Last night, I watched the first night of the Democratic National Convention. I was very impressed with the prime time speakers: Cory Booker, Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders. About the only weak point was Paul Simon; his voice has deteriorated greatly. After the speech, I did a post on Facebook, where I was asked the question: If Hillary Clinton was convicted of a crime, would I still vote for her. After my first response, where I indicated that, were that to happen, I was sure she would resign as a candidate and the party would pick someone else, I thought about it some more. Here’s the realization I came to:
This is no longer about personality. It is about positions.
Personality was significant when we were in the primaries, and we had multiple personalities with mostly congruent positions in each party. By the end of this week, each party will have a formal nominee, whether we think that person is perfect or not.
Here’s the second realization I came to:
I am congruent with the positions of the Democratic Party. I will support whatever candidate supports those positions. I disagree with the stated positions of the Republican party. I will not vote for a candidate that holds those positions. I have no agreement with the third party candidates, nor do I believe that under the current electoral system that they have candidacies that have a chance of winning a majority of electoral votes.
Irrespective of who the Republican candidate is, I cannot support the positions of the party as embodied in their platform planks. I disagree with their outlook regarding where this country is now. I disagree with their statements regarding social issues. I disagree with their plans regarding the economy and social and economic justice. I particularly disagree with the policy positions that their nominee has espoused. I do not feel they are the right direction for the country, and I could not vote for them whether it is Donald Trump saying them, or John McCain, or Marco Rubio, or even the Governor of Ohio whose name I can never spell.
I agree with the positions of the Democratic Party as embodied in their platform planks, and as supported by their nominee. I would support any Democratic nominee that supported those positions, be they Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, or even Eric Garcetti or Antonio Villaraigosa. The identified “problems” regarding the nominee will not dissuade me in this position, for the Democratic nominee is the only candidate for President that will advance the Democratic platform. This is the same way that Republicans are overlooking their nominee’s equivalently problematic issues, because they feel strongly for their platform.
Third party candidates? I’ve supported them in the past: in my first Presidential primary, I supported John Anderson. But now? I disagree with both the Libertarian and Green positions, and cannot support their candidates. In either case, however, neither have a snowball’s chance in Northridge in the summer — to win, they need a majority vote in a large number of states to win the electoral college, and their support just isn’t that strong. Want to get a viable third-party? Read the second link below on how to do it right.
If you want some more specific arguments, I suggest you read Ferrett’s posts on the subject: Oh, For Fuck’s Sake: A Gentle Talk With My Republican, Democrat, And Undecided Friends and Oh, For Fuck’s Sake: Why Your Presidential Protest Vote Is A Wretched Idea.
A parting thought. Cory Booker’s speech last night quoted Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address: “With malice toward none, with charity for all…”. What would Lincoln say today? His statement reflects Democratic ideals now: With malice toward none, with charity for all. The Republicans? They are the opposite: With malice toward all, with charity for none. Who is the true party of Lincoln today? Where do you stand: on the side of “With malice toward none, with charity for all”, or on the side of “With malice toward all, with charity toward none.”
My ethics and values align me with the former, with Abraham Lincoln’s statement, and with the values, planks, and positions of the Democratic party. I am standing with their candidates at all levels of elected office.
Note: This post is a lunchtime distillation of some Facebook status updates.