on that that read “*Except for white people.”)

We of the left watch the Repugnican Tea Party sink like the Titanic with Captain Donald at the helm, but toxic identity politics can destroy the Democratic Party, too.

About a third of Americans remain white men. We progressives need good white men in the good fight. They — we — aren’t actually expendable (at least not yet). Not every man is a misogynist and not every white person is a racist. But treat every man like he’s a misogynist and treat every non-white person like he or she is a racist, and you just might succeed in creating an actual misogynist or racist (which very apparently is exactly what you want to do, so that you can keep your poisonous game of toxic identity politics going).

We are a wounded nation, and historically white men have indeed caused much if not most of this pain, but many if not most of the white males alive today are largely if not almost wholly innocent of the ugliness of the past. Let’s not try to keep the pain of the past alive by trying to wound the white males of today for the wrongs done by other white males in the past.

That said, we must continue to stoke diversity and proportional representation, by which I mean that in positions of leadership, from the local level to the global level, we should see different groups represented at least roughly according to their percentage of the population, and we have a long way to go on that. (To give just a few of way too many possible examples, we have only three women on the nine-member U.S. Supreme Court [well, eight-member, for now]; in Congress only one in five members is a woman and only about one in five is non-white; and apparently only four of our sitting state governors aren’t white and only six of our sitting state governors are women [two of whom also are on the list of sitting non-white governors]. And, of course, we’ve yet to have our first female president or our first openly gay male president or our first openly lesbian president or our first Latino president or our first Asian president or…)

White men who run roughshod over others due to a sense of white-male entitlement absolutely need to be called to the carpet, but to make every white man pay the price of other white men’s wrongs is not justice.

And as far as a supposed “Bernie bro” is concerned, I’ve never met one. Seriously. Not one.

The overwhelming percentage of white men who act like “Bernie bros” are said to act — boorishly, thuggishly, bigotedly, etc. — support the Repugnican Tea Party, not the Democratic Party. Donald Trump is their man, not Bernie Sanders. Duh. (Uh-oh — does the use of “duh” make me a “Bernie bro”?)

And if we of the left of center see Der Fuehrer Donald as a problem — and he is, a serious one — then let’s not add to his ranks by pushing even more white males to his side by treating them like they’re already on his side when actually all along they have been on ours.

P.S. Whether or not he wins the Democratic Party presidential nomination, Bernie Sanders has succeeded in shining a spotlight on the walking, talking fraud that is Billary Clinton. And I give him kudos for daring to run against Queen Billary when no other viable left-of-center candidate would do so. (As I’ve noted, Elizabeth Warren didn’t dare to step on Queen Billary’s red cape; though as of late she has been disappointing with her silence, I hope that Warren runs for president in the future.)

The Democratic Party either will become much more like the party that Bernie Sanders has envisioned it to become — much less pro-corporate and much less pro-plutocratic and much more truly populist and truly democratic (with no more rigged presidential selection processes, including the anti-democratic “super-delegates” bullshit) — or it will join the Repugnican Tea Party in the dustbin of U.S. history.

P.P.S. Still waiting for Illinois and Missouri to be called; right now it’s 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time. Thus far Politico’s live results webpage has Billary at 51.8 percent and Bernie at 47.3 percent in Illinois, with 50.9 percent reporting, and Bernie at 50.2 percent and Billary at 48.4 percent in Missouri, with 44 percent reporting.

Really bad news for Bernie would be winning only one state (most likely Missouri, apparently), I think. Again, delegates aside, it’s a perception issue; perception fuels momentum or the lack thereof.

One piece of good news tonight is that failing to win his home state of Florida today, Marco “Bootstraps” Rubio has dropped out of the race. I’ve long viewed him as the one Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate most likely to beat the Democratic presidential candidate in November, and the match-up polls back me up on that at least somewhat: Real Clear Politics’ averages of match-up polls right now have Rubio beating Billary by 4 percent and Bernie beating Rubio by only 3.3 percent.

John Kasich is the only other Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate who does even better than Rubio does in the match-up polling (he beats Billary by 7.4 percent and Bernie beats him by only 0.5 percent), but I really don’t see Kasich winning his party’s nomination, even though he won his home state of Ohio today (his first and thus far only state won).

Rubio pretty much was the Latino Barack Obama until he went Stepford wife at that one debate in which he bizarrely kept repeating himself. It was, I believe, his Rick-Perry-like, campaign-killing “Oops” moment.

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