A year ago I expressed my support of Hillary Clinton (see below). I find today that the reasoning holds, that less has changed than one might think. I still greatly admire Bernie Sanders and support his ideals. What I find lacking in his campaign is a method of realizing his ideals. There has not been the predicted outpouring of support for him among the Democrats. He has not won over minority voters, without whose ardent support winning the general election is impossible for a Democrat. His democratic socialism is something I believe in strongly; but I don't believe the American electorate has an understanding of it. On the contrary, most Americans other than those right out of college, fear socialism. By contrast, Hillary Clinton has strong minority support and her method of governing, in my opinion, would be more successful. She represents both socialistic ideals and some capitalistic ideals. Without saying so, she is philosophically not far from Bernie Sanders on the economy and social programs. She will win the nomination, I believe, and the general election.
Sources of Information on HRC:
The Well Deserved Presidency of Hillary Clinton
("The argument that the two parties are the same is so tired and wrong. Be smug and superior and stay home and let the country go to Hell, right? Great. What difference does it make to the poor, the unemployed, the victims of war, those whose civil rights are trampled? Take a look at the records of Bernie Sanders, John Lewis and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren; then tell me they are no different from Rick Perry, Ted Cruz and the like ! Get real. If you can elect a Green Party candidate or a socialist, fine. If not, please don't turn the country over to the Tea Party." --from a FB Thread)
Why on Earth should I support and vote for Hillary Clinton for President if she is the Democratic candidate in 2016? Is she not supported by corporations? Is she not too one-sided for Israel against the Palestinians? Has she not voted for war repeatedly while I am a pacifist? Doesn't she represent everything wrong with American Politics, it's dependency on money and polls, its deception, its continual crafty appeasement of special interests, its desire for power? Isn't Hillary no different from her husband, in the final analysis?
Oh yes, all those criticisms have some truth and validity. There are plenty more we could make, too.
Whenever there is a presidential election in my country, I think of Plato's critique of Democracy. The reason I think of it is because of all the blatant flaws in democracy he discusses in his dialog from The Republic. Never was this more obvious than when we elected Ronald Reagan. Even an actor may become the leader in a democracy, Plato wrote. People are swayed by personality, false promises, the candidate's looks, the most absurd and empty traits of popularity. Sound bites trump substance. Watch the debates.
Then there is our economic system: capitalism. How great it would be for the country actively to support socialism, even the limited socialism of Bernie Sanders, or Scandinavia. But the vast majority think democracy means capitalism, that business checked or unchecked is good. The Democratic party is where our few true democratic socialists reside. The Republicans are for unrestricted capitalist greed, especially that of the oil companies.
Right now, the U.S. electorate is ready for a woman president. Yes, there will be some who will say-- A woman yes; but not this one. But they are the minority. Hillary Clinton is the one who can win right now; and most of us know this. She will have to posture herself to meet the Platonic requisites of popularity and appearance; but she could win.
Hillary, in my view, is not "the lesser of two evils." She has stood for many positive causes in our society, notably Universal Healthcare. She is on the side of same-sex marriage as opposed to Republicans who are adamantly against it. She fights for voter rights rather than voter suppression. She has a favorable record on dealing with climate change. She would select Justices for the Supreme Court who do not believe corporations are people. Before you say she's the same as the Republican opponent in 2016, check her record below against any of the likely Republicans:
Hillary Clinton- http://www.ontheissues.org/hillary_clinton.htm
Donald Trump- http://www.ontheissues.org/Donald_Trump.htm
Also read this excellent editorial: Paul Krugman has been a supporter of HRC for the past year, and has endorsed her enthusiastically. Here is his endorsement from a year ago. I have admired his intelligence for years.
(note: this was before the entrance of Donald Trump into the Fray.)
One final point I'd like to add is that family dynasties of elected leaders are not intrinsically bad. It is what they do and the principles on which they stand that count. President John Adams's son John Quincy Adams served as Monroe's Secretary of State before becoming President himself. And do I need to mention the Roosevelts? The 8 years of Bill Clinton's presidency were prosperous for our country and much good was achieved. Our participation in world events and conflicts was successful and honorable. The Clintons' principles and ideals are vastly superior to those of the Bush family. I am dismayed by the tunnel vision and narrow focus of some of those on the Left who cannot see the horrors that would result in a Republican victory in '16, horrors for the environment, for civil rights, for likely war with Iran, for making our country more theocratic, and for selecting up to 4 hard right Justices to SCOTUS. But it isn't the lack of democracy that imperils us; it is democracy itself where the uninformed, the selfish, the narrow minded, and the blindly religious vote, while many others who would vote center or left, instead choose not to vote at all or waste their votes on write-ins or third party candidates who have no chance of success... Plato warned us of the drawbacks of democracy where false promises, popularity, personality, and ignorance have a big part to play in determining who the leaders are. I dare say the problem is a universal one; not that of the U.S. alone.