I’ve been asked a few times as to why I support Hillary over Bernie and now that she’s won Super Tuesday, I want to share with you my reasons.
First and foremost, I want to express that I bear no ill-will toward Bernie in my heart and I think he’ll make a pretty decent president. Not Hillary levels of great, but pretty good. He’s a brilliant man with a long history of progressive pushing, and he’s done a lot of good for his country.
1) I find it distasteful (at best) that he has made a long career of shirking the two-party system until it was remarkably convenient for him to be a Democrat.
Regardless of his liberal voting record, running as a Democrat allocates him privileges running as an Independent would not, including access to DNC voter databases, and ballot access in all 50 states should he win any sort of nomination. Say what you will about Hillary being a Republican in her youth, her career didn’t hinge on ever being a member of an opposing party, or bashing (and I don’t use that word blithely) the Democrats to win an election in her state. Bernie won in VT in large part because of his independent status, but when he needed to go national, all of a sudden, he loves Democrats? Sorry, buckaroo.
2) Hillary is ridiculously well-respected overseas.
Just a bit of digging reveals that people think Bernie seems cool, but when asked about Hillary, they range from “she’s the obvious choice” to “I love the Clintons and Hillary is amazing.” The Clintons (and the Clinton Foundation) are very very very well-revered overseas. When the world opinion of America is still struggling to regain any sort of respect post-Bush, it literally could not hurt to have Hillary in the White House. Added bonus: Bill Clinton making overseas trips. I try not to bring him into my arguments all that often because I respect Hillary enough as it is, but here it is an obvious boon.
I mean, this goes without saying. Call me sexist (and many have!) but taking for granted that Bernie & Hillary have nearly identical records on women’s rights, I will vote for the person who has lived the experience. She was 26 when Roe happened. That’s an educated, compassionate, brilliant woman who lived to adulthood before what we consider to be a basic human right was made legal. She’s a woman who will fight tooth and goddamn nail to keep reproductive rights in America. Plus: her history with paid parental leave, equal pay, and education. It cannot be beat.
4) LGBTQ rights.
She was late to the party on this one. It sucks. I hate her for it. She always supported federal & state recognition of civil unions, but she shirked the word “marriage” until way too late. But I like her speaking points better than Bernie’s, currently. He did vote against DADT and DOMA. He’s got that. But LGBTQ rights don’t end at marriage– and Hillary’s got me with her points about having the federal government get a better handle on the crises affecting kids, parents, and elders. These are unique issues I haven’t seen addressed by any other candidate. Bernie’s got points about trans* “bullying” (which, in my opinion, is an insultingly lightweight phrase to use!) but there’s not a whole lot there about the actual needs and protections required by the trans* community.
Oh, this is a topic that needs to come up way more frequently. Again: personally, I’d give my left arm to repeal the second amendment. But since that isn’t going to happen, I have to look to gun control legislation. And Bernie’s track record is not great. He voted against the Brady bill five different times— you know, the law that requires background checks for guns purchased through licensed dealers.
On July 15th, 2015 he said, “I come from a state that has virtually no gun control. But the people of my state understand, I think, pretty clearly, that guns in Vermont are not the same thing as guns in Chicago or guns in Los Angeles. In our state, guns are used for hunting. In Chicago, they’re used for kids in gangs killing other kids or people shooting at police officers, shooting down innocent people.”
And I think that’s bullshit naïveté. No one would ever think that a gun in Newtown, CT is the same as a gun in Chicago (per Bernie’s model) but you know what? 20 kids are dead now because of thinking like that. Also it’s more than a smidge racist, but I won’t press that part.
6) ISIS and the military.
I’m pretty much a peacenik, but again, I have to be real. For one thing: She’s a former Secretary of State. For all I– and Bernie!– can piss and moan about things, the Sec. of State knows things about overseas goings-on that I, and senators, do not know. Sanders says on his site, “We must move away from policies …that make the United States the de facto policeman of the world.” I think there, again, is a naïveté in that statement. Even if we move away from that as our policy, it will still be expected from us, and I don’t want to vote for a president that veers towards isolationism. It’s never worked in our history. Additionally (though the article is snarky as all hell) his plan to deal with ISIS sounds absurd. (One needs to recognize that the rise of ISIS is similar to that of the rise of dictators and opposition groups all across post-Colonial Africa. A lot can be gleaned from the Rwandan Civil War. And guess who had a front-row seat to that?)
