I May Be a Relucant Clinton Supporter, But I’m Getting There

If you see my previous post, you will notice two things.  One, I am a huge Sanders supporter. The other, I am a reluctant Clinton supporter.   I’m a fan of Bernie Sanders, and love his dedication to representing every day citizens in this country.  It’s unfortunate that he will not be the Democratic nominee, because the middle and lower classes would have greatly benefited from his principled values.

But alas, he did not pull off a moon shot victory.  Now we face the reality of the presumptive nominee, Hillary Clinton.  I said all along that I would support the nominee, despite my favoring one candidate over the other.  I said this before Trump was the nominee.  He is a terrifying candidate, for a 1/2 Jewish lesbian woman, who supports equality; economic and social.  He is a terrifying candidate for any US citizen who cares about a presidential candidate having any experience in public office, or at least a descent grasp on the complexities of international relations, domestic issues, education, civil liberties, womens’ issues, etc.

I will be honest.  I have my disagreements with Clinton.  I won’t give up those disagreements.  I will keep pushing her and her campaign on those issues.  I will also support her and vote for her in November.  I will celebrate us finally electing a female president.  It is long overdue.

I was a huge fan of Bill Clinton, and literally jumped up and down when I got to vote for him in ’96.  I was a freshman in college, had just turned 18 and was voting for the first time.  I voted absentee ballot and felt so incredibly lucky and patriotic, getting to vote for our President.  I was so proud of Hillary Clinton, when she went out on a limb to try to push universal health care in the ’90s.  She fell on the sword, and knew it was unlikely to succeed, but she also had the foresight to know it would push the needle in the right direction.

I voted for Hillary, when she ran for US Senate in NY state.  She immediately made advances for our state.  She visited upstate and helped in the establishment of the wine trail, as well as putting it “on the map”, which has been great for tourism, local businesses and our economy.  When she ran for president in ’08, I planned to support her, until I heard then Senator Obama speak.  He was a Jr. Senator and had no ties (that I could see) to lobbyists or special interests.  He was in a unique position to go into the White House without a bunch of promises he would need to keep.  I had to support him, and I selfishly hoped Clinton would stay in the US Senate for NY, and keep doing good in my home state.

Once Obama was elected, and Clinton was appointed Secretary of State, I was again proud of her.  She keeps breaking glass ceilings and she had done it again.  She has fostered relationships, not just in the domestic political landscape, but internationally as well.  Her qualifications are impressive and not to be underestimated.  Just as President Obama said in his endorsement of her, we have likely never had a candidate so qualified to lead this country.

In stark contrast, Trump has absolutely no experience, makes statements that have international implications, and is supported by xenophobes, racists, anti-Semites and misogynists.  He has made statements that align with such supporters.  It’s absolutely horrifying that we are in a position where this guy could end up as our President.

Of course I am supporting Clinton.  She has fought for decades to represent the middle class.  This is where Bernie or Bust fans and Trump supporters will jump up and down.  Yes she has a lot of relationships with Wall St executives. So do many politicians, who run for President.  That doesn’t make her corrupt or uninterested in the issues facing the lower and middle classes.  It does put her in a position to see the full landscape, and to be able to garner the ear of those we need, in order to truly affect change.

Many may say that is a load of BS, but many of those supporting Trump, point to his Wall St “savvy” as why they believe he will make a good leader.  FYI, for those who believe that, Trump has a few bankrupt companies you can get for a good price (he might even throw in a bridge).

I was still hoping Sanders might pull out an 11th hour win in California, to push the proverbial needle in the direction of fighting inequality, economically and socially.  I really hope Clinton strongly considers choosing him as VP.  It is the best way to bring his movement in full force, to the future of this country.  Sanders tweeted that “Change happens from the bottom up.” and I think it’s the best message he could send to the millions of supporters behind his movement.

I graduated college with a BS in Political Science, a 2nd major in English literature and a minor in philosophy.  I got to work in politics, which is pretty rare, even for someone with poli sci degree.  I worked on local campaigns and I can tell you, Bernie Sanders knows what he is talking about with that statement.  He knew it was a long shot to win the presidential nomination by the Democratic party against what many assumed was a presumptive nominee, and there is a reason for that.  It’s not just that she was so favored, or any of the other conspiracy theories as to the “establishment” push for Clinton to win.  Sanders knows intrinsically, that if we really want to affect change in this country, it will most likely be done bottom to top, not top to bottom.

People who are all mad as hell, that Sanders didn’t get the nomination, are missing the point.  Just because you decided to show up one day, doesn’t mean the tide will just swing in your favor.  It is incredibly hard to change the status quo, in any aspect of life, just as in American politics.  According to the US Census Bureau, as of November 2014, 59% of eligible citizens are registered to vote.  Less than 60% of citizens who can vote, are registered.  Over 40% of this country is not even registered.  Of those who are registered, 38.5% actually voted.  So, not to do really crappy math, but if we round a bit, we can see about 23% of eligible voters showed up to vote, in that instance.  In a country where people would sooner fly a flag than vote, as a symbol of their patriotism, and we wonder why Washington is corrupt. No one is paying attention.  And people get mad when change doesn’t happen, the moment they decide to show up.

