(Finally) Ready for Hillary

I’ll confess. I didn’t come out of the womb Ready for Hillary. I wasn’t even Ready for Hillary in 2008. Until recently, I still wasn’t Ready for Hillary. I was Holding Out Hope for Joe Biden, or Assuming Elizabeth Warren Would Run, or even Maybe Going to Give Bernie Sanders A Try. But I was, and on some level remain, Skeptical of Hillary.

After the November Midterm Elections, and with Hillary Clinton’s announcement that she would be running for President in 2016, I can finally say that I am totally Ready for Hillary.

Why did it take so long? And what made me eventually change my opinion?

I’m Skeptical of Hillary for the same reason I’m Angry About Jeb. I do not like that we are living in an American oligarchy. I don’t like the idea that our political history could read Bush, Clinton, Bush, first black president, Clinton. I really don’t like the possibility of Bush, Clinton, Bush, first black president, Bush. An oligarchy is defined as a small group of people who have control over a country or institution, and in looking at the political landscape in this country, it’s hard to argue that we are not living in an oligarchy.

According to one study by academics at Princeton, opinions and causes supported by lower income people, and interest groups that represent them, have no effect on policy. Rather, it is the richest and most powerful that are able to make their ideas heard, and advocate for change, whether they exert their influence with large campaign contributions, or through high-powered lobbying firms.

The idea of a rich and powerful elite controlling my country, with little opportunity for others to try to run for office, is initially why I did not like the idea of another Clinton presidency. In a lot of ways, that skepticism is still there, and I think it does raise important issues that American as a country needs to discuss.

But we don’t need to discuss those issues right now. Right now, we need another Democratic president, and that is why I’m Ready for Hillary.

I think Hillary can win, not just the Democratic nomination, but the overall election. 59% of Democrats say that there is a “good chance” that they will support Hillary Clinton in the election, compared to 23% of Republicans who say the same thing about Jeb Bush. If Clinton already has an substantial edge with the Democrats, my entirely unscientific assessment of the situation is that Hillary could win a general election. At the very least, she has a better chance than anyone else the Democrats could nominate (sorry Vice President Biden, I would have run your campaign).

I’m not just Ready for Hillary because I think she can win. I’m Ready for Hillary because I think she has to win. I’m not going to outline all the reasons I vote Democrat, but I will outline the main reason, the reason I think that everyone needs to really think hard about who they are voting for.

Currently, the Supreme Court is only slightly in favor of preventing abortion. There are four liberal justices who would not dream of eliminating the protections laid down in Roe v. Wade, and there are four conservative justices who would welcome the opportunity. There is a swing justice, who usually airs on the side of protecting abortion, but if a fifth conservative justice is put on the court, Justice Kennedy will be unnecessary. Whoever America elects in 2016 will be the person who can appoint justices who will serve for years to come. This election is not just about immediate policy, it’s about the far reaching effects of ideology in our judicial system. In 2016, make sure to actually show up, and vote for a candidate that will protect women’s rights not just while they are in office, but for years to come. Not to mention the backsliding the court and the country will do with regard to economic equality, gay rights, and protections for minorities.

Not only do I think Secretary Clinton is the best person to protect those rights in the short and long term, I think that with the visible and invisible sexism that still plagues every woman in our society today, from street harassment to Federal laws that dictate what we can and can't do with our bodies, it would be incredibly powerful, and frankly, necessary to have a female president. 

And that’s why, despite my discomfort with our American Oligarchy, I am, without a doubt, Ready for Hillary.

First Published: April 26, 2015