Eight years ago, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were locked in an intense battle for the Democratic nomination for President. Obama soared upon a message of hope and change – a new type of politics that would bring cooperation and collaboration to Washington. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, ran on a platform of experienced leadership, and an ability to get things done in the American political system.
I bought in hook, line, and sinker to Barack Obama's promise to try and change politics, and in retrospect, I am very happy I did. Barack Obama has been the right President for our country for the last eight years. He made genuine attempts to change the business of governing, brought an expected calm pragmatism to the office, and did some real good. The country is in a much better place than it was eight years ago at the end of George W. Bush's second term. The economy is stronger, we've got the beginnings of a saner approach to healthcare, and the deficit has been reduced by over a trillion dollars.
We're now at a new crossroads as Democratic and Republican candidates vie for the nominations of their respective parties. The GOP is in disarray, with a collection of terrifying candidates that preach xenophobia and fear, and threaten to roll back all of the progress that has been made under President Obama. The story in the Democratic party is significantly more interesting, and eerily familiar.
Hillary Clinton is locked in battle with Bernie Sanders, a progressive outsider that wants to change politics. Sanders' positions are aggressively liberal, with the exception of gun control, and he resonates strongly with young people. Clinton is again the experienced politician, and Sanders acolytes claim that she would be a return to business as usual; a cynical embrace of divisive and hostile political warfare.
I see things a little differently.
It is important to note that I find the vast majority of Bernie Sanders' proposed policies to be the fulfillment of American progress – true universal healthcare, free education for all, and fighting the influence of money in politics. That said, I do not believe that Sanders is the right candidate for the Democratic party, nor the best person to be President in the current political climate. Instead, I believe in Hillary Clinton, for three main reasons.
First and foremost, the same experience and feisty assertiveness that gets Hillary labeled as "business as usual" is precisely what is needed to combat the GOP's current run on crazy. While President Obama has been a calm pragmatist, the GOP has responded with vitriol and staunch obstructionism. I for one want to see the progress that the Obama administration has made be preserved and, more importantly, built upon. I do not believe that there is a single candidate that is better prepared to go to battle with the GOP than Hillary Clinton. She is a brilliant, experienced, principled leader that, quite simply knows how to get shit done.
Secondly, the field of GOP candidates is a nightmare for the future of the country. While Bernie Sanders' platform is extremely progressive, many of his positions are nearly impossible to implement in the current political climate, and are unpalatable to the moderate majority of Americans. I believe that a Sanders nomination would very likely lead to a President Trump or President Cruz, and that's not a gamble I am willing to take.
Finally, I believe that its time for America to have a woman in the Presidency. Eight years ago, we put a black man in the office of the President, sending a message of inclusion and hope to young minorities nationwide. As the father of a five year old girl, nothing would make me happier than to see her grow up with President Hillary Clinton in office.