Their plan is virtually the same (with Hillary being nominally better on HBCUs) but what differs is how they want to pay for it.
Hillary: This plan will cost in the range of $350 billion over 10 years – and will be fully paid for by limiting certain tax expenditures for high-income taxpayers.
Bernie: The cost of this $75 billion a year plan is fully paid for by imposing a tax of a fraction of a percent on Wall Street speculators who nearly destroyed the economy seven years ago.
But this article makes a bit of an argument that Bernie’s payment plan won’t work. Additionally, I think it’s easier to adjust existing tax laws than to create new taxes in this political climate.
8) Citizens United.
Here, Bernie is making some very specious arguments about who is and who isn’t benefitting from Super PACs. (Personally, I hate them, but since the GOP isn’t going to stop using them until you pry them from their cold, dead, lizard-overlord claws, the Dems better use ’em too. Who brings a knife to a gun fight, yadda yadda.) Bernie is technically correct when he says he does not take Super PAC money. But he does benefit from PAC money– namely, union PACs that have pledged their money and support to Bernie. Union PACs are possible ONLY because of Citizens United, and, in my opinion, are doubly evil than regular PACs because they take money from union dues– people don’t opt in to donations. It’s not a big point of contention for me, but when he gets on his high horse, I wish I could knock him off it.
9) Health Insurance.
You’d have to be a f*ing idiot to want to start that over right now. The ACA has already cost America how much money? Take what you have, Bernie, and work with it. And that’s what Hillary plans to do.
10) Wall Street.
Obviously, I have to talk about it because it’s all Bernie WILL talk about. Truthfully, the way he slings around talking about “Wall Street,” “the crooks on Wall Street,” etc. etc., is enough to make me explode. He interjects Wall Street where it has no business being. I noticed this a few days ago. Hillary has this extensive policy page about what she calls the “school to prison pipeline” affecting predominantly urban and minority youth. And then I see Bernie tweet out this ridiculous correlation about kids going to jail when Wall Street should be in jail. His language basically suggests that if you send bankers to jail, kids wouldn’t be in jail, and that’s a false correlation. But there’s no plan from him on how to tackle the over incarceration of minority youth.
But I digress.
Obviously, Bernie’s plan to overhaul banking is well-intentioned. But I have a few big beefs with it. For one thing, I need him to specify how long he anticipates the overhaul to take. New legislation (some of which is identical to laws that already exist, but again, I digress) isn’t a fast process, especially with a GOP-controlled House and Senate. Which leads to my second problem: Can he start on his path before the mid-terms in 2018? Does his plan require changing the leaning of the two legislative bodies? Don’t know.
If you ask the question on the Internet, the swarms come in to tell you that you’re an idiot. I can’t get an answer.
It has been explained to me that Bernie’s plan will be successful because it hinges on the participation of the voter. And maybe I’m a little black raincloud, but “participation” is not something we, as Americans, do well. If Bernie expects Americans to call up their banks to protest hedge fund management, that isn’t going to happen.
I’m a pretty smart broad and even I don’t fully understand hedge funds and shadow banking. Bernie uses a lot of scary words– he calls them “gamblers,” “too big to fail,” and so on. But for one thing, ALL INVESTING IS GAMBLING. To varying degrees of riskiness, investing simply is putting money up and hoping it makes you more. (If itisn’t gambling, it’s probably illegal insider trading or a pyramid scheme, so…) It’s disingenuous to say you want investors to “stop gambling.”
Hillary, on the other hand, stresses the need to actually enforce current legislation before making new laws. (Clearly, we know by now that if you want the country to screech in its tracks, the the GOP you’re introducing new laws to be voted on.) Her best piece of regulation would be to impose a “risk fee” on banks that insist on following shaky investments or carry too big of a debt burden compared to their assets. While there are banks that are “too big to fail,” Bernie seems to offer no fine print when it comes to breaking them up. For the sake of the global financial community, I would expect TBTF banks to get time to downsize or re-organize, before just coming in and busting them up. Truthfully, comparing Bernie’s bullet points to Hillary’s 5,000-word page, I’m a little more comfortable with the latter.
Ten nice little bullet points to outline all the reasons why I want to vote for the first female President of the United States.
I didn’t even touch education and stuff like that, but suffice to say,