Hillary Clinton Is Actually Tracy Flick and We Can’t Handle It


#NeverTrump and ambitious women

by Stephanie Kaloi, Content Manager

tracy flick in election

Imagine this: You have one of the most qualified candidates in history running for the presidency. The candidate is the stuff of dreams, coming to the campaign trail with years of experience, expertise, and know-how that no one else in the race can even dream of touching. The candidate is hard, focused, and yes, ambitious. The candidate is also female, which at times feels like it’s her ultimate undoing.

You think I’m talking about Hillary Clinton, right? But I’m not. I’m talking about a candidate that preceded her by seventeen years: Tracy Flick, from 1999’s Election, and her troubled run for high school class president.

Or maybe I’m just talking about ambitious women everywhere.

One day Will WE acknowledge that women are more than vaginas?

On to the film. When we meet Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon), we’re almost immediately told that we shouldn’t like her. She’s pushy; she’s a know-it-all. She’s too eager to answer every question, to the point that teacher Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick) is compelled to ignore her waving hand. That’s what she deserves, right? After all, Ron and Harry didn’t like Hermione right away either, for basically the same reasons. “She’s got to realize she has no friends,” right? But in Harry Potter, our beloved trio came together in the face of a troll. In Election, the only person rooting for Tracy is her mom (a similarly motivated woman who clearly feels powerless as a paralegal, and is treated with mild derision by the filmmakers for fighting for better for her daughter).

We soon learn that not only do we dislike Tracy for knowing everything, we also dislike her because a recently fired teacher seduced her, was caught, and was left by his wife… but not before talking in great detail about the wonders of her vagina to the ever-unhappy McAllister. Eventually we realize that, oh: the point of the movie is that Tracy is running unopposed for president of the SGA, and somehow it’s totally fine that this grown-ass man, this man who claims to love teaching and love motivated young people, wants to put himself between Tracy and her goal. Since a lot of the film is told from Broderick’s perspective, we start to learn a whole lot about Tracy through the lens of a man who isn’t happy with his life, or with Flick’s ambitions. And sure, it’s worth noting that it’s not like Tracy Flick is presented as a flawless individual—but like any anti-hero, she’s got her positive and negative qualities, and that’s what makes her compelling.

Like Tracy Flick, Hillary Clinton is defined by the sexual appetite of those around her. We’ve attacked her for being one way (the pantsuits, the haircuts), and then derided her when she tries to be the other. We measured her based on her husband’s affair(s), and we defined and categorized her based on the limited knowledge we had about how she did or did not respond to those affairs. Americans have spent a lot of time trying to whittle this ambitious, goal-oriented, extremely and even uniquely qualified woman down to the castaway shrew that Bill Clinton cheated on… but why?

do we punish ambitious women?

Much like George Washington Carver High School in Election, Americans are in a really cool moment right now. We have the first female nominee for president for a major party, and (hope against hope), we may just have the first female president ever (that or we’re starting a quick descent into fascism).

Before we can get there, we need to sit down and give ourselves a stern look and ask: can America deal with listening to a woman who isn’t weak, who doesn’t pander to make herself likable? After the debacle that was the RNC recently, I’m not so sure we can.

Both Tracy Flick and Hillary Clinton are accused of being robotic, but don’t they have to be? Sure, they can make “Pick Flick” cupcakes and tell anecdotes about dating their husbands in Oakland, but what options do they have? We make sure women know they’re best suited for the role of secretary (or paralegal). We penalize women when they’re fun and we penalize them when they aren’t (why can’t you just smile for me?).

Why do we demand more from ambitious women, even when we know we’ll automatically reject them when they give it to us? Why do we applaud Barack Obama (a man I happily voted for twice and love and would fully endorse a third term from, so don’t get it twisted) when he dances with children or celebrate him looking like a boss, but then tell Hillary she’s trying too hard when she does anything at all?

It concerns me to think it’s fully possible that this is a country where we would rather believe an ambitious woman is lying, cheating, and doing anything and everything to con the American public into believing her than just take her policies and personality at face value (love ’em or hate ’em).

Because I’m not willing to assume that Hillary is guilty of half of what has been leveled against her, and I find the fact that so many wild accusations have been leveled at the first woman to have a chance to be president to be… disturbing. I don’t think she’s responsible for the death of Vince Foster. I don’t think Chelsea Clinton’s biological dad is anyone other than Bill Clinton. I don’t think her refusal to change her last name cost her husband “a few votes” in his landslide victory for the seat of governor. I don’t think independent voters base their vote on how a candidate looks. We now know the GOP was lying about the Benghazi affair, because they accidentally told us. (No really, they did.) People from the NRA didn’t really hold a fundraiser for her earlier this year. She’s not against raising the minimum wage. The fossil fuel industry isn’t actually funding her campaign. I don’t believe that she yells, that she’s shrill, that she’s bossy. (I do, in fact, believe she just gets shit done.)

Much like Clinton, Tracy Flick is a woman who is tirelessly working to attain the status of president. Much like Clinton, daring to attempt to reach that pinnacle inherently means that Flick will have to engage in some pretty negative stuff that will probably piss off a lot of people (the same way that every single US president—and probably SGA president—has). Unlike Clinton, Tracy goes all out in her madness, which culminates in an explosive three minutes spent ripping the campaign posters of her rivals off the wall. Has Hillary ever wanted to rip down You-Know-Who’s campaign signs? I’m sure she has. Will she? Probably not. Though she did launch Trump Yourself recently, and it’s kind of the same thing.

what doES any of us have to lose?

I’m sickened by our treatment of ambitious women because I, too, am an ambitious woman. I don’t want to run the United States (though my kid has repeatedly insisted that I should try), but I have Goals. And sure, life isn’t all about money, but I have consistently out-earned my husband our entire relationship with a combination of freelance work I have sought and a business I built myself—while also growing, birthing, nursing, and nourishing a child. But even while doing so, people have constantly assumed my freelance work online is just for fun. People—even members of my immediate family—think becoming a wedding photographer was a lark, that it was something I just happened to fall into without any intention or work. I have sat through countless discussions about how talented and incredible my husband is at his various jobs throughout the years, but until the last two or three years he a) didn’t really care about his work at all, and b) wasn’t doing anything that requires a particular skill set. I have cared about my work for as long as I’ve been doing it—and considering I started writing and publishing online at fifteen, that’s over half my life. So I deeply get this:

By 1999, even without having pursued her own political path, Clinton had learned what it might entail to be a woman who competed: She had taken her husband’s last name after his 1980 reelection defeat in Arkansas had been blamed on her independence; she’d done cookie-bake-off penance for her remarks about prioritizing career over domesticity; everything from her friend Vince Foster’s death to the wandering attentions of her husband had been tied to her purported ruthlessness.

When I asked her why she thinks women’s ambition is regarded as dangerous, she posited that it was about “a fear that ambition will crowd out everything else—relationships, marriage, children, family, homemaking, all the other parts [of life] that are important to me and important to most women I know.” She also mentioned the unappealing stereotyping: “We’re so accustomed to think of women’s ambition being made manifest in ways that we don’t approve of, or that we find off-putting.”

She also edged toward something uglier, harder to talk about. “I think it’s the competition,” she said. “Like, if you do this, there won’t be room for some of us, and that’s not fair.” I pushed her: Did she mean men’s fears that ambitious women would take up space that used to belong exclusively to them? “One hundred percent,” she said, nodding forcefully.

In my experience, it’s hard to simultaneously be a woman who has a goal and doggedly chases it and be a woman who is a wife, a mother, a partner, a friend. According to Rebecca Traister, this means that “Except for a few grandma references, [Hillary Clinton] presents herself as a resumé and policy brief.” This isn’t just Hillary, though. How many of us have to make sure everyone else in our lives is taken care of before we can find the space to be successful? Sometimes it feels like the only way to prove we’re serious is to present all of our serious cards first, #nofunallowed, and then wait to be made fun of… which is something both Tracy Flick and Hillary Clinton know all too well.

I know I do it.

H/T to Slate Political Gabfest for pitching this story concept. We picked up what you put down.

Stephanie Kaloi

Stephanie is a photographer, writer, and Ravenclaw living in California with her family. She is super into reading, road trips, and adopting animals on a whim. Forewarning: all correspondence will probably include a lot of punctuation and emoji (!!! 😊 🎉 🎉).

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  • Amy March

    I was really surprised by how moved I was by the image of her breaking the glass ceiling last night.

    • CMT

      A lot of things from yesterday’s convention made me tear up. I am just so fucking excited that a woman will (hopefully) be our president and I am so fucking excited that it’s Hillary!

    • MC

      And the 102-year old delegate from AZ casting the state’s votes for Hillary during role call, OMG.

      • JC

        I just cry and cry and cry when I watch the joy on her face.

      • emilyg25

        Made me cry on my commute this morning. What a time to be alive.

    • macaroni

      I bawled like a baby at that point. I scared my dog! It just flowed out of me. The idea that my (currently nonexistent, hypothetical) daughter could take for granted that a woman can be president is such a heartening thought.

      • Kat

        This this this. Hillz wasn’t my first choice for president (though she’ll certainly be getting my vote!), but when I think about all the little girls who won’t even think twice about whether they can be president or not, I lose it. No one ever told me I couldn’t do any specific jobs growing up, but I specifically recall deciding not to pursue my first responder certification because it’s, as my instructor put it, a “boys club”. Shoot, I’m crying at work now.

      • Ashlah

        We’re planning/hoping to get pregnant shortly after the election, and the idea of bringing a child into the world in the wake of the first woman president (immediately following the first black president!) is such a wonderful thing.

        And the idea of raising a child in the aftermath of a Trump election? It’s painful to even consider.

        • macaroni

          Yeah, same here. Our plan is to start trying early next year and I am doing every superstitious thing I can think of to try and ensure Hillary wins. (And also trying to convince my Bernie-supporting friends and family members to vote for HRC.) My husband (who doesn’t make these kinds of statements lightly) said he’d genuinely want to look into moving out of the country if Trump wins, so we’ll see. : /

        • stephanie

          I was pregnant with my son when Obama got elected the first time and it was SO GOOD, SO AMAZING. I felt so GOOD about the world he was coming into. I wish the same for you!

