After some time away (hard at work on revisions, as well as a NEW project!), in light of the news this morning, I’m back with another post on the state of the 2016 elections, to remind those of you who empathize with my political leanings:
It is possible to be BOTH idealistic AND practical at the same time.
Hillary Clinton is by no means perfect (nor for that matter is Bernie Sanders – to wit, his stance on guns), but she is far, FAR better than Donald Trump. And though I continue to have misgivings about her as a person, the platform that her advisors and Bernie’s have hammered out together is the best of any candidate for President we have seen so far in my lifetime. I believe it continues the important progress begun under President Obama and sets the stage for further movement towards true progressivism in the future.
Thus, as of Bernie’s announcement this morning, I am giving Hillary my full support.
Bernie ran a good race. He brought the democratic platform further left, especially in the vital areas of education, health care, and climate change. He has ALSO ensured the presence of a loud, powerful progressive voice in the party over the course of the next four years. And perhaps more importantly, he set the stage for future progressive candidates to run successful campaigns at all levels of government. (And it is my sincerest hope that he will now turn his impressive campaign apparatus towards supporting those future candidates’ efforts.)
Now, therefore, is the time for all left-leaning voters to come together to support Hillary. Not just because she opposes Trump (although that is more than reason enough), but because, while we can be idealistic in our goals, and should act to further those goals whenever possible – we must ALSO have the practicality to recognize that furtherance of those goals need not always be an all-or-nothing game. (And indeed, that if we insist on making it such, we stand to do them far more harm than good.)
To my fellow Bernie supporters: remember that this election has already proven to defy polls, analysis, and prognostication; remember that though Hillary is flawed, and does not represent the wrenching step to the left we had all hoped for, she still represents a step in that direction; remember that independents who voted for Bernie did so in some cases out of emotional responses to his message that are (ironically) close to those evoked by Trump; remember the disastrous results of “protest votes” for Ralph Nader in 2000; and, if those reasons are not enough for you, remember that this election not JUST about pushing our own ideals to the fore; it is also about repudiating Donald in the strongest possible terms. I urge you to join me: