To Hillary Clinton, I’m Part of the Team

In a vacuum, if both presidential candidates had said/done/tweeted nothing up to this point, I would probably be leaning toward The Orange One. That’s because I am very tired of politicians. Yes, I acknowledge that politicians are necessary in government because not just anyone can do the job. You need someone who knows how to work the system and work within the system.

Then again, the system is broken.

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If the system were a television channel.

So I would look to someone who is not a politician and wants to upset the system (or fix the antenna, at least). That person would also have to be a good manager because they would be in charge of a huge bureaucracy (and hopefully cut it down to size). We need a manager in the Executive Branch, not so much a leader. Our leaders can come from just about any other part of the government or the world.

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A leader, not a politician.

But we don’t live in a vacuum, and both candidates have said and done things. The Orange one has made it clear that I am not welcomed in this country on account of where I was born. To him, I am a rapist, my friends are terrorists, and my other friends are existential threats to American family values. To him, my wife shouldn’t be listened to because she has 0% silicon in her. To him, he and only he can fix everything that’s wrong.

This is not to say that Hillary doesn’t think that she alone can fix what’s wrong. I believe she does. She just doesn’t say it out loud. Instead, she says that I am part of her team and that my contributions will help her fix things. This is closer to the real world than what Orange is saying. If you really think about it, there is only so much the President of the United States can really do to impact our day-to-day lives. Taxes are set by Congress. The President can only sign or veto tax bills. The safety of my neighborhood is a combination of the efforts of my neighbors and I and the efforts of our local police force. The value of my home is more dependent on my local and state governments than on federal action.

And I like it that way.

Just like I did last week with Trump’s speech, I read Hillary Clinton’s speech instead of listening to her deliver it. I didn’t want to be biased by how she looked, how she sounded, the reaction from the crowd, or what the talking heads said about it. I didn’t even read the comments about her speech on the Gawker.com post.

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Don’t ever read the comments.

On the one hand, her speech was very upbeat and optimistic. It was a total contrast to last week’s speech, where the US is in shambles and we’re all going to be killed by radical terrorists. (Radical terrorists are not an existential threat, by the way. Not even close.) She emphasized teamwork and — dare I say it? — collectivism, albeit while giving individual and exemplary examples to prove her points. She explained why it is necessary for us to work together to overcome the problems that our country faces.

Hillary is right, of course. But it’s Congress that really needs to have its members learn to work together. Their collective inactions and partisan actions are tearing us apart and creating too much uncertainty. If Hillary can do as she promises and get bipartisan support for action, then sign me up. But, like a lot of people in the country, I have my doubts.

I have my doubts because of the way that so-called Republicans have been spending millions of dollars on investigating her and holding hearings about her. Were hearings necessary? Yes, but then the hearings got repetitive. They got personal. And it became clear that, like they promised when Barack Obama became president, they are going to vow to themselves and their funders that they’re going to do everything in their power so her presidency fails.

I’m also convinced that Hillary has made some strange allegiances in her time in politics. She may very well owe some favors to people who don’t have our collective best interests in mind. Or she might owe favors to governments who don’t have the United States’ best interests in mind. And that’s worrying.

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But I do agree that college shouldn’t be the only way to success. Plenty of people make good livings and contribute mightily to society on only a high school degree, or training in a trade. My house would have fallen apart a couple of winters ago if it wasn’t for a plumber. Dad helped raise me while working fixing cars and machines and placing insulation on oil containers. My cousins drive the sweetest rides while working as welders and technicians. And a lot of men and women help us study public health in comfort while cleaning up after us at the school.

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I also agree that going to college should not leave you with a mountain of debt. I agree that we need to get to work on climate change immediately, increasing the use of solar and wind power and decreasing the use of hydrocarbons (i.e. oil). Though I disagree that government alone should fund these endeavors. Instead, the government should make it easy (with less regulations and more incentives, more seed money) for private companies to take these alternative energy technologies to market.

As far as national security, it may seem like I don’t care because I’ve told you that there are other more pressing problems (like heart disease, diabetes, and malaria) killing more people than terrorism. At the same time, I am well aware that terrorism has the uncanny power to disrupt economies. I’m aware that Putin’s Russia wants to be made great again by meddling with the sovereignty of other countries, or even invading them. And I am aware that China has big plans for the Western Pacific.

This is where Trump’s ability to manage kind of doesn’t account for much. Here’s where the Commander in Chief needs to have experience in international affairs. While it may not be the right experience (ISIS ran amok and the “line in the sand” was stepped over and over by Assad), Hillary has the experience of being Secretary of State. It’s not an easy job. It can’t be. Pakistan could have lost its collective mind after Bin Laden was taken out on Pakistani soil by American soldiers. She was there to guide the diplomatic effort to smooth things over.

