To My Dear Friends Who Are Planning A Vote for Hillary…and Why Not to Do it

12670854_10201108825278577_1453264367604627456_nOne of the largest misrepresentations of this election is that Hillary Clinton has earned her right to be President. Hillary pundits will tell us that she has experience, and more importantly, that she is a woman. So important. The time has come for the United States to have a woman President.

Agreed. The time has come. But not this woman.

I see so many of my bright, beautiful friends being sucked into this illusion.

I feel as if I am back in 1968, and we have a choice for a Democratic nominee—Eugene McCarthy—the man who would end the war in Vietnam, the nominee who would open the door to the possibilities of a new culture, the candidate supported by the youth of America. Activists took to the streets of Chicago with the words: “the whole world is watching”, and indeed, the world was watching to see which way the scales would tip—would the corporations and munitions factories, Dow Chemical and Monsanto, continue to make millions off the war, or would we be able to bring the young men home and move toward establishing peace in Asia? Instead of hope and an end to war and special interest groups, we got Hubert Humphrey a defeat in the General Election, and Richard Nixon as President.

It would be difficult to put into words the enormous hope we had for creating a better world in the sixties, and for the election of someone who would change the world along with us.

When I look at the youth of our nation rallying around Bernie Sanders and his stirring message of possibilities, not only for this country, but for the future of the world, I see that same hope arisen in a new generation. “According to NBC News/SurveyMonkey’s latest weekly tracking poll (January 12, 2016), Sanders has captured 68% of Democratic voters under 24 years old, while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a lonely 26%.” A vote for Hillary and her “things will go on just as they are” policy, is to take hope from our youth.

In 2008 I voted for President Obama because I knew that Hillary had voted for the war in Iraq, the worst foreign policy disaster in our nation’s history. The fact of this disaster, then and now, cannot be over emphasized. Hillary simply did not have the courage to do the right thing, afraid a “no” vote would be political suicide after 9/11. She had her eye to this moment, to the Presidency. It would have taken a great deal of personal integrity and strength to say “I know this is simply a war for oil.” But Bernie had that strength of character.

When we went to war in 2011, I left my home in suburbia and for the first time since the seventies, marched in protest in a giant gathering in San Francisco. Our smaller group marched alongside Friends of Father Bill O’Donald from St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Berkeley. Father O’Donald had recently passed away, tired after numerous stints in jail for refusing to return at-risk immigrants over to immigration to be deported and killed.

We all knew what the Iraqui war was about—a way for the Chaney bunch to steal the oil reserves they had been craving for the oil companies. We knew, even those of us who had been buried for years under children and schoolwork and volunteering in the schools. And Hillary did not?

She knew.

Why is it Hillary is the last to jump on board the bus for the common good? Like in every other case in which she has “evolved” her position, she lacks courage, integrity, and character. Nor is her desire for power a small motivator.

Hillary at one time supported the Keystone Pipeline—will she continue to support the veto, or change her mind again? Cave to special interests? Bernie has always been against the Pipeline.

She was the last to champion LGBT rights, and to promote the marriages of all our citizens, including those who are gay. Once again, she only came on board in 2013 after watching others do it and feeling that the political fallout would be acceptable.

Hillary refuses to champion the minimum wage to $15.00/hour—so far. Instead, she supports a $12.00/hour minimum wage, guaranteeing that someone will have to work two jobs.

From The Nation: “Socialist feminism assumes that redistribution is the best way to begin improving life for the vast majority of women, both materially and socially. To take a none-too-radical example, in countries like Denmark and 
Sweden—which offer a broad range of social benefits provided through the state rather than acquired in desperation, as they so often are here, through marriage or a job—women can live more comfortably; raise healthier, more secure children; and sleep with whomever they please. Throughout her long career, Clinton has demonstrated contempt for turning this project into policy.” (The Nation, January 5, 2016, “Why This Socialist Feminist Is Not Voting for Hillary”)

Hillary says she wants to fix the criminal justice system, but does not support the legalization of marijuana. The number of people arrested for a marijuana law violation in 2014: 700,993. The number of those arrested for marijuana law violations whose most serious offense was possession only: 619,809 (88 percent).

Hillary will bring us into further wars. She backs “massive retaliation” if Iran attacks Israel, saying in 2015: “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m president, we will attack Iran. In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them.” Obliterate?

She also supports war in Syria. From The Guardian, 19 November 2015. “Hillary Clinton calls for more ground troops as part of hawkish Isis strategy–Democrat wants to ‘intensify and broaden’ Obama’s policy with greater use of special forces, but rules out return to mass deployment of US troops”.

In the Huffington Post, November 9, 2015, columnist H.A. Goodman writes: “Clinton always evolves; usually following Bernie’s lead on issues. I wouldn’t sign a contract with an “evolving” clause, nor would I want a president who continually evolves based upon reasons unknown to the average voter.” I couldn’t say this better, except to add that Hillary is not a policy leader, she’s a follower—although she will have Bill as an advisor, if that’s the kind of President you want.

A vote for Bernie means we can look ahead to creating the progressive kind of society we know we should be creating—one that those of my generation have worked and struggled toward for 50 years.

Bernie has been called a “one in a lifetime candidate”. This is no ordinary election—the entire future of the history of our planet lies on the decision we will make.

We have an alternative to Hillary, and to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and the rest. Someone who speaks clearly and with integrity and courage.

Please, dear friends, the whole world is watching.