Bernie supporters are angry. So angry they staged a walk out at the Democratic National Convention when Hillary Clinton’s nomination for the Democratic Party’s presidential ticket was formally announced.
Bernie supporters are angry and they have a right to be. The man they supported and believed in, who they thought would be the best pick for the 2016 Democratic ticket, was undermined by his own party. The Wikileaks prove it. There’s no denying the facts.
Bernie supporters are angry and that’s okay. Expressing anger is a healthy reaction in situations where one feels they have been slighted, ignored, purposefully not heard.
So yes, Bernie supporters are angry. As they should be. However, as a twenty-three year old millennial who is paying closer to attention to this election than any of the five other elections that have happened in my life time, I am seriously worried about how their anger will affect the outcome of this election.
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I do not identify as a Democrat or a Republican. I have been and always will be politically moderate. I identify with portions of both conservative and liberal ideologies. I believe in voting for a candidate who is the best fit for a given office, regardless of their party orientation, and am not opposed to voting across party lines.
All this said, I usually don’t express my political believes on the internet. I believe my political beliefs are my own business and my own concern. Today, however, I am making an exception to that rule. Today, I am discussing my own political beliefs on the internet for the world to see…because I believe it needs to be heard. Because this 2016 election the most important election recent history. Because I wouldn’t feel right keeping silent.
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This election year, I will be voting for Hillary Clinton. I will be voting for Hillary Clinton not because she is a woman (though hey, as a young woman myself, I do think that is pretty damn great). I will be voting for her because I strongly believe she is the best qualified candidate for the position. Hillary has gotten a lot of flack lately, yes. Most recently for the way she has utilized her State Department e-mail account–but also for political slights and policy missteps that she’s made throughout her political career. Because she often comes off as cold, uncaring, and dare I say it BORING while addressing the public.
People have found every which reason to despise Hillary, to tear her down–and yet she’s still standing. She’s still standing after four decades that included eight years as First Lady in the White House, eight years as Senator of New York, and four years as Secretary of State. Politics is nasty business and when you’ve spent the majority of your life as a high profile figure in the political sphere, people will find every which reason to dislike you. Especially when you’re not afraid to speak your mind, to tell it like it is, to get shit done. Especially when you’re a woman trying to break boundaries in a man’s world–a man’s world where men still secretly yearn for a pre-nineteenth amendment, pre-Feminine Mystique, pre-woman’s movement society.
Hillary gets shit done. She pushes boundaries and she tells it like it is. Regularly. As a woman. And damn, I respect her for that.
The American people love a big personality. Hell, most people are drawn to big personalities–personalities who can make impassioned speeches and inspire people. How the hell do you think Adolf Hitler was elected as Chancellor of Germany in 1933? How else is it possible that Donald Trump went from being America’s biggest political joke one year ago to the Republican Party’s official nominee for President of the United States? Hitler had the rhetorical skills and gumption to inspire a crowd. So does Trump.
Hillary Clinton does not.
Hillary Clinton is talented at many things–but rallying and inspiring a crowd? Eh, not really.
Perhaps if she was friendlier, she would be more likable.
Perhaps if she said the right thing at the right time instead of appearing smug, more people would be “with her”.
Maybe if she didn’t have such a long history in high-politics, making all of her grievances and mistakes pretty damn accessible, she wouldn’t be perceived as such a monster.
Perhaps–dare I say it?–perhaps if she had a penis and some balls, her whole political history and her apparent lack of charisma wouldn’t matter. After all, what political figure doesn’t have political baggage? After all, we can’t possibly expect every public figure to be an outstanding public speaker. I worked in residence life for three years in college and, more often than not, the best resident assistants that I worked with throughout that time didn’t wow a crowd with their speeches–but they sure got shit done and made their resident’s feel safe and accepted in their floor communities. There is more to a leader than the way they speak publicly.
There is so much more to a person than how they portray themselves on the outside. There is also so much more to a person than their history.
I am voting for Hillary because she is easily the most qualified candidate for the president in recent history. Because she knows her shit and she believes in her cause. Because she may not come off as the the most caring candidate in the world, but she is sure as hell way more invested in her cause than Donald Trump ever will be.
Furthermore, I am voting for Hillary because a third party candidate is not an option in this election. The Democratic Party is currently divided and Bernie supporters are mad.
Perhaps I’m a bit over dramatic in fearing a Trump presidency–perhaps nothing too terrible will come out of it–but I sure as hell don’t want to find out whether or not that’s true.
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One of the most telling instances for me about this year’s presidential election came earlier this year in the form of a personal experience. From my baby brother, in fact. Well, I should say my baby brother who is now a head taller than me and a good deal more of a talker than I am (he’s the extrovert to my introvert in the family). When my brother, a political science student who is known for his conservative take on politics, announced earlier this year that he was probably going to vote for Hillary, I knew this election was unlike any other in recent history. Of course, I was aware of the historic nature of this election before he stated that, but to hear those words come out of the mouth of someone whom I have only known to espouse Conservative ideals–well, that just reaffirmed everything I already knew. This election is different. This election is history in the making. My brother, who I can safely say understands the nature of politics better than the average American (he certain understands the nature of politics better than myself), knows that Donald Trump isn’t a good candidate. Racist and xenophobic notions aside, Donald Trump wouldn’t make a good politician. He also knows that though he may not agree with Hillary Clinton on a lot of issues, she is the only other option.
A lot Trump supporters have chosen to support him because they believe we need new blood in politics. Even those who aren’t sure about Trump but still despise Hillary say we need new blood. When will those Clinton’s just go away? Isn’t it about time for some new faces in high-profile, national politics?
The thing is, this isn’t the year for new blood. The thing is, this is actually the year where America is fucked. Where, after a string of horrific instances where policemen have murdered black citizens with guns, the importance of black lives and the rights and responsibilities of police officers are at the forefront of the nation’s mind. Where Congress is so fucking divided that they refuse to approve a new Supreme Court Justice until the next presidential term. Where we, along with the rest of the world, are becoming more increasingly nationalist, xenophobic, and hateful towards people who don’t look like us or think like us. What kind of nation and world are we living in? What are we going to do about that?
This isn’t the year for new blood because the new new blood on the table is a racist, xenophobic, businessman with more failures under his belt than successes; a racist, xenophobic, businessman who, rather than bringing intelligent and engaging points to the table, openly discusses his penis size in national political debates. You know what, though? even if the new blood was a promising choice, I would still vote for Hillary. Because we desperately need a leader who knows how to maneuver the political sphere; a leader who is rational, who uses her resources, who is willing to talk to people to work towards accomplishment rather than talking at people.
Hillary will do that.
We’re too close to having that racist, xenophobic, failed businessman in office to consider any other options.
2016 isn’t a year for new blood. It is not a year for third parties.
If 2016 becomes that, though, it will certainly become four years of Trump.
So to those people out there who refuse to stop feeling the Bern–I respect that. But I do hope you let your anger subside in the coming months. I do hope you really truly consider who you will be giving the power to when you cast your vote in November.