Just to be clear, the very first piece of “evidence” you presented against Clinton was her participation on the Wal-Mart board of directors. A position where the very article you cited underscored Clinton campaign’s own “pragmatic” framing of her candidacy. She fought strongly for some things — namely environment and women’s rights — while punting on others (unions/labor).
That was your opening salvo. Your first chance to really hook the readers (Clinton supporters) who you are ostensibly speaking to, and you presented a piece of evidence that was doomed to reinforce their already held beliefs about Clinton being a champion who picks her spots so as to have the most positive impact. A pragmatist to her core. It’s, frankly, shocking to me that anyone would try to use Clinton’s inability to enact significant change with regard to labor/unions while serving as one of 12 board members for a company with one of the most vehemently anti-union positions in the world. It’s mind-boggling. And the fact that she still fought for important issues would suggest that yes, she does care, but also understood that her best path to affecting change was to remain on the board, rather than being removed for being a stubborn liberal ideologue who couldn’t be trusted to do anything but stump for her own personal politics.
The interesting part about that whole situation is that Sanders would never find himself in that position. His supporter would argue that it’s because he would never be willing to compromise his beliefs so, and they would be correct. But the other side of the coin is that he would never get that invite because the board would know exactly what they were getting.
Which brings me to the heart of that argument — what’s better? Being stalwart in your beliefs because you are convinced of their importance to the degree that they are harder to come by because you won’t (can’t) work with anyone who sees things differently? Or being flexible on some beliefs at certain times, knowing that said flexibility will allow you to fight more relentlessly for other causes?
I would posit that neither is better. Both are noble and valuable in their own ways, and like so many choices we make throughout our lives, there is no perfect solution. Sacrifices are made with each approach. Which is why it’s so frustrating to continue reading arguments from Sanders supporters that boil down to the righteousness of their candidate and positions. That demonize the idea of accepting the bitter pill of compromise and picking battles as “not caring” about the electorate.
I have to admit, I opened this article with my curiosity genuinely piqued by the headline, and then only further intrigued by the well-reasoned opening paragraph pointing out that if Clinton is the best candidate, she should be capable of standing up to some intellectual scrutiny and opposing view. I agree. But what I ended up reading is a deft repackaging of many of the same arguments I’ve read from Sanders supporters before. Well, it was the first time I’ve read the argument that Sanders can be effective because of the example laid out by T. Roosevelt 100 YEARS AGO, but the meat of vast majority of the arguments were all very familiar sounding.
And here’s the thing — both Clinton are Sanders are good candidates. Supporters of either who insist on tearing down the other candidate to make their case are completely lost. And I don’t mean they are both good candidates as a surrogate for “they are both NOT TRUMP”. I mean they are both good candidates who value progressive thinking and have different perspectives on how to be effective in Washington. I don’t think Washington is something you can win without playing the game, and I think Sanders does it too — just in different ways than Clinton.
I have already voted in my state’s primary, so at this point, my opinion on the matter is academic. But I will enthusiastically go to the polls in November and cast my vote for whichever candidate wins the Democratic spot on the ticket.