        • I’m expecting now and I’m terrified at the idea of bringing a Black child into a world where Trump will be president. TERRIFIED.

      • BSM

        Last night, there was a tweet in my feed from a father about an exchange he had with his daughter during Bill Clinton’s speech that I loved:

        Daughter: Who’s that?
        Dad: Bill Clinton.
        Daughter: … Is he related to Hillary Clinton?

    • BSM

      I found the entire roll call (yes, I watched the whole damn thing) to be very powerful. I loved that the delegates got a few moments to share the characteristics of their state that they’re most proud of, and it just felt like a joyful, unifying experience. Kudos to the Dems for facilitating that.

      • Alyssa Andrews

        Yes! I started watching it partway through, but definitely choked up multiple times at my desk, and had to walk around to keep myself from flat out crying. I also loved hearing the pride the people felt for their state and the ability to vote for a woman candidate. So moving.

    • Not Sarah

      Do you have a link to this image?!

    • emilyg25

      I love how much they’re embracing her gender this time around. I understand why they played it differently in 2008, but damn, it feels good to see it now. I’m voting for her because I think she’s incredibly competent and qualified. It’s a sweet cherry on top that she’s a woman too.

  • Sarah

    Two things: was the character’s last name FLICK picked because in all caps on an election sign it looks like a swear word?

    Clinton’s behavior toward very young women her husband allegedly harrassed is troubling–calling them trailer trash, etc. However I imagine the Clintons’ PR folks/political advisers were practically demanding the couple show a united front in light of some serious marital strife and her expressing outrage and “standing by her man” were the directives. But even this objectionable behavior of hers pales in comparison to Trump’s remarks about practically anyone.

    • Um

      You either believe Hillary is a strong woman or you believe she’s controlled by others. I’m pretty sure her disparagement of the women Bill was involved with was her own decision. There’s been a lot of ink spilled on this issue and a lot of insiders who’ve been clear that Hillary herself was in charge of “bimbo eruptions”

      • JC

        This seems like a vast oversimplification of what it’s like to be a woman in the public sphere. Or just a woman in general. We all have agency, but that doesn’t mean that our decisions aren’t influenced by forces inside and outside our control.

  • savannnah

    “How many of us have to make sure everyone else in our lives is taken care of before we can find the space to be successful”- My growing impatience with women around the world who have to deal with men’s wars, men’s violence, men’s fragility and neediness has never been greater. This life long Bernie supporter is so ready for Hillary.

  • JC

    I’ve been listening to the DNC video of “Our Fight Song” on repeat today; I think it was the perfect theme song for her campaign and for my support of her campaign. You don’t get to tell me that I can have it– the presidency, a medical degree, a CEO position, etc.– and then belittle me for wanting it. So dammit, I’m going to fight for it.

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      That video made me cry this morning. It’s exactly what I needed right now.

      • JC

        After all the vomit-inducing poison coming from people last week, this week feels like I’m just gulping down the best home cooking of my life.

    • Leah

      Holy cow, I just watched it twice and cried lots of tears. So much about it feels so good, after so much that’s felt so awful.

    • Lisa

      Is it dusty in my office? This video is making me cry this morning!

  • Jessica

    I don’t have a lot of conservative friends on social media, and therefore am appalled to learn that Nate Silver is currently predicting a Trump win (if the election was held today). I just do not understand. My husband has more conservative friends and says it’s because Benghazi and the email scandal made it so people can’t trust Clinton. My reaction to this is ARE YOU KIDDING ME? AND THEY TRUST THAT TRAFFIC CONE WHO IS ON THE WRONG ROAD???

    I just can’t. Let me know if there is a browser extension that blocks out everything about the election from now on. I’m with her, all the way, and will talk to people in person about it. But I just don’t want to see sexist bullshit anymore.

    • CMT

      Convention bounce! Polls between conventions are pretty meaningless, so don’t start to worry yet.

      • Jessica

        I’m seeing a lot of Bernie or Bust-ers and don’t know if it’s really a convention bounce, or if republicans can just stomach their bitter pills more than liberals.

    • Eenie

      I’m living in a conservative state for the first time in my life and I can’t help but think this election is going to be the worst one of my life.

      • Lisa

        I think you’re even further to the south than I am, but we are in a RED state here despite the number of people who rely on government assistance programs. My last office was pretty awful because there were several older women who constantly talked about their hatred of Democrats/the Clintons. One of my better memories from that place though is sitting around a conference table with some of the younger women watching Hillary’s candidacy announcement. Some of us were crying and some had goosebumps and we were all so excited for this moment.

        • Eenie

          Georgia here, representing! Our friends talk about how their parents rely on these government assistance programs and vote against their own interests, and it’s just so sad. If trump is elected, we are seriously considering moving to a state with liberally controlled branches of government. I had having my tax dollars going to support a state that wants to restrict my rights.

          • Lisa

            We live in a state that elected a governor who said all along that he was going to completely cut state-funded healthcare. He said it in every debate, it was on all of the commercials, and it was featured on his web-site. He managed to get elected, and he’s already cut a ton of funding to higher education and is working on the state’s healthcare system. Now we have all of these people who voted for him saying, “Wait, but I need that!” Well, he did exactly what he promised to do and what you elected him to do. I’m sorry, but you don’t get to complain now. (I, however, do since I didn’t elect this idiot and did my best to sway everyone I knew the other way/encourage people to vote in an off year election.)

        • Danielle

          Don’t know exactly where you live, but have you seen that map showing that the Bible Belt is basically the worst place for poor people to live? And yet they (“they”) keep electing people whose policies keep them so disenfranchised:

          http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/04/11/upshot/for-the-poor-geography-is-life-and-death.html?_r=0

          (Current Midwestern swing-state resident here.)

          • Lisa

            Welp, my home state area is pretty bad, and my current county is a darker orange one. I think it really comes back to the Lyndon B. Johnson quote: “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

          • Danielle

            Oh god, that makes me wanna cry. What a horrible truth.

            Now I remember, you’re a Hoosier! Husband is too. We had a good sober look at this map. His home county is one of the poorest in the state. Coming from NYC, I still can’t believe the income inequalities that exist between coastal regions and the inner parts of the country. (On a lighter note, when Drumpf announced his running mate a few weeks back, we shared a funny picture of ourselves on social media giving an… unkind gesture… to the *other* NY-Hoosier couple. Sometimes, ya gotta laugh so you don’t cry.)

          • Lisa

            Oh my gosh, do you guys know about the Periods for Pence page? It is possibly the best thing ever, particularly in the early days when it was all convos of people calling the governor’s office.

          • Danielle

            How wonderful!!!!

          • Eenie

            My Indiana friends being super active on this page is the only reason I knew who Pence was lol.

      • AP

        I live in Mississippi. True story: During the 2012 election, someone DROVE INTO MY YARD AND ACROSS MY LAWN to run over my Obama sign. TWICE.

        I deal with it by surrounding myself with like minded people and fellow Dems (they’re here, don’t let the media fool you!), hiding lots of folks on Facebook, and staying away from local election coverage and establishments that have Fox News on the TV (including the houses of family or friends.) It’s tough. Solidarity.

        • Eenie

          That’s insane! I just unfriended every single person on FB that I’m not real life friends with. Thankfully I found a pocket of people here that share most of my views. Which normally I wouldn’t look to surround myself like that, but it’s the only way to survive (and I run into plenty of people everyday who don’t share my views). After the DNC is over, I’m going on a media blackout.

    • Annie

      Unfortunately, Gary Johnson is also acting as a not-as-insignificant-as-you-might-think spoiler to Clinton, even though usually one would assume the Libertarian candidate would be a spoiler to the Repub candidate. A lot of Bernie or Busters are going that way, even though Sanders and Johnson couldn’t be more different on a lot of key fundamentals (e.g., Sanders fervently believes in single payer healthcare; Johnson believes in free market healthcare). Jill Stein too, though her numbers aren’t really high enough to make a difference (and she’s a big “Clinton is worse than Trump” person, soo…)

      I just gotta say that as much as in a vacuum I’m a believer in voting for the person you really believe in, I side-eye third party voters HARD this election season because this is a fundamentally unique election. Seriously, Trump is really that unprecedentedly bad! It’s not the same as ’04, ’08, ’12, even if we all said that they were as bad as we’d see. We were wrong. Trump is a conman grifter-cum-racist demagogue. It’s DIFFERENT.

      And I’ve heard SO many people say things like, “I’ve voted for the lesser of two evils for so long and I just can’t do it anymore” and it’s like REALLY? *This* election? THIS is the election you decide you can’t do it anymore? SERIOUSLY?

      But I guess when a woman is running, it just becomes too much.

      /rant

      • Jessica
        • Jessica

          gifs are hard today.

      • MC

        *slow clap* Yes to all of this, and ugh.

      • eating words

        On a positive note, I’ve also seen some Bernie fans posting along the lines of: ‘This election is not about whether you “like” a candidate. This is about platforms: whether you care about women, people of color, immigrants, queers, etc., etc., etc. Vote for the issues that are important to you.’ And I find that heartening.

        • Lawyerette510

          I agree, I think a lot of the Bernie-or-Bust coverage is just that, it’s coverage of something controversial because it’s not very interesting for the media to highlight all the people who are now supporting Clinton.

          • MC

            Yep – I read that up to 90% of people who voted for Bernie in the primaries are now supporting Clinton – but of course the most vocal and passionate of the other 10% are the ones who are protesting and shouting over people at the DNC. Like you said, the media beefs up their stance a bit, but it’s important to remember that what we see on TV is a small minority of Bernie supporters.

          • Meg Keene

            Phew. I wish that were true. I see PLENTY of folks on FB that haven’t come around. At least not yet. Thank god there is time, hopefully they will get scared as shit like the rest of us.

          • emmers

            Scared as shit is exactly how I feel. I’ve taken to avoiding some electoral coverage because I feel powerless, and it’s so. damn. scary.

          • Lawyerette510

            Ugh, I think I’m just lucky to not have had many Bernie-or-Bust folks on my feed to begin with, probably making me feel (a tiny bit) better.

