Before 2016 I had several chances to vote for one of the Clintons — including Hillary’s first senate run in New York — and did not. My reasons for never voting for a Clinton amounted to:
- Bill said Kenny G was his favorite saxophonist. If true, he has terrible taste. If untrue, that is pandering of the worst kind.
- Hillary said, to a crowd of New Zealanders, that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary. Considering she was born in 1948 and Sir Hillary peaked Everest in 1953, this seemed unlikely. Liar!
- Bill, criticizing an opponent, pronounced the word “chameleon” with an “sh” sound: “shameleon.” What kind of psychopath does that?
You see: reasons.
Now that I am older, I still think Bill is a scumbag and I’m glad I never voted for him.
But I voted for Hillary in the Texas primary and will vote — several times if I can get away with it! — for her in the general election in November.
I came to this decision after a bit of soul-searching and also because I want to avoid the apocalyptic hellscape of a Trump presidency.
“But what about Bernie?” no one has actually asked me.
Nowadays in my soft, middle years I have the bleedingest of bleeding hearts and my politics align pretty well with Bernie’s. (Except on guns, which I believe should be dropped into a volcano along with the Second Amendment.)
So…Bernie’s fine. I still voted for Hillary.
Yes, it was a pragmatic choice and not one I would have made when I was younger. Younger me would totally be on the Bernie train. Younger me hadn’t had his heart broken a half-dozen times by other can’t-win candidates. Younger me was also more of a misogynist. (Imagine if a rumpled old lady came onto the scene shouting exactly what Bernie shouts. We’d hold our noses at her old-person smell and she’d slouch off to eat cat food from the can.)
If I were a single-issue voter, climate change would be that issue. Climate change is the largest threat to our species and we are failing to do anything about it. It’s so much worse than most of us think. None of the candidates are talking about it enough; all of them will compromise with the oil industry if given the chance. We will continue digging up dinosaur fossils and lighting them on fire until it is too late.
But I would rather have Hillary in office making half-measures on climate change than see Trump reverse the scant progress that has been made. Worse: There is a non-trivial chance Trump would spark a nuclear war, rendering climate change moot. In other words, I’d rather our civilization die slowly than quickly. I want my kids have long lives with breathable air. (God help them if they breed.)
Why am I posting this? No one reads my blog or cares about my political opinion. There are pundits and essayists who are much more passionate and articulate about all of these issues.
I’m writing this because liberals like me tend to sit on the sidelines and assume everything will be okay; that in the end Americans aren’t suicidal enough to elect Trump. But history is full of characters like Trump who were called buffoons and whose rise to power caught people off-guard. I’m done sitting on the sidelines. If we Americans elect this fascist, at least I’m on record denouncing him.
Now… go vote for Hillary.