Why I Voted Hillary

I’m going to make my case. Just hear me out. Say what you like, disagree all you want in the comments. Just please hear me out. I am here to make the case to vote for Hillary over Donald Trump, over Jill Stein and over Gary Johnson. I’ll talk Sanders another time.

Here’s why I could NEVER recommend Gary Johnson. As a Libertarian, he thinks people should be free to grow all the medical pot they want and be free to guard it with whatever guns you’d like…in a no-wall street, no-minimum wage, no governmental interference at all world. This is the kinda guy who’d want to abolish the Department of Education and can barely bring himself to say “Gee, maybe we ought to let people take a test before they get a driver’s license”. This guy has no knowledge of real foreign policy, he’s not very SMART, and his tax plan is ridiculously stupid. He wants to eliminate all income tax, corporate tax, and abolish the IRS and wants to create one federal consumption tax. And this idea of 23–28 percent on almost all the things you buy was already looked over and studied. That can CLEARLY hurt poor people. So his solution? A prebate check each month to cover the sales tax. But a presidential advisory panel studied that. It was the “Report of the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform”, which came out in 2005. It was a bipartisan panel to advise on options to reform the United States income tax code in an attempt to make it simpler and more fair. What did it find? The single tax idea would be LUDICROUS. It would not only create a whole NEW entitlement with the prebate checks, something Libertarians don’t like, the COVER all the costs? The sales tax would have to be FAR more than 28 percent and the burden would heavily fall on the middle class.

So his plans are dangerously insane and ludicrous, he has no idea on how to implement them properly, and have you SEEN some of the stuff he’s done just to get attention? Also, when he was flat out told by a Guardian reporter that it wasn’t a matter of personal disagreement, most ECONOMISTS disagreed with his tax plans being feasible, and he basically screamed at the guy “Yeah well most people said I was stupid for embracing medical marijuana! It’s leadership”! Except POT isn’t equivalent to monetary policy. There were no studies definitely proving pot’s genuinely bad, there’d been plenty of studies of his tax plan.

Then we get to Jill Stein. She’s never really held any position of real power. She first ran for governor of Massachusetts in 2002, but finished third within a field of five. Her only successful elections were in 2005 and 2008, when she was elected and then re-elected for three-year terms as the town of Lexington meeting representative in 2005 and 2008, but she left during her second term to pursue an unsuccessful bid for governor in 2010. At first, she seems nice and dedicated but she’s unfortunately a lot like Gary Johnson in that she doesn’t really have much of an idea on how things work. For starters, she likes to claim both sides are pretty much the same.

Oh really? Hey! Dems and Repubs! What do you think about health care, education, abortion, gun control, climate change?

Dems: Oh, we should move towards universal health care!

Repubs: Are you kidding me? SOCIALIZED MEDICINE?! What next, death panels!? RATIONING?!

Dems: Funding our children is highly important. Especially in the inner cities.

Repubs: Programs like headstart and stuff? Their benefits only last a few years. Let’s cut education funding in states and beef up our DEFENSE SPENDING!

Dems: Women should have the right to choose to have an abortion, not just in the cases of rape and incest. Sometimes people make mistakes, or they want to have a child, but then after 20 weeks have passed and scans are done, it shows the child is going to have a previously-undetected malignancy and it’ll be born dead or-

Repubs: NO ABORTIONS!

Dems: We believe in common sense gun control.

Repubs: They’re tryin’ to take our guns away!? FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS!

Dems:You can’t possibly think climate change isn’t real and humans aren’t contributing-

Repubs: La-la-la-la-la! Chinese Hoax! Not real! Polar bear farts! La la la!

Yeah. They’re TOTALLY the same, Jill. But moving on, Stein goes beyond (rightly) criticizing the Obama administration’s strategy in the aftermath of the 2009 coup in Honduras by charging that then–Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave it “a thumbs-up.” Not really. See not only did the US oppose the coup, American embassy personnel tried to talk Honduran military officials out of it and to get fair elections running. They were afraid to officially call it a coup because they didn’t want to cause a kind of international incident and they didn’t want to just cut off funding to the country. Not to mention the fact that the President at the time? He’d tried to alter the Constitution to remain in power longer than he deserved, and THAT was the spark that led to the coup. Countries can forgive a lot until you cut their funding…and they also hate interfering with their elections, HINT-HINT-HINT. AND during her 2012 campaign, Stein consistently claimed that the 2009 stimulus plan “was mostly tax breaks for the wealthy.” Noooope. Sorry. Truth is? Tax breaks accounted for 38 percent of the plan, a majority of them were actually targeted toward low- and middle-income households.

And then there’s the vaccine stuff. Some of you might go “Well HRC and Obama did similar stuff!” In 2008 they DID equivocate on vaccines in 2008. But consensus has improved since ’08. In particular, the only clinical study ever to connect autism and vaccines was revealed as fraudulent in 2010. Researchers also don’t \think there is a skyrocketing autism rate like they had at the time. Fact is, HRC is the only candidate *not* to have pandered to anti-vaxers during this election cycle. But JILL? Listen to her own words. “In most countries, people trust their regulatory agencies and have very high rates of vaccination through voluntary programs. In the U.S., however, regulatory agencies are routinely packed with corporate lobbyists and CEOs. So the foxes are guarding the chicken coop as usual in the U.S. So who wouldn’t be skeptical?”

