Monthly Archives: July 2016

Clinton for Prez

I’m kind of amazed at how the conventional wisdom is that people are only voting for Hillary Clinton to prevent a Trump White House.

It seems really clear to me that Clinton is:

  • experienced; she’s spent years making relationships with people in the Senate, the House, state governments, the administration, the military, business, unions, …
  • pragmatic: her policy suggestions are about what can be done from where we are, not where we want to get to with no obvious way to get there. For example, she seems clear on the benefits of a single-payer Medicare-for-all scheme, and equally clear on the upheaval that would cause if implemented overnight;
  • productive: for all her opponents’ speechifying, she’s done more as a Senator and Secretary of State than any of them, sometimes despite personal and vitriolic opposition;
  • responsive: if there’s one thing that the last few months show, it’s that she can hear dissent, listen to it and modify her own opinions when she’s convinced otherwise.  I don’t want an idealogue for President;
  • motivated: she’s clearly in this for the public good.  She has a vision of how America can be, and she wants to use public service to help get it there.  If all she wanted was power and money, she could run the Clinton Foundation and give speeches to the 1% for the rest of her life.

She is not a great orator.  She has made mistakes of judgement (her personal email server, for example, the kind of mistakes I see people making every day sending their tax returns by email).  But she’s clearly, far and away, more than qualified for the Presidency, and I’m enthusiastically looking forward to a Clinton term.


First-naming in politics

I’ve been talking about the inherent sexism of calling Candidate Clinton by her first name, Hillary, while using last names or full titles with the other candidates (“Trump”, “Bush”, …). Then, of course, there’s Bernie, which throws a wrench in my theory.

Ian McEwan has another theory, as evinced by his one-line throwaway in an article in the Guardian ( it’s a way to make us disenfranchised plebs more interested in the goings on of the elections.

“Our first-naming paradoxically measures our distance from events.”