>> Friday, June 10, 2016
Blank or Bust movements sound noble, don't they? I'm all in! I won't settle for anything less than it all! That's how much it means to me.
In reality, they're not so noble. I can say that. I worked as a safety engineer for years at NASA and, though I had one of the most pure jobs on site, where I got to focus on safety and nothing else (Screw cost and schedule! And science! Bring 'em back safely!), I was well aware that the people I brought my concerns to did not have it so simple. They weren't allowed to screw everything to suit me because, hey, the safest place for a rocket is on the ground, but it's not what they're for. That meant I sometimes got some of what I wanted (no, really!) and sometimes I didn't. Some times were easier to accept than others. But that's how we get stuff done. Because, if we're all safety all the time, we never leave our homes, and if we're all flying, screw safety, our program is doomed as we're pelted with broken rocket parts.
So, what does that have to do with this election? Well, it means many very passionate people and some pretty passionate people just woke up with an election bender hangover to face the reality that Bernie was not getting the nomination (if you still think that's up in the air, you're not ready for this and probably are too detached from reality to swallow it anyway). The great revolution was over or, at least, the dream of Bernie leading the Dems into a new world order was not happening this year.
Some Bernie supporters, likely those who saw the handwriting on the wall for a while, were prepared to vote Blue no matter who and, though disappointed, will be comfortable enough especially comparing Hillary to Trump (though, to be honest, there wasn't a GOP contender I could imagine swallowing - Yikes! You know the milk is rancid when Trump comes to the top). Some, while more reluctant, already can guess they'll take a shot of whiskey, stumble to the polls, and vote Hillary for the good of the world. All honor to you guys. You get the big picture and, while I understand it didn't make you happy, I appreciate you voting against the racist sexist buffoon anyway. (And a shout out to the conservatives out there who ALSO aren't willing to bring back the Third Reich and who will make the same decision. Good for you.)
No, today I want to address the Bernie or Bust group and I'm going to separate you into two camps.
1) Those who hate Hillary as a long list of female related expletives and violent threats - these folks are probably beyond help and should stop reading now.
2) And those who feel that Hillary can't be trusted, is too dangerous, to allow to have power. I get you hate her. I get you are sure she's crooked and willing to send young men to die in wars and stuff.
Take a moment and indulge in your hate. And then, if you can get it to cool, I want you to engage your brain.
Before I begin, I want to ask you, why is trust so important, or, in this case, MORE important for Hillary than anyone else? There's never been a politician who was able to accomplish all they promised. There has never been a president (particularly a good one) that hasn't had to compromise some of what he wanted to get something he wanted. Never do it, you get nothing. Always do it, you're a doormat. What we need is someone in between. Hillary's got a lot of baggage. Some of it one could argue she earned. Some of it was bestowed on her through the auspices of Karl Rove's clever slime machine that doesn't let little things like exoneration or debunking get in the way of churning out the same stories endlessly or planting them in heads of people who should know better. You're probably not ready to believe that, but I do want you to ask yourself something by way of motivation.
Hillary has been breaking ground for women all her life. She's been an advocate for women and children (and if you don't believe that, do some research) her entire career. She has asked this country to make her the first female president. You may not think that's a big deal, but women do, and, most importantly, SHE does. She knows also (having been under the microscope before) that every eyelash flutter, every brushing off of a GOP Benghazi-spewing cretin from her shoulder, every word, every decision will be watched with eager eyes by supporter and hater alike, that media (and the unending Rovian slime machine) will grab it, spin it, tell people what to think about it and THEIR judgements of what she does is what she'll have to live with. People don't actually judge by reality most of the time. Given that, given that she cares about her party (and the country, believe it or not), given that she cares about her gender, do you honestly think Hillary is going to get the single most powerful position in the country, perhaps the world, and turn around and prove every naysayer right for a few bucks? This woman (and her husband) gave tens of millions to charity. She could be as rich as she wanted without putting her through this hell. You think she's going to suffer for all that, just to make some fatcats happy in Wall Street? Seriously?
Still not convinced? Still think it's a tossup between Hillary and (shudder) Trump?
Okay, here are some key issues for me (and the country, even the world): what do you think Hillary will do?
Trump will add people (likely 3-4) to the Supreme Court. You think the justices he'll choose will support Roe vs. Wade? Marriage equality? Eliminating Citizen's United? Undoing gerrymandering? Civil rights? Universal healthcare? The environment? What about Hillary? Bill Clinton gave us Ginsberg and Breyer. Obama chose Sotomayer and Kagan. Those are Hillary's closest contemporaries. Do I have to remind you who Ronald Reagan chose? The Bushes? And that's not a point in time issue - that will last us for the next generation.
Trump has told us of his admiration for foreign tyrants and his intent to make friendly with them but (possibly) nuke ISIS (or Europe inexplicably) where ever it may be, torture survivors and then, of course, go out of his way to bomb the families of those ISIS folks. Do you really think Hillary is on the same plane as that? Say she's more hawkish that you are (okay, more than I as well, but I'm really pacifist), do you think she'd act as rashly as that? Hillary was, hands down, the most knowledgeable about foreign policy of any candidate. The item held against her (which was not a vote for war, by the way), was an error in judgement, not for advocating war (which she wasn't) but for trusting George W. Bush to behave honorably. Not quite the same thing. But, do you think she could possibly be as clueless and irresponsible as Trump? Really? Stop. Think. Really?
Trump has said he wants to gather up all the Muslims and separate them, maybe have them wear badges. You really think Hillary would do that, to that group or ANY religious group? Who's next, Atheists? Hindis? Quakers?
Trump has laid out a lot of nasty judgements on Latinos, Blacks, disabled people, has been endorsed by groups that target blacks and Jews and LGBT people. Do you think Hillary will support legislation that actively discriminates against them? I think that kind of legislation would get a total pass from Trump who wouldn't lift one finger to stop it, if his rhetoric is any indication. But Hillary? No, of course you don't. Not only would that be stupid but, if you'd done your homework, you'd know she'd been working against that kind of thing her entire adult life including going undercover to identify private schools that were excluding black children. Calling the mayor of Flint and asking her, "What can I do to help?"
Trump's idea for infrastructure improvement is a big wall as opposed to something useful (and hey, he's planning to use Mexican labor for that anyway). And, as for climate change, he doesn't buy it so you can bet NOTHING WILL HAPPEN on his watch, except perhaps dismantling what we've already done. Do you think Hillary will refuse to support infrastructure improvement and advances in renewable power sources? That she'll support the unsupportable practices for coal and drilling in the Arctic? She's worked for helping people who's jobs were disappearing when she was Senator of New York; I don't see any reason to think she'd want to let the job creation trend disappear that Obama started (and Bill had going during his tenure, too). Both presidencies created far more jobs than they lost and I hope we never find out about Trump's. And what about the planet? Hillary helped Obama work with governments around the world on a climate accord.
Trump has said he will dismantle social security. Trump wants to reduce taxes for the rich. Trump has said he thinks women who get abortions should be punished. And should be judged by their looks (and put money behind that, even). Trump wants to send every immigrant back "home." Hillary was a cosponsor of the DREAM act. Trump wants to eliminate gun free zones. Well, really, the list goes on indefinitely.
Pick an issue that matters to you. Any one. And ask yourself. "What would Trump do about this?" and then ask yourself, honestly, what would Hillary do about this? And remember, a red congress would try to stop Hillary but they won't stop Trump (and vice versa).
You can not vote, but then that's one less to stand against Trump. Or worse you can vote for Trump. Either way, you helped put him into office.
Just don't think you're not culpable. That's not on Hillary. That's on you.