Hillary Clinton: a choice that matters, and to which there is no viable alternative
For the first time in its 126-year history, the Arizona Republic has endorsed a Democratic presidential candidate. For the first time in its 34-year history, USA Today has made an endorsement of sorts — a negative one, with a positive nod toward no candidate but a plea not to vote for Donald Trump. “Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he lacks the temperament, knowledge, steadiness and honesty that America needs from its presidents,” the USA Today editors concluded.
The corporate liberals who run The New York Times and the neocons who dominate the Washington Post have been savaging Trump for some time, as could have been expected. Many Republican national security policy makers have also raised an alarm about the man.
So should that be a sign that those of us who were skeptical about NATO support for Portuguese colonialism between the bloc’s foundation and the mid-1970s and look askance at the alliance’s moves up to the post-Soviet Russian borders ought to take a fresh look at Trump, who vows to end the “attack on one is an attack on all” principle of that Cold War institution? Were he a pacifist or an isolationist, it would be a different set of calculations. Trump would go around the world attacking other countries with the rest of the world standing back appalled — the lack of solidarity and empathy cuts both ways and in a belligerent person or nation the pariah status that such an attitude creates is particularly dangerous. Antiwar voters who fear that Hillary Clinton may be an incurable warmonger have nothing to gain from the Trump alternative and everything to lose by casting a protest vote for a third-party candidate and passively letting Trump into the White House with a narrow plurality. Abolishing, abandoning or altering NATO might be reasonable propositions to consider, in consultation with the other members. Turning US foreign policy into a shakedown racket, whether to make Eurpeans pay the bloated Pentagon budget or to make the Mexicans pay for a pharaonic and futile wall would be a catastrophe. You see, some alternatives to a widely and reasonably despised established order would be changes for the much worse.
Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green candidate Jill Stein deserve a respectful hearing and after their campaigns are footnotes in history Americans would be well served if some of their better ideas are picked up and championed by mainstream politicians. Johnson, a former governor, is not nearly so clueless as his widely publicized senior moments of memory loss make him appear to be. Stein, who has never held public office, might serve herself and her movement well by getting elected to a public office that’s realistically within her reach. But notice that Johnson’s and Stein’s respective weaknesses show up in more virulent form in Donald Trump. Stein doesn’t know the ropes from personal experience, but she has a sober and realistic view of how the US government works and some proposals to change some of that. Trump seems to think that he can snap his fingers and things will be done, but acting out such a fantasy would lead to a constitutional crisis in short order. Johnson has spells of being at a loss to identify names and places, while Trump’s convenient “memory lapses” are nothing of the sort, but rather crude attempts to deceive.
Thus so many Americans who may dislike the woman, or who might find her pleasant enough even as they reject her ideas, are left with one viable option, Hillary Clinton for president. With Clinton, the solace for those who have this or that objection isn’t just that Trump would be worse. It’s that some semblance of a rational public discourse would continue, in which well meaning people could affect the course of events and build movements for their various causes during a Clinton administration. Under a Trump administration such folks would be on the run from a lynch mob.
The choice that Americans face at the top of the ticket — including US citizens living abroad, who have the right to vote and should use it — may not be the happiest one for everybody. But from Bernie Sanders to George H. W. Bush there is an emerging consensus. Hillary Clinton is the only candidate for US president who might win and who can actually do the job.
Bear in mind…
What hurts and discourages is to be ignored.
Clara González de Behringer
The revolution wasn’t great for what we did, but more for what we didn’t undo.
The art of winning is learned in defeat.
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