I’m back, here at the final moments of the game that has come to be our national presidential election. Frankly, I am exhausted, and I imagine that there are many others who are also ready for a long winter’s nap.
As you may imagine, I am voting for Hillary Clinton. I came into this as a strong Bernie supporter, pretty excited to see the lone member of my ostensible political party making a run at the big chair. While I voted for him in the primary, my support began to waver over time. My one big issue, Autism, was given short shrift in his policy documents. He talked about getting services like behavioral therapy for veterans, which is great, but there was no other mention of how he would help the average family with services or adult care. A closer look at the rest of his policies proved them also anemic. I mean, not to the extent of the republican candidates’ policies (and I looked at every single one) but there was enough “hmmm, this would require executive action or for congress to die in a fire” to give me pause.
Then it became apparent he was going to lose and I had to take a closer look at Hillary Clinton. No, I didn’t consider the third party candidates for three reasons: first, I was a Nader voter; second, Jill Stein is problematic in many ways; and finally all of the cliches about how someone would never do something unless crazy conditions are met would have to come true for me to vote libertarian. Seriously. So Clinton it was.
And then, because I can’t take anything at face value and the stories being posted about her were…disturbing, I dug into the Clinton dirt. Here’s where you would expect me to begin recounting with horror all the moldy corpses I uncovered, but the reality was nothing. There was no there there.
Remember around July as the FBI was rapping up its investigation there were articles being posted fast and furious by your friends and relatives shouting that Clinton’s aides and IT people were taking the fith amendment? “Over 100 questions they took the fifth!” Those headlines were all generated by a FOIA lawsuit filed by a conservative activist group called Judicial Watch. They were trying to gain access to Clinton’s state department emails over a dispute as to how Clinton’s long-term aide Huma Aberdeen was paid. The reason for the fifth pleadings came because the judge set the scope of discovery in a narrow fashion, and Judicial Watch lawyers would ask questions far outside the scope to generate exactly the type of headlines that were posted over and over. So when you were reading stories about the FBI investigation and people pleading the 5th they were two separate issues, completely unrelated, but they sure looked pretty bad when combined.
Then there were the DNC emails, which were supposed to contain smoking guns leading back to Clinton fixing the primaries! Working with the press directly to suppress Bernie! These emails were in fact pretty awful. They showed political sausage being made, and it was indeed pretty gross. There was bad behavior and But as far as “nailing” Clinton on fixing the primary, they fall far short of that goal.
And as to that “paper” that proved Clinton fixed the primaries? The one that was released by a mysterious organization that was not peer reviewed and had a lot of fancy statistical analysis (not from a statistician) that detailed discrepancies in exit polls yet did so by comparing two different sets of data, one of which is secret in its formulation? Yeah, nope.
The Podesta emails, while exposing more of that same political machinery, are more worrisome. Here is where I wish there was a different way of politics available in this country, as in these emails you can find plenty of evidence of an entrenched monster. This is where criticism of Clinton should start and end, not in the layers of nonsense I talked about above. Hillary Clinton’s presidency will be the same mixed bag as Obama’s. The whole reason of voting for her as opposed to Trump or any of the third parties is to continue some of the gains that we’ve made under Obama. LBGTQ rights, coal disappearing from our energy profile, the ACA, these are all a net positive that I am in no hurry to give up. But to see the same elites circling her that did Obama is disheartening, to say the least. I know she is a flawed candidate, and a master at the political game, and it’s hard to believe that real change will come from her turn as president. That’s not quite as sexy and shiny as “she’s a criminal and a liar!” but it should give people pause.
Then of course you look in the rear view and see Trump. I’m honestly confused at to what half the country is thinking, because unlike Clinton his dirty laundry is actually filthy. You can point to a mountain of lawsuits claiming he refused to pay contractors, he ran a fake university, he treats women like objects and worse, he mocks disabled people, and on and on and on. So on one hand, you have a candidate the represents the stars quo, and on the other, ???????????
It’s honestly confusing and upsetting. But soon this will be over, and this election will be half-remembered, wrongly, in the collective consciousness. Right up until the next election where someone just a modicum more charming and put-together than Trump taps into that same vein, and we start all over again.
Don’t forget to vote.
PS – I feel I should fully disclose that I am kind of excited to have a woman president. There will finally be someone in charge of laws over my body that has the same biology I do and isn’t a god-botherer! Neat.