Procyon (procyonid) wrote,

Hillary for President

I was rereading some of my old election night and pre-election night entries from the last few election cycles, trying to remember some context about how I felt then versus how I'm feeling now. Each time I spent some significant attention (usually an entire multi-paragraph entry) explaining my choice for President, assessing the various advantages and disadvantages of each candidate.

Such an entry seems almost preposterous for this election, because the choice is so stunningly obvious that writing an essay feels almost like writing an essay arguing why I believe that grass is green and the sky is blue. It's hardly an intellectual exercise, and besides, my vehement disgust with Trump (and the Republican party generally, but especially Trump) quickly turns any attempt I might make to provide a reasoned astute case for a Clinton presidency into a frustrated, red-clouded pages-and-pages rant about her toxic opponent.

Still, let's not kid ourselves: the animating, red-blinking, all-consuming defining issue this election is the need to avert the national and international disaster that would follow a Trump presidency. This is a candidate who is so intellectually vapid that he hardly has released a concrete policy proposal on anything (aside from absurdities like a multi-billion-dollar border wall somehow paid for by Mexico), leaving us to judge only on his personality and public behavior, which is alarming to an amost unbelievable extent. It's like a laundry list of traits you don't want in a leader: egotism (puts his name on literally everything he touches), nativism (immigrant-bashing, trade-bashing, "America-first"), sexism (comments, bragging about sexual assault), racism ("birther" movement, retweeting white supremacists), bullying (giving insulting names to political opponents), vindictiveness (lawsuit threats, late-night Twitter tirades), disregard of facts (claiming he "won every poll" after the debates, accusing Obama of insulting a protester when Obama was actually defending him), conspiracy-theory paranoia (calling global warming a "hoax"), predation on the vulnerable (Trump University), disrespect for democratic institutions (mocking journalists, attacking the integrity of the electoral system), with plenty of old-fashioned ignorance.

OK, I'll stop there. While the most obvious reason I'm voting for Clinton is that it is the only effective way of stopping Trump, there are plenty of others. To bring up just a few issues of importance to me:

Gay rights: The last few years saw the end of the Defense of Marriage Act and nationwide gay marriage, rulings that have brought real and concrete benefits to real people I know. A Clinton presidency would safeguard these rulings indefinitely, and open the door to national legislation against sexual orientation job discrimination (still legal in many states!) and in support of the rights of trans people and others. (In contrast, Trump still talks about overturning marriage equality and his vice presidential nominee is one of the most actively anti-LBGTQ elected officials in the country.)

Environment and climate change: While one of the disappointments of the 2008-2010 congressional cycle was that a cap-and-trade carbon limiting bill wasn't signed (unfortunately there was only time for one legislative achievement, and that ended up being healthcare), the President can still do a lot on this issue, including negotiating climate treaties, instruct the EPA to regulate carbon like other pollutants, and so on. Clinton can and will. She'll also protect the US's amazing public land system (wilderness, national parks, and so on, a long-time personal priority of mine) in an era where it is again coming under new threat from antigovernment "activists" and other special interests.

Foreign policy: Her Secretary of State term has had its successes (Bin Laden) and failures (Libya), to be sure, and she was wrong about Iraq as were many others at the time. Nevertheless, I feel that both successes and failures have taught her valuable lessons, and after years on the job she is unquestionably one of the most experienced and knowledgeable people in government, and the strong relationships she has with international partners will help in solving many of the major 21st century issues (terrorism, refugees, climate change).

I could go on, of course (I agree with her on a whole range of things). Despite all the hit pieces in the media and elsewhere about her supposed unlikeability, I have no doubt that she is motivated by hope and togetherness, as evidenced by the causes she worked for and advocated long before running for office. She generally strikes me as a left-leaning centrists with pragmatic political instincts and the willingness to consider a range of viewpoints, talk with opponents, and seek compromise on issues with common ground.

Finally, on an emotional note: it is about effing time that we had a woman president. I may be a white dude (when I'm not a little internet raccoon, anyway) but it would be a powerful global statement of inclusivity and progress if our first black president were to be followed by our first woman president.

Let's make it happen.
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