Like Susan Sarandon, some of us would have a hard time voting for a corporatist with trust issues

If Bernie Sanders lost the primary to Hillary Clinton, would I vote for Clinton in the general election? The only honest answer I can give is I don’t know. Yes, I said it. The reality is that I believe Bernie Sanders is the best choice for the Democratic nomination this election year, especially against a Republican candidate like Trump or Cruz. If he lost, though, I find it hard to commit myself to voting for Hillary Clinton.

Susan Sarandon made news recently because of her statement that she was unsure whether or not she would vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump if she became the Democratic nominee. It’s complicated, but I don’t think Sarandon is entirely wrong. It’s hard to speculate whether a president Trump would bring about a revolution on the left, as she stated, but it has to be acknowledged that there are many policy differences with Hillary that make progressives mistrust her.

Now, before I get a wave of attacks from the Hillary crowd, let me explain first: I live in Louisiana. Louisiana is a deep Red State that will vote for the Republican no matter what. There is little chance of any Democrat, whether Hillary or Bernie to win Louisiana in a general election. Because of this I, as a personal voter, have more leeway to vote or not vote for the Democrat because Louisiana won’t be won by one.

If, however, you live in a swing state that can go either way, like Ohio or Florida, should you vote for Clinton if Sanders loses the primary? Well, the answer would have to be yes you should. It’s a painful thing to admit, but the election is too important to risk having a President Trump or Cruz. A corporatist would be much better than a fascist, but not in a good way. Sort of like asking whether or not you want a tooth pulled with or without Novocain. However, in the end those whose vote really matters, they must make the less painful choice.

I’m sure Hillary supporters are scratching their heads, thinking this is total hypocrisy. How can I say I might not vote for Hillary, yet tell others they should? Well, it’s based on my own feelings, for sure. I speak for no one else but myself in this regard. As much as I mistrust Hillary, I also have to accept practical reality. She could win the Democratic nomination, and if she does, then I would have to ask liberals in Swing states to support her over a fascist like Trump or a theocrat like Cruz.

As I’ve mentioned, I live in a deep Red State that will go to the Republican regardless. Me voting for Hillary Clinton would be nothing more than symbolic. It’s not symbolism I support, either. The fact is, I do not prefer Clinton as a candidate, and I think if she was matched against someone like Trump the election would be far rockier.

It’s not easy for me to say, but Hillary would be the lesser of two evils. The fact is, I don’t trust her as a candidate. Hillary has many policy issues that I find troubling, and this includes her constant shifting of opinion. No, Hillary supporters, these are not right-wing lies or smear tactics. These are the facts, like them or not.

The fact is: Hillary voted for the Iraq War when it was popular. She changed her mind when it became unpopular. Hillary was against gay marriage when it was popular. Now she claims she’s always been for it, when marriage equality is popular. Hillary was against a pro-corporate bankruptcy bill when her husband Bill was president. When she was elected to the Senate, and funded by special interests, she voted for the same bill she once opposed. It’s not just the flip flops. Hillary also voted for the PATRIOT Act, and generally supports the surveillance state that has been built up since 2001. Hillary was a strong proponent of the operation in Libya, which has wreaked disastrous results on that country to this day. Hillary certainly gave a rather hawkish speech at AIPAC which was not reassuring in this regard.

Hillary has even bragged about being a centrist, and does not seem to encompass a vision as far reaching as Bernie. Hillary has even said herself that she isn’t pushing too hard on progressive issues like Bernie. Hillary has been skeptical of Medicare for all, $15 and hour minimum wage, and has been as clear with her intentions toward Wall Street. She takes money from them, and has been for a long time. There’s a reason why Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs calls Bernie “dangerous”, rather than Hillary, because Bernie actually has an encompassed vision to break up the power of the big banks, and his record matches consistently. That is not a right wing lie.

I mention “right wing lie” because I’ve seen Hillary supporters on social media make the claim that questions on her record and progressive consistency are literally right wing lies. I have even seen cases where Hillary supporters claim Bernie is a secret Republican.

The fact is, I don’t just support Bernie because I think he is more progressive than Clinton, but also because I think he is the stronger candidate against someone like Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. Particularly if Trump wins the nomination, we could have a big problem if Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee.

While Trump is a revolting character and has many flaws, the one card he has up his sleeve against Clinton is probably the most crucial this election cycle: Trump can run as an anti-establishment candidate. Whether Hillary supporters or the Democratic establishment want to believe it or not, 2016 is going to be an anti-establishment election. Hillary Clinton cannot make the case she isn’t part of the main Democratic establishment in Washington. Trump can, which gives him one crucial advantage.

