I’m voting for Clinton tomorrow for the following primary (see what I did there?) reasons:
- She is smart, articulate, and fast on her feet in debate. Especially in an age of electronic media — who would have thought it? — these ancient elements of effective leadership are critical. Every time I have heard her speak in public in recent years — from the current campaign debates to her speeches as Secretary of State — I have come away impressed. She understands the issues, she understands the opposition, and she explain goals I generally support in simple, compelling language.
- Women are generally oppressed in our society in both relative and absolute terms. Of course they are better off than in the not so distant past when they couldn’t vote, whole professions like medicine and the law were forbidden them, and coverture laws stripped their right to contract in their own name after marriage, among many other injustices, but pervasive discrimination from pay inequality to glass ceilings to outright harassment is routine and impoverishes us all. Clinton is a feminist, and support for her sends a powerful message of inclusion and activism in support of women.
- She is experienced. From her service as a Senator from New York to her work as Secretary of State, to her years at President Bill Clinton’s side, she has observed our political system at close quarters. Some of President Obama’s lamentable ineffectiveness on subjects from closing Guantanamo to getting legislation through Congress can be set at the feet of his inexperience: Illinois State Senate to the White House in four years. Clinton knows what we are up against in practice, as well as theory.
I prefer Sanders’ more Elizabeth Warren-esque combativeness toward Wall Street, and I also, as a New Englander, appreciate his Vermont residency. But his position on gun safety is murderous, however politically expedient, and, as Charley explained below, his Democratic Socialism will morph from charming eccentricity to Stalinistic Hitlerianism (yes, I know how idiotic that is) when massaged by the delicate fingers of our national corporate media. I don’t think he is any more appealing to a national audience than, again with a nod to my wise colleage, McGovern, Mondale and Dukakis were before him.
Politics is about the possible. I’ll leave divinity to the snowy woods of Vermont on a clear winter morning, and leave Senator Sanders there too, with the greatest respect, tomorrow. In the real world, I’m voting for Hillary.