Remember the Victims: How Hating Rapists Won’t Prevent Sexual Assault on College Campuses

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Illustration by Signe Wilkinson (Philadelphia Daily News)

In the wake of news that Brock Turner, the former Stanford student who raped an unconscious woman, was released after serving three months of a six month sentence outrage filled the air.

This outrage is not new. Its origins stem from news of the trial that took place earlier this year.

Turner was found guilty of all three felony charges which included assault with the intent to rape an unconscious person and sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Turner could have potentially served up to 10 years in prison. Instead Judge Aaron Persky sentenced him to only six months in county jail. “The punishment does not fit the crime,” said one district attorney in a statement.

The outrage of Persky’s leniency added to Turner’s father referring to the assault as “20 minutes of action,” were enough fuel for the country’s outrage to last into the summer.

Now in September, the news that Turner will only serve half of his sentence before going back home to Ohio has revived this outrage.

Outrage is good, especially when it comes to these kinds of issues. As a result of the Stanford case a massive movement has formed to recall Persky. The judge answered this movement by removing himself from all criminal cases, however this most likely fell upon deaf ears.

But in all this outrage is there room to remember the victim?

This case is more than just Turner, the impact his actions had on the public do not compare to the impact they had on the victim.

In media we’re supposed to respect the privacy of the victims of sexual assault. This is a part of our ethics because they’re suffering should not be the reason they become known. Unless they publicly speak out, we respect their anonymity. That is why in her victim impact statement she said her name in newspapers is “unconscious intoxicated woman, ten syllables…”

We don’t know her name and we’ll most likely never know it. But because of this person, thousands are calling to recall a county judge and our laws may change.

California state legislators have also introduced a bill that would establish mandatory minimum sentencing for sexual assault of an unconscious person. I have conflicted feelings about this bill and the New York Times published an excellent piece that reflect these feelings.

I reject the argument that harsher sentences will scare others from doing the same on the fact that even though we imprison drug dealers, people still sell drugs.

Turner’s sentence also brought up the issue of white privileged with many saying that if he were darker and poorer, he would be in prison right now. These concerns were voiced in a Los Angeles Times op-ed written by a New Orleans-based lawyer.

But even when our outrage is put into legal motion, it still proves to be wild.

Buzzfeed News reported that armed protestors were waiting outside Turner’s parents’ house. Many of the protestors held signs that read “Castrate all rapists.”

Let me be clear when I say that those who commit sexual assault do need to be punished. Though Turner’s punishment by a court of law was light, it does not give out a free pass for any forms vigilantism.

It is also a diversion from the fact that castrating rapists will not stop people from raping.

Hating Brock Turner doesn’t change anything. It’s easy to hate the perpetrator of a crime. It’s easy because no further action is needed past being angry. But being angry, threatening perpetrators and giving them harsher punishments won’t stop people from getting assaulted.

As a brother of two sisters, I know that being outraged — though comforting — will not make college campuses safer for them. I want a solution.

The only way we can find a solution for this problem is if we actively try to prevent it ourselves:

– Teach children about intimacy and nonverbal communication when discussing consent. “no means no” and “yes means yes” is the spine of understanding, but real communication between partners are the ribs.

– Stop telling girls that its their responsibility to prevent their own assault.

– Teach everyone that if they see a sexual assault taking place, stop it. People forget about the two Swedish students who did the right thing and held Turner until the police arrived.

– Make the victim’s letter required reading in middle schools and high schools for all students. Not since King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” have such powerful and eloquent words needed to be remembered.

– Most importantly, as Ken Burns said, “If someone tells you they’ve been sexually assaulted, take it effing seriously and listen to them.”

There’s more to add but I can’t name them all. But it just goes to show that there are more productive ways to prevent campus sexual assault than being just mad about it. Our anger needs to fuel our advocacy for a plan.

Hillary Clinton makes stop at City College before June 7 primary

Originally posted on saccityexpress.com on June 6, 2016

Additional reporting by Maxfield Morris.

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Former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton takes the stage in the North Gym. Photo by Zachary FR Anderson | Managing Editor | zachanderson.express@gmail.com

Outside the North Gym, hundreds of people waited to hear Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speak at Sacramento City College Sunday, June 5 — two days before California’s June 7 presidential primary.