      • BSM

        “I just gotta say that as much as in a vacuum I’m a believer in voting for the person you really believe in, I side-eye third party voters HARD this election season because this is a fundamentally unique election. Seriously, Trump is really that unprecedentedly bad! It’s not the same as ’04, ’08, ’12, even if we all said that they were as bad as we’d see. We were wrong. Trump is a conman grifter-cum-racist demagogue. It’s DIFFERENT.

        And I’ve heard SO many people say things like, “I’ve voted for the lesser of two evils for so long and I just can’t do it anymore” and it’s like REALLY? *This* election? THIS is the election you decide you can’t do it anymore? SERIOUSLY?

        But I guess when a woman is running, it just becomes too much.”

        This, SO MUCH. Protest votes are for people who have nothing to lose when worse comes to worst, especially in an election like this when the stakes could not be higher.

        Re: the Gary Johnson thing; all of these predictions from people just seem like unreliable anec-data. I don’t want any of us to get comfortable because we do need to get every single vote that we possibly can, but most of the statistical analysis out there supports a Clinton win:

        http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/upshot/presidential-polls-forecast.html

        http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/

      • MC

        Also just read an interview with Jill Stein wherein she downplayed the importance of Supreme Court picks: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/green-party-s-stein-woos-disaffected-sanders-voters-n617801

        “So far, George W. Bush’s two appointees, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, have been much more reliably conservative, especially on abortion, guns, money in politics, and race. But Stein says, ‘We see justices change over time, and some of the most progressive judges were appointed by conservatives. So the question is, are we going to throw ourselves over the cliff here? Would you take climate change so that you can have abortion rights?'”

        As if reproductive justice is not related to environmental justice – and as if there aren’t a ton of other issues that the Supreme Court will rule on in the next couple decades that could be terrible for global warming! & this from a candidate who won’t even be on the ballot in all 50 states! I like my local Green Party just fine, but this holier-than-thou act is straight-up deceitful.

        • Eenie

          Her position on vaccinations is alarming as well.

        • Anon

          Local Green Party is such a key phrase. If one really cares about seeing a progressive agenda, vote Green or Berniecrat *down ballot.* I know it’s not as exciting as a presidential race, but it matters way way way more. Thinking that voting in Jill Stein (in an alt universe where that’s even possible) with our current congress would make any kind of a difference is naive as best, disingenuous at worst. At least having Hillary at the top for 4-8 years allows for the kind of scaffolding that makes way for a real progressive agenda down the road.

          — Hardcore Bernie fan who is not a Jill Stein fan (she seems like she’s capitalizing on Bernie supporters’ passion with false promises and unfounded attacks just to try to get federal funding, at least to me)

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            A la Tea Party. That is why they were successful. But we never learn.

        • Meg Keene

          NO. Nope. NOPE.

        • Fiona

          Jill Stein is first and foremost a politician, even if it’s for a third party. She’s pandered to Anti-Vaxxers, and she’s a MEDICAL DOCTOR. I want to like Green Party candidates, but I don’t think Jill Stein is a viable candidate for Bernie supporters who are just looking for somewhere to turn without doing their research.

      • stephanie

        I’ve been sharing this one with people who can’t seem to bring themselves to vote for Hillary because she’s the “lesser of two evils”: http://qz.com/717255/ethicists-say-voting-with-your-heart-without-a-care-about-the-consequences-is-actually-immoral/

        “As a citizen, I have a duty to others because it’s not just me and my principles, but everybody,” says LaBossiere, who favors the utilitarian approach. “I have to consider how what I do will impact other people.”

      • Lady_Di_88

        I fundamentally don’t understand what third party voters want to accomplish in this election. I hear a lot of vague statements like “we’re going to get a seat at the table!” and “increase awareness” and “have a voice” … but I just don’t buy it. Third parties in presidential elections have been around for a long time. They have even done sometimes quite well in the past (see: Ralph Nader). The effect, as far as I can tell, has been to increase the animosity of people with actual power against third parties, and that’s it. This has simply decreased the likelihood that anyone with power will *listen* to people from third parties, which is a shame because one would hope the Green Party actually has some ideas about how to combat climate change.

        I was listening to Jill Stein on NPR the other day, and something she said just aggravated me so much. She said something along the lines of “Sure, there are differences among the parties, but not big enough differences to really make an impact on your job, your health, or the earth’s health”. Essentially she was arguing that as long as one of the two main parties are in power, no one’s really impacted one way or the other. This is just such complete BS. I have friends who currently have health insurance because of the ACA who couldn’t get it previously due to pre-existing conditions. BOOM: there’s a real, concrete difference to someone’s health.

        • anon

          I find it really questionable that third parties in general are all about seats at the table… when that seat is the primary executive of the nation. It seems like their resources would be better spent getting those people into state congresses and maybe the house, where there’s a direct policy affect and they can prove themselves as an entity before asking people to hand them the keys to the house, in essence.

          • revooca

            This is a valid argument about third parties that I’ve seen many people make.

    • emilyg25

      The Republicans just had their convention. Some Bernie supporters need more time to come around. There haven’t been any debates yet. Even though this election has already been going on for more than a year (tired, so tired), it’s still early!

      I just refuse to believe Trump will win this. Refuse.

    • Sara

      I do have a hard time believing that Trump will win, but I have run into a bunch of people that have said “well, I’m just not going to vote this year”. And then talk about how much they hate Clinton but can’t stand Trump either. And somehow its all a DNC conspiracy since Trump was a lifelong democrat prior to this election.

      But I’ve found that if you point out “you realize Trump will get to pick a Supreme Court candidate” then they backtrack a little.

      • Eenie

        Or the senate could finally f*cking hold a hearing for Garland.

        • Cellistec

          THIS x1000000

      • Lawyerette510

        I think it comes down to the very real possibility that the fear, hatred and feelings of disenfranchisement that drove Trump’s base and moved others on the right to support him will drive voters to the polls in support of him, while the internalized misogyny and voter apathy on the left (further compounded by the efforts of many states to structurally exclude low income voters and non-white voters) will result in less votes for HRC. The idea terrifies me, but I think it’s important to acknowledge it’s a possibility so everyone who doesn’t want to see it happens mobilizes (beyond just the internet) to work to prevent it

        It kind of reminds me of being in my mid-twenties and living in San Francisco during the CA Prop 8 referendum (to amend the CA constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage overturning court decisions granting the right to marry to same-sex couples). I remember at the time many of my (straight) friends talking about how there was just no way it could happen, because it was so outrageous to think that enough voters in CA would support it, and the whole time my thought was “sure not in San Francisco, but have you been to other parts of the state? do you know the fear and hatred in the hearts of so many people across this country who are pouring resources into this?” Those same friends were shocked when it passed, and I later found out some of them had not even voted in the election because they just couldn’t imagine they needed to. So this time, I’m making a point to volunteer for get-out-the-vote efforts.

        • Lisa

          It is so surprising to me how much the rest of California reminded me of the Midwest in attitude once you got outside the major cities. It further drives home the point that major urban areas are what causes a state to go blue more often than not.

          • Lawyerette510

            So true. This summer I’ve been spending lots of weekends in the mountains and other more rural areas, I have seen a lot of Trump signs and confederate flags; about the same if not more, number of confederate flags as when I’m at home in Texas (a town of 70k people between Austin and San Antonio).

          • Lisa

            It blows my mind when I see Confederate flags, particularly in places where they can’t even claim the “Southern heritage.” It’s like you’re purposefully branding yourself as a racist asshole.

          • Jessica

            Fun Fact: My BIL told me about how he’s collecting “cool vintage flags” and had to get a confederate flag before they weren’t on sale anymore, and then the company made a mistake and sent him a GIANT confederate flag. This was the day that a bunch of racists shot into a group of protestors in Minneapolis after an unarmed black man (Jamar Clark) was killed. I just looked at him and my SIL in horror as they tried to justify owning a piece of “Southern History” that directly represents owning slaves.

          • Lisa

            My eyes are as wide as saucers right now.

          • Jessica

            They think I’m weird for thinking that is not OK. Obviously I’m the one who just “doesn’t get it.”

          • Keeks

            In the same vein, my dad bought an AR-15 recently. When I asked him why, he said, “it was on sale! the price was really good!” The thing is, I know he’s just going to lock it up with his other guns – he just collects them, he doesn’t go to the range or hunt or feel particularly passionate about guns. I don’t get it.

          • Meg Keene

            I grew up in deep red non coastal CA. It’s real. Very very real.

          • Ashlah

            Yep. That’s Oregon (and Washington) outside the I-5 corridor.

        • MC

          I listened to a Fresh Air interview recently about the Voting Rights Act being dismantled & what that means for the 2016 election and that was the first time that I really felt the possibility of Trump being elected president. The fact that states can & will pass voting restrictions in the months and days before the presidential elections that will exclude the very people that Trump wants to discriminate against is pretty fucking depressing. Also drives home the importance of the Supreme Court and Congress, because those are the people who can protect those rights and keep people from being left out of the political process. So I am definitely committed to making sure everyone I know votes.

        • Anon For This

          No one ever talks about Trump’s supporters except in terms of “hatred”. It’s counter-productive because it smacks of not even attempting to see

          where

          these people are coming from. And you will never win anyone over by telling them they are full of hate.

          Look, the progressives abandoned working class people decades ago. While progressives go to college and graduate to white collar jobs, they’ve had no problems with NAFTA and other trade agreements that shifted blue collar jobs overseas. Progressives used to stand with blue collar people in their fights with labor unions. They used to risk their lives to get beaten up along side of them. Now, we’re too busy planning our 401ks to even think about their plight. Working class people are more often the subject of jokes than anything else.

          For the first time in our history, working class people are committing suicide in greater numbers and dying at earlier ages. And college isn’t the answer either. College degrees have become devalued as more people go to college. There are not enough white collar jobs to go around. When you turn your back on the majority – yes, the majority is blue collar in America – don’t be surprised when they respond to someone promising to renegotiate our trade agreements and bring back corporations by bringing our corporate tax in line with the rest of the world.

