Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Centrist and proud of it

There's been a prevailing narrative in the current Democratic primary, promulgated heavily by much of the media (which loves simple narratives), that goes kind of like this. *Real* Democrats, who have principles, are voting for Sanders. The people voting for Clinton are doing so reluctantly, mostly because of "electability", but they don't actually *want* her to win, they just want to beat the Republicans. That's because she's a "centrist", which means she doesn't have any principles, and she's "just" a politician.

Enough of this crap.

Let's say this clearly: I'm voting for Clinton because I think she'd make a very good president. Frankly, I think she'd be better than most, precisely *because* of who she is and what she stands for.

I quite enjoyed the '08 primaries, because I didn't feel like I was choosing between the lesser of two evils. Both of the candidates were smart centrists. (Much of the electorate deluded themselves into believing that Obama was some kind of radical, but I always found that mysterious: if you listened to what he actually said, he was *obviously* a centrist, and that was much of why I liked him.) I decided to vote for Obama over Clinton for one simple reason: I thought his campaign was better *managed*, and the Presidency is, first and foremost, the ultimate management job. That's the point of the freaking executive branch -- they're the ones who are supposed to get things done. Since then, I've developed more respect for Clinton -- she did a solidly good job at State (itself a big management position), and knowing what I know now I'm not sure which way I'd go if offered the same choice.

(Actually, Obama had one other advantage: I have a mild preference for younger leaders. That's not a viable option in the current Democratic primary, and that makes me sad for the party.)

Yes, she's an insider. That's a *good* thing. I am continually mystified by the cult of the "outsider", and rather scared by the apparent right-wing desire for a fascist who will come in from the outside and sweep everything before him -- the potential danger aside, it's a rather anti-American (if long-held and common) viewpoint. In a finely-balanced system of checks and balances, being an insider is how you get things done -- *effective* presidents, the ones who actually accomplish something, are the ones who have a lot of experience in the field. And yes, that means being a politician.

As for the whole "she has no principles" charge, give me a freaking break. Yes, she's a little nuanced. I like that in a politician. The dangerous politicians -- the *scary* politicians, ultimately -- are the ones who see the world in simple black and white, believe that their way is the only way and that complex problems have simple solutions. The world is complex and nuanced, and our culture is evolving a lot faster than most people notice. Leading that culture without causing more problems than you're solving requires recognizing and navigating that complexity.

And yes, she's made a few mistakes -- the whole email-server thing was a dumb own-goal. But seriously, as scandals go, this one's pretty pathetically minor. Frankly, for a woman who has been square in the spotlight for 25 years, I'm deeply impressed that the worst the Republicans are throwing at her so far are that and their delusional fantasies about Benghazi. Anyone who can go that long, under that kind of microscope, and only be getting those accusations, probably has more integrity than most of us.

She'd make a damned good President. Out of the entire circus of candidates who have thrown their hats in the ring this time around, she's the only one I can honestly say that about. I am supporting her on Tuesday, proudly and with my head held high. I encourage you to consider doing the same.
Tags: politics

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