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I done went and voteded - KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life
ramblings from a mad fedora'd writer
I done went and voteded
Today I went to my local polling place and voted in the Democratic primary for Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton.

On this blog, I have written quite a bit about the presidential elections in 2004, 2008, and 2012. I haven't talked much about 2016, even though I am a huge presidential election junkie (as anyone who read those blog entries, or read my Star Trek novel A Time for War, a Time for Peace, can attest). But this race has just exhausted me, and I haven't had as much to say.

But I have been paying attention. And I chose to vote for Secretary Clinton over Senator Bernie Sanders for a number of reasons.

First of all, let me emphasize that this was not an easy decision, and that I have the utmost respect for Senator Sanders and for his platform. Were he running against a lesser opponent, I would have voted for him today, and should he win the nomination, I will vote for him without hesitation or regret.

However, a few things tipped the scales toward Secretary Clinton for me.

One is the fact that Secretary Clinton has been using her fundraising money, not just for her own campaign, but for Congressional and gubernatorial Democrats all over the country. She's not just trying to win the presidency for herself, she's working to build a coalition that will actually be able to govern the nation. Senator Sanders has only just now started the process of doing that.

Another is the fact that, while Senator Sanders is superb on domestic issues, he's not so much on foreign policy. Secretary Clinton proved her foreign policy chops in her last job as President Barack Obama's secretary of state. (Having said that, I didn't think Governor Bill Clinton or Senator Obama would be such hot shit on foreign policy, and they both did fine, so I could be wrong about Senator Sanders.)

But the straw that broke my back was the other week. Secretary Clinton was interviewed and said that she wasn't sure that Senator Sanders was ready to be president. This was reported back to Senator Sanders prior to a rally in Philadelphia as her saying he was unqualified to be president. At that rally, Senator Sanders said that Secretary Clinton said "I am quote, unqualified, unquote, to be president," not only getting it wrong, but doubling down on it by making it an exact quote that was wrong. (Mind you, the person interviewing Secretary Clinton was obviously trying to get her to say that the senator was unqualified, but she didn't take the bait.) Senator Sanders then said that she was unqualified, and proceeded to list a bunch of things about her he doesn't like -- precisely none of which makes her unqualified to be president. Oh, they're things that might make her a bad president, and if Senator Sanders had said that, it wouldn't be an issue, but he didn't. Anyone who thinks that Secretary Clinton is unqualified to be president is a moron. Again, this isn't a question of policy. Honestly, of all the people who've run for president in my lifetime, the one who was most qualified for the job before election was George H.W. Bush, whom I despised as a president. But that didn't change the fact that he was immensely qualified for the job. (Ironically, the one least qualified is his son, who's prior jobs were running a series of failed businesses and holding the least powerful governorship in the union.) Secretary Clinton is supremely qualified to be president, given her background.

If this is how Senator Sanders responds to what barely even qualifies as an attack on his campaign, how's he gonna respond when Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz or whichever doofus gets the Republican nomination really gets the knives out?

(Seriously, the notion of any of these scumbuckets, whether Mr. Trump, Senator Cruz, or Governor Kasich, getting into office scares the piss out of me, as any one of them will spend the next four years trying to roll back all the progress we've made of late, including curtailing the rights of women and LGBTQ folk, endeavoring to make the nation more "Christian," and generally trying to turn back the clock, even though in the entire history of this country, attempts to curtail and roll back rights that had already been granted has never worked in the long term.)

Meanwhile, Secretary Clinton has spent the last two and a half decades being attacked constantly and repeatedly, from the moment she made it clear that she intended to be a part of her husband's administration as a major player, not just a decorative housewife who runs social events like a good little girl. The outrage over her actually using the First Lady position to be a politician got the ball rolling -- but she has, over the course of the last two and half decades of smear campaigns, of lies, of bullshit, of attacks, of assaults on every aspect of her personality and life, weathered all of it with dignity and class and grace, and still gone on to be a good senator and an excellent secretary of state, and now for the second time, a viable presidential candidate for a country that was unable to elect anyone who wasn't a white Christian male to its highest office for 220 years.

Again, I have great respect for Senator Sanders, and I'm particularly glad that he's been running, because he's getting issues out on the table that might've been ignored had he not been in the race. I hope that, should he not win the nomination, Secretary Clinton plans to make him part of her Cabinet should she win (if not her vice presidential candidate), as he'll be a valuable ally to have.

(BTW, there's other reasons why I'm iffy on Senator Sanders, and Avery C. Bauer expressed them very nicely in this article for the Daily Newsbin. Thanks to the mighty Emily Asher-Perrin for the link.)

So yes. I voted. And you know what's most important? That I did so. That's the way politics works in this country, and it may not be the best system, but it really is the best one the human race has managed to come up with so far. And it's a right that a lot of people gave their lives to have.

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music: "Accidentally Like a Martyr" by Warren Zevon

2 comments or Please comment
martianmooncrab From: martianmooncrab Date: April 19th, 2016 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
its our duty as citizens to vote, left right or indifferent, as long as we do so. People died for us to have this right, people came to America just for this right. It seems a shame not to use it.
scarlettina From: scarlettina Date: April 21st, 2016 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well said, Keith. I agree with you 100%. Thanks for articulating all of this so well and clearly.
2 comments or Please comment