I hate to say it, but we have a much bigger battle than getting 1 candidate in as President. It is naive to think that one massive upset on the presidential stage would not only so handily be able to be pulled off, but would force the rest of the dominoes to fall in place for us.  It’s going to be a bit harder than that.  Most people weren’t paying attention when Clinton started her campaign last fall.  And that’s not even close to her fault.  She was ready and has been.  It’s the masses who are the late comers.  Don’t get me wrong, welcome to the party. Please stay.  We need you. Just please open your eyes to political reality.  Many people have been at this a long time.  If you shout and attack them, your antagonism will only shut you out.  We can’t hear your argument clearly, if you are shouting and participating in violent protests.

If people really support the movement that Sander’s campaign has inspired, then they will organize and get effective at supporting the best progressive candidates at the local election and on up the list.  Every office that has an election needs a good candidate to speak to our issues.  If we don’t see one on the ballot, we need to find a candidate and support them.  This won’t happen in a single election cycle, it will happen over time, and we will need to keep showing up.  As long as we have local election turnout out abysmally under 30% in local election years, it will be hard to make the argument that we are paying attention.  That we care who represents us, and how they represent us.

Now that it is looking abundantly clear that Clinton is the nominee, I have been focusing my tweets on thanking Sanders for motivating voters and eligible voters.  His campaign has been seen, even by big media, to be the direct catalyst for a surge in new voter registrations across the country.  He has motivated people to get involved and find like minded candidates running for local office, state level, and federal (congress).  He’s right.  It’s not just about him.  It’s about all of us, and we need representatives who will represent our interests.

I truly do believe that Clinton will represent my interests. At the very least, she will be at the opposite end of the spectrum as Trump would be, and that is good enough for me.  But she will do more than that.  She has fought for the middle class, whether you are willing to acknowledge that or not.  She will continue to fight for us, and through an incredibly complex political landscape.  Like it or not, there is a lot of corruption and special interest in Washington.  Clinton is not naive, and she can navigate it.  We do need someone who can navigate it.

I disagree with her on fracking.  I want it to stay in the ground.  I want us to focus on renewable energy sources, and I will not stop disagreeing with her on this point, just because I support her for President.  I disagree with her on GMOs. I get that there is a difference between GMO corn and GMO pesticides.  I don’t like it.  I don’t like the patenting of our food supply.  I don’t like family farms being put out of business because patented feed ended up in their feed and they were sued out of their family’s legacy of farming the crops this country consumes.  I want organic food on my table and readily available to all people, regardless of where they live or how much they make.  I want GMO products labeled, and I want it easier to grow organic, than it is to grow and sell GMO crops.

Other than that, her platform is pretty in line with what I want in our Democratic candidate for President.  Whether the bernie or bust berners like it or not, the huge reality is that no candidate is likely to ever have everything you want them to have.  They aren’t you, such as it is.  We pick the best candidate we can find, we stick to our principles and call them out on the things we disagree with, but we support them, because their opponent would do much worse for the issues we care about.  In this instance, I truly believe it would be disastrous for Trump to end up as President of the United States.  On the other hand, it would be and will be excellent for this country to have Clinton leading us forward.  She will build on the successes of President Obama.  I also believe that if she includes Sanders, as VP or in her cabinet, she will bring a great progressive brand to what her administration will do for the people.

Finally, to wrap up this long-winded summation of where I stand with this year’s Presidential election, I wanted to explain the “why I’m getting there”.  Since I have been toning down my tweets in support of Sanders as nominee, I have been seeing Sanders supporters tweets against Clinton being the presumptive nominee.  I have seen them even attack Senator Warren and call Clinton a whore.  It’s disgusting and it puts my esteem for these people at the level of Trump.

To attack Warren for endorsing Clinton is absurd.  You were a fan of hers, until she came to that personal decision.  Are people not allowed to disagree with you and support the other candidate on the same side of the aisle?  Warren has fought incredibly hard for consumers’ rights, even establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  She really is on our side, and even though many of you are new to the scene, she is not.  She is looking at the big and small picture and knows that Clinton will lead us, and we need her to beat Trump.  Even if you disagree with that assessment, Senator Warren should still have your respect.  Anonymous tweets aside, can we all agree that everyone has a right to make their own choice as to who they support, and shouldn’t be attacked for it?  The hardest part about freedom is supporting the freedom of the rights of a person you disagree with.

The same goes for Hillary Clinton.  You may not agree with everything about her, but please attempt to have some common decency in debating her campaign and their supporters.  The more you disrespect her, and those who endorse her, the more you make me want to support her.  If for no other reason, it will be to make it clear that I don’t support your disrespectful rhetoric.  You call her a whore and you legitimize Trump’s misogynistic discourse.  You demean all women, and that includes me.  I’d rather be standing next to Clinton, instead of you, if you are going to attack her like that.  You can disagree with her, but your arguments will only be as effective as they are able to remain respectful,  She is in this fight with us, whether you want to believe it or not.  And trust me, Trump is not.  He is in it for the glory.  The press.  The narcissistic attention he so craves.  She is in it to affect change, even if she is a bit more realistic, rather than the idealism that I would prefer.  I know at the end of the day that she is with us, so moving forward #ImWithHer.  You can take your time, but I hope you will come around.  We need all the help we can get, to be absolutely sure that Trump doesn’t end up in the White House, and maybe we can even win back congress. ok, I’m there.

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