Clinton took the stage between 6 and 7 p.m. as Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” (Clinton’s official song) played. She was introduced by Congresswoman Doris Matsui, who also worked in the White House during Clinton’s tenure as First Lady to former President Bill Clinton. Matsui reminisced about when her husband, Congressman Bob Matsui, died, saying that Hillary Clinton was the first to call and offer her condolences.

The former Secretary of State’s speech focused on domestic policy. She shared emotional moments with the crowd regarding her time as a senator from New York during the Sept. 11 attacks as well as her experiences running the State Department during the 2011 siege on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan that resulted in the death of the infamous terrorist.

Focusing on connecting with the state’s voters, Clinton applauded California’s diversity calling it, “…as big as a country and as diverse as one, too.”

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Supporters listen to Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) introduce Hillary Clinton in the North Gym. Photo by Zachary FR Anderson | Managing Editor | zachanderson.express@gmail.com

During her speech, Clinton applauded President Barack Obama for “digging us out of the ditch,” referring to the president’s efforts to strengthen the economy during the Great Recession.

“It is a fact that the economy does better when we have a Democrat in the White House,” said Clinton, who also indicated that the recession began during the presidency of Republican President George W. Bush.

Clinton also criticized Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, on key issues, such as his ability to be a responsible and reliable as commander in chief.

“Here’s somebody who in the last few weeks has insulted our closest allies,” said Clinton, “has praised dictators like [Kim Jong Un] in North Korea. Has advocated pulling out of NATO, which is our strongest military alliance. Has said in very cavalier [fashion] that he doesn’t really mind if other countries get nuclear weapons, including Saudi Arabia.”

Other politicians at the event also voiced their concerns regarding the business mogul’s ability.

“…All you have to look at is what’s happening in this country in the past week with this guy Trump,” said Sacramento mayoral candidate Darrell Steinberg, “calling out a judge because of his Mexican heritage and saying he can’t be impartial, applying the same logic to any Muslim judge. This is dangerous.”

Steinberg was referring to Trump’s recent comments regarding the federal judge overlooking the California lawsuit against Trump University, Gonzalo P. Curiel.

Steinberg endorsed Clinton as the next president.

“She’s eminently qualified,” said Steinberg. “She’s going to be respected around the country and around the world.”

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Sacramento mayoral candidate Darrell Steinberg greets Clinton supporters outside the North Gym. Photo by Zachary FR Anderson | Managing Editor | zachanderson.express@gmail.com

Nancy McFadden, Gov. Jerry Brown’s chief of staff, took a lighter approach. She compared Trump to the “Harry Potter” villain Voldemort by referring to him as “He who must not be named.” She justified this by saying that Trump likes hearing his own name.

“Who puts their names on steaks?” McFadden joked to the crowd that roared with laughter.

Before Clinton addressed the standing-room-only crowd, the first to speak was former United States Ambassador to Hungary Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis, a Sacramento native. Other speakers included Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, Congressman John Garamendi and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.

Though knowledge of Clinton’s campaign making a stop in Sacramento had been released over a week earlier, the location remained undisclosed. It wasn’t until Thursday, according to Public Information Officer Rick Brewer, that the Clinton campaign contacted City College officials about holding the event on campus.

California residents registered as either Democrats or with no party preference may vote in the Democratic primary Tuesday, June 7.

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Ten Great Movies: The California Experience

Originally posted on saccityexpress.com on May 15, 2016

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California is where the world goes to make it in the movie business. The narrative of “making it” in Hollywood is ingrained into the very fibers of every wide-eyed drama student’s brain. But as native Californians, we know there is so much more than the façade that is Hollywood.

The California Experience is not one known idea. It is a collection of individual stories, that when forged together in tenacity and ingenuity, define the Golden State. The idea of California goes beyond the artificial world that Los Angeles socialites portray. Californians are as diverse as the landscape.

Though many movies have been set in California, few have been able to capture the spirit of its people. Here are 10 of them.

“Boyz n the Hood” (John Singleton, 1991): “Boyz n the Hood” quashes the stereotype that everyone in inner city Los Angeles is a thug. Tre Styles (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) had caring parents and good friends. The only thing that makes the police view him as a thug was that he was born in a neglected neighborhood, educated by neglected schools and born black. When Tre’s USC-bound best friend Ricky is shot down in the streets, his brother (Ice Cube) seeks vengeance and murders his killers that same night. The next morning, no reporters cover the three murders, Ice Cube’s character realizes that America “don’t know, don’t show and don’t care what happens in the hood.”

