After the dust settled from the Presidential Primaries, it was a foregone conclusion that I would be voting for Hillary Clinton. This wouldn’t be a “hold your nose” vote, nor would it be a “lesser of two evils” vote (which dumbs down the definition of evil to ubiquitousness). She is accomplished and fire-tested over 30+ years. She has a decently detailed plan for her vision for the U.S., even if that plan is a little wishy-washy around the edges. In other words, she is the consummate politician. That is not a compliment. But nor is it a condemnation. It is simply a recognition of a reality that should be obvious to all if it weren’t for the mythology that has been built around the Clintons throughout the preceding decades, only a fraction of it truthful. Yes, there are some serious head scratchers in that fraction of truth, but not a single bit of it is outside the realm of what anyone with 30+ years of public service while in the limelight of the 24-hour news cycle would find attached to themselves. Unlike everyone else running for President this year, it is nigh impossible to make the case that Hillary Clinton is unqualified to become President of the United States unless you throw a heaping spoonful of lies and deceit into your argument.
Like most Presidential elections, with the glaring exception of Obama’s first term, this would be a vote where I do my duty, choose the best person for the job, and vote. That person this year would be Hillary Clinton. Sure, there was a twinge of excitement that I would be voting for the first female President of the United States, but mostly this would be an unemotional vote for the correct choice. Then came Donald Trump. I have been asking for decades why anyone thought Trump was a good anything. Even if his businesses were wildly successful (which they aren’t), he has always been a blowhard and a bully and yet people of all spectrums looked up to this man as a paragon of capitalism. It baffles me that the sheen is still on that polished turd of a man for 40% of the population, but it feels good that he is finally being shown to millions as the horrible human being he always has been. In fact, he is worse than even I could have imagined. Republicans have been playing around the edges of the basest fears of the United States’ psyche for decades now, but Trump has cannonballed right in, gotten out of the pool, shook like a wet dog getting everyone soaked and then cannonballed right back again and repeated that cycle ad nauseum this election cycle. It’s been like a horrible accident that you can’t look away from.
Given all of the above, I have gone from studiously making the right choice to absolutely gleeful that I will be voting for Hillary Clinton. A feat, I would not have predicted going into this election. Congratulations, Donald Trump, you have accomplished the impossible. FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, BITCHES! I actually donated some money, which again is the only time besides Obama’s first term that I have done so. Hillary winning is pretty much a foregone conclusion at this point unless she gets unmasked as an alien or something equally ridiculous, but I think it is important not that Hillary win in a landslide, but that Trump lose in a landslide. I am happy that Trump has exposed this face of the United States. I think it is a necessary part of healing wounds that have festered for decades, but it is equally important for the rest of us to stand up strongly and declare that Trump is not who we are. Republicans especially need to make this clear. You may disagree with Hillary on almost every issue, but it is better to have someone you disagree with in the Oval Office than it is to have someone who cares only for himself in that seat behind that desk.
As a final aside, I made a prediction at the beginning of this campaign that Clinton would defeat Trump by somewhere close to 20% of the popular vote and an electoral landslide. It is shaping up to be an electoral landslide with Clinton decently ahead in almost every battleground state, but as to the popular vote, well, not so much. Clinton is starting to push +10% ahead in some national polls, which is still amazing, but the third party candidates are staying stubbornly strong at 7% of the popular vote, which is also amazing. Normally, support for third parties drops as the vote gets closer. There has been some shrinking of third party support, but not nearly as much as previous elections. Since this election has broken so many norms, it is hard to predict what the outcome would be if it were a two person race, but despite popular belief, third party votes tend to pull proportionally from both parties (no Nader was not a spoiler for Democrats, get over it) so if Clinton’s +10% margin continues you can assume that 55% of the third party votes would go to Clinton and 45% would go to Trump. In other words, Clinton would get a bump of around 5.5% and Trump 4.5%, which doesn’t help my prediction much. This means I grossly overestimated how many people would see through Trump’s facade. There’s still time for a miracle on that front, though, and if anyone can pull it off, it’s Trump