There are a million reasons why this Bernie supporter is with Hillary Clinton, and it’s complicated. Hillary Clinton is a human being, she has demonstrated superior knowledge, a grasp of foreign policy, and shown an aptitude for listening to all of the facts. She has erred on the Iraq war, on her decision to set up a private email server, but upon closer examination, they are not disqualifying events at all. They only serve to qualify her even more for the highest office in the land, which is the presidency.
Why so? She acknowledges her decision in the Iraq war was a mistake, but it was a lesson in not trusting intelligence so blithely, and a lesson not to trust the Republican President. She has said it was a mistake and deeply regretted it. With the email server, the closer I looked, the more I understood why she did it to avoid the right-wing investigations, but it was a mistake in setting up such an email server. Transparency is best, and ironically enough, her released emails showed her to be a thoughtful, caring human being. I want a President who is cognizant of where she has succeeded and failed, and Hillary Clinton is that person.
The State Department emails revealed a Hillary Clinton who sincerely wanted to improve foreign policies, safeguard American interests, and listened to all of the information she was receiving. It showed her to be a smart, capable, and caring Secretary of State. Now, may she have been too deferential to donors? And were the ties murky with the Clinton Foundation? Maybe, but that in itself is not disqualifying at all.
When you run such a Foundation with an ex-President, you’re bound to be the target of the right wing, much innuendo, and a lot of gossip. It’s hard to operate at that level, which is why the Clintons and their White House must be completely unwound from the Clinton Foundation when she is in office. I think this is best done with Chelsea Clinton assuming complete control of the Clinton Foundation, and I don’t agree with it being shut down.
No matter what Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton do with or without the Foundation, they will always be targets of the right wing, and under constant partisan attack. Many of the Clinton White House aides will be under such attack as well, which is why perhaps every new White House staff should have a lawyer on hand. I don’t envy the Clinton staff. They’ve worked hard, and are constant targets of the racist, sexist, and bigoted alt-right.
The Podesta emails may have infuriated many of us, but many of the emails during the primary season are those you’d find in any campaign with a primary opponent in many legislative races. It’s not a scandal to plan to attack your primary opponent, strategize on speeches, and write press releases or design marketing campaigns against your primary opponent. After all, the goal of the primary is to win, and she won.
Bernie Sanders even said himself that there were similar emails of that nature in his emails during the primary campaign. In primaries, you root for your team, you plan to beat the other team, and you celebrate when you win. You curse when you lose. That’s how politics is. I’ve played that game and know how it goes. So I am not bothered at all by what was reported in the Podesta emails.
I had to laugh in reading the Podesta emails because it shows a team that is smart, aware of progressive pushback, and where to step carefully on issues. It shows that they’re responsive to pressure, and that’s a good thing. You want a team and a candidate who is responsive to citizen advocacy and pressure from the traditional Democratic groups.
Will they listen all the time? No. Will they push back in some cases? Yes. Governing isn’t easy, but it doesn’t mean that we give up. They are there, and they are willing to listen, and to know that our input truly matters to us and to them. That’s democracy in a nutshell with an active citizenry, not a complacent citizenry. Bernie Sanders gets it. I do too. Many of you do too as well as activists.
Hillary Clinton is an amazing person. She’s complicated. She’s had to navigate many decades of sexism, constant villification by the right wing, and I do believe she has sincere goals for our country. She may infuriate me at times with her incrementalism, but she’s smart, capable, and can lead. She is the candidate we need to win the White House and to lead our country.
She’s not perfect, but she will be a damn effective President, and that’s why I’m with her.