“Boyz n the Hood” is free to watch on Amazon Prime with a Starz subscription.

“Chinatown” (Roman Polanski, 1974): California could not sustain a population of almost 39 million without the complex system of canals and reservoir that make it a land of plenty. In the early 20th century, Los Angeles became too big to be sustained by the L.A. River, and the mayor realized that enough water from Owens Valley could be transported to the city via aqueduct. What ensued was the inspiration for Polanski’s “Chinatown.” It is true that agriculture is king in California, but food can’t grow without water, ergo, whoever controls water is king. Regardless of which resource is most important, what it all condenses down to is greed. If “Chinatown’s” antagonist–L.A. water department head Noah Cross (John Huston)–wasn’t so greedy, then he wouldn’t have been driven to deny water to the farmers of the North Valley, which would have created a domino effect in which most of “Chinatown” would not have happened.

“Chinatown” is free to watch on Amazon Prime with a Starz subscription.

“El Norte” (Gregory Nava, 1983): As xenophobia (unfortunately) takes center stage in the political conversation, I find myself thinking about how we benefit from the fruits of migrant workers. The myth that undocumented immigrants benefit from our tax dollars without contributing anything is blown out of the water in “El Notre.” When thugs kill Enrique and Rosa’s father, they decide to travel to America to seek a better life. The most chilling part of their journey is their mile-long crawl through a sewer when they are suddenly attacked by a swarm of rats. But the rats are not the only danger they faced during their epic journey, Enrique and Rosa came to America seeking a better life, but instead found a land that hated them. It is not until Rosa dies that she finally finds a home.

“El Norte” is available to rent on Amazon Prime and iTunes.

“The Endless Summer” (Bruce Brown, 1966): On the last day of every year of middle school, my classmates and I would all pile into school buses and go to Refugio Beach. In the mornings it was foggy and the water was a dark turquoise, I always remember thinking that I wanted a shirt with that color. When the sun was out, the water still cold, but I still stand by the statement that the best beaches are in Santa Barbara. It is true, that the objective of many surfers is to find the perfect wave and yes, they will literally go the ends of the earth to find it. Bruce Brown’s documentary only follows a group of surfers on their quest. But as far as audiences were concerned, they could have been searching for Shangri La and “The Endless Summer” would have been just as fun and great as it is now.

“The Endless Summer is streaming on Netflix.

“The Grapes of Wrath” (John Ford, 1940): It is a sad truth, but many who come to California seeking success will never find it. When the Dust Bowl destroyed the Midwest–known as America’s “breadbasket”–millions made the epic trek to California with the belief that work was limitless. When the Joads arrive, they quickly discover the truth that it was all a lie. Though the film adaptation ends with more hope for the future than the original John Steinbeck novel, the boundless impact the Okies had on the California landscape and economy is brought to life with the same spirit and anger.

“The Grapes of Wrath” is available to rent on iTunes.

“Milk” (Gus Van Sant, 2008): As California goes, so goes the nation. Since the 1970s, the LGBTQ+ community’s home base was the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco, and Harvey Milk was known as its mayor. His efforts as a civil rights leader and the spirit of San Francisco’s liberal community started the gay liberation movement in the 1970s. Gus Van Sant photographs San Francisco with magnificent style and awe, transporting audiences back in time to when anger fueled protest. The scenes of crowds marching through the Castro seem like archive footage from the era, and the score by Danny Elfman pays tribute to Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America.” Milk believed that politics was theater – and it is – but he also believed that to be free you have to fight, which is what he did.

“Milk” is available to stream on HBO Go and HBO Now.

“Monterey Pop” (D.A. Pennebaker, 1968): During the early hours that marked the final morning of the Monterey Pop Festival, director D.A. Pennebaker used the audio from Country Joe and the Fish over images of the hippie attendants awakening and rising with the California sun. They’re drifters, slackers and most likely higher than the B-52s over Vietnam. To them, the festival was just another way to turn on, tune and drop out as Timothy Leary put it. Little did any of them know was that they were witnesses to pop culture history. To many, the Monterey Pop Festival was a beta release for Woodstock. But some – including music writer Rusty DeSoto – would argue that Monterey Pop was much more important to the development of pop music than Woodstock. Monterey Pop is where many of rock ‘n’ roll’s most influential artists, like Janis Joplin and Otis Redding, would be introduced to the world.

