We knew it was coming. It was as inevitable as entropy and half as comforting. Hillary Clinton has thrown her hat into the ring again, and of course all the familiar voices are chiming in. On the so called Right you have the apoplectic pundits retching their disapproval in comical theatrics (seriously, I don’t think I ever laughed as hard at a New York Post front page.) Among “liberal” Democrats you have those already getting fitted for their Hillary Clinton cheerleader costumes well before any other Democrat has declared their run for the nomination. The media has, without coming out and actually saying so, already declared her the winner, so why should anyone else run?
I mean, besides the fact that we really need someone else to run. I cannot for the life of me understand why those who claim the title “liberal,” with all they tell you it means to them, could support a Clinton run for the Democratic nomination. This is a woman who voted for the Patriot Act. She voted to support the war in Iraq. She undermined health reform, once her pet cause, once she got into the Senate. As Secretary of State she helped shape interventionist policies that led to tens of thousands of deaths, that led to the state sanctioned murder of innocents in foreign lands. She has shown no inclination to undo the decades of deregulation that have left a majority of Americans living on the brink of poverty all to enrich a literal handful of people. She is, at best, a centrist candidate and I refuse to be excited about her running for office simply because she does not hate my queer, tranny ass.
Already, of course, her fan base is raging against the left. How dare we challenge the chosen one? The rabid nature of their support would be almost acceptable were it the summer of 2016 and she had the nomination in the bag, but it is not and she should not. I get wanting her over any one the GOP has to offer right now, especially those who have actually declared or suggested their candidacies, but she is not the only Democrat out there and she is far, far from the best.
How can we already be throwing our support for yet another centrist Democrat when their are people like Alan Grayson, Al Franken or NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman out there? Grayson and Franken are old school liberals who have shown a willingness to fight for both economic and social justice. Schneiderman may not be as liberal as either of those men, but he is more liberal than Clinton, and furthermore showed a willingness to take on the powerful even though it might cost him. I would throw Kamala Harris, even more liberal, into the ring as well for the same reason as Schneiderman, but at the moment she is running for the US Senate in California. Our loss is California’s gain (though at least we will have her in Washington.) Those are just four names I pulled off the top of my head without doing a search of any sort. Imagine who we could find if we actually took the time to look.
The response from the Hillary camp, of course, will be “well they can’t win.” Not if that is your attitude, you are absolutely right. If you cannot get the energy to get behind, canvass for, call and talk about any of those candidates the way you would Hillary, then no, they cannot win because you are not doing your part. If you are not willing to support a real progressive just because some strategist whose fortune depends on maintaining the status quo tells you they cannot win then you are at best a tool and at worst a liar. If you cannot get excited for an Alan Grayson why should I believe you are actually a progressive?
Listen, I know Hillary is a better choice than Ted Cruz, or Santorum, Huckabee or whatever other Ayn Rand worshipping bastard the GOP will try to get in the White House. That doesn’t mean she should be our first choice. She should have to show us she will fight for progressive ideas, and talk the talk and walk the walk among other progressive candidates. Just handing her the keys to the car means she can drive it where ever she wants. Tell her we might give the keys to someone else, and she will drive it where we want to if we end up giving them to her. If you honestly call yourself a progressive, liberal, leftist, whatever, you will want someone to mount a legitimate challenge against her on that sort of platform. That way you give her notice you want her to adopt a platform at least close to that. Oh, and on that “they cannot win” note, if Hillary cannot stand up to a legitimate primary challenge, what makes you think she can win the general election?
The 2016 election season is just beginning, it is way too early to declare any winner, and it is definitely too early for those who want to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves to throw in the towel. Hillary will only get my vote if she proves worthy of it, right now, that is not the case. She has not proven it to me, and if you are honest with yourself, you will realize she has not proven it to you. Make her.