While Trump has big weaknesses, he does have the ability to say he isn’t part of the DC establishment and that he isn’t beholden to special interest groups. In fact, in some areas, Donald Trump says things that sound pretty liberal. Whether he’s genuine or not, Trump has come out on opposition to trade deals like the TPP, said he wouldn’t cut Social Security or Medicare, and has been able to position himself as an independent candidate from the DC establishment. Trump is a wild card, and he has ways of flipping the election against Hillary in a way he can’t against Bernie.

The dynamic of the electorate has changed. If Hillary became the nominee, I may or may not vote for her. Yet, my state will never swing to the Democrats in a general election, so I have the ability to say so. If I was in a state where it mattered, I probably would suck it up and vote for her. Understand, there are real differences I and many other progressives have for her, which is why this debate is raging. Hillary has some trust issues, and there is a record fueling this mistrust.

28 COMMENTS

  1. Let’s see how much better this country will be under republican rule. Stay home and guarantee the Republicans to absolutely further erode the hard pressed rights we worked hard to achieve. So be proud that you honor your philosophical beliefs, and when we lose so much more than we would ever lose with Hillary in charge, you can be proud that you helped to erode them.

    Maybe you should vote for Trump or Cruz if Hillary is the candidate. I mean she might lose, but maybe the Republicans could throw you a few crumbs as a reward. Because under them, it might be difficult to find even a few scraps.

    I guess Democrats who stay home really didnt want health care and voting rights anyway.

    • If the party bosses hand us Hillary, the membership should write in Bernie. The Wall Street Democrats have betrayed us because they are corrupted. It may be time to form a new party, the Progressive Party, and let the DNC wither away and join the Republicans, their natural allies.

  2. I vote in Florida, a swing-state…. I’m actually lucky enough to have the Honor of Both NOT voting for Hillary, and Voting for Bernie (even if I have to Write him in) and voting Against Debbie Wasserman-Schutz and FOR Tim Conova in their up-coming Primary.. But NEITHER Hillary or Schultz would EVER get my Vote in the General… I Vote FOR Bernie, and Against the DNC and the Republicans… I am not Voting For Trump.. I am Voting against the establishment, including the 1% (which include Trump & Hillary)… If Any other than Bernie gets elected, including Hillary, I forsee nothing but continued tragic decline of the USA, the Middle Class and Peace or Inclusiveness. NOTHING will convince me of anything Different.

    It Bernie is not the Dem nominee and Hillary is not Elected in the General, it will not be MY fault… It will be YOUR Fault for Not supporting Bernie and making the Republican’s Election inevitable, as ONLY Bernie consistently beats ANY Republican in the General… Not Hillary… So YOU Supported the Loser… Not Me !! Those are facts… Not a HillaryBought delusion.

    A death by 1,000 Cuts (Hillary) is just as much a Death as a Slash across the Throat (Cruz)… For the Betterment of the Country, a Revolution is called for…. If the death in inevitable, Better the Slash and the sooner New Beginning. (Trump does not scare Me… and the Constitution protects us from his Ignorance about his powers as President, and the Law. Hillary and Cruz Scare ME!!!)

    • You should be scared by Trump. As far as being protected by the Constitution, plenty of constitutional rights are being stomped on daily; maybe not yours, yet. As long as Trump plays nice with the powers that be, there will be few with the guts and principles not to go along.
      And don’t believe too much in metaphors, re the “death by a thousand cuts” analogy.
      Lastly, polls are fun and interesting, re who Bernie can beat etc, but I think tea leaves might suffice, or maybe the shape of a sheep’s liver.

      • Barry >>> I have a Brain and so Trump doesn’t Scare Me… as I stated Cruz and Hillary Scare Me… Hillary will stick a knife in your back and blame it on You…
        Trump is a Buffoon… Just like Your Opinion… Full of Hot Air and devoid of Fact!
        Come back when you have some Facts… Your opinion impresses me even less than does Trump!
        Your attempt to act as a literary critic impresses me least of all… To paraphrase … “He who has No Facts and a worthless opinion, can only criticize.”

  3. It funny, but you rarely hear the opposite…that a Hillary supporter would vote against their best interest and go for a Trump or a Cruz over Bernie. I think the difference is a matter of maturity. No one candidate is perfect, so you have to make an intelligent decision, rather than the emotional, knee-jerk one I read so often in far left screeds such as this one.

