The debate last night was a shit show, but I learned something that was quite disturbing—I like Hilary Clinton. The reality of liking Hilary has forced me to ponder a few soul-searching questions: Am I lame as fuck? Am I getting old? Can I no longer label myself an independent? Probably, all those things, but my major want for a president now is someone sober (tempted, but I will not make a direct Trumpcaine joke here) who can get a few good things done and not do anything that leads to major disaster.
I don’t like idealism in politics and government because I worked for the Federal Government. It was a program that was supposed to help “disadvantaged youth” but my bosses were more concerned with showing statistically that we were helping kids than actually helping them. Their motives were clear when I was encouraged to have the kids lie about their surveys or give them metro cards. This experience made me into a disillusioned liberal who has soft spot for Libertarians. We have a corrupt system, but you can still do some good and pick your battles inside of it— I still helped a decent amount of kids find work and go back to school.
I know so many people who hate Clinton as much as I hated my old government job. Yes, a lot of it is misogyny, but I see a lot of millennials who were Bernie supporters who view her as a symbol of what is wrong with our political system. Hillary Clinton represents the best and worst of our political culture. She is cozy with the banks and corporations, but I don’t believe she is controlled by them–Mr. Robot is cool but not real, guys.
Yes, she has voted for stupid wars, and was dead wrong on Syria, but she has also fought for the poor and middle class, and championed health care. She is symbolic of our imperfect system where our government does some good things and some bad things happen. Our best hope is they aren’t all bad, like the Bush years.
I hold the tragic view that the democratic system isn’t very good, but it is better than any of the other systems. I’m a realist when it comes to politics. You get to win a few small battles and you try to just break even so nothing else goes wrong. Clinton really is a mirror of our government and a strange combination of John Rawls’ sense of fairness and justice and Edmund Burke’s traditional conservatism. She is competent while still calculating, but I trust she will steer the ship well enough. She is a candidate that both political philosophers would find acceptable in this election. That says a lot.
The things a lot of people hate about her is what I like. She is a politician who will play the game better than the other side and get a few good to maybe great things passed through. She is prepared and she will pick her battles. That is politics for better or worse. Like she did in the debate, she will find a few wins and do her best not to fuck anything up too bad. With Trump, he could be George W. Bush Part 2 but worse. America is fine, but with Trump there is a huge possibility he would do some extremely foolhardy shit trying to Make America Great Again. He is a strange blend of idealism, nationalism, and fascism. History has shown that combo leads to perilous policies . We can deal with a mediocre government, but we can’t deal with another disastrous presidency.
Christoph Paul is an award-winning humor writer and publisher of New English Press. His most recent books are Slasher Camp for Nerd Dorks and Great White House 2: Billary Bites Back. Find him on Twitter @Christophpaul_and Christophpaulauthor.com.