“Monterey Pop” can be bought through Amazon or on the Criterion Collection website: https://www.criterion.com/films/720-monterey-pop.

“Orange County” (Jake Kasdan, 2002): Though Shaun (Colin Hanks) thinks that Orange County isn’t the best place for an aspiring writer to live when compared to the intellectual world of Stanford, he realizes in this film that his friends and family are his inspiration and that stupidity and shallowness are everywhere.

“Orange County” is available to rent on Amazon Prime and iTunes.

“Sideways” (Alexander Payne, 2004): One of the benefits of California’s diverse range of climates is that it has become an excellent region for producing wine. Napa is the most famous, but I – along with Alexander Payne and author Rex Pickett — would argue that the best California wines comes from the Santa Ynez Valley. “Sideways” is a tragicomedy that follows two middle-aged men’s journey through Santa Barbara’s wine country. Payne treats the Santa Ynez Mountains with the same delicacy and sexuality that Federico Fellini used for Italy in his films, creating a fantasy world. Even the natives seem too good to be true. Miles (Paul Giamatti) meets a Maya (Virginia Madsen) who shares his enthusiasm for wine but with greater passion. Maya’s speech about the life of wine is so beautifully crafted, the audience can feel Miles slowly falling in love with her. In that moment it didn’t matter what they were drinking – as long as it wasn’t Merlot.

“Sideways” is free to watch on Amazon Prime with a Starz subscription.

“Topaz” (Dave Tatsuno, 1945): During World War II, Japanese-Americans living on the coasts were taken out of their homes and sent into the interior. No doubt this dark chapter in American history had a great effect on the Japanese American residents living in California. One of these Americans was Dave Tatsuno, who illegally documented his time in the Topaz camp in Utah to make this film. There’s nothing extraordinary that happens in Topaz; it’s mostly daily life. But after the initial shock has worn off, it becomes clear that Americans have the ability to make the best out of the worse situation. Their country told them that they were enemies of the state, but when there are children smiling and ice skating, playing in the snow, and holding baseball games it becomes abundantly clear that they are not enemies.

“Topaz” is available to watch in black and white on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KboirnCzius.

Honorable Mentions:

“Almost Famous”

“Bottle Shock”

“The Debut”

“East of Eden”

“The Graduate”

“Harold and Maude”

“The Right Stuff”

“Stand and Deliver”

“Tortilla Soup”

“Tangerine”

Ballot of apathy

Originally published in the Express on May 5, 2016

Student leadership to generate involvement in Student Senate, Club and Events Board

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City College student Melody Jimenez, political science major, speaks to students in the quad during candidate forums on April 7, 2016. Jimenez is running for the position of Student Senate Secretary of Legislative Affairs. The position is also contested by Savannah Mendoza. Hector Flores, Staff Photographer. | hectorfloresexpress@gmail.com

Despite a low voter turnout and a majority of candidates running unopposed, City College students have selected a new slate of Student Senate and Club and Events Board members to serve in the 2016—17 academic year.

Current City College Student Senate president Marianna Sousa was elected by students from all four colleges as Los Rios student trustee, a position she will assume June 1.

Student Leadership and Development Coordinator Kim Beyrer released the results of the elections April 15, a day after the elections.

However, most of the candidates, including the Senate vice president, ran unopposed. No Senate presidential candidate was listed on the electronic ballot that students accessed through City College eServices.

The lack of student participation from the main campus and outreach centers resulted in uncontested positions being filled by appointment, according to Beyrer.

“There are reasonable [causes as] to why a lot of students don’t participate,” said Beyrer, “whether they have to work, they have families, they have other responsibilities.”

The Senate officers elected were Raymond Concha for vice president, Joshua Feagin for treasurer, Alan Neftali Hernandez for secretary of technology, and Melody Jimenez for secretary of legislative affairs. The five senators elected to office were Keanna Laforga, Emily Lai, Julianne Maninang, Gerardo Mendoza and Huinan Pang.

