I am a progressive. If you don’t agree with that assessment of me, well, you have a problem, not me. But that’s not what this is about. I have to admit that I am a little worried about much of what I hear and read coming from liberals about Hillary Clinton, especially since she announced yesterday.
Now, let me start by saying that I won’t be supporting her in the primaries. I’m already supporting someone else. And yes, there will be a full slate of Democratic candidates by the middle of next month. There will be people to support other than Hillary Clinton, and that’s a good thing.
What is not a good thing is this notion that many liberals seem to have, that the only way someone can win is by trashing the leading candidate in the primaries. Sorry, but that’s how the right wing thinks; it’s the reason they’ve been trashing Obama for eight years now. In reality, if the only way your candidate can win is by tearing down Hillary Clinton, you’re supporting a pretty bad candidate.
It is so incredibly important to not trash any Democratic candidates, especially Hillary, who is more than likely going to win the nomination. The reason is simple; Republicans will be trashing her enough as it is. When our side piles on, it just discourages voters, and the one thing we need is turnout. The only way we as progressives can win is if Democrats win, and we can’t win if more than half of voters stay home because we’re telling them the two main parties are the same, and that they suck.
In 2016, Democrats have to win, and win big. We simply cannot afford to keep electing Republicans, no matter how imperfect Democrats can be. Look at the Republican Klown Kar that’s shaping up, and keep in mind; that’s the cream of the crop. Progressives need to become cheerleaders for the Democrats, no matter what; it’s the only way we wrest the government away from the Republican Party once and for all.
This is no time to demand perfection from anyone. I know many of you want Elizabeth Warren to run, but she has said she won’t, and she doesn’t have enough of a record or name recognition, anyway. Besides, she would be a great Senator, if she just had a decent majority to work with, and that can’t happen if we’re attacking Democrats more than anyone else. She doesn’t need a perfectly liberal majority, just a Democratic one. And Bernie Sanders is NOT a Democrat. If he runs, it would essentially guarantee that whatever Republican emerges from the Klown Kar gets elected. We cannot afford another 2000 election, and that’s exactly what would happen again.
The stakes are too high. Think about these:
- We have to get serious about alternative energy and we need to wean ourselves from fossil fuels, and that is simply not happening with the GOP in charge, or even with more than 40 votes in the Senate.
- The Affordable Care Act is good, but it needs serious tweaking, which is never going to happen with the GOP having a say in it.
- Our infrastructure is falling apart, but we will never be able to fix it as long as the GOP is pinching pennies on that so they have more to spend on weapons we don’t need.
- We need to establish a meaningful living wage law, make sure wages and working conditions are fair and re-establish the middle class, and nothing resembling that will happen with Republicans in charge.
- The world is shifting, and like it or not, some countries need guidance from the United States, while others need to be left the hell alone. Republicans don’t know anything but bombing other countries and feeding the war machine. The last eight years before Obama weren’t an anomaly; they were the physical manifestation of Republican ideology.
- We have to move religion back out of the public sphere back to the private sphere, where it belongs. That will never happen as long as the Republican Party thinks they can win by invoking God every chance they get.
- And we seriously need to take back the judiciary, especially the Supreme Court. This is the most important issue we face. Consider this; by the end of the next president’s first term, Breyer will be 82, Kennedy and Scalia will be 84, and Ginsburg will be 87. If reelected, add four to those numbers. We literally cannot afford to allow any Republican to appoint as many as four new Justices, especially at a time when our rights have been eroding as it is.
I can’t imagine Hillary Clinton working against any of the above, and yet, when you read the professional left blogs you would think Clinton was the second coming of Beelzebub. Why? What has she done, exactly, to deserve such vitriol? It’s not like she started a war with Iraq and pushed us into a near-depression. Yet, every single one of the Klown Kar Kandidates on the right has recommended war with Iran, their objections about going after ISIL have to do with not sending enough troops, and they all still sing the praises of “trickle-down economics,” and want to restore the economy to where it was when Bush was president. Hell; the best thing you can say about the only qualified candidate in the bunch is, “he’s smarter than George.” But is he? And does it matter? His father was smarter than Dubya, too, but he was only marginally better as president.
Put simply, Hillary Clinton is not that bad. As for the “dynasty” crap, that’s a bit overblown, given that it’s been 20 years since the last Clinton was elected, and there are no signs Chelsea plans to run for anything that’s more than a little overblown. Meanwhile, there are generations of Bushes who think they should be next. Democrats have nothing on Republicans in the dynasty mode. Do you realize that 2008 was the first presidential election since 1976 in which the Republican ticket didn’t include either a Bush or a Dole?
I get that many people don’t necessarily love Hillary Clinton; even I won’t be voting for her in the primaries. But we can choose another candidate without attacking Hillary, and we should. We have a problem; many on our side are so keen on demanding perfection that we tend to undermine ourselves in a system that is anything but perfect. There are two viable choices in virtually every race; a Democrat and a Republican, and these days, we know the Republican will be a disaster.
Don’t allow this to become another 2000 election. On her worst day, Clinton is about 100 times better than any Republican running, just as we all know Al Gore would have been a 100 times better president than Bush. Don’t give Republicans the means to prove just how bad they are.