Cringing at the DNC’s failed spectacle

Have you seen this video?

It’s awful.

Movie star Elizabeth Banks “got together with some friends” and recorded a cutesy music video of Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” dedicated to Hillary Clinton.

This is not what we need right now.

It looks like a commercial for Target or TJ Max.  It’s shiny and sparkly.  Vapid.  Confusing.  Pointless.  Soulless.

I’ve been trying hard to find a way to feel good about voting for Clinton, and this just isn’t cutting it.

Trump wants to brutally deport 11 million people.  It’s hard to be a bigger Nazi than that, and I’d rather the United States not become a fascist country.  Bernie’s done, and Stein won’t win, so what other option do I have?

I was hoping the convention would spark my excitement, but frankly, it’s just been grueling to watch.

Troy R. Bennett | BDN

Troy R. Bennett | BDN

I don’t want a lecture on values from Joe Biden.

It’s kind of nauseating to hear Michael Bloomberg brag about being a better billionaire than Trump.

Who cares about Martin O’Malley?  By this time next year, at best he’ll be an answer to a trivia question at your local bar.

I’m a strong believer in racial justice, but my eyes glaze over when they trot out Jesse Jackson to recite some corny line about how, “It’s healing time. It’s hope time. It’s Hillary time.”

I don’t care that she’s a woman.  Sarah Palin’s a woman.  Maurine LePen is a woman.  They’re both terrible.

Here’s what I think.

A little over 500 years ago, an Italian guy working for the Spanish showed up here and started raping and killing everybody.  A short while later, white folks started bringing over millions of people from Africa, many of whom died along the way, to live in the worst conditions imaginable.

We’ve blown up entire mountains just to get coal.  We’ve done irreparable damage to the earth’s climate.  Our systems of education and healthcare are train wrecks.  Young people today are the first generation in memory likely to under perform our parents.

Things don’t look good.

Any political conversation that doesn’t start with this as the context is just glittery propaganda, like that music video.

We desperately need reality.

Clinton’s part of that system.  The ultimate insider, she’s been close to the center of American political power for most of the last 30 years.  She’s commanded troops in the Situation Room, ordering American soldiers to kill people.  There are 536 billionaires in the United States right now – I’m sure she knows all the important ones personally.

I believe that she’s incredibly smart and hard-working.  I believe that she’s competent.  I believe that there’s an enormous amount of stuff that goes into running the most powerful country in human history that I can’t even begin to fathom.  I think she knows a lot of it.

I don’t care that much about her emails.  I probably should, but I don’t.  I’m skeptical that there’s an ethical way to run an empire this screwed up, and I doubt anybody who did everything by the book could ever get to where she is.

There’s a difference between politics and government, and while Clinton may be uninspiring politically, in the context of government, she’s probably one of the best we’re likely to find.

Politics is about ethics and ideology, endorsements and rhetoric.  It’s the vast majority of what people debate, but it’s a fraction of what goes into the job of administrating a massive institution.

With an annual operating budget of around $3.8 trillion, the federal government is beyond enormous.  It has more than 2.7 million employees and supports countless more workers indirectly through grants and contracts.  It’s about 8 times bigger than Wal-Mart, the largest company in the world, which does $480 billion in annual revenues and employs 2.2 million people.

Let’s stop pretending that we’re choosing a moral figurehead to preside over our nation’s ethical quandaries.  We aren’t picking our favorite poet or philosopher.

We’re hiring a CEO to run one of the biggest organizations ever.  It’s bloody.  It’s nasty.  But it’s also vitally important.  As broken as our government has become, we need it to work.  From supporting the elderly and the disabled to keeping our national infrastructure working, our lives depend on it.

By ourselves, almost all of us are remarkably weak.  We need government to do things for our families that we can’t, like provide our aging parents with a basic income to live on.

If I were to walk into a room of CEOs and generals and find Clinton there, I think she might actually be one of the more likeable people in the room.  She handles stress well.  She’s brilliant.  She isn’t about to clear cut our nation’s safety net.  She isn’t blatantly disrespectful to low income people and immigrants.  She seems open minded about how to make our economy more environmentally sustainable.

“President of the United States” can’t, by definition, ever be a truly revolutionary position, just like “King of England” can’t be.  The United States is an empire, and compared to most folks who’ve been in charge of empires, Clinton would actually be pretty good.

Rob Korobkin

About Rob Korobkin

Rob is a software engineer, community organizer, teacher and musician. He can often be found at Peloton Labs, staring at his laptop, drafting diatribes and programming software late into the night.