I’m with Hillary

hillaryclintonCongratulations to Hillary Clinton, who last night all but sealed the deal on becoming the first woman to be nominated by a major party for President. (There have been other women at the top of the ticket for minor parties, beginning with Victorial Woodhull, who was chosen to lead the Equal Rights Party back in 1872, before women could even vote!)

Is Secretary Clinton a perfect candidate? No. She comes with a lot of baggage, including the ongoing shadow of her husband’s sexual misadventures, and questions surrounding her use of a private email server during her time at the State Department. She’s also more hawkish than I’d like, and has shown a level of hubris that I find unbecoming and potentially hazardous for someone who soon may be the most powerful person on the planet. But she’s spent decades as “senior advisor” to one of the most successful presidents in recent history; served eight years as a Senator and four as Secretary of State. If you don’t think she’s qualified, please stop reading now and don’t bother emailing me.

I suppose this is as good a time as any to confess that I ceased being a Libertarian several years ago, and have embraced the Democratic agenda as by far the best option in creating a free and prosperous United States. While the libertarian ideal of minimal government and maximum personal freedom still resonates with me, I have come to believe that the kind of laissez faire, every-man-for-himself, I’ve-got-mine-now-you-go-get-yours, devil-take-the-hindmost “society” envisioned by American libertarianism is unproductive, unrealistic and destructive to American progress. Plus, the Libertarian Party (like the Republican Party, but for different reasons) has become hopelessly infected with crazy people: gun nuts, racists, gold-standard fetishists, etc. The details of my “Big-L” Libertarian estrangement are a conversation for another time.

Bottom line: I’ve come to believe that it is acceptable (if not entirely ideal) to force people to do things and pay taxes for things they may not agree with, in order to achieve a far greater good for society at large. And I’ve come to believe that the Democratic Party is onboard with the project of creating a better America, while the Republican Party is hell-bent on dragging us back to a time when white men were at the top of the food chain, women stayed at home with the babies, blacks knew their place, and homosexuals were welcome to skulk in the shadows. Thanks, but no thanks.

Frankly, I voted for Bernie Sanders during the primary, seeing him as less corrupted and more idealistic than Hillary Clinton. But I am by no means Bernie-or-Bust. I’d much rather see Hillary in the White House than the fascist salesman she’s going to be running against. If Hillary is the lesser of two evils, it’s in a very unequal equation.

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