Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Yes, I'm Voting for Hillary. And No, I'm Not Sorry.

First let me say this: I love Bernie Sanders. I love his whole crotchety-grandpa-who's-gonna-yell-until-you-listen vibe. I love his politics--I am a democratic socialist at heart.

But I am still voting for Hillary. I think you should, too.

I have to admit--I was caught in the whole "feel the Bern" movement. Damn, it felt GOOD to have a guy who was saying "screw you" to Wall Street, the insurance companies, and the 1%. I've listened to him many times as he raked the rich over the coals, and deservedly so. Who wouldn't be drawn in by his fervor, dedication, and charm?

But a funny thing happened as I listened to all the debates (and yes, I saw every one). It became clear to me that Bernie was mostly repeating talking points. Yes, most politicians do this (I'm looking at you, Marco Rubio), but Bernie's talking points are almost all about domestic policy. If you don't believe me, take a look at his Twitter feed, @berniesanders. I spent the last ten minutes scrolling down his feed looking for a tweet on foreign policy, and I could not find one. Not ONE.

In short, if you were to ask me what Bernie Sanders' foreign policy is, I'd have to say I don't know. And I have seen every debate, I follow him on Twitter, and I am a news junkie. Even if you go to this website and look at where he stands on the issues, there is almost nothing about his foreign policy. There are 22 talking points, and 20 of them relate to domestic policy.

Bernie and Hillary agree on most domestic issues. Where they differ is a matter of degree, usually. For example, Hillary wants to expand the ACA, while Bernie wants single payer. For the record, I also want single payer, but it is not going to happen. Obama could not make it happen, and he had both houses of congress on his side. And let's not forget that Hillary fought for universal health care way back in 1993, so it's not as if she's new to the game. She spearheaded the CHIP program that insures millions of kids to this day.

She's fearless on foreign policy, and frankly, no one knows more about the issues than she does. That's not a knock on Bernie or anyone else. It's just that Hillary's voluminous knowledge and experience give her a wide edge over any other candidate in the race.

To this day, I recall her speech in Beijing called "Women's Rights are Human Rights". I used to teach it along with speeches by MLK and JFK as shining examples of American rhetoric. It took tremendous courage for her to make that speech in the People's Republic of China, and before delegates from over 180 countries, most of which practice systematic repression of women. That speech alone told me all I need to know about her commitment to human rights and her willingness to confront those who would take away those rights. She is fearless.

And while no one really likes to talk about it, there is the issue of electability. If Bernie is nominated, there's little doubt that he will be painted as a free spending socialist who will run the deficit beyond anyone's worst nightmare. In my view, that will be enough to turn those purple states red. Furthermore, a Sanders nomination will almost certainly lead to a third party candidacy by Michael Bloomberg, and frankly, I'd vote for Trump before I'd vote for Mikey. Or Satan. Finally, if Sanders can't be elected, it will obviously change the make-up of the Supreme Court for decades to come.

Before someone accuses me of voting from fear, let me say that I would have voted for Hillary anyway. In my view, she is the stronger candidate and the one who actually has a real chance of getting her ideas to come to fruition. That being said, if Bernie is nominated, I will back him wholeheartedly.

I know my education blogger buddies mostly disagree with me. They see Hillary as a hindrance to education, but I see her as a strong supporter of unions and an ally of public education. For those who claim she wants to close half of all schools, that remark was taken entirely out of context. Clinton further went on to make it clear that she would not meddle in closing schools at all, as this is a state and local issue, not a federal one.

So yes, I'm with Her. And no, I'm not sorry. She is the smartest, most experienced, and most accomplished of all the candidates.

Plus, she has Bill. Damn it, I LOVE Bill!


NYCDOEnuts said...

Well said! And this was well read because of it. Bernie is wonderful to follow! we do need foreign policy. Also, I think, given her talents and her agenda, Hillary's got a greater chance of getting stuff done and of address more issues from a position of expertise. There won't be much learning curve with her.

Plus, my kid's a girl and I'd really really like her growing up seeing a female president for herself.

I do wish she'd take a greater stance of the little guy issues, though. $15 minimum wage, breaking up the "7 big banks handle 77% of the nation's money', that sort of thing. I hope he keeps moving her in that direction.

GREAT reading you again!!

Pogue said...

Welcome back.

With a continuation of Hillary, I see a continuation of the poor economic potential the country is mired in. As long as she's the protector of the status quo, and the Clinton Foundation is making millions off donations and speeches, I do not trust them. Bernie's been in politics a lot longer than Hillary and has gotten much more done. I vote for Bernie for my children and future grandchildren. Change has to happen. There will be obstacles and roadblocks for Sanders and/or Clinton, thus, I prefer the candidate who will fight for further-reaching goals. (Union leadership could take a few cues from the Sanders way of inspiring the masses.)

P.S.: In regards to Bernie's foreign policy...What was Obama's foreign policy before he became president?