Stein expressed more skepticism about vaccines in a July interview with the Washington Post, telling the paper:

“As a medical doctor, there was a time where I looked very closely at those issues, and not all those issues were completely resolved. There were concerns among physicians about what the vaccination schedule meant, the toxic substances like mercury, which used to be rampant in vaccines. There were real questions that needed to be addressed. I think some of them at least have been addressed. I don’t know if all of them have been addressed.”

No…there AREN’T any real issues with vaccines! This is a DOG WHISTLE to anti-vaxxers the same way Trump’s remarks on how “Oh she doesn’t have a presidential look” is a sexist dog whistle and talking about the crime in the inner cities and how “they’re living in hell” is a racist dog whistle. It plays into blatant, stupid stereotypes that aren’t true. Not to mention the fact that she hasn’t JUST called for labels on genetically modified foods but to “put a moratorium on GMOs and pesticides until they are proven safe.” Never mind that scientists have studied GMOs extensively and found…my emphasis here, and remember, BERNIE SANDERS kinda felt the same way…

NO. SIGNS OF DANGER. TO HUMAN HEALTH…

But JILL STEIN would like medical researchers to prove a negative. She would also “Ban neonicotinoids and other pesticides that threaten the survival of bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.” This? A nod to the discredited theory that some pesticides are driving the collapse of honeybee populations (which, by the way, are not actually collapsing). Don’t believe me? Don’t worry, I’ve got evidence. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/07/23/call-off-the-bee-pocalypse-u-s-honeybee-colonies-hit-a-20-year-high/

Ta daaaa!

Again, this is somewhat standard stuff on the far left these days, but coming from a physician, it’s HORRIFYING! And the official Green Party platform from 2014, btw, supports “teaching, funding, and practice” of “alternative therapies” such as naturopathy and homeopathy.

…you KNOW that stuff doesn’t really work, right? As a DOCTOR you should know that!

But hey. What about her plan for canceling student debt? Surely THAT’S worth talking about! Well, her best explanation for how she’d cancel student debt was to use “quantitative easing”. She’s called it a “magic trick” and has said this is how it works: “[The bailout involved] about $17 trillion if you include the free loans. And the free loans largely got paid back. … Forget about the free loans and just consider the debt that was canceled. That was $4 trillion in the form of quantitative easing. So that’s not money that was transferred to them. It’s simply a debt that was bought up by the U.S. government, and then essentially zeroed out, canceled. So it didn’t put money in their pockets so to speak. But it rid them of all that debt that they would otherwise have to pay. So that’s exactly what we are calling for here, a quantitative easing which is not money in their pocket. It’s essentially that the government has bought up that loan and it tears up the contract. It’s over.”

Yeaaaaah.

Nooooo.

Quantitative easing was an unconventional monetary policy tool the Federal Reserve used to try and revive the economy after the financial crisis once it had emptied its normal bag of tricks. There have been vigorous debates about whether it was wise, or whether it worked. But it did not involve buying and canceling debt owed by the banks. Quite the opposite — it involved buying and holding onto debts owned by the banks (or other investors, for that matter), such as Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities. QE just swaps one type of asset (bonds) for another (money). Wall Street debt wasn’t CANCELED. Federal bailouts under TARP involved TEMPORARILY purchasing toxic assets from banks and others, purchased at above the price the assets could have been sold on the open market at the TIME. And the Federal Reserve doesn’t take marching orders from the President. That’s DANGEROUS. Trying to pack the Reserve with people you want just to print money whenever you’d like is a FLAGRANT abuse of power. It’d never happen, especially on a political level. So her plan for tackling student debt is just plain dumb, and she has NO idea on how to really implement her plan.

And now…we come…to Donald Trump.

…Donald…Trump.

…some might think I’m exaggerating how bad he is cuz I’ve disagreed with positions from people like Romney and McCain and others. Well Mr. Glenn Greenwald, I believe you’re gay, if I remember right? Tell me. How great would a ROMNEY presidency be for gay people? Yeah, that’s what I thought. They wouldn’t be good at ALL for civil rights positions and I sure as heck didn’t want them possibly putting SCOTUS judges on the bench! And Trump’s flipflopped even more than Hillary!

Yeah. I went there. I went there with BELLS on. And if THAT doesn’t convince you, nor all the disgusting things Trump’s said about Mexicans, Immigrants in general, black people and women? If THAT doesn’t do it? Lemme read off the official Republican Platform. Take a look at some of THESE lovely things.

Conversion therapy for queer kids. Let me repeat that. CONVERSION THERAPY FOR QUEER KIDS. Some members of the RNC even wanted to endorse it more explicitly than they did.

