If you have not been keeping up, this election has been out of the ordinary, to say the least. From email scandals to Twitter feuds to Hillary Clinton “dabbing” on the Ellen show, we have seen things in this election that have never before occurred in our history.
But now, with the primaries behind us, and the general election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump barreling towards us, I can say, “I’m with her!” Or at least I think I am.
With under two months to go, I’m still not sure what to make of the Democratic candidate. In the primaries, I was a staunch supporter of Bernie Sanders. His policies on affordable education, public healthcare, racial and economic equality and climate change drew me to the candidate. I thought that maybe, here was the New Deal for our generation, one that would see a cleaner, healthier and more equal society and country for our future.
But Bernie was no match for the Clinton Machine. Hillary’s 2008 primary battle with then Senator Barack Obama, helped her prepare for the match up with Senator Sanders. This time around, however, grassroots campaigning and fundraising was not enough to get Senator Sanders the Democratic nomination like it did for President Obama.
Now, I’m not saying that Hillary isn’t extremely qualified for the position, she is. She has served as Secretary of State, U.S. senator from New York and first lady of Arkansas. She was a practicing lawyer and an activist.
And I’m not saying that I disagree with some of her policies. I support her initiatives to end campus sexual assault, her ideas to reform the criminal justice system and her goal to expand public funding of K-12 education.
It is just the other things I have an issue with.
First, Secretary Clinton says she wants to tax large corporations fairly and protect small American business. But according to a February Wall Street Journal article, charitable donations reveal that the Clinton Foundation received donations from large U.S. corporations whose interests Hillary Clinton was supporting in her role as Secretary of State. Some of these donations came before, after, and both before and after Clinton negotiated major trade deals on these companies’ behalf.
I also take caution when it comes to Secretary Clinton’s stances on issues such as LGBT rights when she has only recently come to support the movement. As recently as 2004, then-Senator Clinton stated, “I believe marriage is not just a bond but a sacred bond between a man and a woman.” (You can watch her speech on C-SPAN’s website.) And she never officially reversed her stance until the Supreme Court’s landmark marriage decision in 2015.
Of course, Bernie and Hillary aren’t the only two I’ve had my eye on, Jill Stein and the Green Party has a platform that I can nearly fully support. The Green Party supports a full transition to renewable energy by 2030, the right to work and unionize with a livable wage and benefits for every job and a cut in the military budget by 50 percent.
To me, that sounds like a dream. But like most third-party runs, this one truly is a dream. At the end of the day, I have to vote with my conscience: do I support the candidate with ties to big business, the one who appears to change their minds on issues based on public opinion? Or do I vote for the one who does that plus hundreds of other things that I disagree with? For me, the choice is clear. I’m with her.