December 24, 2015
In the USA: Why Some Feminists are Choosing an Old White Guy over Hillary, Dec 21 15
Dec 21, 2015
Much has been made of the possibility of America’s first female president, especially coming on the heels of our first African American president. Hillary Clinton has capitalized on this, as well she should in her debates, speeches, etc. She has called herself an outsider based on her gender. Interesting point which I disagree with wholeheartedly but there is some truth there.
I recently came across an article on Feministing, DEAR NEW YORK TIMES: THE REAL REASON YOUNG FEMINISTS REJECT HILLARY that sought to make clear why Feminists, young ones in particular do not support Hillary Clinton. Certainly the clear take away is that we are not uneducated and apathetic. We have not had it “too easy” as some would say. Most important to me is the disrespectful nature of some HRC supporters to the people of color that support Bernie Sanders. It rings so similar to what Republicans say about democratic voters and their justification for gerrymandering. That being said this feminist supports Bernie Sanders for a myriad of reasons.
1. Women of color like myself are intersectional feminists therefore we understand things like institutional racism and how they are structured through policies like that which HRC has supported re: welfare reform (TANF), and the fact that she has used racially coded language bothers us.
2. On immigration Hillary has been all over the place. Is she as bad as some of the republicans? Absolutely not, but at times she has sounded like one. “I am adamantly against illegal immigrants.” “People have got to stop employing illegal immigrants. [in NY] you see loads of people waiting to get picked up to go do yard work & construction work & domestic work.” (Nov 2004)
3. While Hillary does support overturning Citizens United, her relationship to the case makes it messy. She will continue to look as though she is just trying to cover herself when really America will benefit from corporations no longer being able to fund politicians. The funny thing is that opponents say it’s about free speech and that unions will just get a volunteer army versus spending millions but that is the point. It’s a lot harder for the Koch brothers to get a volunteer army than it is for them to spend their millions. And at the end of the day, people should work to get those they believe in elected. That is the way to end apathy and promote engagement. If politicians want to increase voter turnout, they should support overturning Citizens United.
4. Hillary supports overturning Citizens United but her top donors are corporations. There is a lack of transparency there and to millennials drowning in student loan debt or working multiple jobs to avoid that scenario the hypocrisy is repugnant. Yes repugnant, it actually is just too much to stomach. It is the status-quo and if Bernie was not running a populist campaign funded by the people maybe we would look the other way but that’s not reality thankfully.
5. Millennials are the ones giving their lives in this perpetual warfare state. The 18-30 group make up over 60% of EVERY division of our military, from Marines, to Coast Guard, so when jokers like Huckabee say things like we need to earn our own freedom it stings, but it also makes me mad. When Hillary gets just as hawkish as the Republicans and defends America’s interventions around the world that have hurt our economy, cost us lives, and not accomplished anything inherently useful it is a problem.
6. Democrats are at a crossroads. Should they continue to move to the right to score some moderates, and get more support from corporations, or should they jump in a la Beyonce, “to the left, to the left”? I say left, and here’s why. If we disagree with the republicans and we are the party for the people then we need to support policies that will benefit the people. This means an end to pretending that corporations will have everything they want. We need to support industry and entrepreneurship but not at the cost of lives. We should not subsidize the healthcare of employees when their CEO’s are living it up. America needs to stop with the rugged individualism for a bit and understand that there needs to be a give and take, and contrary to what the GOP is saying Corporations are doing all the taking, including the environment. This needs to stop. A revolution will mobilize the people as it has begun to do, but status quo politics will not. The Democratic party needs to change or get left behind. Otherwise they are at risk of making the US a three party system. Sanders is not the only politician tired of where our politicians are and in time there will be more, will the Democratic party lose in order to stay true to what exactly? It doesn’t have the best history but it claims it is for Americans, yet Dems have voted to keep refugees out, voted for CISA and more that does not and will not help America. What Bernie has touched on is bigger than this two-party system and admittedly himself. It is time for structural change and if feminists see value in that, that means feminism has grown and that is something to be proud of.
Feminists are a varied group. I will not try to speak for us all, or even the young ones, or the people of color. What I will say is that we are capable of finding out for ourselves where candidates stand and where they have moved from. On social issues the Dem side is similar but one candidate has been there longer. On economic issues, a progressive far-left “Socialist” makes sense because we have already tried socialism for the rich. It is time to try it for the working people of America, who should be called Middle Class, but because of failed policies too little qualify. Because we deserve an education, because wanting to help others with therapy, medicine, education etc is not selfish and entitled, they are just as important and necessary as a trade, which costs a lot by the way. There are many men and women at work in blue collar jobs trying to pay down that vocational diploma.
To conclude, do not generalize us as needy, or ignorant. We are educated, independent, social justice warriors. We raise families, work, support those less fortunate and want to see America restore its moral standing more than its fictionally weak military standing. We want to see our vets treated and treated well. We want to live in a world that works for us as long as we put forth the effort to make something of ourselves. We value integrity in a candidate just as much as experience. This and more is why I will vote for another old white guy instead of Hillary Clinton.
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