          You can’t ignore a huge demographic and then expect their loyalty. See the links.

          http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/why-economic-anxiety-is-driving-working-class-voters-to-trumpism/

          http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/05/16/how-donald-trump-appeals-to-the-white-working-class

          http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article71045097.html

          • Amy March

            Maybe Trump’s supporters should try not being so racist then? Like Trump himself? He could have run a campaign based on the plight of the working class. Instead, he is running a campaign on the plight of the white working class, whilst busily spewing hatred about Mexicans, immigrants, women, and the disabled. I don’t think his supporters are dangerous hateful people because they are working class, I think they are racist because Trump is saying ‘hey, you want a way to openly hate brown people? here I am’ and they are reacting with enthusiasm.

          • Anon for This

            Except – every single Trump supporter I’ve talked to has said that Trump is being unfairly painted as a racist. They say that all Trump wants to do is vet immigrants better instead of letting them in willy nilly without looking closer at them. And to be fair, he has said that we need a better vetting process. He’s not against immigrants, but he is against illegal ones. All his supporters point to the attacks in Europe where they’ve accepted far more refugees. Every time there’s another attack, it only solidifies that they believe Trump is right.

            None of the Trump supporters I know considers themselves racist. Many of them concede Trump has said some crazy things, but they think he has said far more sensible things. I mean, Hillary supporters make excuses for Hillary’s mistakes too. Trump supporters are no different.

            The point is, progressives have all but ignored these people. And now it may be too late.

          • Amy March

            Oh sure, they might not consider themselves racist. But they are. If they think his immigration positions are not racist, they are wrong, and should be told as much. Like, the very idea that immigrants are now being let in willy nilly without a close look is an absurd lie, so, nope?

            And I’m pretty sure Bernie just ran a massively successful campaign appealing to working class people. So I’m not really sure it’s fair to claim “these people” have been ignored.

          • Anon For This

            They are talking about vetting refugees (not regular immigrants) because of terrorism.

            Then there’s the illegal alien issue. You can have a problem with illegal aliens without actually being racist. Don’t forget that if you are working class, you are the class most likely to be impacted by illegal aliens taking your jobs and doing it for less money. Amy, you as an attorney, aren’t worried about illegal aliens lining up to do your job for less money. You have the luxury of illegal aliens having no impact on you personally.

            Decades ago, it was a given that working class people were democrats. What happened?

            The links I put up are very good at explaining.

          • Amy March

            I’m not confused but thanks for the explaining. Refugees are vetted. I actually don’t think you can have a problem with illegal aliens without being racist. I am also an immigrant, and it’s abundantly clear to me that no one who talks about problems with immigration, of any kind, is ever talking about rich white ones. And that is racist.

          • Anon For This

            ALL countries have guidelines in place for immigration that protect their own self-interest. You can’t move to Europe unless you have job prospects or have a lot of money.

          • Natalieavech

            Why can you not have a problem with illegal aliens without being racist? Its the illegal part that is a problem. It is illegal. It is a crime.

          • Emmie

            That’s what I’d like to know. It seems everyone gets to be called a racist these days just for having reasonable expectations.

          • MC

            Is it “reasonable” to say you’ll deport 11 million people as president, most of whom are already working, paying taxes, & raising families here? Who are not “stealing” jobs but rather working jobs (often multiple) that other Americans didn’t want? To me that all sounds pretty unreasonable, at the very least in terms of logistics.

          • Natalieavech

            Sure. Deporting 11 million people does sound unreasonable. Stopping further illegal immigration sounds very very reasonable. An aside is that those 11 million people DID break the law.

          • Natalieavech

            Republicans=always racist. Against illegal immigration=always racist. Period. No discussion. That is literally what they say.

          • BSM

            Come on. I think it’s clear from your exchange with MC that there is certainly room for discussion!

          • Natalieavech

            Not when people say that you cant have a problem with illegal aliens without being racist.

          • BSM

            I can’t speak for Amy March, but I absolutely believe that we need comprehensive immigration reform. If that’s what you’re saying, then I think most of us are on the same page.

          • Natalieavech

            Sure, I guess, but “comprehensive immigration reform” is a catchall phrase that can be used by many people with very different viewpoints. I think we need to enforce our existing immigration laws and secure the borders. I also think we need to make it easier for people to immigrate legally. But immigrating illegally just is a big *rude hand gesture* to everyone who has immigrated legally and those who are in the process.

          • BSM

            I agree with most of what you said. That’s actually HRC’s plan for comprehensive immigration reform: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/immigration-reform/

            I do not agree with your last sentence. I don’t think most people who immigrate illegally are doing so as a fuck you to those trying to come here legally. If we’re talking about people coming from Mexico and Central America and the Middle East, these are often people who are living in unimaginably dangerous places with no other options. I think they’re just trying to keep themselves and their families safe and provide the kind of opportunities that we all want for ourselves and our families. I empathize deeply with them.

          • Natalieavech

            Sure. I emphathize with them as well. That doesn’t mean they have the right to break our laws. And as flawed as it is, there are options for refugees. And I don’t mean that they individually are trying to screw over legal immigrants. It is our policy of allowing this to happen and allowing illegal immigrants to stay without consequence that makes it a screw you to legal immigrants. There is a procedure.

          • BSM

            Well, I don’t think we’re going to agree on that point.

            But I hope this was at least partially illustrative that a Republican and a Democrat have plenty in common on the issue (in fact, policy-wise, we were basically in lockstep) and can have a reasonable discussion about how to go about solving it.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            So then you’re aware that many of the undocumented people are applying for asylum and are refugees then?

          • Natalieavech

            The vast majority are not. I’m a second-generation American. My grandparents immigrated legally. They were not refugees. They did not sneak across the border. They did not overstay their visa. They did not break our laws. And yeah, they left their (eastern European) country of origin in search of a better life. They were neve arrogant enough to think the laws did not apply to them.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            Entering the country as a refugee is not illegal immigration. Pls don’t conflate that with sneaking across the border.

            As for your position re the vast majority, I don’t know the basis of your information so I don’t view this point as particularly credible. My basis of knowledge is I’m an immigration lawyer, practice primarily removal defense and I’m speaking about what I see in my practice. I find many who speak about immigration simply don’t know what they are talking about.

          • Lexipedia

            Thank you for sharing your expertise and appropriate context in these discussions. Also, thank you for what you do! Having navigated the immigration system with all the privilege possible, and coming to the U.S. by choice from another country in which I was safe and happy, I cannot even imagine what it must be like for your clients. I hope that their appeals go well, and that we end up with a government that passes the necessary comprehensive immigration reforms in order to fix at least some parts of a very broken system.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            Arrogance is an interesting characteristic to assign someone fleeing horrible conditions. You say you emphathize but you haven’t demonstrated any of that in your comments.

          • Lady_Di_88

            I was just listening last night to a really great radio segment from Michigan Radio about undocumented immigrants (you can listen to it here: http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/out-shadows-living-undocumented). One thing they point out is that the average wait time to become a legal immigrant from Mexico to the U.S. is currently something like 20 years. There is really no legal immigration to the U.S. from Mexico (except probably for highly educated white collar workers).

            Something that I think has really been missing from our national discussion on immigration is the fact that the very best way to reduce illegal immigration from Mexico is to bolster the Mexican economy. In fact, over the past 8 years, illegal immigration has been going down partly because Mexico’s economy has been improving. People simply don’t want to flee their loved ones and make a difficult and dangerous journey to the unknown if they have a healthy happy economy at home. I think this perspective really shows that Donald Trump’s “solutions” are fundamentally just so wrong – not only impractical but also inhumane (and, of course, so very racist, but let’s focus on the economic issues here). He has been advocating not only for deporting all illegal immigrants (and let’s not forget, deporting American citizens who happen to practice a certain religion?!), but also building a very, very expensive wall AND making Mexico pay for it. Not only that, but he has talked about completely undoing trade deals – so, he’s talking about not only sticking Mexico with an enormous bill but also writing laws that would make companies flee Mexico. If we take him at his word, he’s arguing for destroying of the Mexican economy with no regard to the consequences. That sounds to me like a good way to create a huge amount of completely desperate refugees who will pursue even more dangerous ways to get to the U.S.

            Trade deals are complicated, and I don’t know how to feel about them. On the one hand, they certainly do make it easier for companies to produce stuff in countries where labor is cheaper. This makes stuff that Americans like to buy cheaper. It also impacts American manufacturing negatively. I’m pretty sure that being economically intertwined with countries around the global bolsters our national security by bolstering other countries’ economies (and, in fact, does lift people around the globe out of poverty). There is, of course, a balance that needs to be struck between all of these complicated factors – American blue collar workers matter, the cost of stuff we need to buy in our daily lives matters, our national security also matters, and the well-being of people around the globe matters as well. Trump is simply not a candidate who understands that anything is shaded in gray. In my opinion, Clinton is the only candidate running who understands how vastly complicated these networks are, and cares deeply about doing the research and talking to the experts before making any decisions.

          • Lady_Di_88

            And sorry if I’m coming across as yelling at all! Rereading this I realized that really only the first part of my comment was actually a response to your comment, and then after that I just ranted a bit because I have a lot of feelings about this issue… so, this is not so much a response to you, but rather just a point I’ve been wanting to make :)

          • AP

            This comment 100%.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            Yes yes yes!

          • Lady_Di_88

            (I just wrote this as a response to my own comment, because I’m new to Disqus, and despite being an oldish millennial don’t seem to really understand how the internet works, so I’ll just post it again here…)

            Sorry if I’m coming across as yelling at all! Rereading this I realized that really only the first part of my comment was actually a response to your comment, and then after that I just ranted a bit because I have a lot of feelings about this issue… so, this is not so much a response to you, but rather just a point I’ve been wanting to make :)

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            What does a “secure border” look like? In my practice, I haven’t come into contact with anyone who has illegally crossed into US past 2010. That tells me that our borders are actually pretty secure. Could they be MORE secure? Sure, but I do not think today border security is our biggest immigration problem.

