Why I'm With Her

I was a strong supporter of Bernie Sanders. If I had to label myself, I’d say I’m a far left socialist democrat. I believe in tax policies that redistribute wealth. (See Picketty.) I favor a liberal social agenda, including: support for same sex marriage; a woman’s right to choose; and strong citizen oversight of police. I believe in single payer, nationalized healthcare. I favor the development of sustainable, low carbon emitting energy systems. I think big oil companies are responsible for a significant part of the damage to our environment. I favor major public (tax supported) investment in public transportation systems. I think public school facilities should be revitalized and redesigned to be so appealing that we have to force kids to leave at the end of the day. This would require significant investment of government funds. I am proud to be called a tax and spend liberal. I believe those policies are the recipe for making a country great.

I do not favor an incremental approach to creating a country that has the best schools, the best public transportation, the best national healthcare system. I believe the pathway to making America great again is to vote every Republican out of office and elect a president and congress who have the wisdom and political will to use the vast wealth that has accumulated in this country to build a civic system that benefits all Americans.

I did not initially support Hillary Clinton. I don’t believe it’s good for our country that we have only two families living in the White House for 28 out of 36 years. Hillary’s stated positions on many issues are to the right of my position. I believe she favors a more incremental approach to reaching the goal of a great society. I felt that Bernie’s approach was much more assertive, and there were lots of young voters who were energized by his campaign. I was as excited about the prospect of electing Bernie as I had been about electing Barack Obama.

Then came the primaries. Hillary (due to her strong relationship with the DNC) had a powerful structural advantage in the primary system. And despite a strong showing (better than I expected, frankly) Bernie did not prevail. Of course I mourned the defeat. And for several weeks I held off making a commitment to supporting Hillary.

The train wreck on the GOP side was entertaining at first. Was it really possible that they would choose a puerile, narcissistic buffoon as their nominee for President? And if they didn’t, the alternatives didn’t look so good for them either. The GOP debates had turned into a parody of political conversation. (Underscoring the fact that intelligent conservatives have lost control of the party.) As entertaining as it was, it was also frightening.

After the first “debate” between Hillary and Donald I finally found myself willing to openly support the Democratic nominee. The contrast was so stark, and the stakes so high that there is no real argument in my mind. I may be a far left liberal, but I am also pragmatic enough to realize that choosing the best option available to block a despot from becoming president means choosing Hillary.

So today, to my family and friends who were supporting Hillary all along, I say, “I’m with you, and I’m with her.” And I hope you’re with me and willing to push her to be the kind of president who will set us on a path towards a better America.

Vote, please, and when you vote, vote Democratic!

Saturday November 5, 2016 — Mark —