Tip your hat to Bernie Sanders. He is a socialist, of all things, and ignited a revolution by campaigning across America speaking about issues that historically only received lip-service from politicians. He came from nowhere. And he succeeded in giving Hillary Clinton a run for her money (literally) because he spoke frankly. Rather than obfuscate, he directly addressed the issues challenging our nation and causing anxiety amongst many Americans – issues like income inequality, campaign finance reform, the economy, racial justice, and climate change.
Bernie was a breath of fresh air in an otherwise corrupt political landscape. His revolution will carry into the future. A future which began on Monday night, when Sanders told delegates, spurring a cascade of cheers, “Any objective observer will conclude that – based on her ideas and her leadership – Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States.”
Bernie Sanders is “proud to stand with her.”
And you should be too. There is a strong case for supporting Hillary Clinton for president.
We don’t know how Hillary Clinton will do as president. But we do know that she has dedicated much of her adult life to public service.
Clinton began her legal career with the Children’s Defense Fund at the state level, and eventually became national chairwoman for several years. She had a full career as a lawyer – as a partner in the Rose Law Firm. She gained business experience as a board member of Wal-Mart and other corporations. She had a formal role in planning education reforms in Arkansas when her husband was governor of the state. She was a staff member of the House Judiciary Committee during Watergate. She worked in the White House as a top adviser to her husband when he was president. She served as a senator from New York. She was on the front-lines as secretary of state. She has been an important Democratic Party actor for years.
Clinton’s resume, in other words, is nothing short of impressive.
Yes, Clinton has some pretty significant weaknesses.
In terms of personality, Hillary Clinton is not Barack Obama. She is a historic figure. But she is not a transcendent figure. At times, even, it has seemed as if she shuns the whole idea of inspiration. In 2008, for example, Clinton mocked Obama’s promise to unite the country, telling her supporters, “The skies will open, the light will come down, celestial choirs will be singing, and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect.”
In addition, questionable decisions mar her record. The Iraq war will continue to haunt her. For years, she’s been asking Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, and other financial institutions to donate to the Democratic Party – money that has benefitted her directly. The private email server frustrates even her admirers. Americans doubt her basic honesty and trustworthiness, leading pundits to write columns with headlines like “Why is Clinton Disliked?”
To pick apart every single line of attack against Clinton would require a one-thousand page manuscript. Republicans – and Democrats – have criticized Clinton relentlessly. But still she stands. And there’s a reason for that.
The truth is that whenever you closely examine the attacks on Clinton, they tend to break apart under scrutiny. There are those disinclined to scrutinize, and steadfastly unwilling to view Clinton through anything other than the most severe and cynical lens. But however you feel about Clinton, you have to give her credit for her resilience.
In many ways, the attacks on Clinton are not representative of weaknesses. They are the source of her strength. Because when you dispatch with the “controversies” and “scandals” you’re simply left with the most qualified candidate to run for president in decades. You’re left with an individual who has dedicated her adult life to public service – not in the pursuit of personal gain, but out of a desire to advance the public good. You’re left with someone who is, by any objective measure, progressive. And just as important, someone who is capable of achieving results.
There are a litany of reasons to support Clinton simply because she is not Donald Trump. As Ezra Klein noted, “Trump is the most dangerous major candidate for president in memory. He pairs terrible ideas with an alarming temperament; he’s a racist, a sexist, and a demagogue, but he’s also a narcissist, a bully, and a dilettante. He lies so constantly and so fluently that it’s hard to know if he even realizes he’s lying. He delights in schoolyard taunts and luxuriates in backlash.”
But there are equally as many reasons to support Clinton because she is the best candidate for the job. This is not a choice between the “lesser of two evils.”
Your decision in November need not be based on fear. It can, and should, be based on hope. Hillary Clinton will protect women’s reproductive health and rights. Her decades of working for social justice will help her in the fight against systemic and institutional racism. She will continue the fight to quell the gun violence that regularly sends our nation into mass grief. She will fight for equal pay for equal work, and a minimum wage that respects the value of work. She will fight for campaign finance reform. She will push for measures to combat climate change.
Of course, Hillary Clinton is not perfect. No person – let alone a politician – is perfect. But I believe in America. I’m hopeful for the future of America; not cynically clutching to the past. And so I stand with the party of inclusion; rather than the politics of division. Love always trumps hate. I stand with Bernie Sanders. I stand with Hillary Clinton. Our best days truly are ahead of us. I’m with her.
Democracy is a beautiful thing.
Featured Image Credit: Hillary for America on Flickr (via creative commons)