P.S.S. Your daughter will see a woman president someday, but, that woman will be Elizabeth Warren.

Thanks for letting me join the discussion.

Bronx ATR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Third Path Man said...’s-six-foreign-policy-catastrophes

Clinton has been a complete disaster as Sec. Of State. Yes....she is a continuation of the Neocon war machine which has nearly completely destroyed the Middle East, murdering and maiming hundreds of thousands of innocents. Bill Clinton is a serial abuser of women, and Hillary is his enabler-the facts show this. He abuses women and she covers it all up. Poor role models for young women IMHO. The Dem Party has completely deteriorated if she's the best they have.

Mr. Talk said...

I tried to read after you posted the link, but my tin foil hat went missing so I had to stop.

Virtually every horrific thing that happened in the Middle East can be laid directly at the doorstep of George W.

Trying to blame it on Hillary because she was heir to that mess is like trying to blame the 11% unemployment on Obama when he took office.

As for Bill, he was a great president. You want to excoriate him for Monica, be my guest, but his legacy will be overwhelmingly positive. Whatever happened between Bill and Hillary is their own business, not yours. Being empowered means being able to kick your man's ass out if need be, or to figure out a way forward. That's what Hillary chose, and it's her personal decision.

Third Path Man said...

"Democrats face a stark choice this year. A vote for the scandal-plagued Hillary is a resounding ratification of business as usual–the corrupt marriage of big money and machine politics, practiced by the Clintons with the zest of Boss Tweed, the gluttonous czar of New York’s ruthless Tammany Hall in the 1870s. What you also get with Hillary is a confused hawkish interventionism that has already dangerously destabilized North Africa and the Mideast. This is someone who declared her candidacy on April 12, 2015 via an email and slick video and then dragged her feet on making a formal statement of her presidential policies and goals until her pollsters had slapped together a crib list of what would push the right buttons. This isn’t leadership; it’s pandering"

Third Path Man said...

"A vote for Bernie Sanders is a vote against the machine, the obscenely money-mad and soulless juggernaut that the Democratic Party has become. Perhaps there was a time, during the Hubert Humphrey era, when Democrats could claim to be populists, alive to the needs and concerns of working-class people. But the party has become the playground of white, upper-middle-class professionals with elite-school degrees and me-first values. These liberal poseurs mouth racial and ethnic platitudes, acquired like trophy kills at their p.c. campuses, but every word rings hollow, because it is based on condescension, a patronizing projection of victimhood onto those outside their privileged circle. There is no better example of this arrogant class bias than Wellesley grad Hillary Clinton lapsing into her mush-mouthed, Southern-fried dialect when addressing African-American audiences."

Third Path Man said...

"Sanders is no Communist, bent on seizing centralized control of business and industry. He is a democratic socialist in the Scandinavian mode, where social welfare is predicated on cooperation and shared sacrifice. Whether such a system can work in the vastly larger and more culturally diverse U.S. is another matter. The financial viability of his proposals would certainly be stringently vetted by Congress, which holds the purse strings of the national budget. But Sanders’ attack on the crass excesses and unpunished ethical lapses of Wall Street is a great awakening call, at a time when the U.S. has disastrously lost its manufacturing base and when the super-rich have accumulated proportionally more wealth than at any time since the Gilded Age of the late 19th century"

Pres. Clinton pushed NAFTA which turned into a disaster over time-blatant outsourcing which helped neither Mexico or US. He deregulated Wall Street creating the criminal cabal we see today. He also deregulated Big Media, resulting in the near monopolization of The Press. These two factors have set the stage for the disaster that is the American economy today. Of course media loves Hillary-she is co pltely bought , sold and protected by them.

Third Path Man said...

"Despite Bernie Sanders being tied with her for pledged delegates after last weekend’s Nevada caucuses, the media herd has anointed Hillary Clinton yet again as the inevitable Democratic nominee. Superdelegates, those undemocratic figureheads and goons of the party establishment, are by definition unpledged and fluid and should never be added to the official column of any candidate until the national convention. To do so is an amoral tactic of intimidation that affects momentum and gives backstage wheeling and dealing primacy over the will of the electorate. Why are the media so servilely complicit with Clinton-campaign propaganda and trickery?"

All quotes from Camille Paglia in current Salon

Third Path Man said...

"Thanks to several years of the Democratic party establishment strong-arming younger candidates off the field for Hillary, the only agent for fundamental change remains Bernie Sanders, an honest and vanity-free man who has been faithful to his core progressive principles for his entire career. It is absolutely phenomenal that Sanders has made such progress nationally against his near total blackout over the past year by the major media, including the New York Times. That he has inspired the hope and enthusiasm of an immense number of millennial women is very encouraging. Feminists who support Hillary for provincial gender reasons are guilty of a reactionary, reflex sexism, betraying that larger vision required for the ballot so hard-won by the suffrage movement"

Hillary's main accomplishment was marrying a future President. Everything has been handed to her on a golden platter as the anointed one.

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