            ” But immigrating illegally just is a big *rude hand gesture* to everyone who has immigrated legally and those who are in the process.”
            It’s far more complicated and nuanced than this. People are fleeing extreme poverty and extreme crime. The conditions that people leave to come here are unimaginable. Many are desperate and leaving places where the governments are corrupt etc. A big rude hand gesture is NOT what immigrating illegally is.

          • Lawyerette510

            Not to mention border “protection” does nothing to prevent visa overstays and other out-of-status issues, which are a large source of the people who are violating immigration laws. Oh and also the logistical, social and environmental feasibility of a wall…

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            Also while there is a “”process” in place to immigrate legally, most people basically have to have a parent, child or sibling who is a US citizen OR get sponsored by a job. If neither of those two options is available to a person, they pretty much have no hope of ever being able to come here. Asylum and refugee status are very very difficult to get. So people are left in an impossible situation. You’re in a country where the government is corrupt, crime is rampant and you are deathly afraid you and your kids will be killed, will not be able to survive, etc. So you go to a place where you think you have a better chance. At the end of the day, I can’t fault someone for that and if we REALLY want to make our country less attractive, how about we engage in foreign policy that makes other countries better? But our record in Central America is really really shitty so…oops I probably wasn’t supposed to say that!

          • Lawyerette510

            Yep yep yep

          • Natalieavech

            Okay, well in my line of work its quite common to deal with people who are recent illegal immigrants. And I’m not merely speaking of the physical security of the border- but the enforcement of visas and deporting those who do not obey our laws. that includes staying here illegally! that is breaking a law. I’ve worked overseas several times and never once did I think I had the right to stay without legal papers. I would never have dreamed of it. I understand that people are fleeing hard circumstances. There are processes in place to resettle refugees in the US, which I think is a wonderful thing! We should help immigrants! we are the land of immigrants! But every single country has rules about how many and how people immigrate, and it doesnt make us racist or monsters to enforce those laws, with an eye to helping the maximum amount of people.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            But you said border security which has nothing to do with overstaying visas. If you’re talking about general enforcement ok fine. And again, in MY line of work, trust me, we enforce those laws to the best of our ability. Right now it takes an average of 5 years for a case in immigration court in Los Angeles to finish and another several years with appeals. It takes almost on average 7-10 years to deport someone in that particular court. Why? Bc we also have a process to deport people. It’s not simply oh you overstayed ok bye. That’s not the way it works.

            You don’t sound very knowledgeable about our laws re refugees either so I won’t even get into all of that.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            i don’t think enforcing our immigration laws make us monsters but when they are enforced against a particular group of people or immigrants are demonized, that does make us monsters. Absolutely.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            Ding ding ding!!!

          • Lawyerette510

            If I had a dollar for every out-of-status/ visa-overstay white, Western European I’ve met in the decade since I moved to the Bay Area, I’d have many dollars. If I had a dollar for every one of those “illegals” who was worried about getting asked for proof of immigration status when interacting with law enforcement, I would have zero dollars. Why? Because when people talk about undocumented immigrants or immigrants who shouldn’t be here, whether they are speaking from conscious or implicit bias, they are generally speaking about Latinx people (which is why it’s nearly always coupled with language about protecting our boarder and building a wall to the south).

          • Lawyerette510

            You keep referencing the links you put up, but the links you put up are about the white working class. Two of the three links you share, the title references that the piece is about white people, and the third discusses that it is the white working class in the text. Also, your argument about undocumented immigrants coming here and taking jobs is just not accurate: the market has created a demand for them, they have literally risked their lives to come here and do jobs that others will not do, usually the very physical labor such as farm workers.

          • Anon For This

            I think the trope that they do jobs no one else wants is disingenuous. When you have a group of desperate people who are willing to do the job for less money, then they are directly competing with citizens. Illegal aliens frequently live together and send the money home to Mexico. How is an American citizen supposed to compete with that? You can’t afford to take a job that’s been bid down by illegals.

            However did we get along before illegals came to rescue us?

            Mark my words, if they were bidding down white collar jobs, it would be a whole different story. It’s an elitist position. You can afford it because it has no impact on you personally.

          • JC

            “Illegals” is a dehumanizing term and really undermines your previous points. We don’t refer to pregnant women as “pregnants.” You’ve noted others dismissiveness of an entire group of people; the least you can do when discussing the lives of these people is to refer to them by a real noun.

          • Meg Keene

            That’s the point though. Legal immigrants ARE taking plenty of white collar jobs, here in the Bay Area. That can be the case, without be resorting to racist and xenophobic positions. And if you don’t think Trump’s positions are racist, there is legit just nothing to talk to you about.

            Also, EXCUSE ME, ” Illegal aliens frequently live together and send the money home to Mexico.” Glad you’re not harboring any racist ideas about what the undocumented look like. I know tons of them, and they live just like you and me. Just way poorer, because they’re being paid under minimum wage and exploited. Also, FYI, lots of them are not MEXICAN. Just for starters. Your bias is showing, and it’s not cute.

          • “You can’t afford to take a job that’s been bid down by illegals.” Ignoring your use of the word “illegals” because it’s gross and dehumanizing, but just wanted to say that this piece has a pretty solid history of how wealthy whites have relied on the cheap labor (or free labor) of black and brown people since our country was founded: http://www.stirjournal.com/2016/04/01/i-know-why-poor-whites-chant-trump-trump-trump/ The whole piece is great, and I strongly recommend it, but this in particular really sums up the point:

            “In December 2001, a federal grand jury indicted Tyson Foods and six managers on 36 counts related to conspiring to import undocumented workers into the U.S., and employing them at fifteen chicken processing plants throughout the country. One defendant shot himself a few months after the indictment. Two made plea agreements and testified for the government. They said they were doing what the company demanded when they went along with the hiring of illegal workers. The remaining three executives claimed the others were ‘rogue’ employees, and denied any knowledge of wrongdoing; they were acquitted.

            The grand jury alleged that the conspiracy began in 1994, when Tyson executive Gerald Lankford mentioned production at a Tennessee facility and said, ‘That plant needs more Mexicans.’

            There was no question that Tyson illegally smuggled undocumented workers into the U.S. The trial was about who initiated the operation. Regardless of who knew what, at least three managers at Tyson saw that brown workers were cheaper than white workers, and adjusted their business model accordingly.”

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            YES!!!! I don’t get why people don’t see this. These businesses that want to pay people $5 an hour are DISGUSTING.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            I will also add re taking jobs is that corporations also use LEGAL immigration as a way to get around paying Americans decent wages for the work. The argument they use to get H-1B visas etc is that America doesn’t produce the talent. We have so many brilliant people who cannot find tech jobs etc. It’s bullshit. I used to work for a firm that did primarily H-1B visas and I can tell you, there are Americans to do these jobs. We got amazing resumes all day. These corporations don’t want to hire them, Why is that?

          • Lawyerette510

            Are you implying it could be because of the decades of efforts by pro-business interests, such as those Trump has systemically benefited from, to exploit the system for their own profits to the detriment of the non-wealthy?

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            “They are talking about vetting refugees (not regular immigrants) because of terrorism.”
            But this happens anyway and it happens with every single person that is given refugee status to come into this country AND “regular” immigrants.”

            “Don’t forget that if you are working class, you are the class most likely to be impacted by illegal aliens taking your jobs and doing it for less money. ”
            OR employers and corporations are looking to screw people over and pay people as little as possible and instead of paying people a decent wage, they hire vulnerable people who have little options for work. Working class people ARE impacted by illegal immigration but it’s not because people are taking their jobs.

          • Why has nobody said this: WHY DO WE KEEP FORGETTING AMERICA WAS FOUND BY ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS? Who literally stole the land from people. And that everyone here, particularly the 2nd and 3rd gen of white people (irish, etc) were treated like dirt for being immigrants. If there’s anything we have in common in this country it’s that we’re MOSTLY IMMIGRANTS.

            So, when does one immigrant get to decide the next one is illegal? The corporations could choose not to hire illegal immigrants if they feel so strongly about them. But they can’t be both FOR a wall and PROFIT from there not being one. They can’t have it both ways. They love not paying insurance, and having easily replaceable labor. The “illegals” have the worst working conditions, that no citizen would abide by. Instead of worrying about too many immigrants, calling out companies is the better solution. Esp those with multi-millionare CEO’s who shirk from taxes and still hire illegal immigrants. Otherwise they hold all the power and the working class fights amongst themselves for crumbs.

            Anon for this, as an immigrant with immigrant parents, this should be so so so obvious.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            I’m gonna tell you. It’s very very expensive for an employer to bring someone here legally to work. Take farmers for instance. The fees a farmer would have to pay to bring a temporary agricultural worker here are enormous. So many of them simply utilize labor of undocumented people. It’s far cheaper for them. Could they do things the right way, pay the filing fees and meet the other requirements and hire legal labor? Sure, but they choose not to. So let’s be clear: employers/corporations are CHOOSING to hire undocumented people. And believe me: they don’t want to stop illegal immigration.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            Also pushing back against the “market” argument that undocumented workers drive down wages and on employer choice, you as an employer, always have a choice to pay someone a decent wage. I employ people and yeah, I could definitely pay some folks who work in my office minimum wage. BUT I DON’T. I could hire undocumented folks and pay them less. BUT I DON’T. I don’t have to pay people what they are willing to work for; I CAN pay them the actual value of their work.

          • I just wrote like 10 responses to this and deleted them because I was about to go off on colonization and big business and how we criminalize things unfairly (being brown/vs a big corp hiring undocumented people) and who it hurts the most but I’m pretty sure we agree on the hipocrisy and I’m just happy you feel me. And for sure, doing any ethical small business (or big business) means cutting into the profit. But ya know? For some people it’s worth it to be decent.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            I just want to clarify that I do not think working undocumented should be criminalized. I firmly believe in a person’s right to earn a living to support themselves and theirs (I do have judges from time to time who use a person working without “legal authorization” as a negative and I always have to fight the urge to give them the finger). My comment was really just about, as you noted, the hypocrisy in demonizing undocumented people for working (and the argument that they are taking jobs from AMERICANS) but no one calls out that companies that are actually violating employment and immigration laws by hiring undocumented workers in the first place (but what about the laws!! They’re breaking the laws!!). AND the only reason companies do it is so they can pay people less. That is the only reason.

