I've been thinking about the truly ugly immiseratng results of any of the three Republican frontrunners winning (don't be fooled by Kasich's apparent sensibleness -- almost any sane person would look good against Trump and/or Cruz), and what happens when my choice, Bernie Sanders, does not win at the convention:
I have to vote for Hillary Clinton despite her hawkish record, her support of transnational corporations against the people of many countries, of her support for miltary coups which end in nightmares of corruption, drug wars, death and terror for the people.
I made a joke when I said I no longer feel as bad as I used to because so often I fail to swipe my subway card in such a way as to get into the subway. Here is this privileged, conventionally successful woman, who seems and is in most ways competence itself, could not manage it.
Besides which, in novels I identify with the underdog every time. This might be the first time i have been able to warm to her. I do feel sorry for her each time I see her husband. I voted for him in 1992 but not in 1996. He's intelligent and decent, means well in many ways, but is an aggressive pugnacious thug at core.
So perhaps I should not have joked.
For the last few days the Washington Post has been featuring stories growing out of a study by Anne Case and Angus Deaton (Princeton economists) working and lower middle class white women are doing much worse than they used to -- while they still die at a later age than white men and black men and women and other minorities, statistics show a rise in all sorts of destructive behavior (drugs, drink, risky behaviors with men), and the gap is closing. These are directly linked to their status, lack of income; women living in more rural areas and small towns are especially prone to misery and earlier death. Age 45-54 is the worst.
An uptick in suicide among white women was another story. They are experiencing full force what black women in the US as a group have always known: asked to be responsible for families, left alone (divorced, separated, never married), in a centrifugal world, at the same time as they lack companionship and the things that are supposed to make others respect you.
I'd link a story about the rise of Al-Shabab in Somalia -- that means for women horrors women on these listserv can't begin to imagine -- terrible economic conditions.
Hillary Clinton is among the privileged of US society. I do know that I loathed her book, It Takes a Village because in it she shows disdain and contempt for women on welfare. She talks of children as a investment and actually at moments says the poor women should have their children taken from them if they are not bringing them up "productively." I admit I was not at all surprised when her husband with her public blessing destroyed welfare. I was never fooled that it was for these women's good -- this is the idea of "tough love," yes let me thrown you out and you will be better off eventually. The idea was to stop paying women with children who couldn't get a decent job and that is what was done.
It does worry me that on two of the listservs I post to, the two where I think there are people involved, who read what is written, immediately negative reactions emerged. I read that Virginia is a red state when voter turnout is low, a blue one when it's high. That means only fear (justified) of Cruz and/or Trump might bring out people voting for Hillary but in my experience what brings people out is they do want the candidate on the ballot.
I've never voted for Hillary Clinton when any voting came to Virginia where her name was there. I voted for her husband the first time round, not the second. But this is typical for me when it comes to democrats. I voted for Carter the first time round, not the second. I never got a second chance to vote for McGovern. Each time the democrat had proceeded to betray his constituency.
I have been less dismayed by Obama, far less, and have found the virulent racism which confronted him from day one so that everything he did was opposed by groups of powerful white men in the US gov't -- just now they have fielded a candidate for the supreme court part of why I excused him more. I don't remember him doing anything as terrible as getting rid of bank laws needed, destroying welfare and mass incarceration. He has not ameliorated things anywhere near he ought to have; he has not tried at all for real to change the capitalist mindset of this country, and only moderated the militarism and fascism. But I voted for him a second time.
Paradoxically the Washington Post stories suggest two courses of action for women: one, move and move to cities where there is amelioration, parks for example, and two, never marry, don't have children (two of the things cited in the stories that do give women satisfaction when things go well).
But now I will vote for her because the alternatives will mean yet much much worse lives for women. Throw them in prison if they attempt to control their bodies. I've heard and read the reason Trump's remark that women should go to prison who have abortions resonated so is it is a majority opinion among Republican men and Republican women know it.
It's not much of an underdog moment but it will do.