I have been a Democrat my whole life, and the whole time I have written this blog, and I have voted for every Democratic presidential candidate since Mondale in 1984. Barring some unforeseen circumstance, I will vote for Hillary Clinton this November.
I do not think the Democrats are great, I am fully aware of their flaws and I am fully aware of deeper conspiracy issues.
The main reason I still am a Democrat is because I think conventional politics makes a difference, and we can make progress on important issues aside from conspiracy issues. Yes, the military industrial complex is horrible, and the Dems are part of it. Politics is a messy business.
I do NOT think both parties are the same. I think the Dem are much better in almost every regard.
Again, Dems are not perfect, but if you are anti-war, or a minority, or an atheist, or a scientist, or pro-women's rights, chances are very high you are a Democrat. If you voted against a war or military funding since 9/11, you almost certainly are a Democrat. If you voted to regulate Wall St, you are almost certainly a Democrat.
Not all Democrats are good, of course. But on average, since the Kennedy years, they are so much better than Republicans.
I am still a Democrat because:
1) Democrats support social and economic justice
2) Democrats support diversity and personal freedom
3) Democrats support science and action against climate change
4) Democrats are the only real bulwark this country has against the Republicans, who are terrible in almost every respect-- they cater to the worst instincts of religious intolerance, greed and bigotry. They have literally been traitors to this country and its people. If the current crop of Republicans had their way, we would have a Christian theocracy, and that is the antithesis of modernity and progress and freedom.
So as a Democrat, I will offer this defense of Hillary Clinton:
1) the vast majority of bad stories about her are totally blown out of proportion or are outright lies. Remember, the Republicans hate her, and have demonized her for 25 years. They have built an incredible wall of disinformation about her and still do.
2) Hillary will be a liberal as she is capable of being with the Congress she has to work with. If Dems take back Congress, I think Hillary will enact progressive laws.
3) Hillary will be a better president than most people expect.
But -- she's a warmonger! What about her vote for the Iraq war?
So let me offer this:
What exactly did it mean to "vote for the Iraq war" if you were in congress back in 2002, for instance if you were Hillary Clinton?
The "yes" vote meant you were authorizing US force for the disarming of Iraq's WMD.
It meant you trusted the Bush administration to use US military force wisely.
It meant you didn't want to take a chance of Saddam Hussein having WMD.
It meant you were probably still very freaked out by the 9/11 attacks.
It meant you thought the US could possibly liberate Iraq from a ruthless dictator without too costly a price.
It meant you didn't listen to the people who were saying Iraq's WMD were gone.
It meant you didn't listen to the anti-war people.
What the vote DIDN'T mean however was that you thought the Bush administration would:
1) push misleading evidence to Congress about the state of Iraq's WMD program prior to the vote
2) invade Iraq without exhausting all diplomatic efforts
3) invade Iraq without getting UN approval for the action
4) invade Iraq without having a proper international coalition that approved the action
5) give multiple fear-mongering speeches about the threat Iraq posed in order to build public support for the war
6) lie about connections of Saddam Hussein to 9/11
7) lie about Saddam Hussein trying to build nuclear weapons
8) lie about the costs of the war
9) go ahead and invade Iraq WITHOUT ANY DECENT PLAN for what to do afterwards in establishing a new government, and not recognize the danger of the country of opening long-suppressed sectarian divisions. Bush famously didn't even know the difference between Sunni and Shia before the invasion.
10) disband the Iraq military, A HUGE MISTAKE, which directly led to the formation of Sunni militias and the insurgency and eventually ISIS/ISIL.
In other words, it damn well was the Bush administration who made the Iraq mess. People who voted for the Iraq war made a mistake to be sure, in trusting the Bush administration, and probably not recognizing how damaging an Iraq invasion could be. But it was not necessarily a war-mongering vote.
It's important to remember what a bubble Senators are in, and just how evil and incompetent the Bush administration was.
I'M NOT SAYING that Hillary Clinton's motives for voting for the use of force were necessarily pure and obviously the vote was a mistake. But I think it is somewhat forgivable. She was the junior Senator from NY, where the 9/11 attacks caused huge damage-- the political pressures on her were huge and hard to imagine.
The same goes for her various apparent war-mongering-- I don't think it's fair to single her out more than so many other people at a high level who have pushed for similar policies or actions.
Bottom line is she's a freaking politician, who has done some good things, and some bad things. She came from common stock, she's reached a high level out of her intelligence and toughness. Being president of the US is a tough job and requires someone with real serious experience and toughness.
Trump is a complete joke, a psychopathic personality and a giant ass-clown who should not be put near the reins of power.
Between him and Hillary, there really is no doubt who is the better choice: the woman. And I do think having a woman president is important in its own right.