Reluctant supporters of both Clinton and Trump often promote their candidate as the lesser of two evils — an argument that Green Party candidate Jill Stein has dismissed as “the politics of fear.” I’ve always felt more satisfied when voting for a candidate rather than against their opponent, and in that spirit I offer the following reasons for casting my presidential vote this fall for the Democratic nominee:
- I agree with her positions on many issues. I don’t like her proposal for guaranteed family and medical leave (yet another burden for small businesses), her immigration reform plan offers a path to citizenship that I’d rather not see, and I think her statements on Wall Street reform are disingenuous. But there’s a lot I do like, such as her plan for infrastructure improvements (and yes, I know that means taxes, my taxes, are going up). Among all the candidates on the presidential ballot, Clinton is by far the one whose ideas are closest to my own — and I can’t think of a stronger criterion for choosing a candidate.
- She has experience working with Republicans. Democrats may retake the Senate this fall, but certainly won’t have enough votes to prevent filibusters and may not be able to continue control in 2018 — and they are highly unlikely to take the House. Given this reality, Clinton’s extensive contacts in Washington become a benefit; she has certainly exaggerated her bipartisan record, but her track record suggests she would work better with an adversarial Congress than any of the other candidates.
- She’s tough. From the moment she arrived in the White House back in 1992, Clinton has been under attack almost continually. Some of that criticism has been fair (using a personal email server as Secretary of State wasn’t criminal, but it was certainly careless), some was motivated by partisan politics — but too much of it has been personal and misogynistic. And when she stepped down from State four years ago, nobody, other than the usual gang of haters, would have blamed her if she decided to walk away from all the nonsense. But she not only came back, she decided to pursue her greatest ambition one more shot, knowing the pressure would only increase. I not only admire her resiliency, I believe it to be a desirable quality for a leader.
That pretty much wraps up my analysis of the coming election. But I do have an afterword for tomorrow — and will finally get to that Star Trek reference I promised.