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[personal profile] maxomai
Today the Democratic National Convention will vote on their candidate for President, and it's virtually certain that Hillary Clinton will win the nomination. Let me explain why she will have my enthusiastic support, even though I think she's far less than ideal.

First of all, I think Hillary Clinton will be a very capable executive, more so than Barack Obama or George W. Bush were. With Clinton in the White House and a Democratic majority in the Senate, she will have the chance to appoint progressive Justices to the Supreme Court, creating a vastly different judiciary environment for progressive causes for generations to come. There's also the not so insignificant fact that the first Woman President would be HUGE for a generation of girls and women.

Even so, my irritation with the Democrats' behavior this election cycle is profound:

  1. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz violated the rules and spirit of the DNC when she showed favoritism towards the Clinton campaign. In particular, talking about attacking a fellow Jew's religious beliefs is just despicable. She got caught (thanks to the Russians) and got ousted, which should have solved the problem right then and there. Then the Clinton campaign gave her a face-saving appointment as honorary campaign chairperson. After that, I don't blame the Sanders delegates for being pissed.

  2. I am really irritated that the Democrats have decided to crank their base by focusing on gun control policies that in many cases haven't been shown to work and in other cases are blatantly unconstitutional and xenophobic. I don't buy the rebranding as "gun safety," either. This is culture war bullshit. Also, that the anti-gun side doesn't seem recognize how much their movement parallels the anti-abortion movement in its goals, tactics, and dishonesty, indicates a profound lack of self-awareness.

  3. Giving the Democrats control of the Senate means that the most senior Democrat becomes the Senate Majority Leader. Right now, that person is Charles Schumer, who has never met a neoconservative foreign policy or a 4th Amendment violation he didn't love. You can guess how I feel about that.

  4. The Sanders people worked with the DNC to craft the most progressive Democratic party platform in US history -- and the Democrats already have demonstrated a willingness to backtrack and move back to the center.


In short, it feels a lot like the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party is being shafted by the DC insiders, and like we're heading for four to eight years of a Bill Clinton-style center-right Democratic Party with socially liberal sprinkles to make it more palatable. Again. Which means that the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party has to wrest control from the DC insiders and rebuild from the ground up. Again. I'm hoping that the Bernie people will take their anger and channel it towards this goal, and that Sanders himself will challenge them to do so while working to elect Clinton, but it looks like that will be a tough sell.

So, all in all, I think a Clinton administration would be a lot less than ideal. The thing is, a Trump administration would be far, far worse. Consider:

  • Trump has campaigned primarily on targeting immigrants, the disabled, and other marginalized Americans. That's a pretty good signal for how his administration will treat these groups.

  • Trump's main selling point, aside from racism, is that he can create jobs; but his economic proposals are just plain stupid and reckless. For example, Trump has stated he would renegotiate American debt, asking investors to "take a haircut." The foundation of international finance is that American debt is a safe investment. He's promising to undo that foundation. As Bonddad put it, "this is, quite literally, one of the dumbest ideas I've ever seen floated. Period." The practical upshot of this and his other economic proposals is that we can expect a sharp recession if Trump executes his economic proposals. Personally, my plan, should it look like he's going to win, is to sell all my investments and hope the money market doesn't fuck things up.

  • Trump's pick for Scalia's replacement will likely be a young conservative. That has a bright side for gun rights, but it also comes with major downsides for voting rights, campaign finance reform, the environment, abortion and contraception rights, and the labor movement.

  • Trump has run on repealing Obamacare, and with a Republican Congress he could very well do that, or at least severely roll it back. This isn't an abstract issue for me. Without Obamacare, a lot of my self-employed or contractor friends will have to close shop and find jobs that offer insurance. Some of my friends will become non-insurable or lose coverage for pre-existing conditions, and will likely get very sick or die.

  • Trump hasn't demonstrated any signs of nuance on foreign policy whatsoever. That's not a small deal, since foreign policy, or at least one that doesn't cause chaos and war, requires nuance. Just as an example, he recently signaled his willingness to walk away from NATO to get member nations to pay us to defend them. Trump was probably thinking about Turkey and Germany with his statements, but Russia isn't really interested in Turkey or Germany. Russia much more interested in the Baltic Republics --- Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia --- and using the Russian-speaking minorities there as an excuse to invade and conquer part of the entire of each of them. That puts NATO in a precarious place: they can either honor the treaty (war) or violate the treaty and leave other NATO partners, such as Poland, Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria, fend for themselves.


In short, with Trump, we're not just looking at a controlled center-right disaster like the second coming of Bill Clinton, or an incompetent center-right wrecking ball like the second coming of George W. Bush. We're looking at an economic, foreign policy and human rights nuke. And while I'll probably do alright as a white, middle-aged, heterosexual man with a good job and some financial resources, most of the people I care about will be fucked. This is not a chance I'm willing to take for the abstract hope that we can "shake things up" or "awaken a new consciousness" or whatever hippie bullshit 80% of Trump's supporters are telling themselves.

And that, folks, is why I'm going to make sure Clinton wins in November, with my vote, shoe leather, and contributions. I hope you'll join me.

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maxomai

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