I’ve avoided talking about politics over the last six months or so, because well, I’m a Republican that is going to vote for Clinton and a lot of the people I know are voting for Trump.
I just can’t do it, even before the recent madness. None of the people that I know personally that are voting for Trump are racist, and this includes some of my nicer and more thoughtful friends and relatives. But I do consider Trump to be a racist, and in Ferguson we don’t use that word lightly. There is no other way to characterize his avid support for the Birther movement, among other positions.
Often there’s a kernel of truth in what Trump says. We do need secure borders. Our trade agreements should protect our interests. But then he takes that kernel of truth and, over and over again, wraps it in racism. There’s a line in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” I still think it’s one of the greatest ideas in history, and I still believe in it. I don’t think Donald Trump does. In my mind that alone disqualifies him from being our President.
On the other side, I just don’t find Clinton to be all that objectionable.
She has always seemed, to me, to be a pragmatic, triangulating centrist. I have friends that say they are voting for Trump to keep Hillary from naming left-wing Supreme Court Justices. Maybe. But I have a hard time thinking that Clinton is going to nominate anyone other than centrists, middle of the road judges – she will still have to get them through a Republican Senate.
I also have a hard time believing that Trump would actually nominate the judges on the list he circulated. He has a forty-year history of making promises to business partners, banks, investors, vendors, and then going back on his promises. If he actually won, is there any reason to think he would live up to his promise on the judges? It’s easier for me to believe that if elected he would decide to stick it to the traditional Republicans that weren’t enthusiastic for him, just because he can.
Benghazi, to me, seems like a made up issue. She wasn’t responsible for overseeing security for the compound and when the State Department did ask for additional money for security Congress said No. Yes, the Administration withheld information on the attack and maybe even released misleading information. But governments do this all the time. President Eisenhower’s administration denied U2 flights over Russia until one was shot down, to name just one example. I understand that if more information had been released sooner it might have helped Governor Romney’s chances. But I have a hard time getting mad at Secretary Clinton or even the Obama Administration for playing the game of governance the way it’s always played.
The email server doesn’t bother me either. Members of the last Bush administration regularly used private email addresses to conduct official business and yes General Powell did use a private email server and recommended the same to Clinton. Like Powell, Clinton might have been occasionally careless, but they weren’t sending nuclear launch codes or troop movements, they were emails about alliances and affairs of other governments. Yes, she used her private email exclusively, and yes this can be seen as proof of her sense of entitlement. But all politicians seem to have a sense of entitlement. And if entitlement really is a disqualifier, is anyone actually suggesting that Clinton has a greater sense of entitlement than Trump?
I’ve certainly voted for Republicans I was less than enthusiastic about just because they had the R by their names on the ballot; I do take party loyalty seriously. But for me this means a loyalty to a set of core beliefs, an approach to governance. I actually find that Clinton is much closer to many of the beliefs I hold dear, far more than Trump. So as strange as this sounds, in this twisted election I believe I am voting for the best Republican in the race – I’m voting for Hillary Clinton.