After the elections, the Student Senate voted to fill the presidential vacancy by appointment at the April 20 meeting which was held in the Student Center. At that meeting, secretary of legislative affairs-elect Melody Jimenez was nominated and appointed Senate president, pending approval of City College interim President Michael Poindexter.

The Club and Events Board (CAEB) faced similar issues with many candidates running unopposed and other positions remaining vacant after the elections.

Moises Ramirez was elected CAEB president, Leo Molten vice president, Ashley Michelle Rowe secretary of public relations, Zachary Silvia secretary of technology, and Georgia Sherman project coordinator.

To generate more interest in student government, the Student Advisory Council (SAC), a committee composed of associated student body presidents at all four Los Rios colleges and the student trustee, have discussed the possibility of recommending to the district stipends for some student government positions, according to Student Trustee Cameron Weaver at the April 13 City College Student Senate meeting.

Weaver said that three of the four colleges in the district must indicate support for the idea before it can be discussed on the district level. The student senates can do this through either an official resolution or statement of support. To date, only two colleges have decided whether to support the idea.

According to Weaver, Folsom Lake College decided against the idea, recommending that other options, such as priority registration, should be explored rather than any forms of financial compensation.

Tony Tran, the Senate president at Cosumnes River College, said that the CRC Student Senate informed Weaver that they intend to support the idea in full.

Weaver said that he is still waiting on responses from City College and ARC.

“The decision still ultimately lies with the district, however,” said Weaver.

The Jungle Book (2016) Review

Originally posted on saccityexpress.com on May 4, 2016

The_Jungle_Book_(2016)Score: 4/5

“And all the old romance, retold
Exactly in the ancient way,
Can please, as me they pleased of old,
The wiser youngsters of today”

-Robert Louis Stevenson

Disney’s first adaptation of “The Jungle Book,” the 1967 animated film, was not entirely beloved. Instead, the songs were beloved while the work as a whole was forgettable, at best.

Director Jon Favreau does not update the tale of Mowgli for modern audiences. Instead, he allows the folklore to linger and push the plot forward – as it was meant to do.

Like “Peter Pan” or “Winnie the Pooh,” “The Jungle Book” is part of the canon for English-speaking children. Mowgli always represented the wild child within. To children, his life was ideal. One day he would be running with wolves, and the next day he would be fighting off monkeys with bears and panthers, while also hanging out with elephants. What’s not to like?

As far as the film’s special effects are concerned, they are not realistic. But that is because they are not meant to be. “The Jungle Book” is not supposed to be an achievement in computer effects. Instead, the jungle and its animals are presented through the point of view of a small boy.

That’s not to say that the film does not pay homage to the cinemasphere. The temple where King Louie – masterfully voiced by Christopher Walken – and his tribe of primates dwell is similar to Col. Kurtz in “Apocalypse Now.”  Even Louie, always draped in shadows, has taken the form of Marlon Brando.

Walken is not the only iconic voice in the film. Ben Kingsley is the voice of Mowgli’s mentor, Bagheera, and he brings his unique English stuffiness and harrumph to the character. I suppose that is because Bagheera is a proxy for Rudyard Kipling, the British author of the book on which the film is based..

But to cast Scarlett Johansson as the voice of Kaa was a bold choice of brilliance. In the scene when Mowgli first meets the great python in her canopy home, the images are of a biblical nature. Johansson’s seductive voice slithers with the movements of the serpent. If Kaa were a male, perhaps the forbidden sin of desire would have been absent. But Kaa’s femininity gave the scene an eeriness that will make it unforgettable for years to come.

Kipling wrote “The Jungle Book” for his daughter Josephine, who died at the age of 6. Originally, the book was a collection of short stories set in British-ruled India. Many of the stories feature a feral child called Mowgli and his interactions with the animals of the jungle.

A child cannot survive in the jungle forever, which is the great metaphor for growing up. Bagheera tells Mowgli that he can only be safe from Shere Khan, a tiger who forbids humans from entering the jungle, by living with man. Like when Wendy in “Peter Pan” is told that she will have to move out of the nursery, it is painful for Mowgli to hear, but it must be done.

“The Jungle Book” is currently playing in theaters nationwide.

Confirmation (2016) Review

Originally posted on saccityexpress.com on April 30, 2016

Confirmation_posterScore: 2/5

HBO’s latest original film, “Confirmation,” is a minor addition to the channel’s recent repertoire of political dramas in the same strain as 2008’s “Recount” and 2012’s “Game Change.”

