>> Saturday, September 24, 2016
I wrote some of this back in June, when there were several progressive type folks still clinging to the hope of a Bernie miracle, but it is as relevant now so I'm keeping the bits that speak to that and adding a bit about the wisdom of flushing your vote down the toilet to prove your purity.
For those of you who really wanted Bernie to win, but accepted defeat graciously or even ungraciously and will do what you can to keep Trump from turning the world into a Trumpster fire, all honor to you. I appreciate you looking past your own disappointment for the greater good.
No, today I want to talk to that remaining pool of people who either don't intend to vote, haven't made up their mind to vote or are intending to piss their vote away on unqualified third party folks who, fortunately, have no chance of winning. I'll explain why that's fortunate in a minute. Short of having just woken from a coma, I can't understand why a decent human being, especially one that claims to be progressive or liberal), would be in this camp for any but two reasons
1) Those who hate Hillary Clinton as a long list of female-related expletives and violent threats. Guess what, you're not the feminist you claim to be (even if you're a woman) and voting for an unqualified woman (Stein) who has no chance of being president doesn't change that. You have serious misogyny issues (and, yes, women can have them) and probably are beyond my help.
2) And those who feel that Hillary Clinton can't be trusted, is too dangerous, to allow to have power. I get you don't trust her, maybe even 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.
First, let's talk about the third party candidates. For starters, even if they were the most fabulously overqualified people on earth, you still shouldn't vote for them when Trump is in the offing. Two reasons:
(1) Neither one has any real chance of winning. Seriously, no chance. Your passion won't change that.
(2) Even if they were elected, they couldn't do anything they promise because they'd have zero support in Congress. Well, Johnson might get a couple of things, since much of his platform is: Big Business, let's all bend over for them. A GOP Congress will eat that up. Stein, however, has a platform built on fairy dust. Sure it would be great to make education miraculously perfect overnight, but belling that cat is a whole different story. And her big plans depend on totally gutting defense, which might sound great but ain't happening without a Congress willing to do it since they write the checks.
But, as candidates, they're not very stellar either. Johnson has already made his ignorance well known (and we've already got our share of know-nothing candidates, thanks) and has a platform of basically dismantling any agency, regulation or system that does the people good and trusting that the market will take care of us. If you're progressive and vote for Johnson, you are probably too dumb to breathe and should get help immediately.
Stein wants (ironically) almost exactly the same things as Hillary Clinton, except for the alternative medicine spin she puts on some of it, but has no workable plan to get it, UNLIKE Hillary. I guess she's hoping charm will make a nice substitute for knowledge and know-how. And a supportive Congress. And expertise of any kind. I don't know her, does she have that much charm? Given she's last in the polls, probably not.
"But no," you say, "I'm pure! I won't let anyone make me vote for someone just as bad as Trump. I'm making a statement." Yes. Yes, you are. You're making the statement that you're stupid and selfish, and don't give a DAMN about anyone else, all the people who will suffer if you insist on this kind of purity.
Because you're wrong. We're not looking at two tragedies, not too calamities of similar proportions. And I bet I can prove it to you.
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.
Why is she more untrustworthy than anyone else? Seriously, think of specific examples and then look to the alternatives and see if that really makes sense.
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 many women do (especially those of us old enough to understand how incredible her journey has been), and, most importantly, SHE does. She knows that, as President, (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, paid millions in taxes. She could be as rich as she wanted without putting herself 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, put them in a register. 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.
Check out Trump's views on science (and Hillary's and the other two candidates who don't matter) here on ScienceDebate in their own words. If you give a DAMN about science, you can't vote for a man for president this year.
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're also sending a very specific message to every daughter, sister, wife or mother by not stopping Trump.
How will you explain to your daughters? "Yes, when I was faced a woman who worked her whole life for the betterment of other people, especially women and children, who paid every due, expanded her experience base, educated herself, even devoted her time, energy and own money to help people around the world, as a choice for the Presidency, I refused to back her over a racist hateful buffoon who treats women and minorities like toilet paper, has zero qualification and a well established history of fraud. So, thanks to people like me, NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU WORK AND STRIVE, no matter how much more qualified you are, you can be sure you'll be tossed aside for a blowhard know-nothing who happens to have a penis in addition to the one he carries between his shoulders."
Because, yeah, that's the message you're sending.
If you can live with notion of Trump in the White House, given a totally free rein by Congress, no matter what ridiculous excess, and SCOTUS, now PICKED by Trump, giving it a free pass, not just for the next four years but for the next generation, of a President who lets that Red Congress pass laws that penalize pregnant women and minorities and immigrants, that take away school lunches and hamstring education, that eradicate healthcare, that undo marriages, that leave the most vulnerable people in this country at the mercy of Donald Trump and his brigade of haters, you can do that.
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.