Wednesday, May 13, 2015

If Clinton is the Democratic nominee, progressives would be fools not to vote for her in November

By Marc Jampole

The past few days, I have been sharing excerpts from my lengthy Vox Populi article on Hillary Clinton’s probable positions on most of the issues likely to form the basis of the 2016 presidential campaign. Here is one final excerpt:

We can sum up Hillary Clinton’s probable platform in a few words: On social and domestic issues not involving unions, she will follow Elizabeth Warren’s lead, which should make progressives happy. On homeland security, foreign policy, military policy and trade policy, she will continue Obama’s initiatives in virtually every way, which is not such good news for the left. Taken as a unity, these stands make Hillary Clinton a centrist looking left, a contemporary version of Washington State’s long-time Senator, Henry “Scoop” Jackson.

It’s quite possible that a majority of Democratic voters are more progressive than Hillary, but Pew, Gallup and other polls suggest that a large majority of Democrats and independents taken together pretty much agree with Hillary on most things. Additionally, on domestic matters the gap between Hillary and the most left-leaning of the 2016 crew of Republican stalwarts is far greater than the difference between Hillary and the progressive edge of the Democratic Party, which I define as New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio.

Over the course of the next 18 months, I’m sure that Hillary Clinton will say many things that piss off progressives. She will particularly disappoint the left on issues related to unions, defense, national security and homeland security. But everything that every Republican running for president will say will piss off progressives—and frighten us, too.  

I didn’t write it in my Vox Populi article, but I feel strongly that it would be foolish for progressives to stay home in November or select a write-in candidate because of some antipathy to Hillary Clinton. The contrast between her views on Social Security, government programs for the poor, immigration, investment in infrastructure, taxation, gay marriage and abortion from those of every Republican is too vast for us to put our country at danger by not throwing our support behind Hillary, or just about any other Democratic candidate for that matter.

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