I’m for Hilary Clinton.
All the Berners are probably calling me a big sellout right now. But Berners, I put it to you: Clinton is the real radical choice.
What could be more radical than electing a woman president? Possibly electing a black president. As a privileged white dude I’m not going to argue about which victims of prejudice suffer the most. Neither do I want to argue about the merits of Obama as president. But the mere fact of a black president has undoubtedly had an effect on the nation. If nothing else, it has dragged the bigots out into the daylight and forced us to face up to the very real and lasting legacy of racism in America. The problem is nowhere near solved, but getting some clarity is a crucial first step. Imagine if we were forced to confront insidious, entrenched sexism in the same way.
I’m really grateful to Bernie Sanders and all his supporters for speaking the truth about our economic system, and countering the strong rightward shift that has overtaken our whole political conversation for the past 20 years. I would love to see Sanders’ policies enacted. But a president alone doesn’t have that power, and congress is sure to stonewall him every second of every day. That means electing Sanders would be largely a symbolic gesture, wrapped in hope for a miracle or several. And I am all for that. But the more meaningful symbolic gesture, with more hope for miracles, would be electing Clinton.
In addition, I think Hillary would be an excellent president. She’s more qualified than any candidate in a generation. And whatever you think of her politics, you have to admire her courage. She’s seen how republicans attack a democratic president, endlessly and without scruple. She’s endured those attacks for her whole career and has to know how much worse it would be from inside the Oval Office. And as the birthers and the secret muslim believers have made Obama the target of their racism, Clinton would face the added pressure of the entire Old White Boy’s’ Club flailing to hang onto their unearned privilege. And she has shown that she can stand up to it.
Sure, she’s not Elizabeth Warren. She’s not going to break up the banks, which definitely should be broken up. She is effectively part of a political dynasty, which makes me queasy. However she is the only candidate appropriately alarmed by mass shootings, which is a big deal to me. She’s sure to uphold and build on the progress made by Obama. She has the best grasp of international politics and the biggest stake in gender equality. And she will drive the privileged class right around the bend. Yes, she is the pragmatic choice, but that’s just a bonus. Clinton is the radical choice.