I've never been Hillary's #1 supporter. In the June primary, I voted for Bernie. Even back in 2008, I bubbled Obama's name in on my ballot during our sixth-grade mock election. My dad used to send me "Go Hillary!" texts during the Democratic debates and I'd fire back with an endless list of reasons to feel the Bern. I really hoped that Bernie would be our nominee for the 2016 election-- I admired him for his lifelong progressive views, his true sense of compassion, and his disdain for the corporate establishment. But here we are, approaching the 2016 election with Hillary as our Democratic nominee, whether we like it or not.
I have several issues with Hillary. I think she's too centrist and has a tendency to flip-flop on issues according to popular opinion, like gay marriage. I wish her feminism was more intersectional, and I can't ignore that she voted for the Iraq War and has ties to Wall Street, among other things.
However, I'm still voting for her in the general election.
Bernie summed up my point of view pretty well in his speech at the convention: "Our job is to do two things -- to defeat Donald Trump and to elect Hillary Clinton... It is easy to boo, but it is harder to look your kids in the face if we are living under a Trump presidency."
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The thing is, it's not just Hillary we're voting for. We're also voting against Trump, one of the most dangerous candidates ever. I mean, we're talking about a guy who began his campaign with, "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best... They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people." The same guy who proposed we ban Muslims from entering the U.S. The same guy who insulted war hero John McCain and allegedly mocked a disabled reporter. The guy who literally said, "If [she] wasn't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her."
Oh, and here's a bonus from the Donald: "I cherish women. I want to help women. I’m going to be able to do things for women that no other candidate would be able to do.” Oh, goodie.
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[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F07%2F28%2F636052636870778285-506585733_donna%2520reed%25202.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=606&h=d1807b6276c97b74ed42fcc14d4fd8cd2bf5d8521b2e2154f01b77e05a179eb1&size=980x&c=2546020594 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F07%252F28%252F636052636870778285-506585733_donna%252520reed%2525202.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D606%26h%3Dd1807b6276c97b74ed42fcc14d4fd8cd2bf5d8521b2e2154f01b77e05a179eb1%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2546020594%22%7D" expand=1]The idea of a Trump presidency just got even more dangerous with the announcement of his vice presidential pick Mike Pence, highly conservative governor of Indiana who describes himself as "Rush Limbaugh on decaf." For those who don't know, Pence was that guy who signed a "religious freedom" bill in 2015 that gave business owners the right to discriminate against LGBT customers. He also essentially kick-started the Republican war on Planned Parenthood by pushing for an amendment to defund them back in 2011. While the Donald may flip-flop on issues and even has a somewhat liberal record on certain things, Pence is an actual hardcore conservative.Well, yes. But that doesn't necessarily mean the most ethical thing to do is vote third party or abstain. If you don't want to vote for Hillary (and I'm not suggesting anyone should be forced to, at all) for progressive reasons, ask yourself: what outcome do you really want this election to have? Historically, a third-party candidate has never won a presidential election (the closest one of them ever got was back in 1912). There have also been instances where a third party essentially "splits" the vote, resulting in the opposing party winning (Google Ralph Nader, for instance). And what if Trump really does get elected? Would it really be worth it to shrug and let America suffer the consequences for the sake of making a statement?
Philosopher Jason Brennan sums it up very well in Olivia Goldhill's article "Ethicists Say Voting With Your Heart, Without a Care About the Consequences, Is Actually Immoral," “The purpose of voting is not to express your fidelity to a worldview. It’s not to wave a flag or paint your face in team colors; it’s to produce outcomes. If they’re smart, they’ll vote for the candidate likely to best produce the outcome they want. That might very well be compromising, but if voting for a far-left or far-right candidate means that you’re just going to lose the election, then you’ve brought the world further away from justice rather than closer to it.”
In a perfect world, we would not be so limited to this two-party system, and we would be able to vote for a candidate that we 100 percent morally and politically align with. But unfortunately, a lot of us didn't get our #1 choice this election, and we have to deal with that.
For me, it comes down to a choice between personal ethics and big picture ethics. Would I personally feel better voting for someone like Jill Stein? Absolutely. But Stein is, unfortunately, not our best chance at beating Trump. I supported Bernie until the end of his campaign, but now my priority is keeping Trump out of office. And the fact is, Hillary is now our best bet at that. I didn't get exactly what I wanted this election, but a Trump presidency just isn't worth chancing. So, for the sake of keeping the Democratic Party united and the GOP out of office, I'm with her.
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