I Don't Like Hillary Clinton, But I'll Vote For Her Over Donald Trump

by John Haltiwanger

I'm a Bernie Sanders supporter.

I've liked and respected him since before he even announced he would run and I voted for him in the New York Democratic primary.

While others dismissed him as a crackpot with radical perspectives, I always felt as though he was just preaching common sense.

I agree with Bernie's stances on essentially every major issue, from the imminent need for campaign finance reform and the incredible importance of addressing climate change to the practical and humane notion of investing in education and healthcare instead of mass incarceration.

But, as tough as it is to acknowledge, we've come to a point where his campaign is nearing the end of the road.

His opponent, Hillary Clinton, is now considered the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. Even President Obama has now acknowledged this.

Frankly, I've never been a big fan of Hillary Clinton.

Her foreign policy is too hawkish for me, I especially don't like that she voted for the Iraq War and I'm uncomfortable with her ties to Wall Street. I also find it problematic Clinton condoned fracking, still supports the death penalty in any capacity and feel she's moving far too slow on issues like marijuana legalization.

This is precisely why I've supported Bernie Sanders, as his positions on these topics, among others, stand in stark contrast to the former secretary of state.

With that said, if the general election comes down to Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump, as it appears it will, I would absolutely vote for her.

I know there are Sanders supporters out there who've said they will never vote for Hillary (Bernie or bust), but I am not among them, because I will do whatever it takes to prevent Trump from getting to the White House.

I'm not writing this to convince Sanders supporters to automatically shift their support toward Hillary, as I believe she has a lot of work to do in terms of earning their trust and backing.

In spite of recent developments, Sanders also suggested he's not going to drop out anytime soon, and many feel there's a lot of merit to him remaining in the race.

Moreover, if Bernie supporters are angry and frustrated about many aspects of how this election has gone, they have every right to be. This primary season has definitely served to remind us that America's electoral system is undemocratic in multiple respects and arguably in need of reform.

But I fervently believe we cannot allow a narcissistic, misogynistic, bigoted demagogue like Trump to become president, as it would be disastrous on so many levels.

While I wish it appeared more likely Sanders would be the Democratic nominee, and I don't see eye-to-eye with Clinton on many issues, I know she'd do a far better job as president than an egotist like Trump.

You don't have to agree with all of her policies to recognize she's highly qualified for the position. As a former first lady, senator and secretary of state, she knows the ins-and-outs of Washington and is well-versed in both foreign and domestic policy.

Comparatively, Trump is completely unfit to be president, and believing otherwise is dangerous.

Trump has driven his campaign forward by appealing to peoples' fears and prejudices, telling lie after lie to build popular support.

He's made scapegoats of undocumented immigrants, misleadingly portraying them as leeches and criminals. Meanwhile, he's called for banning all Muslim immigration to the US, which violates this country's fundamental values.

Despite his many business failings, Trump has fooled people into believing his leadership would boost the US economy.

Trump inherited his wealth, and has no idea what it actually means to struggle, but he's somehow convinced the poor and downtrodden he can relate to them.

The New York billionaire hasn't even officially been declared the Republican nominee, yet he has already succeeded in damaging America's global standing.

This man throws temper tantrums when people tweet things at him he doesn't like, how would he ever be able to handle dealing with contentious world leaders?

There's also no way he'd put the well-being of the country before his businesses, as his own personal gain has always been his main priority.

It's time to look at the big picture.

Sanders and Clinton actually share a lot of the same stances, and voted the same way 93 percent of the time during the two years they shared in the senate together.

Trump, on the other hand, is the antithesis of what Bernie Sanders stands for.

Some of the things Clinton did as secretary of state, and first lady for that matter, were definitely reprehensible and worthy of criticism. But we could say the same thing about President Obama, as no leader is infallible. Bernie Sanders isn't perfect either, and it would be wrong to view him as such.

All leaders, even the very best, have their flaws.

What Sanders has accomplished this election has been remarkable, and his impact on the US political system will definitely reverberate far beyond 2016.

Voting for Hillary is not a dismissal of his call for a political revolution or the movement he's helped inspire, but a means of ensuring we don't find ourselves under the leadership of a madman like Donald Trump.

Trust me on this, Sanders' political revolution is far more likely to die under the gaze of  Trump than under the leadership of Clinton, who is going to need the help of his supporters in the first place.

Change isn't accomplished overnight, but occurs little by little. With Clinton, progress is possible, even if it's not exactly what people hoped for. But with Trump, there will only be regression. We've come too far to allow that.