Scroll To Top

The 2020 Election Is Here and It's Awful

The 2020 Election Is Here and It's Awful

Our community is already bringing bad blood and old feuds from 2016 into a must-win election, writes Amanda Kerri.

It's 2019! Happy 2019 everyone! Feliz Navidad! No wait, that Christmas. Still, it's 2019 time to celebrate a world of new opportunities, fresh starts, and fresh new hells. Unfortunately somehow the fresh new hell for 2019 is the same fresh new hell we had in 2016 which is that it's the start of presidential election season.

Once upon a time in America, the candidates declared they were running, went through all the state primaries, the party conventions, and general election all within a year. Now we're getting to the point where election season lasts longer than most relationships. At least mine anyway. What sucks is that not only is this going to be an incredibly long election season, but that the 2020 Democratic primary and general election is going to suck and induce general misery on such a scale they'll build very somber granite memorials to it.

If you disagree with me, just think about this; there are people who are still fighting about the 2016 Democratic primary. There is still a small handful of people running around with a Lincoln Chaffee hashtag in their bios extolling the man's virtues. There are whole sections of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media that spend hours each day screaming at each other over #StillWithHer and #BernieWouldHaveWon like it makes any sort of fucking difference now. Yeah, I'm mad at everyone who protest voted for Harambe, stayed home instead of voting because of "their concience," and most definitely Susan Sarandon, but I'm not going to relitigate Hillary's campaign strategy or the claims that Bernie didn't do enough to support her because I think that's in the hands of historians now. Yet here we are, still fighting over it like if one side or the other wins we'll be magically transported back in time to correct our mistake.

Of course that is what is going to make this election suck. What's crazy is that no one has even declared yet, and people are already tearing each other apart over the candidates that don't exist yet. Remember Beto O'Rourke, the cool dad from Texas who took America by storm and that everyone fell in love with? It wasn't even a month after he lost his challenge to world champion Grandpa Monster impersonator Ted Cruz that Bernie stans were writing up attacks on him saying he's an evil corporate shill and eats puppies and stuff. One would think they would have been concerned about that during the midterm election, but they weren't. Some of them were even pulling for him to win. Yet something changed. I don't want to get all on a conspiracy kick, but I think it was because he was doing about as well as Bernie was in early candidate polls. I'm not going to say that's what it was, but that's what it was.

Of course there's Elizabeth Warren and her likability. Yes. Her likability. I think we invented that word just for Hillary Clinton because no one in history before her was measured on that scale. Sure, people have said they like candidates who they feel "they could have a beer with," but at the same time we have elected some real assholes. Nixon looked like a Scooby Doo villain wearing a Nixon mask, had the charm of pudding skin, and we elected him twice. George H.W. Bush was as fun as getting socks for Christmas. If you go back further in the past Andrew Jackson was objectively an abusive asshole even by contemporary standards and Andrew Johnson was impeached by his own party. Likability isn't that much of an issue unless you happen to be a woman I guess.

Then there's the people who hate Kamala Harris because she was a district attorney, the people who hate Biden because of the Anita Hill hearings, some hate Michael Bloomberg who's well... Michael Bloomberg. Some hate Corey Booker because he groped a girl in 1992, and then there's Bernie, who had to apologize to his 2016 campaign staff because of sexual harassment some endured. There's others people are talking about, like Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, John Kerry, and Sherrod Brown. The only one whose buzz that isn't negative so far is Brown because he has the name recognition of any randomly selected 15th-century Doge of Venice.

Seriously though, people are already tearing each other apart saying they won't vote for a woman, or a white man, a "corporate Democrat," or Bernie under any circumstances. They're already disputing whether economic issues are more important than social issues; they're fighting over what counts as being a real progressive, fighting over who is more electable. Mind you, literally no one has even declared they're running yet and we're already rehashing all the same shit that made the 2016 election so god-awfully divisive.

This election is gonna suck worse than the last presidential election because way too many people see this as 2016 Election II: The Purge. They're treating it as a choice between Bernie or Hillary and are bringing every bit of bad blood and old feuds into an election that might not have either one of them running in it. Yes, it's important to have a good candidate with strong policies and a positive, progressive vision come out of the Democratic primary, but we're setting ourselves up early for a candidate already wounded from a brutal knife fight over petty measurements of purity and tribalism. Unless we tell these people that we aren't here for their crap, and focus on building a coalition of likeminded people to keep the election positive and clean we're going to end up more divided and wounded than we were going into it. The 2020 election is bigger than not getting everything thing you want out of it and flipping over the table out of spite and kneecapping everyone on the way out. I'm just not hopeful we're going to realize that.

AMANDA KERRI is a writer and comedian based in Oklahoma City, and a regular contributor to The Advocate. Follow her on Twitter @Amanda_Kerri.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Amanda Kerri