But instead of exploring the behind-the-scenes operations of political campaigns, the film instead explores the confirmation process of Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Even before Thomas’ colleague Anita Hill came forward with her sexual harassment allegations against him, Thomas was a figure steeped in overwhelming controversy. As a textualist that believed the Constitution must be interpreted as it was originally written, he was accused by many liberals of not caring about civil rights.

Regardless of the controversy surrounding Thomas’ jurisprudence, the Senate – at that time controlled by the Democrats – was sure that he was a shoe-in for the court.

It wasn’t until a staffer for Ted Kennedy found Hill’s name that she ever felt the need to come forward.

Hill is portrayed by Kerry Washington, who doesn’t at all look like the real Hill, but instead embodies her. She embodies how Hill carried herself during the proceedings and how she anticipated the waves of criticism and skepticism that were bound to follow.

Wendell Pierce portrays Thomas, not as a man who knows he did something wrong and is trying to cover it up, but as a man who is sure that he has done nothing wrong. To him the hearings were a political circus, a public humiliation, or in his own words “a high tech lynching.”

Overseeing these hearings is the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Joe Biden (Greg Kinnear). The members of the committee are all men and Senate lifers: old segregationist Strom Thurmond, Republican yes-men Alan Simpson and Arlen Specter, and failed presidential candidates Paul Simon, Ted Kennedy and Biden.

Biden’s leadership style throughout the hearings was centered on compromise, to a fault. Because of his approach, the GOP members were able to walk over him and Hill was left abandoned.

However, these powerful dynamics and themes of gender and race are completely ignored by director Rick Famuyiwa.

Instead, the main focus that “Confirmation” has is on the personal struggle of Thomas at home. Too much time was spent at Thomas’ Washington, D.C, townhouse as he ignored Hill and the hearings. This came off as if Thomas was the true victim of the entire affair, which is far from the truth.  Famuyiwa tried to find two sides to a story that was clearly an all-out assault on a victim of sexual harassment. This doesn’t come from research, this comes from scenes in the film.

There’s a moment when Republican members of the committee are called inside the White House by Chief of Staff Kenneth Duberstein (Eric Stonestreet) to discuss tactics for the hearings. There were only two ways the narrative could end: Hill’s story ends up being true (meaning Bush nominated a pervert), or Hill is a liar. As history shows, the committee worked as hard as they could to prove that the latter was correct.

Orrin Hatch read passages of “The Exorcist” to imply that Hill plagiarized one of the harassment accounts. Missouri Senator Jack Danforth consulted with psychologists to see if a mental illness existed that would cause Hill to create fictional scenarios in her head.

When it comes down to it, this was not a high-tech lynching of Thomas. This was the Republican Party slut-shaming Hill.

But this was the movie that could have been. I can no longer dwell on what could have been. What exists now is a film that can only be described as entertaining at best, and disappointing at worst.

“Confirmation” is now streaming on HBO Go.

It’s Time to Move On

I have refrained from publishing my personal opinions on the election to the best of my ability. It is true that there has been the occasional tweet, Facebook post and comment in reviews,  but there has yet to be a detailed piece publicly displaying my views on this election and the candidates. As a journalist, I do not find it right to display my political leanings. Since beginning my career, I listed my beliefs as “Politically Ambiguous” and reserved my opinions to private conversation between trusted colleagues, friends and family. But it is time to share my thoughts on this year’s election. It’ll most likely be the only time I do so.

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Bernie Sanders is the president that the country needs. He understands that students who want to further their education should not be held hostage by crippling debt. He knows that it is inherently wrong that a single mother who works 40 hours a week struggles to feed her children. He knows that health care should be a human right and not a privilege. He knows what America can be.

But at this moment in time, Sanders cannot be the president.

On April 26 he lost four out of five primaries. Even as the map shifts to the west towards West Virginia, Indiana, Oregon and California, the possibility of Sanders clinching the nomination is unforeseeable.

In short, when it comes down to it, Sanders can’t play the game.

There will no doubt be a lot of talk about how the system is rigged against him, how Independents were turned away at the polls, how not all of the polling places were opened. No doubt these issues are valid and they must be addressed in future elections.

