29 March 2016

An open letter to Hillary Clinton supporters

The Internet is filled with "advice" via open letters, like this, primarily to Trump voters, explaining why they are basically batshit crazy for supporting Trump. People love to link to these letters on Facebook and other social media, so that, instead of directly telling your friends that they're batshit crazy, you can use the advice letter as a proxy. You're sure to get lots of "likes" in your echo chamber as you pat each other on the back explaining how you "just don't understand how someone could vote for Trump."

I have similar thoughts about Hillary Clinton. In my opinion, she's a terrible candidate. She served in the Senate for eight years without as much as a single notable accomplishment. Can you name one? I can't. Her subsequent tenure as Secretary of State was marred by the Benghazi fiasco and, yes, those emails. Maybe you don't care about the emails, because "everyone did it" or some other lame excuse. The reality is that anyone who has held a security clearance and has a conscience knows what she did was wrong. They know anyone else would have, at a minimum, lost their job for what she did--and potentially much more. She has a serious problem with telling the truth and rails against hedge fund managers while accepting huge speaking fees from Goldman Sachs. I could go on, but there really is no need for overkill.

These reasons are more than enough for me to categorically state that I could not fathom a scenario in which I could ever consider voting for Hillary Clinton. It's off the table. It's a non-starter. I bet you have a similar laundry list of reasons why you won't vote for Donald Trump, or Ted Cruz, or maybe anyone with an R behind their name. I'm not particularly thrilled with Trump, and haven't committed my vote one way or another should he win the nomination.

The difference between me and many of the writers of these "advice" letters is that I don't think you're batshit crazy for voting for Hillary Clinton. I respect that you and I have differences of opinion, sometimes major differences in opinion, based on our values, circumstances, and what we consider important (or not).

This post isn't about the policy differences between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. It's not about 35% tariffs, or what someone did or said, or Benghazi, or those emails. It's about you and me realizing that we can have honest disagreements about the way forward for our country while maintaining civility and avoiding demonizing our opponents. It's about opening up our echo chambers and re-establishing dialogue so that we can actually accomplish something of value, no matter who wins the election. I know many of you agree with me. I know we're not all as polarizing as we sometimes come across.

If we can meet each other on an even playing field, respecting one another's views without disparaging them, maybe we can get something done. I think that's a good idea. Don't you?
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