7 Signs You'll Vote For Hillary Clinton In 2016, Even Though You Don't Know It Yet
The 2016 presidential race is in its earliest stages right now, with candidates in both parties getting in line for the privilege of grinding it out, likely unsuccessfully, for months. But not everybody is starting from such a long-shot position — if your name is Hillary Clinton, you've got a swell of name recognition and history on your side, and only two Democratic challengers so far. And even if you're not a fan from jump, things could change over the next many months — here are seven reasons you might vote for Hillary, even if you don't realize it just yet.
Obviously, there are fair complaints to be raised with any presidential candidate. Maybe you're fine with Clinton's domestic vision, but you're not so hot on her foreign policy, or vice versa. Maybe you're turned off by the aura of inevitability that her campaign currently has — that certainly hurt her in 2008, after all.
But at the end of the day, there are some pretty compelling reasons that any Democratic voter (or the rare GOP voter who's sufficiently fed up with the direction of their party) could end up throwing their weight behind her candidacy, as that Nov. 4, 2016 election day grows nearer.
1. You Care About History
This is an obvious one, but it always bears mentioning — if elected President, Hillary Clinton would be the first woman in America history to hold that distinction. And while conservative critics might decry this as "identity politics" or something similar, the truth is that you're sort of going out on a limb any time you vote for a candidate. You don't really know how it's going to turn out, by virtue of the possibility that some politically expedient fibs are being told, or unforeseen future events will intervene.
Which is why it's actually entirely fair and valid to support Hillary on the basis of her gender. Policies and promises are malleable, ever-shifting and sometimes discarded. But a vote for Hillary is assuredly a blow against America's history of sexism, and that's meaningful.
2. You Support Reproductive Rights
If you're compelled by the struggle for abortion rights and contraceptive coverage, you could find yourself pulling the "Hillary" lever in 2016. Simply put, there aren't any Republicans who're going to offer a rosier alternative — even the ostensibly limited government-loving Rand Paul bucks his usual attitude when addressing abortion. And, of course, you've got Rick Santorum, who considers the White House a cozy perch to espouse the dangers of contraception.
Clinton does have some in-party competition on this, especially from far-left Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, but obviously electability weighs in here. However unsure you might feel about Clinton in November (even the sturdiest of candidates still cause some angst now and then), it's hard to argue that Sanders (or former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley) would be a safer bet.
3. You're Troubled By Mass Incarceration
This is a fraught issue for Clinton, due to her ex-President husband Bill's role in furthering America's current, sky-high rates of incarceration, which disproportionately affect black and brown citizens, as detailed by Pew. Bill himself acknowledged this unfortunate outcome of his presidency back in early May.
But, perhaps sensing this potential stumbling block on the horizon, mass incarceration is one of the policy areas Clinton has specifically addressed. While speaking at the David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum in New York City in April, Clinton called for an end to mass incarceration, as well as for all police officers to wear body cameras.
4. You Know How Serious Climate Change Is
Here's the grisly truth: if you want a President who cares about climate change, you either have to vote for a Democrat, or (strangely enough) GOP Senator Lindsey Graham, who's waffled back and forth on the matter.
In fairness, this is an area where environmentalists and climate change activists have urged some caution, by virtue of the scarce policy details Clinton's given so far. Rhetoric alone won't cut fossil fuel emissions, obviously.
But in Clinton, you've got a candidate who's apparently wants climate change to be a featured issue — her campaign manager John Podesta included it in a list of four "top of the agenda" issues in a tweet in April. If the Democratic base pushes her for concrete details on this, it could be a very interesting area of strength.
5. You Want To Make Sure The Supreme Court Is In Good Hands
In modern American politics, few things are as crucial as the composition of the Supreme Court. Back in 2012, it was only the unlikely vote of Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative Bush appointee, that saved President Obama's signature health care law from destruction. There's another challenge going on right now, to boot, as well as a potentially huge pending ruling on same-sex marriage. And, of course, the composition of the Supreme Court always looms large when abortion rights are in the conversation.
Simply put, if you care about public policy and law, you need to care about who's on the Supreme Court. And there could conceivably be some turnover soon — three justices (Scalia, Kennedy, and Breyer) are currently in their mid-to-late 70s, while Clinton appointee and liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 82.
6. You Want Obamacare Protected
It's a big deal that Clinton seems intent on running with President Obama's accomplishments, rather than away from them — who knows, but if Al Gore had stuck with Bill back in 2000 rather than distancing himself, maybe he would've gotten those couple hundred extra Florida votes he needed?
In any case, Clinton has made it clear that she's a staunch proponent of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known (by critics and, more recently, supporters too) as Obamacare. It makes sense, considering her own history — her ill-fated attempt to spearhead universal health reform while First Lady was the last serious effort at reform until Obama came along in 2008. And, in spite of years of GOP condemnation and attempts to hack away at the law, she isn't hedging on this.
7. You're Concerned About Electability
Obviously, who isn't? The flat truth, at least as it stands right now, is that there isn't a Democratic challenger who appears to pose a true, unique threat to Clinton's frontrunner status — she's currently opposed only by Sanders and O'Malley, and the crop of other rumored entrants (like former Senator Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee for example) don't have nearly the charismatic, enthralling potential that Obama did in 2008.
It's early on, that's true. But at the moment, Clinton looks both like the only conceivable candidate to emerge from the Democratic field, and like the only Democrat who'd be a truly formidable fundraising force in a general election. That doesn't mean you have to like her, or that you shouldn't agitate for your candidate of choice, or that you can't press her on issues important to the Democratic left. But it does mean that she's got some huge advantages from the very start, and she could end up coasting to the nomination.
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