It's time for a female president.
I want so badly for that type of leadership, temperament and strength running our country.
But I have to vote with my heart as well as my head, and being a progressive I have only one choice in the primary, and that is Bernie Sanders.
Hillary is a lot of things, some I love, and some I strongly dislike (all policy based, none personal), but one thing she is not is a progressive.
Should she win the party's nomination I will wholeheartedly throw my full support behind her campaigning, monetarily, and using whatever voice I have both on social media and within the world as someone who has a larger audience than the average dude on the street through what I've been lucky to achieve artistically, but until that time that she is the nominee, I'm feeling the Bern.
As a longtime fan of his I identify with his support for working families, concern for the P-word (The poor, a word most candidates fear not say lest the Republicans say they support a welfare state), his sensible foreign policy, his criticism of corporate greed and Wall St, his looking for a workable but humane reform of immigration, concerns for the environment and education, and most of all his support of a single payer health care.
True our current president whom I greatly admire is not so progressive himself in some areas, and his presidency has been nearly lock-step with Wall St., HOWEVER, in my opinion he has been able to enact legislation that is moving the country towards where I think it needs to go, and though a center-left candidate and President, he's managed to do great things for women, the LGBT community, working class families and all of us of progressive and liberal persuasion. (Kagan, Sotomayor anyone???).
If his presidency is followed by 4-8 years of a Democrat in office his legacy will be cemented and he will go down as one of the greats, ESPECIALLY in the face of the opposition, disrespect, and constant obstruction of the tea party and the right wing who have all fallen in line to de-legitimize him every step of the way, even going so far as to call into question his nationality. Truly astonishing.
There are those who think that a vote for Bernie is the same as Ralph Nader, but that's a false equivalence.
Bernie is running as a Dem in the primary, and how he stacks up against Jeb is a separate argument, but I can't vote in fear, I have to vote with my conscience. Bernie is the one I most identify with in a blind quiz of policy and beliefs, Bernie is the one I've always respected, and Bernie is the one who speaks for the underdog, the 99% and most of my generation.
If you told me that should he win the nomination, Bernie could not beat Jeb and we would have Republican rule which would possibly get to appoint a Supreme Court Justice and seek to wipe away all of Obama's accomplishments and what they've done for the average American, then I would take pause.... but again, I can't vote in fear, and we've spent too long in the 2-party system voting for the lesser of two evils and look what we've gotten......
An endless war against a shifting and ever-evolving enemy we can't possibly "defeat", the largest disparity between the rich and poor in history, a divided country, a whole party who puts immediate gain and lobbyist interest above empirical evidence of climate change and one who choses religious text over science every time, a Congress frozen in paralysis, special interest and gerrymandering at the local and federal level, and the list goes on....
I didn't vote for Obama because he was black.
He ran to the left of Hillary and when I heard him spoke and met him I wanted him to represent our nation, so neither can I vote for Hillary because of her gender, not when there is a VIABLE candidate to the left of her whose values I closer align with.
Again, should she win the nomination, fantastic, I'm in.
Regardless of her past, shady dealings in Arkansas, her hawkishness and near neo-con foreign policy, (not that far from the Obama doctrine, I should add), her corporate and Wall St. ties, and the way Bill tried to inject race into the primary to make Obama seem like he couldn't possibly win (I cannot WAIT to see what John Lewis finally tells us when he dishes on what transpired in 08!).
Regardless of any knock you can throw her way (and not the personal, unkind attacks her enemies and the right have which are usually sexist and baseless), I will support her and help her win the presidency. Yes she acts like it's hers to lose and she's earned it, yes she can be abrasive (what presidential candidate hasn't! - also a very sexist-tinged argument which is dangerous), and yes she is not a progressive.
But she is a Democrat, and I cannot see my country go to the hands of the Republican Party and it's lack of concern for the poor, minorities, the LGBT community and the 99% of Americans who aren't funding their endless campaigns and filling their coffers. We need education, training, infrastructure, social programs, THE EPA, immigration reform, to support unions, to make sure pensions and Social Security aren't privatized, to stop military spending, gun control, to become more isolationist and rebuild America before we police the world, and to restore the middle class.
And the Supreme Court? Does Scalia need another ally? That's my biggest fear and greatest issue for me.
The same judicial activism the right accuses every Obama and Democratic appointee of showing and what they witch hunt for in the hearings is EXACTLY what Scalia and Roberts practice every time they put on the robes, and I'm sick of it.
With church burnings, racial tensions, police declaring war on black Americans, income inequality, education being 3rd world in most US cities, climate change reaching milestones we were warned of YEARS ago when we had time to change it, a shifting, ever-browning electorate and civil rights finally being granted to all, it is time for America to have a leader who can guide us through these times which though not as perilous as the financial collapse Obama walked into, is every bit as terrifying and even more so in many regards.
I sincerely hope that this country heals and grows together and not further apart, and that is exactly what will happen if a Republican is elected in 2016.
For my generation, for my family, for the future of the country I love, I'm voting Bernie and most importantly, I'm voting Democrat.