Be honest, we all knew it from the beginning of the primaries. Despite strong competition from Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, it’s only a matter of time before Hillary Clinton is the democratic nominee.and faces Donald Trump in the general election. It’s this exact fact that has so many Americans uneasy. Clinton and Trump are the two most hated politicans in history. (While Donald isn’t a politician per se, for the sake of this post we’ll consider him one) So because of that democrats have asked themselves this question: How did we get here and are we really going to have to vote for her?
I’ve written multiple posts about the election and various issues that have come up from it. The one that frustrates me the most are once again fellow Bernie Sanders supporters who won’t vote for Hillary in the fall. Why? More and more, people don’t trust her. They say she’s flip flopped on issues over time and just says what people want to hear, that she’s rigged the primaries, lied about the emails, and intentionally “killed” those involved in the Benghazi situation. I agree, only to an extent though.
Politics is a game of lies, money, and doing whatever you can to win. Every election cycle candidates tell us they’ll solve this and that, and for the most part it’s just empty promises. Not one president or congressman has followed through on every single thing they said would happen. Like this, politicians have changed stances on issues too, which is understandable because public opinion hasn’t been a constant either. In her first campaign for the Senate, Clinton had vowed to bring 200,000 to the state over her term. While this may have not panned out exactly as planned, as 170,000 jobs were lost, similar to many other states in the so-called “rust belt”, she had co-sponsored the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition with republican senator Lindsey Graham, which would give tax incentives to companies who were fully domestic and thus created jobs in America. Commitment to this even when setbacks arise is something I want in a president. Clinton had also opposed gay marriage until 2013. While you can say she flip-flopped, it later to gain support, it wasn’t even supported by most Americans until about the same time as people’s values change and it became more accepted and known as normal.
In this primary season many have accused Clinton of “election rigging” too, most of them being Bernie Sanders supporters. While I don’t know the facts too well myself, I don’t believe that explains her results in every state. States with a higher population and therefore more delegates to be allocated were mostly won by Clinton, including Texas, Florida, and New York. The margins of victory, respectively 32%, 31%, and 16%, can hardly be attributed to any such voter fraud or ballot stealing/deletion. Her campaign was also accused of campaigning on-site at polling locations, something which is illegal but she herself did not do this so it may have been out of her control. I’ve also explained in previous posts how the superdelegates, who are elected officials that can support any candidate in the party and change their support at any time, have overwhelmingly been in favor of her over Sanders because of his more liberal political stance and that he doesn’t support big banks or so-called “political corruption”, believing her presidency would favor them more. While I’m against having superdelegates for this fact, I don’t believe you can criticize Hillary for this.
Now to the emails. Oh, those emails. It’s been one of the things her republican opponents have attacked her most on, but at least Sanders said in one debate that the topic needs to be dropped. If you haven’t heard about it though, from the time she was First Lady when her husband Bill was president. Regulations at the time had allowed her to do this and for a long time after that. The State Department only recommended after she left that that government employees not use personal emails for business purposes. Only in 2014 did Obama sign changes to the Federal Records Act that required anything used on personal emails to be sent to their government ones too for monitoring. Despite this, many people in both political parties still feel she broke the law and should be jailed. You can read up on it further to see whether or not she did anything wrong. Hillary Clinton Email Details
Don’t forget Benghazi too. “Hillary is a murderer” is a common statement by many Americans now and the facts just don’t support that. Multiple investigations have found that while the State Department was negligent over information received about deteriorating conditions in Libya, nobody has been charged with any crimes yet. These findings are in detail more on Politifact. Benghazi Investigation Findings I do believe this scandal is the biggest one where I would understand why people wouldn’t vote for her.
Having considered all of that, it comes down to this: Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? People complain that this is what it’s come to, but it’s also likely the same people who didn’t go and vote in the primaries to prevent them from securing their party’s nomination. A lot of them may be Bernie Sanders supporters who say they only want him elected and don’t see a point in voting otherwise. His supporters consist of many young people and independents. You can safely expect that these independents at least would prefer his “outsider” status over that of Hillary and would instead not vote or vote for Donald Trump in the general election. But it is the young people that have failed him. I see it all over facebook and twitter. People share memes about him and say they “feel the bern” but haven’t even registered to vote. News flash, your posts on the internet don’t count as votes. Such a shocker there, I know.
Other supporters of Bernie who vote democrat regardless of the nominee have said they will do so this year because “the Supreme Court is at stake” and that indeed has recently been a hot topic with Senate republicans saying they won’t vote in favor of Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland, expecting that a republican will win in November and stalling on picking the ninth justice until then. The problem with this is now Donald Trump, the republican nominee, has historically been very much a democrat and likely only claims to be a republican saying all this racist, out of line, and untrue to exploit the beliefs of some more conservative voters. It has also been brought up that he may nominate a democratic justice, but that’s all up in the air. Some have actually gone on to believe the conspiracy that he’s only running to isolate voters and get a democrat into office. I can neither confirm nor deny that but it’s a plausible thing at this point. Remember when I said the republican controlled Senate expected a republican to be president though? What if Hillary does end up getting elected and appoints someone she’s more politically aligned with? They’ll have impeded the progress of justice in America for so long and unnecessarily at that. I think that’s imprisonment-worthy.
Have we forgotten the #NeverTrump movement too? I’m on that boat. This was something started by democrats and some republicans even who believed any candidate would be better than Donald Trump. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio were seen as his best alternatives in their party, but they both dropped out of the race. Now it’s moved onto Bernie and Hillary. Bernie does have higher approval ratings and polls more favorably against Trump than Hillary does, but continuing his run at this point is a waste that takes away time Hillary could be using to campaign against Trump. What supporters of Sanders are saying by not voting for Hillary is that Trump is essentially more fit to rule the free world. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Even voting for Sanders if he chose to run as a third party candidate would take away alot of votes that would instead go to Hillary. Luckily, he has expressed the fact he will endorse her if she secures the nomination.
In the end, it really is a battle between someone who is highly qualified, has held public office on multiple levels before, and has lived in the White House, and a racist, misogynistic businessman that makes fun of anybody who opposes him. Who’s more presidential to you?