Guest post from Ruth Thompson, a very active Clinton volunteer
I’ve observed something during this election cycle that I’ve never seen before. We have an amazing candidate for president, arguably the smartest, most experienced and qualified candidate in my lifetime, and many Democrats are afraid to express that sentiment out loud.
It’s complicated, I get it. We’ve just come through a caucus/primary/ lead-up to the Democratic National Convention that was extremely contentious from the minute the candidates declared until the minute the DNC was officially closed. Supporters of Bernie Sanders are going through a grieving period and many of them are angry.
I also understand the reluctance for supporters of Hillary Clinton to celebrate our candidate the way we should. Many of us want to unify the party and avoid offending Bernie supporters at all costs. Many of us have experienced hateful vitriol from all sides.
I’ve heard all the reasons why we shouldn’t support Hillary Clinton. Here are my brief responses to them:
She’s not progressive enough:
She’s was progressive before progressive was a thing. She began to distinguish herself as an activist and yes, a progressive (albeit a Republican) at a very young age. As early as grade school she advocated for uniforms in her school and often wore her Girl Scout uniform to school to make a point. She believed that uniforms would help ease class distinctions because children whose families couldn’t afford expensive clothing would look the same as everyone else.
One of her earliest jobs was in a fish-processing plant in Alaska. This job was short-lived: early on she spoke out about sanitation issues and poor working conditions and was fired.
- Her first job was with The Children’s Defense Fund
- Remember the Clinton Health Initiative: Universal Health Care, people! In the 1990s.
- Her activism on behalf of women and children across the world is renowned.
- Her plans for raising the minimum wage and combating climate change are stellar
Let’s be real. She and Senator Bernie Sanders voted alike 98% of the time. We all agree on where we want the country to go. She simply takes a more measured approach to how we get there.
People grow and learn over time. Through this process they change their views. I certainly have. I admire people who evolve, examine their positions and admit when they’re wrong. I worry about people who refuse to consider other viewpoints.
She’s a liar/criminal/BENGHAZI!!!!:
Folks, we’re all smarter than that. Those are republican talking points. The far right has been making these claims for 30 years. Thousands of hours and millions of dollars have been wasted investigating Hillary Clinton. Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay, Rush Limbaugh have dedicated their lives to bringing her down. She’s been investigated every which way but loose. And they’ve found nothing, zilch, nada.
She voted for the Iraqi war:
The following is a very brief portion of the statement she made on the floor of the Senate Chamber prior to the vote. Google and read the entire statement and decide for yourself if she was “for” the war.
“This is a difficult vote. This is probably the hardest decision I have ever had to make. Any vote that may lead to war should be hard, but I cast it with conviction. … My vote is not, however, a vote for any new doctrine of preemption or for unilateralism or for the arrogance of American power or purpose … [It] is not a vote to rush to war; it is a vote that puts awesome responsibility in the hands of our president. And we say to him: Use these powers wisely and as a last resort.”
I fear that our seeming lack of willingness to praise our candidate may be costing not just us, but the nation. There is the perception that Democrats are not enthusiastic about our candidate. We may be experiencing the consequences of that through low volunteer participation and tepid absentee ballot requests. So I’m going to just come out and say it: I’m unabashedly, loudly, proudly unreservedly supporting Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president.
by Ruth Thompson