Posted by: minnow | July 18, 2016

Two Parties, Two Candidates, One Choice

I’ve said a lot of negative things about Hillary Clinton.  I still believe Sanders would make a better candidate and a better president.  I would vote for him if he ran as an independent because I believe he is a man of good character. I agree with his policies. He’s got name recognition. AND I believe he could win.  But, Bernie Sanders is no longer running.  And, he will not run as a third party candidate.  He has endorsed Hillary Clinton as the only viable alternative to Trump and he will work for HER election.
Many Sanders supporters are looking at sitting this election out, writing his name in, or voting for a third party candidate. They argue that Clinton is establishment politics and in the pocket of Wall Street.  They claim character is paramount and they just “can’t in good conscious” vote for Hillary.  “She’s lied”.  “She’s cheated”. “She’s…” all the rest of the rightwing mantra.  The trouble with all this chatter is, when asked for proof they simply reply, “Well it’s evident. Look for yourself.”  And so…I have.
The truth-o-meter at Politifact indicates Hillary Clinton has been the most accurate, truthful political voice on the campaign trail. Her true, mostly true, and half true meter registered 2 percentage points above Sanders and 48 percentage points above Trump.  When I dug a little deeper and took a look at voting records I found Clinton’s record  in the Senate was as progressive as Sander’s.  And while it doesn’t account for a total difference in attitude and behavior, simply being a woman does separate her some from the Washington establishment. I am still frustrated with and disappointed by Clinton’s connections to Wall Street. Certainly, when the choice was between Sanders and her, Hillary’s Wall Street associations were a deciding factor.  Now, however, we are no longer deciding between Clinton and Sanders.  They are, for all intent and purposes on the same side.  And, we must look at the realities of this coming election.
Just for the sake of argument, let’s consider the third party option.  At this moment, the only semi viable third party candidate is Jill Stein, but she is still only on the ballot in 23 states. That is less than half.  In other words, it would be just as difficult–more difficult in fact–for people to vote for Stein than it was for people to vote for Sanders.  But let’s pretend some third party candidate is on the ballot in all 50 states. The fact remains, even if every one of us who voted for Bernie Sanders (or someone else based on the character issue) somehow got on the same page and we ALL voted for the same third party candidate, Donald Trump would be our next president.  And, our candidate would come in a distant third behind Hillary, and behind Trump.
Those of you who are seriously considering a protest vote, or worse not voting at all, PLEASE take a long, hard look at what your action would mean.  Politics in its current state stinks.  We desperately need reform which is why staying home makes no sense.  At the very least, we need to rid the system of those Senators and Representatives who have been collecting a paycheck but refusing to do their jobs.  But, fixing the broken system will take all hands on deck, which means YOU need to show up at the polls.
Based on the facts–her voting record and her policy statements–Hillary Clinton will for the most part be a status quo president.  She will extend the kinds of policies President Obama has held, some of which have favored Wall Street and some of which have favored reform.  And, she will remain an active participant in world affairs.  Clinton has been, by far, the most scrutinized, investigated, and vetted politician in recent history.  Yet she has not once been indicted, charged, or sanctioned.
I agree with those who say character is paramount.  In fact in this election, personal integrity matters more to me than where the candidates stand on any single issue or every issue combined.  And, while voting for a third party candidate might make me feel better about not compromising my own principles for the sake of politics, too much is at stake for me to cast a feel good vote. No matter how much we might want the situation to be different, Americans are stuck with two viable choices for president–Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
If you are sincerely concerned about Hillary Clinton’s integrity you should be terrified by Donald Trump‘s.  Including four bankruptcies, multiple suits over the dysfunctional Trump University, charges by the federal government for rental discrimination in the 70’s, tenant intimidations in the 80’s and conspiracy to avoid paying union pensions and welfare contributions for undocumented workers when the Trump Towers were built, Donald has spent millions in legal battles. Most often he decided to pay settlements in order to avoid having to admit guilt.  Outside of his business dealings, Trump regularly makes ugly racist and sexist remarks.  He has indicated that once he becomes president he plans to not only break international laws but also blatantly ignores our constitution and even order the military to commit war crimes, clearly displaying an attitude that he is above the law and plans to bully everyone who gets in his way.  By comparison, Hillary Clinton is guilty of only one thing for which we have proof–being a political fighter.
So, by all means vote your conscious. But please, please, make sure your conscience counts ALL the costs.
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Responses

  1. The word you intended in your final two sentences is “conscience”, not “conscious”.

  2. Thank you. I corrected it.


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