Okay. It is, officially, the last fucking Friday I will have to think about this fucking election one way or the other, and my blood pressure is through the charts and I’m jittery and I can’t even fucking look at FiveThirtyEight anymore without having a panic attack. So let’s take a moment to make the last case you will ever need to hear for going out on November 8th and voting for Hillary Clinton. And because it is the last case, it’s going to be a doozy. Ready?
1) Trump is the worst major-party candidate ever to run for President. It is, at this point, not an argument. He is a pathological liar, a grifter, a con artist, a crook. He has aligned himself with foreign governments whose outlook is antithetical to the American way of life. He has actual fucking MOB TIES. He is a serial sexual predator. He has repeatedly and openly advocated for American troops to commit war crimes. He is so thoroughly incompetent and disinterested in becoming competent that the keystone of his foreign policy is an unworkable boondoggle that everyone understands will achieve no realistic or meaningful goal. His tax policy, such as it is, will blow a multi-trillion dollar hole in the national debt. He has forcefully and continuously expressed his admiration of autocratic dictators, and suggested on multiple occasions that he will use the power of the Presidency to punish people who he dislikes. He courts white supremacists and racists while parroting their opinions literally verbatim on multiple occasions. He traffics in the most deranged conspiracy theories to the point of inviting their promulgators to his inner circle. He is actively managing a campaign to suppress the votes of people he feels are inclined to support his opponent. He is not simply manifestly unqualified to be President, he is actively and dangerously inclined to treat the Presidency as a means to aggrandize his personal wealth and power at the expense of democracy itself.
Four years ago, I said that while I didn’t think that Romney would be a bad President if elected, I thought that he could not be allowed to succeed through a campaign of sheer and unmitigated mendacity. This is incalculably worse. Giving the Presidency to Donald Trump would be like letting Bernie Madoff run our country. It is imperative that he lose the election, by as large a margin as possible so as to remove his potential excuses of “voter fraud”.
2) Hillary Clinton is actually a very good candidate. At this point, Hillary Clinton has endured more petty bullshit than any candidate in recent memory, and I say this knowing that we have a man in the Oval Office who many people still think is a secret Muslim who’s planning to take away our guns. (Better get on that, Barry!) The Republicans have been salting the ground against a potential Hillary candidacy for a solid twenty-five years now, beginning with her inability to properly bake cookies like a good Presidential wife and continuing on to criticize every decision she ever made while holding political office and quite a few that she didn’t, and they’re currently laying the groundwork for impeaching her before she’s even taken office on the grounds that she probably did something bad. (If you enjoyed the 60+ attempts to repeal Obamacare, just wait until the monthly impeachment trials!) If you think that the fact that the Republicans have been solidly and unrelentingly committing character assassination against her for a quarter-century and your mild dislike of the woman is mere coincidence, you are deluding yourself. Hillary is the victim of a smear campaign, and her approval rating only shows that it’s working.
Is she a little secretive? Yes, but no more than could be expected from a woman who’s had her Secret Service agents write tell-all biographies about her, her husband testify about his sex life in court, and Russian spies hacking her assistant’s emails. Is she hawkish? No more or less so than any other serious political candidate we’ve ever had in the last century or so because the US has been intertwined with global politics in complicated ways that make it difficult if not impossible to avoid the use of force at times, and neither isolationism nor pacifism is particularly practical as a stance right now. Is she corrupt? Oferfucksake. No. She’s not corrupt. She is literally being accused of corruption by a man who has made a career out of sticking other people with the losses for his business failures and runs a charity as his personal piggy bank, as part of an elaborate “I’m rubber you’re glue” distraction from multiple pending civil suits against him for fraudulent business practices. Don’t fall for it.
Hillary Clinton is an intelligent, dedicated civil servant who is going to do her damnedest to make the world a better place. Anyone telling you otherwise is either lying or has been suckered by lies.
