The Democratic primary is now over. Hillary Clinton has enough delegates to wing the nomination, and despite Bernie Sanders pledging to carry on, there is no conceivable way he can win.
This is not something I am particularly excited about, because despite the perception of other media outlets, the team here at The Daily Banter has been divided over the Democratic primary between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Chez Pazienza has gone after zealous Bernie fans and argued that Hillary Clinton would be by far the better candidate for president, while Bob Cesca and Tommy Christopher have remained more neutral in their assessment of the candidates respective pros and cons. Although I may not have been quite as vocal about my opinion on the race, I have consistently spoken out in favor of Bernie Sanders — a man I believe has the best policy platform of any Democratic candidate since Jimmy Carter. I must admit that my support for Sanders has waned after his fanatical supporters began their scorched earth strategy of “Bernie or Bust”, as there is nothing sadder than watching ideologues deify a political candidate, then deny objective reality at every opportunity. But I have steadfastly maintained that Sanders is policy for policy, infinitely superior to Hillary Clinton in virtually every way.
I am not a Hillary Clinton fan, and never have been. While I do not have particularly negative feelings towards her (as I did in ’08 when she ran an atrocious campaign against president Obama), her politics have always turned me off and I do not think she is the best Democratic candidate for president by a long way. Clinton specializes in the politics of triangulation — a strategy her husband used to get re-elected in 1996 under the guidance of Donald Trump’s potential new strategist and all round awful human being Dick Morris. It involves saying everything and anything to everyone in a bid to appeal to as many voters as possible — an abhorrent strategy in of itself, but made worse by the fact that Hillary Clinton has never been very good at it. Hillary Clinton has a long history of changing positions according to whom she is speaking to, and it has not gone unnoticed by a new generation of voters desperate for someone consistent and authentic. Hillary Clinton is a product of the vicious politics of the 90’s — a time when the Democrats gutted their core values and adopted Republican economic and social positions in order to get elected. The Clintons also did not mind getting their hands dirty in order to win (for a great insight into their political wranglings, just read Joe Klein’s ‘Primary Colors‘), and their image has suffered as a consequence.
For the reasons I have outlined above, I am never going to be excited by the prospect of another Clinton presidency, because to me, her victory in 2016 would mean acknowledging democracy in America is essentially a farce. Two families will have traded the presidency for the better part of three decades, and however good a candidate Clinton is by herself (and I think she is actually more impressive than her husband), her name recognition is one of the major reasons why she has risen to power. Just as George W. Bush used his family’s name to propel himself in to the White House, Hillary Clinton has used her name and previous connections to build a powerful machine that has beaten back all the other Democratic candidates with relative ease.
Nevertheless, disenchanted liberals must come to terms with the following realities.
1. Hillary Clinton is a Democrat and has a very solid liberal voting record.
2. The Republican Party is no longer a political party. It is a completely corrupt organization the exists solely to further the interests of the ultra wealthy.
3. That party has now been demolished by a megalomaniac fascist who wants to ban Muslims from the country and thinks all Mexicans are rapists.
4. That fascist also denies the existence of the greatest threat facing humanity — climate change.
5. Hillary Clinton not only acknowledges climate change, but has a comprehensive plan to tackle it.
6. Given the United States is the most powerful country on earth, this makes Donald Trump the greatest threat to human life in modern history.
For those reasons alone, not voting for Hillary Clinton is unconscionable. While she may be a triangulating, cutthroat politician who will say whatever it takes to get elected, she is also highly competent, sane, and thoughtful. Clinton is as good as she is bad, while Donald Trump is just all round bad. While you may think Clinton and Trump are two cheeks of the same backside, their respective policy positions could not be more dissimilar. Hillary Clinton has coherent, reasoned strategies to deal with issues like climate change, the war on ISIS and women’s reproductive rights. Donald Trump on the other hand can’t actually remember any of his policy proposals — likely because he doesn’t have any. Clinton is certainly loose with the facts, but Donald Trump is an outright liar who changes his story on literally a minute to minute basis. To entertain the notion of him becoming the Commander in Chief is quite frankly, a sign of madness.
So yes, you don’t have to like Hillary Clinton. But for God’s sake, you do have to vote for her.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.