    • If Hillary supporters shared mistrust and policy differences with Sanders, they would be well within their right to do so. I expect people to vote based on the candidate, not the Party, which is what gets lost here. Very few Bernie supporters would vote for Trump or Cruz. It’s not a emotional knee-jerk. Hillary is problematic to progressives who want a complete overhaul of the DC establishment. No one thinks Bernie has a magic wand, but he will at least fight for important issues like Medicare for all, $15 an hour minimum wage, free public college, and the relief of student loan debts. Clinton has a shaky record, and also is much more hawkish than Obama on foreign policy which many progressives distrust. These are facts, not smears, and it gives many progressives reasons not to be enthused by her candidacy. We need a consistent fighter for core progressive principles, not a lip service progressive who might at best merely continue the Obama policy of incremental change.

  4. I agree with you completely. I don’t think I could bring myself to vote for Hillary if she is the nominee (I have voted for every Democratic nominee since Mondale). Here in Indiana, like your Louisiana, my vote won’t make any difference anyway. Clinton would be unlikely to seriously campaign in either state, and even if she had a chance to win either that would indicate a massive landslide and she wouldn’t need either to win in that case. I like how you call a hypothetical vote for Clinton as symbolic. If I’m to cast a symbolic vote, it should be someone who aligns with my beliefs, and that’s not Clinton.

  5. I am completely baffled by Bernie supporter who would give their vote to any Republicsn, especially Trump…especially any woman, after yesterday’s news. I also firmly believe that Bernie would be extremely disappointed, and aghast, at the thought.

    • Never said I would vote for a Republican over Hillary. Once again, my vote for the Democrat would be nothing more than symbolic because Louisiana will never be won by the Democrat. Hillary doesn’t need my vote to win, so I’d rather leave my option open as to whether I’ll vote or not. I can’t fully commit to voting for a nominee I don’t feel would be the better choice. Hillary would only gives us more piecemeal changes, and won’t do the drastic reforms needed to rescue our democracy back from oligarchs.

  6. It will certainly be a hard choice to make if Hilliary is the candidate.
    What I have a hard time wrapping my mind around is how stubborn the people are in the “red states” who refuse to “wake up and smell the coffee” so to speak.
    Like you I know that either a Trump (actually his name is Drumpf) or a Cruz (and he is not even eligible as a “natural born citizen” under the correct definition of that rule [law]?) would be a great danger to our democracy.
    What we really needed is a mass awakening (educating) of those that continue, in the face of overwhelming evidence against deserving their votes, to vote for the people that will hurt them the most.
    I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how this primary season turns out.
    Until then, I’ll make every effort to know what the options and dangers are and will cast the vote that is most likely to put another democrat in the White House.

  7. This is idiotic. I prefer Sanders, but HIllary has a lot of strengths. She is smart, cares about women and children’s issues, has international experience and is well-connected. She is a million percent better than Trump or Cruz. Many of the “lies” are lies by Republicans and witch-hunters who tried to find a case against her, but were discredited. Again, she’s not my preference, but I will vote for her in a heartbeat if Bernie doesn’t win the primary.

    • No, I don’t work for a corporation. Even if I did, this article does not make the case that corporations are inherently bad. Their ability to buy our political system is the problem, and Hillary has a shaky record for me to be convinced she would do something about it.

  8. I think Hilary is the best candidate by far, except for all the lies about her. She has fought for equal rights for everyone, most of the attacks on her are similar to Benghazi : a bunch of hocum. Hardly anyone even thought about gay marriage until recently. My gay friends were committed to each other, sometimes for decades but , even they were surprised by the marriage debate becoming so mainstream.

    • Funny, because Bernie Sanders has supported marriage equality from the very beginning, while it seems Hillary only did so when it was political convenient. She flat out opposed gay marriage until the polls shifted. At least Bernie is able to stand by a conviction, even if its not popular at the time.

  9. There’s no way to be polite about it. If you’d stay home and help enable a Cruz or Trump presidency, you’ve lost your mind. Lesser of two evils is a fact of reality. Wake up and smell the coffee.

    • My vote for the Democrat in Louisiana is nothing more than symbolic. Hillary nor Bernie would win Louisiana, so my vote wouldn’t help anyone win unless I was voting for the Republican, which I will never do. It’s only the reality if we don’t change it. Instead of settling for an evil, overturn the apple cart and vote for the good.

      • Firstly, I rather wonder what “overturning the apple cart” conjures up for you, as a matter of political reality. Secondly, by not voting against the overt demagoguery of Trump or Cruz, you render yourself effectively silent – and effectively in assent. Poor choice.

        • Overturning the apple cart means sending a direct message to the DC establishment that the traditional games of crony capitalism buying our political system is over. Electing a president who will take the extra step and break up the big banks, someone who will fight for Medicare for all, $15 an hour, Tuition Free Public college, and someone who won’t compromise away the future of America with Republicans. I vote in favor of who I believe is right for the country. A poor choice only from your vantage point. I have real issues with Hillary, and I don’t trust she would fight to break the spine of money in politics the way Bernie would.

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