Choosing between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is like choosing between Richard Nixon and George Wallace.
One heads a powerful machine dedicated to preserving the status quo. The other is rebel who appeals to hatred and prejudice.
I can understand why someone might support the Nixon-like candidate as a lesser evil. The expression for this is “critical support”, which is means you may support a candidate, but reserve the right to call the candidate to account.
The problem with this is when the support ceases to be critical, which is what I see happening. I know a number of liberal Democrats who are so afraid of Donald Trump that they think it out-of-bounds to point out that Clinton is a warmonger and literally a paid servant of Wall Street.
Support for a candidate should never be unconditional. If you demand nothing in return for your support of a candidate, nothing is what you’ll get.
The leaked Hillary Clinton e-mails, especially the ones with the excerpts from her Goldman Sachs speeches, show that she regards her rich donors as her peer group, but that she finds it necessary to appease her core voters, as with the Dodd-Frank banking reforms.
The fact that Clinton can be pressured is, as I see it, the only argument for anti-war, pro-labor, pro-consumer or environmentalist Democrats to support Clinton. And they are naive if they give their support without demanding commitments in return.
As I’ve written in previous posts, I don’t intend to vote for either Clinton or Trump. If enough principled Democrats vote for Jill Stein and enough principled Republicans vote for Gary Johnson, maybe someday we’ll get more meaningful choices.
Of course I realize that third-party voting, in and of itself, will change little. Change requires grass-roots organizing year in and year out. I’m not part of this. Some mornings I can barely drag my aging carcass out of bed. This web log is my substitute for actually doing something.
I respect those who are trying to reform either of the two parties from within. When and if their efforts bear fruit, I will support their efforts with my vote.
Why Feminists Shouldn’t Trust Hillary Clinton by Kathleen Geier for The New Republic. What Geier writes applies more generally than just to feminists.
Clinton’s GOP supporters expect something in return by Darrell Samuelson for Politico.