          • Anon

            I’m so so very glad to read your second paragraph. It’s the huge big major point that NO ONE in either side of the debate is talking about. Droves of illegal immigrants wouldn’t be coming here if there wasn’t work for them to do, and companies wouldn’t hire them if there was nothing to be gained from hiring illegals. (But then Republicans won’t call out businesses on this front because they’re all about business and making money, so it’s easier to just whip up racist sentiment amongst the blue collar class instead).

          • BSM

            He literally said that Mexico is sending rapists and criminals over the border into the US.
            He wanted a federal judge to recuse himself, despite being an American citizen, because of his Mexican heritage.
            He was sued by the government for housing discrimination against African Americans.

            These are facts. The only one painting Donald Trump as a racist is Donald Trump.

          • Amy March

            Like, his campaign theme is hate? Openly? It’s not that the rest of us are just crazily attributing hatred to him, it is literally the cornerstone of his campaign.

          • Eenie

            I don’t know of any racists that consider themselves racist!

          • Anon For This

            Most of the Trump supporters I know are not racist. That is not even the side of his message that appeals.

          • Amy March

            If you vote for a man who pledges to implement racist policies, you are racist. If you vote for a politician who is anti-gay marriage, you are homophobic. I don’t care if you feel like you’re voting for him because he has good hair or is your neighbor, you are made racist by your actions.

          • BSM

            Amen. The fact that HE is a racist should be more than enough to dissuade people from voting for him.

          • Anon For This

            I don’t agree that vetting refugees or being concerned with illegal immigrants is racist. The U.S. is hardly unique in having standards for immigration.

            You disagree. Let’s agree to disagree.

            I will say this. The progressive mindset of today is costly. I actually think Trump is going to win and progressives still will not take seriously how they turned their backs on the working class.

          • BSM

            See Lawyerette510’s comment above. You seem to be pretty misinformed.

          • Amy March

            Nope. I don’t agree to disagree. Trump’s racism, for starters, is not limited to simply vetting refugees or being concerned with illegal immigrants. At all. And the Democratic position on immigration also isn’t “abolish all standards on immigration.” If Trump wins it will be an indictment of how racist and hateful the majority of our country apparently is. Personally, I think we are collectively better than that.

          • Anon For This

            The democrats want to give amnesty to illegal aliens. A lot of reasonable people have a problem with this for many valid reasons.

          • Lawyerette510

            Well those people (who were alive at the time) and the Republican party supported that when Reagan did that very thing in 1986. Not to mention there are Republican office holders at various levels of government who also would like to see amnesty for undocumented immigrants for a multitude of reasons. WTF does that have to do with Trump’s multitude of statements rooted in misogyny, racism, xenophobia, or Islamophobia?

          • Lawyerette510

            I think you mean, turned their backs on the white, socially conservative, working class

          • Anon For This

            Who are poor.

          • Meg Keene

            Yeah, you’re engaging in hate speech. Nobody here is going to agree to disagree with you.

          • Bewildered historian

            Okay, honest question here, really: if you think that the white working class are getting screwed over, what makes you think that Trump champions their cause? What will he do to help alleviate their socio-economic woes? The man comes from wealth, is a failed but rabid businessman-hence-capitalist, neck-deep in trying to extract corporate profit… how is he committed to working-class interests?! What’s the plan, other than spurious talk of borders?
            I’m being sincere: I simply don’t understand why anyone who’s working class would place their future in the hands of a man whose interests are so clearly at odds with them.

            Also, all the talk up further of “taking jobs”? Perhaps I’m alone, but I find that deeply offensive. Immigration has a long and complex history, and there is not a single western country that has not at one point encouraged the immigration of foreign workers. To posit that 1) jobs “belong” to born citizens and that 2) immigration rules are in any way set up to do anything but restrict the entry of racial minorities is to display huge ignorance of US history and, well, economic and social history (the latter in regards to 1)).

            “Control” (≠ reform) of immigration is inherently tied up with control of racial policies. It’s naive to think otherwise.

          • http://gawker.com/this-shirtless-mountain-dew-motherfucker-is-the-living-1782370385

            Sure, the racism is definitely not what appeals about him.

          • MC

            Trump supporters don’t get to decide what is or isn’t racist. Nonwhite people en masse are saying it, and are not voting for him as a result. And considering more than a third of working class people are nonwhite and that number is increasing, it seems like he’d be more sensitive to their points of view if he was really the champion of the working class. I agree that he taps into fears and concerns that the white working class has, but in my view, he does that to pit groups against each other, not to offer actual solutions to improve their lives.

          • Lawyerette510

            Yes, I think a lot of the assertions about what working class people are feeling, are assertions about what white working class people whose families and communities previously thrived in a more industrial time are feeling– what had previously been a way to have a good life is no longer a viable option because of macro-economic forces, including the wide-scale dismantling of organized labor by business interests and Republicans. The reference to the working class as people who used to be enfranchised and now are disenfranchised is mainly about white people; because people of color have been systemically disenfranchised consistently and are still fighting for that enfranchisement.

          • BSM

            Perfectly said.

          • Anon For This

            Most blacks have been and are still blue collar also. Most of America is blue collar.

            Anyway, you seem to be unconcerned about an entire group of disadvantaged people because they are white.

            NAFTA was supported by both democrats and republicans. Al Gore led the charge on NAFTA and is known for his famous debate with Ross Perot on the subject. Ross Perot said we would hear a giant sucking sound if NAFTA was passed – the sound of millions of jobs leaving the country. You can’t blame NAFTA on Republicans when it was bi-partisan. Problem is, only The Donald is talking about it.

          • Amy March

            And yet most blacks are not voting for Trump, who apparently is the only person representing the interests of blue collar workers. Which just might be telling you something.

          • Anon For This

            Well, we are always hearing about people voting against their own interests, aren’t we?

            Blacks have a conundrum. Do they vote for the party who talks more about ending racism? Or do they vote for the party who talks more about the economy? I think tradition wins out here as they have traditionally voted democrat.

          • Amy March

            Are you seriously claiming that black people are too stupid to vote in their own interests and are just blindly following tradition instead of being actual intelligent people who know full well what they are doing?

          • Anon For This

            How many times have progressives said that poor republicans vote against their own best interests?

            No Amy, you aren’t going to get away with painting me into a corner. I brought that up because it’s one of the most favorite lines of progressives. If poor whites can vote against their own best interests, then anybody can vote against their own best interests.

            I was responding to your point that blacks not voting for Trump proves something. As I said elsewhere, blacks have a conundrum. They have both racial and economic self-interests. Whites have mostly economic self-interests.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            “As I said elsewhere, blacks have a conundrum. They have both racial and economic self-interests. ”
            Neither of which are served by the Republican party. Try again.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            Black people do not have a conundrum. Your argument is insulting.

          • Meg Keene

            WOW. They probably vote for the person they think is most qualified. And not fucking racist.

          • BSM

            Congressional Black Caucas is speaking at the DNC. You may want to tune in and learn something.

          • Anon For This

            I never disputed blacks are primarily democrats. It doesn’t change my points and has anybody here read any of the links? Does anyone want to comment on what’s in the links?

          • BSM

            No.

          • Anon For This

            This was not originally about blacks. It’s about a very large voting block (ignored by progressives) that has the potential to affect the election results.

            Okay, I get it. They are not a concern of yours.

          • Lawyerette510

            But what you are viewing as one voting block, is not one voting block, it’s many and to ignore the racial differences within what you describe as the majority of America and instead say it is the same voting block is inaccurate.

          • Anon For This

            Okay, here is my last post, because I have things to do. Trump is the enemy of progressives, right? We are supposed to know our enemy, right?

            I have to look at the Trump supporters I know, and I know a hell of a lot. The ones I know are divided between white collar and blue collar. The Number One reason they support Trump is the Economy. The white collar voters want a better economy overall. The blue collar voters have been personally impacted by jobs going overseas.

            The secondary reason they support Trump is the refugee situation in Europe and terrorism there, and his plan to hold off on refugees until they can be vetted.

            So, the economy is the Main Event. They love that Trump is going against both Republican/Democrat policy in being against NAFTA and negotiating better trade deals. It’s not standard republican policy and they think it’s a breath of fresh air. And they think no one else is saying it.

            For months, I’ve had to sit at a lot of gatherings, surrounded by people who think differently from me. I opened my ears. I’m reporting from the trenches and you can take it or leave it, or make up your own narrative.

          • BSM

            Like Lawyerette510 said, I absolutely care about any group of Americans who have stagnating wages and are lacking in economic options. I just VEHEMENTLY disagree with you/Trump/Republicans on how to solve those problems.

          • Meg Keene

            I mean, I grew up in Blue Collar America, black and white. They’re a concern of mine. The idea that that should make me a racist, or make me vote for someone who calls Mexican’s rapists? That’s fucking nuts.

            Trump doesn’t have a single goddamn plan for the Blue Collar, other than ramping people up with hate. So please, he’s not their savior.

            The plight of the Blue Collar and the middle class in America is super complex. It needs serious work, and it can’t be compressed into a sound bite. It’s everyone’s job to take that work seriously, which means voting against a racist demagogue with zero experience.

          • BSM

            Seriously, listen to these people. They will answer your questions. LISTEN.

          • Lawyerette510

            How do you define blue collar? If it is anyone who is not a professional or manager, then yes, most of America would fit that definition. However, that definition would then include people who are low-level non-professionals in office settings and it would include retail and front-of-house service-industry folks. I would not include those people as blue collar, and as such I question your assertion that most of America is blue collar and would fall into your assertion that Trump and the Republican party resonate with them because of NAFTA and the lack of unions. I find it comical that you site the left’s evolution to have unions be a less-central part of the party and platform as a way the left has abandoned the working class when the right is who led the legislative charge to weaken unions and organized labor. Furthermore, it is not all blue collar/ low income/ middle class people who showed up in droves for Trump during the primaries and are enthusiastic supporters now– it is primarily white ones.