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Finally, from seeing the cast of (non-celebrity) characters who came on stage at the convention and who she is likely to have in her cabinet and brain trust, I’m not worried about her handling of things if she becomes the President. I am, however, very worried about the management of things if Trump becomes the President. With her shortcomings and failures (personal and professional), a second Clinton Administration that doesn’t push nationalism and xenophobia is palatable.

So I guess I’ll hold my nose and vote.

(I’ll review the Green Party and the Libertarian Party candidates’ speeches at a later date.)

  1. The orange one, a bag of distilled vitriol, divisiveness and loathsome ideology, who, were he to be shot in the head, would suffer a mere flesh wound.
    We’ll suffice it to say, anyone who is endorsed by the KKK, is not a candidate that I could vote for. Indeed, he’s a national embarrassment.
    So, I’ll eventually decide, either hold my nose and vote for Hillary or write in Bernie. I’ll probably hold my nose though, lest we get the orange one with his hands able to access the nuclear football.*

    *Used figuratively, as the nuclear football is only used when traveling. When on Air Force One or in the Oval Office, it’d only be a telephone call.

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    1. Hold your nose. At this point, sadly, there is no viable third alternative.

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      1. Are you trying to tell me that Bugs Bunny pulled out of the race?!?! πŸ˜‰

        Yeah, I’m uber ready to hold my nose. Not that I’d actually need it, my sense of smell is negligible. To the point of actually being resistant to food poisoning, as I can’t detect the smell of spoiled food.
        Doctor did so much cautery to stop nosebleeds that that sense is long gone. :/
        But, at least, when everyone is doubled over, crapping themselves and vomiting copiously, I’ve been experiencing squirts bad enough to require mere Imodium and helping everyone out.

        Still, I do recall a very real case when an entire battalion of men were sickened by undercooked eggs, served well outside of safe handling conditions, where I used a significant amount of the battalion’s Imodium and the flatulence resulted in the evacuation of a line company of 200+ men, despite their illness – from three meters away, me on the outside.
        And every word was indeed the truth.
        Yeah, it was quite unpleasant. For one and all.
        But, we followed the epidemiologist’s questionnaire and the anticipated results were reported. This resulted in a cook being demoted to infantry.

        Fort Drum, a National Guard cook, recently brought in to serve his remaining contract years to the Navy, to a US Army NG infantry unit. He had the odd idea of cooking eggs in the 20 gallon prep pot that eggs are usually broken into, then decanted for cooking, in significantly lower quantities. The Marmite containers used to deliver food to those troops in the field, infamous for their lack of ability to deliver safe temperature foods.
        Yeah, that sucked a lot.
        And yeah, I farted outside of the barracks, resulting in everyone piling outside, as it was extremely hot outside and every window was open.
        Not really one of my better moments, but quite humorous in retrospect.
        Well, for me. I couldn’t smell it. Even money, they’d try to strangle me, a decade and change onward. Couldn’t blame them, I do barely recall what a sense of smell was like.

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  2. β€œIt comes from a very ancient democracy, you see…”
    “You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?”
    “No,” said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, “nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people.”
    “Odd,” said Arthur, “I thought you said it was a democracy.”
    “I did,” said Ford. “It is.”
    “So,” said Arthur, hoping he wasn’t sounding ridiculously obtuse, “why don’t people get rid of the lizards?”
    “It honestly doesn’t occur to them,” said Ford. “They’ve all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they’ve voted in more or less approximates to the government they want.”
    “You mean they actually vote for the lizards?”
    “Oh yes,” said Ford with a shrug, “of course.”
    “But,” said Arthur, going for the big one again, “why?”
    “Because if they didn’t vote for a lizard,” said Ford, “the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?”
    “What?”
    “I said,” said Ford, with an increasing air of urgency creeping into his voice, “have you got any gin?”
    “I’ll look. Tell me about the lizards.”
    Ford shrugged again.
    “Some people say that the lizards are the best thing that ever happenned to them,” he said. “They’re completely wrong of course, completely and utterly wrong, but someone’s got to say it.”
    “But that’s terrible,” said Arthur.
    “Listen, bud,” said Ford, “if I had one Altairian dollar for every time I heard one bit of the Universe look at another bit of the Universe and say ‘That’s terrible’ I wouldn’t be sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.”

    This election has made me care about voting reform more than any other issue. First-past-the-post is pretty much the worst possible system and what locks us into this stagnate, partisan hell that we find ourselves in today (to say nothing of how busted the primary system is or how undemocratic the electoral college is).

    It doesn’t have to be this way. It wouldn’t be so bad if the Republicans weren’t so intent on burning this country to the ground. Scorched earth is not a good political strategy. But, our broken voting system enables their bad behavior and leaves us citizens with little recourse.

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