I’ll vote for Hillary Clinton in November. But don’t take that as meaning that I’m With Her.
Hillary Clinton’s choice of Tim Kaine can’t be a surprise to anyone, and clearly signals that her recent adoption of progressive ideas is not core to her understanding of how she wants to govern this country. Kaine supports the deregulation of Wall Street banks, and also provides payback to Clinton ally and supporter Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, allowing him to appoint himself to the Senate where he will no longer be term-limited.
Combined with the completely unsurprising leaks of #DNC
documents that show clearly that the DNC lied to the members of the Democratic party and were fully behind making Hillary Clinton the nominee from the beginning, it’s clear that the Democratic party has become rotten with corrupting influences. Debbie Wasserman Shultz is as tone-deaf as any right-wing Republican and has completely abdicated any responsibility to represent herself as a leader of most of the party.
But the answer isn’t to give up. At its core, the Democratic Party - and even Hillary Clinton - represent an ideology that appeals to the better angels of our nature. The very basic ideals of the Democratic Party - a fundamental belief in equal rights for all citizens and that government, at its best, can provide the opportunities for disadvantaged people to succeed and contribute to society - still exist. There are members of the Democratic Party still committed to those ideals and that recognize that the corrupting influence of money has to be removed from our political system. People like Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Al Franken, Nina Turner and many others are working from the inside to reform the party and turn it back towards its core principles. The party hasn’t turned its back on science and facts.
The Democratic Party has been part of most of the positive things that have happened in our country. Reproductive freedom, civil rights, environmental protection, consumer protection, worker’s rights, the protection of our seniors through Social Security and Medicare. Democrats have fought to make sure our veterans are cared for by the VA.
The corruption does run deep. It is tempting to throw it out, start over, create a third party and build something that is from the people, by the people, and for the people. But an existential threat requires us to fight from within.
Donald Trump is the nominee the Republican Party has been working toward since 1964. Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” and the cynical manipulation of Christian ideology, nativism, white fears and anti-intellectualism for the past 40 years has led inexorably toward the nomination of a narcissistic demagogue whose only answer to the problems facing our country is that they are caused by others and that we’ll solve our problems by “winning”. Any semblance of the core principles of the party of Abraham Lincoln - individual freedom, the unity of the United States - are long gone. The Republican Party is rotten to its core, and the rich and powerful have for 40 years cynically manipulated the fears of the “real Americans” - white working class people who are uncomfortable with change - to take power in this country. The business of our elected representatives is to govern, but the GOP has purposely refused to govern in any way, because their corporate masters want to maintain the status quo. There’s no way to appeal to principled Republicans, because no principled Republican can ever get elected. Instead we get angry populists who get elected on platforms of fear and anger.
America is a nation of immigrants, a melting pot of ideas and cultures. It has never been perfect, because people aren’t perfect. We have a national history full of racism, greed and corruption. But the American Idea - the great experiment of democracy, of a society created from the best ideas from people from every part of the world - that’s the “great” America. We don’t need to Make America Great Again. We just need to recognize what it is about America that makes it great, and keep reaching for that goal. Anger, fear and hate are not what makes America great. It’s that we ask from each citizen, each culture, to provide the best ideas, the strongest skills, and we create our country from that mix.
I’ll vote for Hillary, not because I think she is the ideal candidate, but because I believe that she does believe in that America. She’s become blind to how money and power have corrupted her and the people close to her. But at the most basic level, she wants what I want, and what progressives want. She’s just getting there the wrong way. She’ll have to expect that we, the progressives, will fight her on policies that protect the rich and powerful, and that we are know that she doesn’t really get it. We won’t Sit Down and Shut Up. Bernie has shown us how powerful the people can be. The rich and powerful are on notice. The people are what makes America Great.