            Where do I indicate that I am unconcerned about an entire group of people because they are white? I am very concerned about the growing wealth and knowledge gap in our country, the decline of the middle class, and further entrenchment of policies that perpetuate those issues– including the destruction of social safety nets. That is one of the reasons I find the modern Republican party so disturbing. However, if I am understanding you correctly, you are saying that that Trump is somehow going to address those issues in light of the fact he has no history of acting to address those issues and directly benefits from those issues continuing is absurd. Is that correct? Trump is talking about NAFTA, NAFTA is the scape-goat that people like Trump use to misdirect people from examining the systemic changes that have been evolving since the 1980s to benefit the wealthiest members of our country and disenfranchise everyone else.

            If you are concerned about the working class as a whole, how can you reconcile Trump’s record, life and the Republican platform with that concern?

          • BSM

            PREACH.

          • Anon For This

            Sigh. I didn’t say the republicans aren’t responsible too. I said progressives forgot these people. And you did pretty much dismiss them by putting the emphasis on the fact that they once had it good and that most of them are white – as if that makes their troubles less worthy.

            As far as republicans and their record? Trump was not wanted by the republican establishment. No other republican talks about NAFTA. That is what endeared him to the voters who made him the nominee against all odds.

            See the video I posted above. Trump has been talking about this for literally decades. Since NAFTA was the reality, Trump had to work with it as a businessman. I am not painting Trump as perfect, but I’m telling you why he is the nominee.

          • Lawyerette510

            You are telling me why you believe he is the nominee. I am disagreeing with you as to why he was successful in obtaining the nomination. Also, Trump is wealthy enough, that if he wanted to run a business that supported american manufacturing to have a lower margin or profit, he could have. Other people have done so. But he chose not to, he chose to have his cake and eat it to.

            I didn’t say their troubles were less worthy, I said that they are angry because they view others, often immigrants, as responsible for their relatively new disenfranchisement. If Trump had been reasonable and not cloaked his campaign in hatred, he would not have gotten the rabid support of many people during the primaries.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            “Most blacks have been and are still blue collar also. Most of America is blue collar.”

            You’re being deliberately obtuse. The invocation of working class by the GOP in this election has clearly been about WHITE people. The making America great again is about making being average and WHITE great again.

          • Jess

            I really agree that people aren’t coming from a place of hate.

            I definitely see them coming from a place of fear.

            I hear it in my smaller town. I hear it in my parents and aunts and uncles. There’s a large amount of fear of being able to hold on to what they have gained from upper-to-middle class people, fear of losing their livelihood from working class people, fear of terrorism killing their family, fear of people leaving behind their religion from Christians…

            I see those fears. They are totally valid and real and difficult fears to face. I also see very little from leaders (political, religious, or otherwise) trying to address and resolve those fears beyond blaming some group.

            I am worried about the people who carry that much fear, because the loudest results of their fears are speeches that incite violence and real actual laws being enacted that make life a huge hardship for other people that are different from them.

            And nobody is doing anything to fix what has them afraid in the first place.

          • Lawyerette510

            1. I agree that blue collar people have been abandoned by the left, but nothing the right is doing benefits the people you describe. Trump is not resonating with people because he is a populist who cares about the blue collar working class. He has succeeded by exploiting the rules that apply to most people because of his wealth, profiting off of the sale of a multitude of products manufactured abroad with favorable terms under trade relations and by exploiting working class people both in their jobs working for him and with his failed timeshares and Trump University. To say Trump is only resonating with people because they have been left behind by the left is to ignore the fact that Trump’s track record and the Republican platform is actually to their disadvantage, especially in terms of the right’s efforts to destroy social supports like social security and Medicare and Medicaid.
            2. Winning over people who are adamant Trump supporters is not how Clinton wins this election. It is the people who have previously supported Republicans but are bothered by Trump’s ineptitude, xenophobia, misogyny, Islamophobia, racism, faux-religious beliefs, total lack of relevant experience, etc as well as undecided voters, while also mobilizing the Democrat-base is how Clinton wins.
            3. Your comment ignores that I cited fear and feelings of disenfranchisement as other driving factors for Trump supports
            4. Just because people who like Trump don’t acknowledge that many of his statements are rooted in misogyny, racism, xenophobia, or Islamophobia; it doesn’t mean that those things didn’t help him win supporters.

          • Amy March

            Exactly. Calling Trump hateful won’t win over people who are embracing that hate. But it very well may win over people who are thinking, well, I like business and I don’t like taxes and I haven’t really thought about what he means to less privileged people.

          • Lawyerette510

            Ding ding ding!

          • Anon For This

            Trump has fessed up to manufacturing products overseas. He said the terrible trade agreements and the fact that China manipulates their own currency to keep it artificially low, stacks the deck against people who would prefer to manufacture in the U.S.

            He was conducting business in the climate that was in existence, but he is on record talking about the problem for years.

            IF he is able to renegotiate trade agreements, then he would actually help the working class.

            I hate the title of this video, but here is Trump over the years talking about how gov’t affects business. Yep, a Trump supporter sent this to me.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCabT_O0YSM

      • I think a LOT of people won’t vote this year, which makes me 10 levels of ragey.

  • AtHomeInWA

    As a highly achieving young woman in law school, I agree that this election isn’t just about “Hillary” (because women cannot have surnames….), but rather is about the role of ambitious women in the world and in our world. When people around me say that don’t “like” or “trust” Hillary, I hear that they don’t like or trust me. I hear that liking and trusting a woman matters more than the reality of women’s lives if Trump were president. Liking Hillary matters more than families torn apart, violence, economic safeguards, and the right to our bodies, our safety, our children, and our work.

    Yes, Hillary has been accused and leaked of some pretty nasty things. And that does give me pause. But it also makes me wonder why she has been accused and leaked of them and if a man who had-done or appeared-to-have-done or could-be-made-to-appeared-to-have-done would be exposed to the same criticism by the political establishments, the media, and the public.

  • Kate

    A couple months ago my guy and I tried to watch Election on Netflix and had to turn it off because it was so damn creepy. I am all for dark, subversive humor. But the way Reese Witherspoon’s character was sexualized and victim-blamed was just unbearable to watch.

    • Lisa

      I tried to see if it was still up after reading Stephanie’s piece, and it looks like it’s been taken down recently.

      • stephanie

        I watched it on Amazon Prime. Maybe it’s there?

    • Meg Keene

      It’s hard to re-watch.

  • BSM
  • Leah

    First off, surprised by how emotional I am about Hilary’s nomination, though guess I can blame that on the high levels of prego hormones going on right now…
    Or not.

    But more importantly: I don’t know if anyone here reads Vox, but they have written a string of what I think are excellent pieces about some of the gendered aspects of this campaign.
    Today a short one on Bill’s nods to emotional labor in his speech last night: http://www.vox.com/2016/7/27/12293436/democratic-convention-bill-clinton-hillary-women-thankless-work
    And previously this long, excellent take: http://www.vox.com/a/hillary-clinton-interview/the-gap-listener-leadership-qualit
    and this shorter one: http://www.vox.com/2016/6/7/11879728/hillary-clinton-wins-nomination

    And, not on Vox, but a piece that’s been getting passed around recently about how people like her as long as she isn’t, you know, asking for a promotion or something:
    https://thepolicy.us/thinking-about-hillary-a-plea-for-reason-308fce6d187c#.1trn13eyp

    So, if anyone feels like some deep dives into policy-wonky conversations about Hilary, gender, and the presidency, have at it.

  • Natalieavech

    Look, I don’t like Hillary. I’m a Republican. My opposition to Hillary is mostly based on party platform differences. And I refuse to vote for ANYBODY because they are a woman. Full stop. Drives me crazy when I am assumed to be a die hard Hillary supporter because I am a woman. But. This election is different. I abhor the individual my party nominated for President. So probably for the first time, I’m going to hold my nose and vote Democrat.

    • Eenie

      I hate when people say that I’m just voting for her just because she’s a woman. Nope, I’m actually voting for he because I’m a woman and a feminist.

      • Natalieavech

        I hate when people say that for several reasons. First, as a non-Democrat, there are lots of policy reasons why I dont like her. Second, it implies that people who do support her are only supporting her because of her gender, which belittles her political experience and positions. Feel free to do you, but I don’t vote for women because I am a woman. I vote for the man or the woman who is the best candidate. I’m not about to cast my vote just because someone has XX and I am also XX.

        • Eenie

          I don’t agree with all of her policy positions, but I know she is the best candidate for women in this country. There’s lots of other reasons too, but when it comes down to it, I’m a single issue voter this election season.

          • Natalieavech

            I guess I am to. My single issue is Anyone but Trump. In alll seriousness. In a normal election I would contest the asertion that the Democratic candidate is better for women than the Republican, but this is no normal eleltion.

          • Eenie

            This is no normal election for sure!

          • anon

            Just curious – and if you don’t want to get into it, no problem – but (under normal circumstances) what do you think the Republicans offer that’s better for women than the Dems? A lot of the lady republicans I know are “money first, identity second” kind of people, which I get, but I’ve definitely never heard them claim the republican platform is better for women as a whole. Would love to hear your perspective!

          • ART

            FWIW, I have never been a Republican or voted for a Republican candidate, but I appreciate and respect what I’m seeing from Republicans who won’t support Trump. I may disagree with a lot of their policies, but it’s not my goal to see the Republican Party destroyed. I honestly wonder what will happen to the Democratic Party in the next few years – maybe both are on the cusp of big change and I’d support that. I think I hope this insane election season just exhaust everyone to a point of going “OK, let’s talk, how do we work together for SOMETHING?” So thanks for sharing your thoughts.

        • Grybns

          I agree with you. I’m a Democrat and I am absolutely a feminist and and would love to see a woman in the white house. But I cannot in good conscience vote for Hillary because I think her foreign policy is dangerous and because she, to this day, supports her husband’s racist policies that tore apart countless black families in the 90’s.

          As much as I want to do what is best for women, I am not willing to do it at the expense of black or brown lives, and that doesn’t make me less of a feminist or a woman.

          So I will not be voting for Hillary or Trump this election. I will likely go with Jill Stein, despite the fact that it’s a “throwaway” vote – at least it doesn’t force me to vote against my morals.

