A Democratic Conundrum: Clinton or Sanders

nicole lashombNicole Lashomb, Editor-in-Chief of The Rainbow Times
Photo. TRT Archives

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Democratic Conundrum

Nicole Lashomb, Editor-in-Chief of The Rainbow Times
Photo. TRT Archives

By: Nicole Lashomb/Editor-in-Chief—

There’s no doubt that the political landscape has shifted dramatically since Pres. Obama’s first run for the oval office in 2008. Like many of you, I watched the results of the Iowa Caucus pour in on February 1 and though Hillary Clinton edged out Bernie Sanders in a near tie, the race was narrowed to just the two of them, once Gov. Martin O’Malley dropped out of the race. In the 2016 primaries, the democrats & liberals have a tough choice to make between what is undoubtedly a race between the nation’s most accomplished woman and a socialist. A progressive woman and a socialist.

Over the past decade and longer, the political right has used key phrases like liberal, socialist, “pro-abortion,” and so many other “sweet” talking charms as a ploy to elicit fear in the minds and hearts of the American people. They’ve raised their flags, loaded their guns, and clenched their fists while spewing a vitriolic war of words against its own people—the marginalized and most vulnerable among us, commonly used for target practice. It is the bully strategy and the abuse has reared its ugly head in the public square on the road to the white house this year more than any other I can remember. [pullquote]Personally, Sen. Sander’s ideals align with many of my own, as do Sec. Clinton’s, but the more I think about the iron fist hold of Congress, I am realistic that it takes so much more than good ideas to be able to get it done.[/pullquote]

The GOP favorite, Donald Trump, has publicly mocked the disabled, demeaned women, dehumanized immigrants, offended Muslims and other world religions, and offers no plan for the future with any significant substance—but he’s entertaining to watch as long as you are not in his firestorm. Sen. Ted Cruz, who decisively won the Iowa Caucus, has been equally, if not more dangerous than Trump for every word he speaks is cloaked in God’s name, a name he uses for his political gain while acting in direct contrast with the so-called “teachings” he claims to live by.

For some, such games have worked, as they cling to every word out of their mouth as if it were the gospel truth. But, the truth is that America has changed—it is changing—and in changing, we advance and we’ve become wiser.

According to a Gallup poll released in January, Republican support is at a historical all-time low. That is no surprise to me.

In contrast, the left has two strong candidates that have a long history of standing up for “Main Street,” as Obama first proclaimed in 2008. In nearly every poll depicting the general election results between a republican and democratic candidate, the democrats win, by a landslide.

I look forward to pulling that lever this fall.

The conundrum faced by many Democrats is which candidate to support this primary season—Sec. Clinton or Sen. Sanders. For me, the choice is clear. I’m with her. [pullquote]They’ve raised their flags, loaded their guns, and clenched their fists while spewing a vitriolic war of words against its own people—the marginalized and most vulnerable among us, commonly used for target practice. It is the bully strategy and the abuse has reared its ugly head in the public square on the road to the white house this year more than any other I can remember.[/pullquote]

Sec. Clinton is by far the most qualified to be Commander-in-Chief. Her fortitude, along with her vast experience of being tried and tested, leaves no other stronger candidate on the stage. Naysayers can assert their opinions, and even express hatred or disdain toward her, but what she has proven time and time again is that she will always get back up, a lesson her mother taught her from the time she was a child. Before being quick to judge however, one should actually research her accomplishments, her record, and personal evolution. Simply citing that there needs to be a “progressive” in the white house is not enough. As matter of fact, I consider Pres. Obama, Sec. Clinton and Sen. Sanders to all be progressives. While Sen. Sanders represents many of my own ideals, the path to achieve those ideals is unattainable. It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t dream. It simply means that along with those dreams has to come a realistic plan to seize them.

I’ve closely followed the race between Sec. Clinton and Sen. Sanders and it is clear to me that they both share most of the same objectives, most of the same dreams. However, there is only one candidate in the limelight who understands how to play Washington’s political game. I know, all of us are tired of politics as usual. However, Washington is not going to change any time soon. The House and Senate will still have Republican leadership, making Democratic Party objectives difficult to accomplish. Look how many times President Obama’s initiatives have been blocked by a Republican-led Congress. [pullquote]Naysayers can assert their opinions, and even express hatred or disdain toward her, but what she has proven time and time again is that she will always get back up, a lesson her mother taught her from the time she was a child.[/pullquote]

Sec. Clinton is a progressive realist. She is aware that in order to get anything accomplished, there have to be sacrifices, there has to be hard work and reaching across the aisle, even when your own ideals differ from the person sitting next to you. Just because you want something done and have made a promise to do so, regardless of your passion behind it, does not mean that Congress is going to get behind those very initiatives. Demanding they do so will not accomplish anything at all.

