Thursday, July 28, 2016

I Don’t Buy the “Hillary Sucks” Narrative

At all. I never did. In one prepared essay some time ago on this blog I stated that the Democratic party floated what I believed were two excellent candidates, and in Wayne’s World-speak added, “One is just way more excellent than the other,” referring of course to Bernie Sanders. I manned phone banks for Bernie, wrote letters to editors and contributed several hundred dollars to the Sanders campaign, and in my opinion we blew it in passing over Sanders as our choice in this election. But as one who has a way of blowing things in my own free time, believe me when I tell you, you can blow something, and then you can blow something big. Electing Donald Trump would be blowing something big.

I’m going to dispense with the third party argument in short shrift here because it really has no place. If someone wants to make the case that a vote for Johnson or Stein has a forward impact on the presidency, please take me up on the following bet. Your one thousand dollars against my ten thousand dollars that either Trump or Clinton will win the presidency. If Johnson or Stein wins, ten grand is yours. If not, I get one large out of little Tiffany’s college fund. We know one thing with absolute certainty about the election in November. It will be Clinton or Trump. Period. If you wish to influence that, vote for Clinton or Trump. That’s where it begins and ends. The two-party system is baked into the constitution, it’s baked into our history, and it is baked into the industrial-election complex. And it’s not going to change this year. You lose voting third party, you really lose writing in, and you really, really lose staying home.

If you think voting third party is sending a message and if you’re in a “sure-fire” Hillary state like California, maybe make your Green vote in good conscience, but that kind of gaming your own elections may have made the difference in England leaving the European Union. Whatever message someone might be sending with a third party vote, the one that is heard is that there are “fill in the blank” percentage of Americans who have checked out of any sphere of influence. And it’s a shame. The Greens mindset in particular resonates in terms of policy across a good bit of the Democratic platform. People considering voting Green had to have observed an undeniable pushing to the left that occurred as a result of political brinkmanship on Sanders’ part. That kind of influence would be utterly lost under a Trump administration. The Green Party can’t even qualify on the ballot for the presidency in half of American states, making those votes the definition of spoilers, and a clear indicator that the chief energies of the Greens might best be spent in state and local races to establish a solid political base before just making a series of desperate runs at the top office. It’s no more than advertising for the party, and doing so at the expense of the admittedly flawed version of Democracy we observe in the US.

I don’t think voting third party is wise, and I additionally believe the “lesser of two evils” riff is largely a canard. There’s only one evil in this campaign, and it was really orange today. There are so many levels of Clinton hatred delusion that it’s a challenge to figure out which tin foil hat to rip off first, and though it pains me to even mention it, there is a worst of the worst, and that is the hit squad theory. Some people’s hatred of the Clintons is white hot, like a blast furnace melting a cauldron of steel, and their eagerness to indict and impugn them is such that their normal adult discrimination escapes them, and otherwise thinking people endorse the claim that a trail of murders follows the Clinton legacy. If you’re in that camp, you’re around the bend as far my ability to reach you is concerned, and I don’t respect your mind.

The accusation that she is in deep collusion with Wall Street interests, however, earns every inch of the scrutiny it is getting. But the way I am looking at this issue is that the only way to lessen corporate influence in the American electorate over the course of the next ten years must begin with the repeal of Citizen’s United. Under the coming presidency, certainly two and most likely three justices will be appointed. I honestly doubt that Trump’s plan is to betray everyone he pandered to in the election and appoint liberal justices. He is the hero of the coal-rolling, Tweety Bird mudflap truck owner, and he’s going to give them the hanging judge their injured souls have been craving. Under a right wing reactionary Supreme Court, Citizen’s United is going nowhere, and that spells the end of campaign finance reform. Campaign finance was a disgrace before Citizen’s United. It has since become a travesty. Ipso facto, if reducing corporate influence in American elections is a priority, Clinton is the logical vote.

As to that corporate collusion, Bernie Sanders supporters, many of whom are young and perhaps even in their first political campaign, need to understand that they happen to have saddled the unicorn. Sanders is the one politician in modern times who has mounted a credible national campaign without relying on corporate donors. It’s astonishing. He is not one of a rare few, he is alone in this regard. The one. The mack Daddy. You know, the Daddy mack. The GOAT. Hopefully not unrepeatable, but at this juncture, the Sanders campaign was unique. A few wealthy corporate donors finance the rest of the political landscape in large measure, and for some candidates in near entirety. With Republicans, that is a natural fit. Big pharmaceutical, big insurance, big oil, big finance and weapons manufacturers are all looking for tax and regulation easements, and the Randian objectivism that for whatever reason also resonates with lower and middle class Republicans holds sacred those same ideals of unfettered capitalism.

Well, those same corporations fund the elections of Democrats as well, who have a much tougher sell to these corporations with their message. The Democratic Party only exists in modern America because of women, minorities, young people, labor and college-educated people. The general drift of all of these demographics is for taxation equity and social justice, which is a terrible fit for corporations. So for a Democratic Party leader to run against heavily funded Republicans requires some concessions, especially in the biggest of the big leagues. This essay is long and tedious enough without a litany of these Faustian bargains, but I have been watching this woman pretty closely for twenty-five years of my life, and when she makes a deal, it doesn’t come easy and it doesn’t come cheap. My democratic ideals are on balance well-represented with Hillary Clinton, and if you look at her senate voting record, it doesn’t differ in the main from that of Bernie Sanders.

It is easy to go down the rabbit hole of sketchy conspiracy theories and read a ration of garbage on Hillary Clinton. I've read a pretty fair amount of it, and I remain unconvinced of what seems to be a prevalent narrative that she is in any way driven by forces that are pernicious to this country. She is a real patriot and has undergone more scrutiny than a lone porno magazine making its way around a scout jamboree, and unlike the magazine, betraying no evidence of wrongdoing.

From a practical perspective, the presidency is much like any hiring situation. You hire the smartest, most experienced, most aptly tempered individual that is available for the job. There are two candidates. We are not so much electing a president as we are hiring one. So, what do you think? Should we hire a tough old lady who knows her way around Washington to watch our money or an egomaniacal racist nutbag who has never held public office? Hillary Clinton has a deeper contact list than anyone in the world, and quality working relationships with most of its leaders. She is highly respected across the globe and is seen as a steady hand on the rudder, a stabilizing force in a very tricky world. She is tough, smart, hardworking, fair-minded, sensible and liberal, and I will take that in my president, proudly.