Yes… I AM With Her…

So, as I’ve made very clear… This election cycle and everything that has happened in the primaries has been very upsetting.  I wanted Bernie Sanders to win the Democratic nomination with a passion (and I believe had he faced a fair primary election that he would have…)  However, he didn’t… I feel that the DNC (and most likely Hillary Clinton also…) acted dishonestly but… They didn’t really do anything illegal.  They acted like sleazy politicians, they took advantage of the system that we currently have, and they won, as much as that disgusts me to say so…

In his speech President Obama said that Hillary Clinton is the most qualified person to run the country, and he’s right… To a certain extent.  She is the most qualified person left in the race (that actually has a chance of winning the general election…) But as Robert Reich said many times throughout the primary season, Hillary Clinton is the most qualified person to run the country with the SYSTEM WE HAVE.  Bernie Sanders is BY FAR the most qualified person to run the system that we SHOULD have.  He is the most qualified person to run America as it should be, but it’s not that way… Not yet… That doesn’t mean it won’t be that way eventually.  It doesn’t mean that I won’t continue to be vocal about changing the American system. But that leaves the upcoming general election upon which there is so much at stake.  

In spite of her faults, which includes her dishonesty in the primary, Hillary Clinton isn’t all bad.  Most of my disagreements with her fall on the economic side.  I hate that she is in bed with the big banks and Wall Street.  I hate that economically she promises to look out for the future of all Americans, but in reality she only looks out for those who give her large donations.  However…  I agree with everything she stands for on the social side of things, and since no matter which candidate wins between her and Donald Trump the situation with the banks and Wall Street will not change (except for the fact that with Donald Trump we face the possibility of nearly complete economic collapse), I am going to focus on the social side of things.

With that said, here are some of the things I think Hillary Clinton has right:

LGBT Rights: As everyone knows, this is a big factor for me when I consider voting for a politician.  I will never… EVER… stand behind someone (like Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence) who threatens to take away my rights as an American citizen.  I am not going to take the chance that I will be relegated back to that “lesser” status that LGBT people had to live with for so long. So many that came before me fought too long and too hard for the gains that have been made to risk standing behind a homophobe like Donald Trump.

Regardless of where she stood in the past, or how long it took her to come around, Hillary Clinton stands behind the LGBT community and I know that she will continue to help the LGBT community fight to keep the rights we have and make progress towards true equality in the future.  Because of this, I am with her.  

Women’s Rights: As anyone with half a brain can see… Donald Trump is a misogynist.  For him, respect for women has been non-existent; from his treatment of Megyn Kelly during the Republican debates, to his various wives that he’s traded in for younger models, to his weird obsession with his daughter’s looks, to the way he treats Elizabeth Warren and every other woman he comes into contact with.  There is no way Trump will fight to close the gender pay gap or fight to keep a woman’s right to choose what happens with her own body between her and her doctor.  Hillary Clinton knows what it’s like to be a woman in a “man’s world.”  She knows what it’s like to have to fight tooth and nail to succeed, and she knows what it’s like to have men try and tell her what she can and can’t do with her own body.  Hillary will fight for women’s rights, and because of this I am with her.  

Minority Rights: Let’s face it… Donald Trump is a xenophobic, bigoted, hateful, racist.  There is no getting around that.  Anyone who tries to say otherwise is lying to themselves to justify voting for him or is a xenophobic, bigoted, hateful, racist themselves and doesn’t see anything wrong with that.  He’s backed by the KKK, He’s called Latino’s rapists and murderers, he’s labeled the entire Muslim community as terrorists who should be banned from the country, and under his leadership he would alienate us from the rest of the world and destroy whatever progress we’ve made in the last eight years under President Obama towards repairing the American image as a place where “all [people] are created equal”.  Trump will treat innocent people like criminals, he will break apart families that are trying to make better lives for themselves, and he will do so from atop his place of privilege just as rich white men have been doing for nearly as long as America has existed.

Hillary Clinton will treat minorities with the respect that they deserve to be treated with.  She understands that our country is one that is built on immigration and that in spite of the actions of a hateful few, not all people that are part of specific groups are terrorists.  Because of this I am with her.  