But these rules and regulations were in place when the progressives backed Barack Obama in 2008 and not once was there an uproar.

Sanders didn’t win in key states because he can’t play properly.

Though the office of President of the United States is a serious office for serious people, the process in which we choose the individuals who eventually occupy the White House is nothing more than a circus.

It’s why bozos and wingnuts are able to thrive in the primaries and caucuses. Their messages speak to the animal senses of people who don’t actually care about the welfare of the country, but instead about how personable a candidate is.

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Illustration by Roberto Parada

Hillary Clinton on the other hand knows how to play the game; she’s been around it her entire adult life. Ever since her husband ran in ’92 — one of the most organized campaigns in modern history — she has been building an apparatus for herself. In her mind, she has been president since 2000.

Clinton can play the game and she has the people to create a strategy that would last her to election day. It was going to be a rocky road ahead. She has baggage and the GOP was going to throw everything they had at her, and they did (and they’ll continue doing it).

But she has prepared for those attacks since the day she became Secretary of State. Ever since the GOP began their crusade to de-legitimize Obama’s administration, she knew that their line against her would be “4 more years of Obama.” There is no doubt in my mind that she prepared for that line.

Clinton has also prepared for the crusade to de-legitimize her if she gets into office. It’s possible that she has prepared her outfit for a dinner in 2024. The fact is that for eight years after her failed bid for the nomination, she organized every detail of her campaign slowly, quietly, softly.

The Sanders campaign lacked the organization and skills that has been the strength of “Clintonia” since ’92. He didn’t prepare the way Clinton did, he only decided to run because he saw that there were too many injustices in the world. Sanders is running for president because he’s a good man.

Clinton’s running because she knows she can win.

Clinton has been perfecting her national image for 32 years. Sanders only had one.

Clinton had the name recognition, experience in the Senate and State Department, all fueled by her ambition — viewed as both a weakness and strength.

Even with the help of the internet, Sanders was never able to gain traction because like his campaign, the internet activists are just as disorganized.

Early in the race, they were already calling foul on the super delegate system — a system they would have no issue with if super delegates evenly matched with both Clinton and Sanders.

Being a Sanders supporter was great fun. It was refreshing to support a candidate who truly believed in the issues that he campaigned on.

But now comes the healing.

With the general election inching nearer, it’s time to start looking at the big picture.

On the other side, there is a storm-a-comin’. Though the GOP is tearing itself to shreds, the real danger is in the frontrunner.

Donald Trump wants GOP voters to believe that he is this machismo bigot with blue-collar attitude who wants to build a giant wall on the border. A pharaoh who has built great big things to his own majesty and awesome.

This is all fiction. The Donald that is running for president is no more than a character he made up — a much more horrifying reality. The Donald has absolutely no idea what he’s doing; but he’s doing it, so it must be good (in his mind).

He’s nothing more than Johnny Knoxville in “The Ringer.” It’s not a dumb move to compete in a contest filled with the least qualified coterie of candidates imaginable in order to win, that doesn’t make him inherently smart.

But the GOP base has spoken, they want Jeffy Dahmor as their nominee, and though the party establishment will tear itself apart to stop that from happening, the party insiders are not smart enough to let the party die for the good of the country.

In short, the only way for the United States to preserve some form of order is if a Democratic succeeds President Obama. Whether it be Sanders or Clinton, it does not matter.

The GOP has shown in the past few cycles that they will not make the right decision.

I will support Sanders for as long as he is in the race. But it is not Bernie or bust. It was never Bernie or bust. At this time, his fight is to make sure that income inequality are pushed to the forefront of the national conversation.

The real victory is that Sanders’ progressive views defined the political attitude in the Democratic party, not Clintonia’s.

Because of Sanders, Clinton had to move to the left and she will have to support those left-leaning policies as president if she has any hopes for re-election.

This is not about whether Clinton is more qualified than Sanders to be president. They are both qualifed to serve their country as commander in chief. They are for sure more qualified than the Donald will ever be.

The Democratic Party cannot allow itself to became divided like the Republican Party. If that were to happen, it would mean victory for the Republican nominee.

The two wings of the party must stand united in order for the republic to survive. This is a fact.

So I’ll end with one final note: Hillary Clinton for president, Bernie Sanders for America.

Hernie
photo from the Associated Press