          • pragmatist

            It’s nice that your personal moral wellbeing is more important than preventing a literal fascist from becoming the leader of the free world.

          • Grybns

            I write out an honest, informed opinion and get snark back? Okay then.

            I honestly think Hillary has the potential to do just as much damage as Trump if she’s elected president. Because I think Hillary will actually get things done whereas Trump will meet opposition at every turn, and does not have even a fraction of the political experience Hillary has. And I do not think the things Hillary wants to get done are good for our country or the world. Could be that an ineffective fascist does less damage in the long run than an intelligent, politically savvy warmonger.

          • Lady_Di_88

            Do you mind if I ask which things Hillary wants to get done that you think will be bad for the country and world? I’m curious. On the domestic front I think most of what she wants to accomplish is admirable. I hear from your comments that you’re really concerned about her hawkish tendencies, and honestly, I really sympathize. That concerns me too. But I also think that painting her as a “warmonger” is unfair. When she has argued for military intervention in the past, it’s often because she’s seeing innocent people getting slaughtered (for example: Libya). Now of course we know a lot more now about how sometimes intervening might make things worse than letting events run their course, and I hope she’s learned a few things about that over time – but there have also been times in human history when the U.S. has NOT intervened and we have regretted it (see: Rwanda). It’s complicated and the whole thing makes me just so glad I’m not in any kind of position of military power. In any case, I don’t think she’s just setting off for war for the fun of it.

            And of course, if you vote for her, then you and people like you can effectively try to push her towards different kinds of interventions! ;) (Sorry to push.)

          • Lady_Di_88

            Hi there! I’m sure this will be zero percent surprising to you, but I’m a Hillary voter and I’d like to gently encourage you to reconsider :) Of course, part of the beauty of this country is that everyone can vote how they like and for whatever reason. If it’s important to you to “vote your conscience”, as you say, nothing I or anyone else says can stop you.

            One thing that I’d like to point out is that third parties have been, historically, important parts of elections. Something I hear from third party voters is that they’d “like a seat at the table”, they “want their voice to be heard”, they “have long term goals – eventually third parties will be taken seriously!”. History seems to show that all of these things are unlikely. In fact, after Nader, I’d say that third parties doing well in elections just increases the animosity of the people in power against them. This is a shame, because I think that people who care deeply about environmentalism and social justice *should* have a voice at the table. Running third party candidates in presidential elections seems to mainly be counter-productive to the actual causes third parties care about.

            Bernie Sanders, I think, understood that: after years as an Independent, he has now had an enormous impact on politics by working within the Democratic party.

            I’d also argue that Jill Stein is not a great candidate. When I look at her party platform, I see a lot of things that sound nice but are completely unrealistic (and could be disastrous!). For example, she’d like to cut 50% of military spending. She doesn’t say that she would like to see this happen over time (like, if she wrote that this is a long-term goal she’d like to get to by 2050, that’d be one thing). Let’s take her at her word: this would, effectively, fire over 1.5 million people. That’s a big deal! I understand that she would then like to put those people to work in clean energy jobs, but the skills of 1.5 million people are not immediately transferable. This would, essentially, be an economic disaster. Statements like these on her party platform make me think that she has not seriously considered what goes into governing a large nation. And of course, she hasn’t: she has almost no experience in public service.

            Also, I find her morally dubious in that she doesn’t acknowledge serious distinctions between the two big parties. That tells me that, to her, the cause of advancing third parties on the national scene is more important than all the other much more pressing causes out there (for example, climate change), which to me, reads as deeply arrogant. I think it’s also offensive to all of the good people who have worked so hard within the Democratic party to make serious advances in health care (the ACA!), environmentalism (supporting and funding the EPA!), social justice, etc.

            Finally, I am not a person of color, and perhaps you are and therefore have a different perspective. But as a white voter I think it’s important to take seriously the fact that African-Americans overwhelmingly support Hillary Clinton. While some past legislation certainly raises my eyebrows (but let’s remember that she is not Bill, and also that Bernie actually voted for some of the legislation that she only vocally supported: hindsight is 20/20), she’s the only presidential candidate who has given the Black Lives Matter movement a serious national stage. She put the Mothers of the Movement on TV, in front of the whole world, to speak about their cause. Some might call it pandering. I call it listening seriously to a group of people and actually doing something to give them a stronger voice.

          • Grybns

            I appreciate your response, and that you took the time to have an honest and informed dialogue with me. I will take what you say into consideration.

            I agree with you that Jill Stein is not a strong candidate and several of positions are troubling, but she just feels the least problematic in a sea of bad choices. Her party platform is plainly unrealistic, but since she’s got no chance of getting elected it would basically be a protest vote. For me, the alternative to a Jill Stein vote is to not vote at all.

            And you are right that black voters support Clinton in general, but when I speak to the black folks I know, the ones in my community and my family and my friends, they aren’t convinced. Nor am I. Her support of Black Lives Matter is just pandering until I see real action taken, actual legislation that will attempt reverse the incredible damage Bill’s 1994 crime bill did to black families.

            Yes, she supposedly no longer supports the crime bill she so strongly endorsed twenty years ago, but if she truly understand the damage that bill did, she should be making it a priority to fix that. Has she proposed specific legislation to shorten prison sentences (especially for drug crimes), strengthen federal funding for inmate education, limit the death penalty, remove penalties for sex crimes, and generally fight the era of mass incarceration promoted by that bill? I mean this question sincerely; if anyone can point me to instances of her taking concrete steps on the things listed, I will seriously consider voting for her.

            Only when she takes real action to undo the damage she caused by supporting that bill will I believe she actually cares about black lives.

            This reply is getting pretty long, so I’ll wrap it up here, but I also have serious concerns about her foreign policy and doubt her ability to keep us out of war and increase our national security.

          • Lady_Di_88

            Hey, thanks for being nice! I love it when internet conversations can be simultaneously honest and respectful :)

            Ye ask, and ye shall receive: here’s a link to Hillary’s plan for racial justice https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/racial-justice/. A few things that you might be particularly interested in are:

            -Cutting mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses in half.
            -Allowing current nonviolent prisoners to seek fairer sentences.
            -Eliminating the sentencing disparity for crack and powder cocaine so that equal amounts of crack and powder cocaine carry equal sentences, and applying this change retroactively.
            -Reforming the “strike” system, so that nonviolent drug offenses no longer count as a “strike,” reducing the mandatory penalty for second- and third-strike offenses.

            (These are all under the “read more” link under “reform our broken criminal justice system”.)

            I’ll understand if these don’t feel like they go far enough, but it would be some serious progress. In general, I think her platform is filled with things that represent serious progress and are actually doable and affordable.

            On a different note, something really important to me personally (as someone who lives close to Flint) is her acknowledgment that lead in our pipes and houses is a serious issue that disproportionally affects African-American children. She came to Flint during the crisis and has been working closely with people there ever since. The mayor of Flint has whole-heartedly endorsed her, and has talked on Michigan radio about her willingness to help and her energy for the cause.

            Thanks again for expanding on your concerns for me, I really want to understand what people in this election care about!

            Aaaaand with that, I should probably get back to work…

          • BSM

            If your major qualms with her involve the 1994 crime bill that Bill signed, I highly and kindly recommend you read through this series of tweets from @docrockrex26: https://storify.com/docrocktex26/no-clean-hands

    • Amy March

      Welcome to the party! Were you nearby I would send you a cocktail.

      • Natalieavech

        LOL. I appreciate the virtual cocktail! Luckily my state-level and local-level Republican candidates are not even remotely like Trump (northeast Republican USUALLY can’t).

        • Amy March

          Yeah my local Republicans are not my party of choice, but I also don’t think they are ignorant, hateful, or racist. Totally recognize that good people can be Republican- just not him!

      • Cellistec

        As would I. Is tweeting a coffee still a thing? I’ll do it. If you can’t vote for someone you actually want, you at least deserve a coffee.

  • Cellistec

    “We penalize women when they’re fun and we penalize them when they aren’t (why can’t you just smile for me?).” So sad and so true. I prefer my candidates serious and intellectual, but unfortunately that means they won’t win the “I’d like to have a beer with them” contest.

    Also, speaking of minimizing women, here’s a front-page #facepalm from my hometown paper: https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2016/07/27/24398631/the-seattle-times-gives-the-democratic-nomination-to-bill-clinton

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  • help help

    LADIES. I see all the links above but they’re — defensive? Out to bust the misconceptions but not to build a great platform. My social media is AWASH in people who are holding their nose and voting for Clinton (which, fine, better than not voting), and nobody is excited or has anything nice to say.
    HELP ME GET EXCITED. GIVE ME SOME PROS TO GO BACK TO FACEBOOK WITH. I know she’s pro-choice — what else?

    • Lady_Di_88

      You’re in luck, because Hillary’s platform is both awesome and super-detailed! You should definitely check out her very well laid-out website (https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/) and click around to see what speaks to you. The highlights for me? A big investment in infrastructure (so overdue!), funded largely by removing some tax loopholes and increasing taxes on the richest Americans and corporations. A huge commitment to early childhood health and education, which so much research has shown is really critical if we’re interested in creating a fairer country. (Seeing my highly educated, high-earning sisters raise their children has made me realize just how much the system is currently tilted against children of less well off parents.) She has a concrete plan for the U.S. reaching their energy commitments from the Paris Accords without requiring legislation from climate change deniers, with a big focus on reducing energy waste. She also specifically mentions in her platform reducing the use of antibiotics in our agricultural systems, which is just so near and dear to my heart – antibiotic resistance is a looming and urgent health crisis. (PSA: Everyone, stop using antibacterial soap! Normal soap works just fine!) Also near and dear to my heart is a commitment to both searching for a cure for Alzheimer’s and supporting families of people with Alzheimer’s disease, which of all the medical issues to touch my family has been the most heart-breaking. And…. man, I could go on and on, but really, you should take a look, because what seems most urgent and needed to me may not be what speaks to you. She is one of the most detail-oriented, research-focused, wonkiest candidates we’ve ever had, and I love it.

    • BSM

      I highly recommend following @docrocktex26 on Twitter. She has some amazing, well-researched, thought-provoking, and joyful threads on why Hillary.