Zealous opposition to same-sex marriage. Here’s the quote: “Our laws and our government’s regulations should recognize marriage as the union of one man and one woman and actively promote married family life as the basis of a stable and prosperous society. For that reason, as explained elsewhere In this platform, we do not accept the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage and we urge its reversal, whether through judicial reconsideration or a constitutional amendment returning control over marriage to the States.”

Reversing the Obama administration’s order to grant trans students access to restrooms, locker rooms, etc. The Republicans feel that such things should be based on biological gender, not gender identity.

Treating internet porn as “a public health crisis.” Quote: “Pornography, with his harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the life of millions. We encourage states to continue to fight this public menace and pledge our commitment to children’s safety and wellbeing[.]”

Gender discrimination.

To quote Time magazine: “[T]he platform committee voted against including the word “gender” in a list of types of discrimination that should be opposed. On Tuesday, one member described the attempt to add that word to a list including qualities like race, sex and creed as a “sneak attack.”

Repeal of the Johnson Amendment.

The Johnson Amendment currently prevents churches and other tax-exempt organizations from organizing politically, endorsing political candidates, etc. Repealing it would throw separation of church and state out the window…not to mention that it would give evangelical churches and televangelist organizations much more power, driving the country further to the right.

Need I say more? Actually…yeah. I WILL. For those of you going “Well I can’t get behind Clinton, I don’t know what she stands for!” Well for one…it’s called Wikipedia. And “On the Issues”. But here’s what her actual policy positions are:

  • We already knew she wants harder regulation on the megabanks, right? Not as hardcore as Bernie wants, but in the same direction? Turns out she bundles that with a bunch of provisions to support and protect credit unions! My credit union thankfully don’t secretly open millions of accounts in the names of unaware users. Nice goin’, Wells Fargo.
  • Universal quality pre-K for every kid! That’s good, right? And paid medical leave and new-parent leave. Not just for new moms, either. Regardless of gender! Paid leave.
  • Funding childcare centers on college campuses for student parents!
  • And of course her plans for addressing autism. Note the total absence of the word “curing.” It’s all about “providing support” and “early diagnosis” and “improving access” and “increasing opportunities.” I would have REALLY appreciated more of that growing up. She’s also full of specific plans for Alzheimer’s research and treatment
  • Including supporting stem-cell research.
  • You know how otherwise work-ready people sometimes get stuck as unpaid caregivers when a family member becomes sick or disabled? Well, Hillary wants to give those people credit where credit is due. By which I mean, tax credit. AND Social Security benefits!
  • And you know the horrific unnecessary price hikes we’ve seen on EpiPens and various livesaving drugs? Think that oughta be a crime? So does Hillary. Plus she supports emergency imports of similar treatments from other countries (the ones with quality safety standards, obviously) if that’s what it takes to save lives.
  • Hillary is pro choice and stands with Planned Parenthood.
  • She supports more funding for VA mental health treatments.
  • She ALSO supports better training for police on how to de-escalate when they’re called in on a crisis situation
  • Her rhetoric about the police also hits better training to deal with implicit bias. Not everyone has open bias, OBVIOUS bias, but there can be some IMPLICIT bias in many of us we’re not fully aware of.
  • She’s in favor of comprehensive background checks for gun buying and close the Charleston loophole, combined with ending the special legal protections that gun manufacturers get when the rest of the manufacturing industry doesn’t…something Sanders wasn’t quite in favor for cuz of his state’s KINDA big love of guns…
  • Solar panels! I mean, clean energy in general, but “solar panels” is the shiniest part.
  • She also wants automatic voter registration. THAT’S handy. No more harried every-four-year drives pleading for everyone to register, even if it’s inconvenient, even if there are serious barriers in your way No more “welcome to the polling center, whoops, looks like you were registered but it got thrown out on a technicality and nobody told you”. Automatic voter registration!
  • And she wants to raise the minimum wage to $12/hr. Which is quite the improvement from where it is now. An extra buck in my pocket per hour would be very helpful.
  • And obviously the tipped minimum wage is a national shame, well guess what, HRC wants to do away with that, as well as make sure there’s fewer loopholes and more taxes for the super-rich, including the Buffett Rule and a millionaire tax.
  • She’s got a LOT of infrastructure investment plans: covering our roads, bridges, airports, dams, public transit, and Internet access, and wants to upgrade our 25 most costly freight bottlenecks. Yes. Our country had a cost issue with freight bottlenecks? ESPECIALLY Chicago. It’s really suffering.

So all that…combined with the fact that Trump’s a friggin’ dumpster fire…is why I’d NEVER vote for Trump. Why I voted for Hillary. And I wouldn’t vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson. Not just because of their positions and their bad ideas of implementing policy, but because frankly, they don’t stand ANY chance of being elected president. It didn’t happen for Ross Perot, didn’t happy for Teddy Roosevelt who ran as a Bull Moose, didn’t happen for Ralph Nader. Nope. So I voted Hillary. She was the obvious, smart choice.

And every time I hear people say the BS false equivalency that both sides are the same, it makes me wanna smack them in the face. They’re ignorant and stupid.