For example, I can tell you exactly what’s going to happen after I post this blog. I’m going to get pummeled with arguments from various people who are going to tell me that Hillary/Killary is a crook and should be in jail. (Hello, cousin Bobby and Aunt Pam! Hope the weather is nice in whatever reality you’re inhabiting today. I love you even though I THINK YOU’RE CRAZY.) But since there have already been several FBI probes and countless hours of Congressional hearings covering most of that territory, I’m not going to bother engaging in that argument with you anymore. Just like I’m also not going to engage in arguments about whether or not global warming is real.
We cannot find enough common ground on these issues to have a reasonable conversation. Please, feel free to sit there on your path of scorched earth and throw your tantrum while reading the rest of this blog.
Now that that’s out of the way …
She was my Plan B
Let me say that Hillary was not my first choice. I really loved Bernie. There were so many things on his platform that spoke to me. But it was not to be.
And let me also say that I remain pissed off at a primary system in which a few states have an unfair influence. By the time we get around to voting here in Pennsylvania, the nominees from the two major parties are all but decided. I can’t recall an election during my lifetime in which that wasn’t the case.
In fact, the Northeast Corridor of the country — the area from Boston to Washington DC — is not represented at all during the first few weeks of the primaries. Primaries begin Feb. 1. My state doesn’t vote until April 26th. New York City, which contains the city that is arguably the capital of the entire fucking world, doesn’t weigh in until April 19th. California is June 7th. It seems that the primaries are not a good representation of the American population. (See here for the 2016 primary calendar.)
But I didn’t pull a lever for Hillary in the primary, even though my vote for Bernie was largely worthless at that point. However, I said that if he wasn’t the candidate I would vote for Hillary instead.
I don’t feel like fighting her battles
But I didn’t want her. Why? To be honest, the biggest reason is that people are so entrenched in their hatred of Hillary and I didn’t feel like going through such an incredibly nasty election cycle. (Not even my sorcerer-style powers could’ve predicted just how bad it would get.) I figured that any Republican candidate was likely to enjoy a substantial bump just because he or she (she! as if …) was running against Hillary Clinton.
And I’m pretty sure that’s happening. #sorcerer
My biggest reservation was that I believed that if she were elected, Republicans in Congress would consider it a badge of honor to obstruct her in every way possible. Our current Congress has already refused to allow hearings to fill a vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. It has refused to even allow a vote on any measure related to guns. The “I’m taking my ball and going home” strategy is becoming the law of the land. (Which is something to think about on those down-ballot races … can we vote in people who might actually try to get something done instead of playing politics the whole time? HI CONGRESS. WE ARE ELECTING YOU TO WORK FOR US, NOT GET RE-ELECTED.)
However, despite all of that, I have always believed that Hillary is smart and competent. I believe that she’s done her homework. I have always believed that she has a deep understanding of the intricacies of foreign relations and domestic policies. She shows evidence of having a basic understanding of how our government works, unlike our other candidate.
But all of that? It’s abstract.
What Hillary did for me
You know what wins elections? Issues that aren’t abstract. Issues that make people feel fear in their guts and anger searing up their spines. They’re going to come into my home and take my guns! They’re going to let terrorists into our country! Foreigners need to stop stealing our jobs!!! Stop expanding government — except for abortion! And access to birth control! Why should we have to pay for all these welfare babies?
Dems are awesome at running on abstracts. Lefties like to talk policy and nuance. Righties like to talk fear and punishment. These two strategies don’t translate well.
So let me give you one concrete, non-abstract reason I’m voting Hillary Clinton.
She kept my kid out of the hospital.
Benjamin had terrifying asthma from the time he was a month old. I used to have to put him to bed in his cart seat so he could sleep sitting up. Then I’d hover over him to make sure he was still breathing. He suffered all through his toddler years.
My ex and I separated when Benjamin was 18 months old. I was only working about 10 hours a week when my marriage ended. That also happened to coincide with the the time when the publishing industry died. I was a writer/editor. There were no jobs for me. Then my marital home went into foreclosure and I was facing bankruptcy.
And my boy needed four nebulizer sessions a day. There were two different medications, one which cost hundreds of dollars per box. And sometimes he needed another steroid on top of all that when he get pneumonia (which he did, several times).
Sometimes you could hear him breathe from across the room. Like a loud, squeaky rocking chair.
I enrolled my kids in CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
I just found out during this campaign that Hillary Clinton was a driving force behind the creation of CHIP. Senator Ted Kennedy, who was largely responsible for CHIP said, “The children’s health program wouldn’t be in existence today if we didn’t have Hillary pushing for it from the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.”
I had to pay $60.55 per kid per month (I just looked it up to be sure). It wasn’t free. Poor as I was, I didn’t qualify for Medicaid. Writing those checks was hard but I was so, so, so thankful to have any kind of insurance at all. The kids were on CHIP for about eight months — from December to July — until I could afford to get other insurance.
Had I not had that safety net, my son most certainly would’ve wound up in the hospital that winter. Because I could take him to the doctor and because I could pay for the medication he needed, he got through OK. And I didn’t wind up with mountains of medical bills that I wouldn’t have been able to pay. Instead, I was able to work on building new skill sets so I could create new career opportunities for myself.
I used the safety net temporarily. I’m a white, college-educated person with a largely middle-class upbringing. I had the resources to fix my life, thank God.
I can say without hyperbole that CHIP changed the course of my and my son’s life, and it had a massive impact on the trajectory of our family.
She’s getting it done
I’m voting for Hillary not because Trump is a racist, misogynist buffoon who is far to much of a toddler to be in charge of anything, including his own Twitter account.
Rather, I’m voting for Hillary because I think she gives a shit. I think that she’s able to conceptualize other people’s struggles, rather than just blaming them for having them. I think she has a sense that when we raise up those who need help the most, we all prosper.
Also … this woman is a fighter on par with that much-celebrated American Muslim Muhamadd Ali. She has been beaten down and kicked around my entire adult life. She has been called every name in the book. She has been accused of everything from ripping babies out of mother’s wombs the day before they were due to spoiling your potato salad on Memorial Day.
But guess what? She doesn’t have time for your nonsense. Call her what you want. She’ll still be back tomorrow. She could certainly go home and take up gardening at this point, but for some reason, she keeps coming back, pushing that damn boulder up the hill inch by inch. That’s something I greatly admire.
Hillary: Thank you for what you did for my family. This white lady from the “battleground within a battleground” of Bucks County, PA, will be pulling a lever with your name on it on Tuesday.