Climate Change: Donald Trump is clueless when it comes to the world around us.  Much like other Republicans, he makes absurd statements regarding climate change and continues to deny that it is a problem in spite of the scientific consensus.  The Republican party that he currently leads ignores the damage that we are doing to the world we live in and refuses to make changes to help stop catastrophic climate change.

Hillary Clinton has a plan to combat climate change in place.  She knows that it is our job to leave the planet a better place for those that will come after us and so we have a responsibility to stop polluting it and make positive changes towards clean energy.  Because of this, I am with her.  

Supreme Court Justices:  Donald Trump cannot be allowed to nominate the next several Supreme Court Justices.  He just can’t… If Donald Trump is allowed to replace nearly half of the court, there is no way civil rights won’t be taken back to the 50s (or worse), Unions will be in serious trouble, and any hope of overturning Citizens United will be thrown out the window.  

Hillary Clinton, at the very least, will nominate semi-Liberal justices, and may even nominate Progressives.  Having Progressives on the court is absolutely necessary to make positive changes and to take our country in the direction that those of us who call ourselves Progressives believe the country should go.  Because of this, I am with her.  

Yes… I am angry with the Democratic party.  I am changing my affiliation to Independent and I plan on continuing to fight towards fixing a corrupt system.  I will never stop expressing my outrage towards how the Primary election was carried out.  But I can’t, in good conscience, ignore the very real threat to the country that is Donald Trump, and I can’t make an “anger vote” for a third party who will never win the election.  That is as good as voting for Trump, and I just can’t do it… As I’ve mentioned before, Donald Trump is a homophobic, racist, misogynist, and he never should have gotten as far as he has in this race.  

While I don’t believe Hillary Clinton is the ideal candidate, she does have many positive attributes (I’ve only mentioned a few of the major ones).  Donald Trump has no redeeming qualities about him.  Not one.  If he is allowed to step into the White House  after the General election then I truly believe the country… and possibly the rest of the world… is in for a world of pain.  With Hillary Clinton, at worst, things remain the same. At most, we make some true Progressive gains on the social front.  So yes… In spite of those things that upset me about Hillary Clinton and the DNC during the primary… In spite of the differences I have with them on the economic side of things… I am still going to stand behind her.  The alternative is just too horrifying to consider.  

James Garcia – July 28, 2016

Disenfranchised… Disenchanted… Disgusted…

Angry… Upset… Saddened… Fearful about our country’s future…  Absolutely disgusted…

These are just a few ways to describe how I’m feeling after the remaining primary elections.   Bernie Sanders fought a great fight, he packed arenas around the nation, he mobilized young and Independent voters like no one before… But let’s get real here. The Democratic nominee was decided long before the Primary even began.  The Democratic establishment had Hillary Clinton crowned since President Obama was chosen the last time and they’ve been running this faux-election that way ever since.  It didn’t matter who ran against her… it could have been Elizabeth Warren… and it didn’t matter how many Independents or how many votes her opponent won; Hillary was going to be the nominee no matter what.

Under that premise, Hillary and the DNC that she bought, played the game in the most underhanded way possible to ensure there wouldn’t be another “upset” like there was in 2008.  They’ve used voter fraud, they’ve disrespected and disenfranchised Independent voters, they’ve used ad-hominem attacks like calling Bernie supporters sexist and misogynistic for not supporting her and spinning false claims of violence, they’ve used an unscrupulous, easily bought media to slander and downplay Bernie’s movement while praising Hillary and downplaying her corruption every chance they got, and they’ve continuously added Superdelegates to the counts all along (even though they don’t vote until the end of July) to make it seem like any real challenger didn’t stand a chance.  The reality though, is that after the first week or so of the contest, everyone expected it from Hillary and the DNC.  As we seen with her contest against Obama, she fights dirty, morality be damned, and everyone knew it.  Do I like it? Of course not…

Since the Supreme Court ruled on the disastrous Citizens United case, Democrats have railed against it, and rightfully so. Yet the second it benefited their establishment candidate Wall Street and Super Pac money was perfectly fine, even though they had a truly Progressive candidate promising to fight the fight they’ve claimed to want.  

Democrats have stated they want to break up the “Big Banks” since they crashed our economy, yet they ignore the fact that their chosen candidate has taken millions in “donations” from those banks for private speeches, pretending that there is no conflict of interest, pretending like it won’t affect her decision making process.  All the while a candidate promising to get money out of politics, like Democrats claimed to want, was ignored and insulted by them.

