I will vote for Hillary Clinton for President. I. Will. Vote. For. Hillary. I’m not sure if I am saying that to you or to me. But I will vote for Hillary in next Tuesday’s Illinois primary election.
“Why?” is the question I find myself asking. First, there are some other races I find important so I will pull a Democratic ballot this year. Judicial races are important to me, including Frank Andreou in Cook County’s 12th subcircuit. I’ll vote against Anita Alvarez—and although I still think Donna More might be the best candidate, I will likely vote for Kim Foxx. I’m leaning that way only because I need to make a decision about voting for the best candidate that will win versus voting for the best candidate.
Which brings me back to Hillary.
Hillary is the best candidate that can win in November. I may not like her terribly much; I may suffer from extreme Hillary fatigue, but she is still the best—of few—options to win the White House in the fall.
For national elections, I generally vote for Democrats. Locally, I have voted Republican including Bruce Rauner (I regret that until I think about Pat Quinn), Bob Dold for Congress and Mark Kirk. However, I have been repulsed by national Republicans over the last seven years. The national party has spewed hate; or at the very least have been complicit with those who have. There have been several narratives used to undermine President Obama over the last seven years and Republicans have purposefully failed to correct those narratives, rather allowing lies to be propagated in hopes of weakening Obama. It doesn’t matter that he was born in Hawaii (and has an American mother), let’s allow Donald Trump to spew his baseless theories to weaken the President and make us stronger. Ask yourself why 30% of Republican voters believe President Obama is Muslim. For seven years, Republicans have used any available narrative to separate Obama from “us.” Their eight year narrative has been “He’s not like us” and therefore, it’s OK disrespect this president. It’s OK to scream “LIAR!” during the State of the Union. It’s OK to question whether he loves America. It’s OK to hope that this President—and the nation—fails miserably.
It’s not. None of that is OK. It’s fine to disagree with the President on policy—and we should disagree with the President when he’s wrong. But the GOP has failed to provide alternatives to policy this President has championed. Remember the “Party of No?” The Affordable Care Act is one example. Republicans have had eight years to come up with an alternative to the ACA. Eight years. All they have done is waste time by voting to dismantle it without providing an alternative.
Donald Trump is payback for the GOP’s complicity in eight years of hate-filled rhetoric. This is the bed the national GOP made and it deserves Donald Trump. Donald Trump’s xenophobia is the reward for eight years of not doing the right thing.
Which brings us back to 2016 and Hillary. I can’t condone what Republicans have done—or have failed to do—over the last eight years. I won’t reward them for hate.
Do I like Hillary? Not necessarily. But, I ask myself why I don’t like Hillary. Could my negative feelings have anything to do with the hate thrown her way for 25 years by the Republican Party? For 25 years the Republican Party has called Hillary Clinton untrustworthy. 25 years.
If you keep saying something over and over again, people start to believe it regardless of truth. Just ask 30% of Republicans voters who believe President Obama is Muslim. When the GOP keeps to its talking points—regardless of truth—people start to believe it.
So is Hillary untrustworthy because it’s the truth or is she untrustworthy because that has been the narrative for 25 years? I have to consider that as part of the basis of my opinion on her trustworthiness.
The Supreme Court is another issue for me. I want a Justice put on the Supreme Court that will reflect my values. That is almost more important than who sits in the White House to me. Republicans—who have spewed that everything Obama does is unconstitutional—have completely disregarded the Constitution with their position to not consider someone Obama puts before them. The irony is twofold: a) this position will drive Democrats to the polls come November (will Republicans lose the Illinois Senate seat?); and b) Obama’s Supreme Court nominee will likely be more conservative than Hillary’s.
And don’t forget Donald Trump. I kind of like Trump. I’m drawn to him. He’s strong, yet weak. He’s brilliant, but flawed. He can come across as a billionaire everyman. But he’s not presidential. I don’t want someone who engages in Twitter feuds with news anchors who ask appropriate questions to have access to nuclear codes. Sometimes it’s better to not engage.
Who beats Donald Trump? Does Bernie Sanders beat Donald Trump? I like Bernie, but the math doesn’t add up for me. How is he going to pay for everyone’s college education? Things don’t just become free. And the mantra: “Free College!!” doesn’t adequately explain the current cost of a college education and who will have to bear it in a Sanders Administration.
And that leaves Hillary. She may not be the best candidate. But unfortunately, our choices are less than ideal. When it comes down to Donald Trump, I have to vote against the candidate who built a campaign on xenophobia. Who has the best chance of beating him? Hillary Clinton.
Filed under: National Politics