Holy crap, it’s Tuesday November 8th. I woke up way before my alarm and today, with millions, I will participate in this very flawed democracy and then await results.
In the final weeks and days, it finally almost became cool to support Hillary Clinton (Thanks, Bey!) But holy shit has it been a long road. So this morning I remind myself why I’m voting for Clinton and why I’m not.
I’m with her because secret Facebook groups have kept me sane for the past year. They kept me sane during the primary, when I saw left friends pass on rightwing memes literally created by conservative PACs, when friends who criticized her for not being ENOUGH against Citizens United but who didn’t know that the full name of the group that gave us that horrendous Supreme Court Decision was Citizens United Not Timid – yes, C.U.N.T. – and it was created to attack her.
I’m with her because I don’t remember everyone being so damned tortured about supporting John Kerry — and to say he was at least as flawed a candidate as Clinton is like saying Donald Trump is just a little bit racist.
I’m with her despite being fiercely against her in 2008 because – like Michelle and Barack – I’m an adult who doesn’t live in the past but is focused on now and the future. I’m with her despite being skeptical at the beginning of this primary season, but I’ve seen her campaign as a progressive on many issues – not tacking right as many assumed she would for the general – while still getting no credit for that. I’m with her because I know people who love Obama but hate her for things she did as his Secretary of State.
I’m with her because – as Deborah Tannen eloquently describes – she’s not just judged by a double standard but is in a worse situation, a double bind: if she doesn’t smile she’s dour, but when she verifiably, empirically smiles more than her opponent in a debate she was STILL told to smile more.
I’m with her because when it comes to choice, LGBTQ issues, the global climate change, Supreme Court appointments, belief in the role of government, and a whole host of other issues, there is not doubt she is the best candidate.
I’m with her because I find the whole “I hate voting for the lesser of two evils” line of thought repugnant and privileged. I’m Puerto Rican. In bipartisan fashion, Congress recently put my home island under what can only be described as a colonial receivership. When it comes to the American political process, “lesser of two evils” is a way of life, as it is for many people of color. Welcome to our world.
And perhaps most importantly, I’m with her not because I think I won’t disagree with her as president but because I know I will. But I know that one thing people consistently say about her is that she listens, knows how to get shit done, and she knows how to do that under a barrage of relentless attacks. I’m with her because I am not looking for saviors in politics, especially in US national elections; we are our own saviors.
I’m with her because I am the president of a union of janitors and security officers, of immigrants, low wage workers and people of color, because I am myself Latino, and I am sick and tired of seeing my communities scapegoated.
I am with her because I intend to hold her and Congress accountable to pass immigration reform and criminal justice reform.
I am with her because I know what I’m getting when it comes to Wall Street reform and true financial justice, and by that I mean for a problem so fundamental to our democracy this is a tough, uphill slog no matter who is elected.
I am with her because she has repeatedly told us to hold her accountable. We intend to. (You know that when it comes to immigration reform, we didn’t do that enough in his first term –except for the visionary Dreamers, of course) That’s on us).
I am with her because I intend to hold us, the progressive movement accountable. I intend to hold myself accountable.
I’m with her because the work doesn’t end on Tuesday, November 8th. It is just beginning. I’ll be happy about things she does and pissed about others, but I won’t stop organizing and I won’t stop working, and I know that the playing field that she will set up will make our organizing and our victories possible – not guaranteed and they’re never easy. But it’s the right playing field.
Tonight, hopefully, this election will avoid a catastrophe for the country and the world. But let us not kid ourselves. The forces our opponent has unleashed are a genie that will be very tough to put back in the bottle. The days ahead will be tough. But we’ll deal with that tomorrow.