Universal Health Care has been a token Progressive wish for almost as long as the Progressive party has existed, but because their candidate doesn’t want to fight for it suddenly it’s a “pie in the sky” dream that’s “not possible”, even though a perfectly good Progressive candidate has been saying he’d fight for it with everything he’s got.

Free / affordable college tuition? Raising the minimum wage to $15?  Strengthening Labor Unions? Expanding Social Security? Ending the use of fracking (which Hillary doesn’t seem to have any issue with)? The list goes on and on… All of these things are foundational Progressive causes that Hillary and the DNC are now claiming aren’t big deals or are impossible to achieve (they wouldn’t want to make their donors angry after all!)

So to me, the Democratic party has proven, without a doubt, that they are an establishment party just as much as the Republicans and that they will go where “Big Money” tells them to go.  To Hell with struggling poor and middle class Americans.  I don’t like it, but as I said, it’s expected.  The thing that really makes me sick though, is that we had a truly Progressive candidate in the running, and supposed “Progressives” picked the Neo-Liberal, nearly Republican candidate as their nominee, all with a smug, self-centered, arrogant attitude (for the most part… There are exceptions of course).  If anything, the Democrats have shown me that they are nothing more than sham-Progressives with claimed values that are all a lie.  They had a chance to really push Progressive values forward with this Primary and instead they turned a blind eye and did what they were told to do by the Oligarchy.   They bought the lie that their candidate cares about Progressive causes and turned their backs on a real Progressive who has been fighting for Progressive causes his entire career, not just when it became politically expedient to do so.    

So what will I do now?  

First off, I’m changing my party affiliation to either Independent or No-Party-Preference.  Going forward, after this year’s presidential election, I will no longer support a party who only claims to be Progressive.  I will try and get involved in as many Progressive causes as I can feasibly get involved in, and I will vote for truly Progressive candidates regardless of party affiliation, and I urge all true Progressives who are pissed off with this Primary election to do the same.   

Secondly, for this election, which has so much on the line, I will most likely bite the horrible bullet and vote for Hillary in the general (supposing Bernie doesn’t run as an Independent…), regardless of how sick to my stomach it makes me.  Some will say I’m just solidifying the establishment stranglehold on our democracy by voting for Hillary and ask why I would vote for her if I feel the way that I do, and the answer is simply “Supreme Court Nominees.”  In my view, the next four to eight years (hopefully only four) will be a disaster either way… We will most likely be stuck in more long, drawn out wars regardless of whether Trump or Hillary wins, because they are both unapologetic warhawks (although there is a big chance Trump just puts on a show for his voter base… Here’s hoping…)  But at the very least, with Hillary, we won’t lose any Progressive gains that have been made.  In all probability, with a Hillary presidency, things will likely just stay the same.  She is establishment by the very definition after all.  She doesn’t want things to change.  LGBT rights won’t be rolled back, environmental protections won’t be dismantled (except for the fracking issue of course…) we won’t see millions of Latino families broken apart, she might even fight to close the gender pay gap,  and she most likely won’t nominate Conservatives to the Supreme Court (of course we might get moderates like Merrick Garland, which is still far better than any truly Conservative nominees…)  That is the most important thing in my view.

Progressive Supreme Court nominees are the only silver lining I can see to a Hillary Presidency, but I honestly hope I’m wrong.  As for a Trump presidency, there are absolutely no positives. Not even one.  

So it once again boils down to voting for the “lesser of two evils.”  It comes down to considering which candidate will turn my stomach the least, and in all honesty, I can never… Ever… See myself voting for a blatantly homophobic, misogynistic, greedy, racist, fraud.  At least Hillary will pretend to be Progressive. Heck, maybe we’ll even get lucky and some minor Progressive gains will be made.  At this point all I can hope for is that we won’t lose any ground with Hillary Clinton, and that if we do, America will finally wake up and realize that establishment candidates like Hillary Clinton don’t care about the American people; that they are in it for their own power, their own wealth, and nothing more.

Here’s hoping this nomination is just the dying gasp of the establishment and that the Political Revolution Bernie Sanders started will just be the beginning of a real Progressive movement that will sweep future elections.  For better or worse, it looks like we’re going to find out.

 
James Garcia 6/8/2016