3) Voting for a third-party candidate helps Trump. There are two third-party candidates running this year, Gary Johnson of the Libertarians and Jill Stein of the Greens, about which more later. Neither one stands even the tiniest snowball’s chance in hell of voting. If your vote is going from Hillary Clinton to either one of these candidates, you are reducing the margin of victory for Hillary because she loses a vote and Trump doesn’t. If enough people do this extraordinarily stupid thing then the margin of victory will go below zero and Trump will win, and there is a non-zero chance the human race will perish in a nuclear holocaust. (Oh, right. I forgot to mention that under Item #1, he has no understanding of military strategy or tactics and apparently thinks that nuclear weapons are an acceptable first-strike option. This is how bad Trump is. “Nuclear holocaust” is something that gets lost in the motherfucking shuffle.)
Even if you’re not convinced on a personal level by Items 1 and 2, saying “But I want to vote with my conscience” or “I want to vote for the candidate that best aligns with my personal beliefs” is essentially admitting that you don’t understand how math works as a practical option. If the gas company tells you, “You have to pay the gas bill or we will shut your heat off and you will freeze to death,” it is not a practical solution to say, “Oh yeah? Well I don’t like the gas company, so I’m going to buy a pack of matches as a protest vote!” If your doctor tells you, “You have gangrene in your leg and you must amputate your leg or you will die,” you do not get to say, “It’s so unjust that I only have two options! I think I’m going to get a shot of penicillin instead because I want to send a message!” Whether you like it or not, this election is Clinton vs. Trump. That choice is clear and inarguable unless you are a dumb and/or crazy person.
4) Jill Stein and Gary Johnson are terrible candidates. They’re not as bad as Trump, because it is literally not possible to be as bad as Trump unless a man with quirkily mismatched glasses has nicknamed you “The Smiler” and maybe not even then, but they are manifestly incompetent, unqualified, and ideologically fringe on a level that they can only get away with because they’re so obviously not going to win that media coverage of their campaigns has been reduced to, “Aww, look! They’re giving a speech just like a real candidate!” Anyone who tells you they are voting for either one of these two because they want someone better than Hillary either hasn’t done their homework or is a fucking lunatic.
Gary Johnson is backing a tax plan that he quite clearly doesn’t understand and which all credible economists agree is regressive and hopelessly inadequate. He wanted to eliminate the Departments of Education and Commerce, then backed down from that statement on live television while admitting he doesn’t actually know what those departments do. He justified his ignorance of global politics by saying that you’re more likely to go to war in other countries if you know where they are. His own Vice-Presidential candidate isn’t willing to say on the record that he’s qualified to run the country.
Jill Stein, despite being a motherfucking medical doctor, is spouting bullshit about “toxic mercury” being found in vaccines because she doesn’t want to antagonize her base. She has publicly said that she’s not willing to rule out wifi causing brain damage. Her central fiscal policy depends on what she has literally called “a magic trick” to make money suddenly exist, one which absolutely everyone who has ever looked at it has called actual fucking gibberish. Oh and her VP appears to be an anti-Semite.
And even if some miracle happened and these two were elected and proved to be more competent than their stated political stances would indicate, they have fuck-all hope of getting anything done because they have no base in Congress. Their respective terms of office would be disasters, and no responsible person should vote for them. If you don’t think the Democratic Party is representing your views, get involved in local politics. If you want a viable third party, work at the local level to stand sensible candidates. But for this election, vote Hillary.
5) A write-in is an abstention, an abstention is a vote for Trump. Again, the Trump supporters are going to turn out in force to support their candidate, because they’re all aware this is probably their best chance to get an open white supremacist and misogynist into power who’s willing to use the office to punish women and minorities. There are also people who are going to turn out for him out of a blind obligation to the Republican Party, who has been derelict in their duty on an unprecedented scale here. But these people are a tiny sliver of this country’s eligible voters. Trump cannot win if turnout is high, because he is thoroughly despised. His only hope is if most of the people who despise him are too apathetic to do anything about it. If he can keep his base energized and nobody else shows up, he wins. In case I wasn’t yet clear enough, THIS IS BAD.
Go vote. If you can, do it right now. Early voting has already started in most states, and you can go here to find out more:
If you can’t vote now, vote on election day. You will spend four years or the rest of your life, whichever is shorter, regretting it if Trump wins. Don’t do that. Vote, and vote for Hillary.
Thus endeth the passionate advocacy.