Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Why I'm Voting for Hillary Clinton

Gage Skidmore of Flickr  Some rights reserved
This election may be one of the most important ones I've ever seen. As Trump continues to blow through norm after norm, leaving our old traditions a fragmented, pathetic pile of matches on the road behind him, it is vital that we go out and vote. But I know that some people aren't happy with the choices we've been faced with. Sure, Trump is a swirling vortex of hatred, flop-sweat, and orange Tang, but they're really not excited about voting for Hillary Clinton. They think that she's truly the lesser of two evils, and because of that, they feel the only thing to do is vote for a third party candidate.

I'd like to explain to you why I'm voting for Hillary Clinton, and why I think you should, too.

I did this last time with Barack Obama, and I'd like to do it again.

1) Pros for Hillary

Hillary Clinton is one of the most qualified candidates for president in our country's entire history. She's been working in government for forty years, starting in local and state government and working her way up to federal work. Unlike Barack Obama, who I feel has been a great president but I think went into the presidency underestimating the difficulty of the job a tad, Hillary Clinton knows exactly what's at stake. She was married to one of our presidents, so she's seen his own struggles. She was a senator, where she fought for funding for recovery efforts in New York after 9/11, has been a voice for 9/11 workers who have faced health issues since the attacks, fought against the Bush tax cuts that paved the way for the financial crisis of '08. She also co-sponsored the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.

After being a senator, she became Secretary of State where she worked with foreign leaders to help build America's relationship with them. It's easy to naysay over one thing or another you don't like about our foreign policy and our relationship with one group or another, and every politician has their faults as they are human beings, as I've mentioned before. But think about this: the Secretary of State negotiates with foreign powers, advises the President about foreign policy, and works with foreign powers over the terms and conditions of treaties, among a host of other things. Consider all of that, and that Hillary Clinton did that AS A GODDAMNED WOMAN. That is so kick ass, I can barely form words to express my awe.

If you're a woman reading this, you already know, but dudes, women get condescended to all the time. The number of times Gail Simone has had someone explain to her how comics work on Twitter--Gail Goddamned Simone--is baffling. Those pictures of men saying, "you didn't read the article, it says blah blah blah blah," and a woman responding, "I wrote the article" aren't photoshops. That's men getting their "aww shucks little lady" on. And I'm sure that's no different when the men you're dealing with are frequently old men used to having people do things the way they want. The fact that we haven't seen her ambling on all fours from Washington with a sack of freshly cleaved scrotums testifies to her cool and calm.

Additionally, because she has been in the public eye for so long, Hillary Clinton has been as thoroughly vetted as someone can be. She has been scrutinized up, down, top bottom, inside out and sideways. Every possible scandal that can happen to her or those around her, has happened to her and those around her. Part of this is called "being in politics." You can't do a job like that without occasionally drawing attention. She's been found squeaky clean in any wrong doing. If there were any proof of anything, it would have come to light a long, long time ago. And when it looks like advisors to Trump's campaign might actually be getting leaked information from the FBI, and Russia might be leaking information to the supposedly hacktivists-for-the-people Wikileaks, we really would have seen something come up.

On top of all of this, I like Hillary Clinton. She's not as charismatic or personable as Bill, but who is? George W. Bush looked like a fun guy, but he was a shit stain on our nation's history and his policies resulted in some awful, awful things. Hillary Clinton has my respect because she approaches things like a policy nerd. She's not super cuddly, but when asked a question, you can practically see the light turn on. She clearly gets legit geeked over numbers and figures and facts. AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT WE WANT IN A PRESIDENT! Someone who enjoys those boring meetings over figures and facts and nuances. We want someone pragmatic that will make the best decision. She is someone who is willing to compromise--figuring it's better to do some good and compromise than to do get nothing she wants to stay ideologically pure. And that's a good characteristic in a leader.

And she's willing to change her mind if she's presented with persuasive information. She has expressed regret for using the dog-whistle term "superpredators," and she's since gone on to campaign about the dangers and evils associated with mass incarceration. She's one of the only presidents that's addressed issues of race outright in a positive and comprehensive manner. Obama, given his race, was actually a bit handcuffed in how much he could say without it blowing up in his face, but, ironically, because Hillary is white, she has more privilege to talk about these things without freaking the white folks out and hurting their feelings.

It's no surprise that when I took my isidewith.com quiz this year? Yeah, I side 99% with Hillary Clinton.

Also, and this is absolutely not the sole reason I'm voting for her, but: how cool will it be if you can tell your children/grandchildren that you voted for the first woman president?

2) Cons Against Trump

Everything. Absolutely positively everything. Please see my previous blog post about him.

Seriously, there is no secret about how bad Trump is. He is the worst presidential candidate in our history, most definitely in our modern era. He would be a disaster of uncalculated proportions if he won.

3) What about Third Parties?

Look, like I said at the top of this post, I understand that some might be less than thrilled by our major party choices this year. But when you vote, you know 100% that the third party candidate will not be president. So voting third party absolutely, 100% is taking a vote away from one of the major party candidates.

But I hear some of you say, "But that's okay. Something something South Park something something Shitsandwich and Turdburger."

No. No, okay? No. You have every right to dislike Hillary Clinton, even diametrically oppose everything she stands for. But there is no way to spin this as "both are the same." There's just not. Anyone that makes that argument is being willfully ignorant, intentionally obtuse, or is justifying their shittiness.

I hope most people know at this point what kind of disastrous black hole of despair and wet farts Trump is. Like...how can you not? Literally most of Hillary Clinton's campaign videos are just quoting Trump. It's not even taking his statements out of context. It's literally just, "here's a list of things Trump has said." So no. Not the same. Not different sides of the same coin. No.

At this point, and I know how disappointing it is to hear, a vote for a third party is a vote for Trump. If you're voting Gary Johnson or Jill Stein or Angewoman, the Angel of Light? You're voting for Trump, effectively. Because you know they won't win. It's a "protest vote." What you're saying is, "Well, I don't want Trump to win, so I'm not voting for him. But I'm really hoping enough people will 'dirty their hands' and vote for the person I find distasteful so we can avoid the apocalypse and I can still act morally superior."

Conclusion

Hillary Clinton isn't perfect. She is, however, pragmatic, data and policy driven, vetted to the teeth, and pretty much grown in a lab to be president. Someone willing to hear others' ideas and legitimately consider them is someone that should be celebrated in our increasingly polarized political environment.

Donald Trump is a tire fire that grew legs and a mouth and inundates us with his pestilence daily.

Third Party Candidates won't win, and this is not the election to fuck around with that nonsense.

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Links to places where I pulled a lot of my information for this:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/06/14/is-hillary-clinton-the-most-experienced-presidential-candidate-in-history/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_career_of_Hillary_Clinton
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2007/oct/09/hillary-clinton/shes-been-active-on-issues-for-911-workers/
http://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/55463/hillary-clinton#.WB1E9fkrKUk
http://www.state.gov/secretary/115194.htm
https://thinkprogress.org/hillary-clinton-says-she-agrees-her-role-in-mass-incarceration-was-a-mistake-eaa5b1b523c#.7jdaznx78