Hillary Clinton has perhaps the most impressive resume of any candidate for President in recent history. Brilliant, respected, with a world-class education, and a career in public service that has spanned decades. On paper, she looks great.
Bernie is 74 - not too old to be President but perhaps too old to start being President. And he’s not a young looking 74. Lets just say that being Vice President under Bernie is probably not a dead end job. Elizabeth Warren, I hope you’re listening.
I’m not attracted to Bernie’s “Democratic socialism”, though I admire his commitment to his sincerely held beliefs. I certainly don’t agree that billionaires are the cause of our problems. How do you scapegoat people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg, who built great companies and are giving away 99% of their wealth?
I also don’t believe in providing a “free” 4-year college education for every 18-year-old at a time when all the knowledge in the world is free and accessible with a laptop and an internet connection.
But I’m not too worried about Bernie’s “Democratic socialism”. Why not? Because he has about as much chance of pushing his economic agenda through a Republican-controlled House as Donald Trump has of becoming…never mind.
So, Bernie is not perfect. But he does have a number of things going for him. For instance:
- Bernie and his wife never flew down to Arkansas in the middle of a campaign just so they could preside over the execution of a mentally retarded black man in order to appeal to conservative voters. Bill and Hillary did.
- Bernie never referred to incarcerated African American kids as “super-predators”. Hillary did.
- Bernie doesn't support the disastrous multi-billion dollar failed war on drugs that has resulted in gang violence, mass-murder, and the mass-incarceration of young African American men. Hillary does.
- Bernie understands that fighting wars to topple foreign regimes always has huge unintended consequences. Even after her vote to authorize the disastrous $1.7 trillion war in Iraq, Hillary still doesn’t.
- Bernie supports real campaign finance reform that eliminates our current system of legalized bribery of elected officials. Hillary doesn’t.
But for me, all other issues pale in comparison to that of elect-ability. The GOP is likely to nominate Donald Trump. In my view, a President Trump would represent a far greater threat to this country than ISIS does. That’s because World War III represents a far greater threat to this country than ISIS does.
And Bernie now appears more electable than Hillary, with polls showing Sanders outperforming Clinton in a hypothetical match-up against Trump. It’s counter-intuitive but actually makes sense in this crazy election year.
Hillary, as the personification of the political establishment, is the perfect foil to Trump’s populist, anti-establishment message. Sure, even if the FBI investigation of her blossomed into a full-blown indictment, Hillary would still beat Trump handily among well educated people in places like Boston and San Francisco. But the majority of the electorate does not consist of techies, hipsters, and socially conscious soccer moms.
There are many more angry working people of all political persuasions who would vote for Donald Trump if Hillary Clinton were the alternative. At least with Sanders as the Democratic nominee, the angry, anti-establishment vote would be split between him and Trump. Then Sanders could win by adding to his base of Sander-nistas a coalition of traditional Democrats, left-leaning independents, and the sane.
So, I can’t support Hillary for the Democratic nomination, but I will support her maniacally if she’s the nominee. Because if Donald Trump is somehow permitted to become President, we may not need an opposition party as much as we’ll need a resistance.