As a Yale graduate, she opted to work with the Children’s Defense Fund instead of at a high paid corporate law firm, which ultimately lead Sec. Clinton, to be named one of the 100 most powerful lawyers in the country by the National Law Journal.

As Secretary of State, Clinton lead the nation’s foreign and diplomatic policies and relations. Due in large part to Sec. Clinton, America’s reputation has been restored around the world again after the Bush Administration drove it into the ground. [pullquote]Sec. Clinton is a progressive realist. She is aware that in order to get anything accomplished, there have to be sacrifices, there has to be hard work and reaching across the aisle, even when your own ideals differ from the person sitting next to you.[/pullquote]

“Her record of achievement is as diverse as it is historic,” reported CNN. “Clinton pushed hard for the United States to ‘pivot’ to Asia. She established the tough sanctions against Iran that led to the recently signed nuclear agreement. She shined a light on the plight of Burmese political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi, helping to orchestrate her release.”

Politics is a dance, a dance that Sec. Clinton has clearly mastered from her youth.

When we examine her qualifications closer, Sen. Sanders cannot hold a match to her. Not only was she Secretary of State, as if that isn’t enough, she was in the White House as first lady for 8 years, pioneered health care reform even then, served as a Senator from New York, and has a life long record of not only having great ideas as a public servant, but learning how to cultivate those ideas into achievable results.

“Hillary Clinton traveled to more countries than any other secretary in the history of the department, logging nearly a million miles and visiting 112 nations,” read the CNN report. “She visited countries that hadn’t had a U.S. secretary of state visit for up to five decades (Laos) or ever (Togo).”

During the Benghazi Committee Hearing, I was left in awe as Sec. Clinton was unjustly hammered by the panel (mostly composed of GOP members) for more than 11 hours, the longest hearing in history, and not only maintained her composure, but she articulated her answers with pristine sharpness that only brilliance can buy. That was when I first knew I, undoubtedly, wanted to her to be my president. [pullquote]Some have tried to vilify her, as it often happens when a woman has accomplished “too much.” Indisputably, many barriers she has faced are, at least in part, due to sexism and still chipping away at that glass ceiling. However, when I see Sec. Clinton, I see brilliance, compassion, experience, humility, resilience and a polished politician garnered with domestic and worldwide respect for her constant work in service of the American people and global community.[/pullquote]

Some have tried to vilify her, as it often happens when a woman has accomplished “too much.” Indisputably, many barriers she has faced are, at least in part, due to sexism and still chipping away at that glass ceiling. However, when I see Sec. Clinton, I see brilliance, compassion, experience, humility, resilience and a polished politician garnered with domestic and worldwide respect for her constant work in service of the American people and global community. She has thrown herself on the front lines for so may critical issues such as women and children’s rights, accessible healthcare for all, advocacy for the LGBT community, gun control and American Workers, to name a few. She is dedicated to fixing our broken criminal justice system and opposes using “religious freedoms” as a way to discriminate against others. Not only is she a pro-choice candidate, she has been a lifelong advocate and servant. Her long-standing record speaks volumes. When we join the ranks of countries like Germany, Denmark, and Chile by placing a woman as our Leader of the Free World, future generations will develop a transformed view of what a woman can do.

I understand that having a “new candidate” who promises to make idealistic dreams come true is appealing, though factually, Sanders has been in politics for more than 40 years. At any rate, we should never stop dreaming of a more perfect union. Personally, Sen. Sander’s ideals align with many of my own, as do Sec. Clinton’s, but the more I think about the iron fist hold of Congress, I am realistic that it takes so much more than good ideas to be able to get it done.

I know people get tired of Washington politics and some may see Sec. Clinton as a branch of that political machine. However, my contention is that sometimes, it is better to go with what you know, with a person that has proven herself time and time again and that has achieved vast political results that you and I benefit from today. The #feelthebern phenomena will end and what will be left is an elected President sitting in an Oval Office and Situation Room contending with decisions you nor I could possibly fathom. Who do you want that person to be? #ImWithHer.

*Nicole Lashomb is the Editor-in-Chief of TRT. She holds an MBA from Marylhurst University and a BM from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam. To contact Nicole, write to her at: editor@therainbowtimesmass.com.

 

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