What would Hillary do? …. Nothing but good things.

hqdefault-4On Tuesday you will vote (if you are a US citizen), and so rather obviously if you would like to see specific things happen, then you vote for the candidate whose stated manifesto aligns with what you would like to see.

Do you only have two choices, what about the others?

If indeed the third party candidates have manifestos that align with your core beliefs, then you will naturally vote in that direction. You know that they will not be elected, and so I’m honestly not sure what you hope to actually achieve by doing that because the only meaningful way your vote can result in somebody actually doing something you agree with is to pick one of the two whose manifesto best aligns with the issues you feel strongly about.

Having said that, I should also add the rather obvious – Nobody can dictate whom you must or should vote for.

Often however a vote is not a rational choice. This is  because we tend to align tribally and give very little consideration to what the candidate proposes to actually do, nor do we really consider if the candidate will be capable of actually achieving anything. Instead many vote Red or Blue (or Green or Yellow) right down the ticket without really knowing who these people actually are, what their past track record and experience has been, or if they would be capable of the pragmatic approach that politics demands to actually get something meaningful achieved. Remember that it is a democracy, we are not establishing a dictatorship (unless of course you actually are voting for Trump, because then all bets are off), and so once in office it can come as a bit of a shock to some to discover that they need to be adept at Bipartisanship (unless you are a Tea Party member because they strive to not do that and end up getting nothing done).

Why do so many just vote one colour?

It might be tempting to consider those that emotionally align with just one colour, red or blue, to be either ignorant or stupid, but that is not what is going on. It is a truly understandable human attribute to behave like this for the wholly practical observation that humans just do not have the bandwidth to analyse it all at an analytical level, so instead we take a heuristic shortcut and vote for our tribe because that is the safest quickest option.

The net effect we now see is that many traditional red voters are voting out of red loyalty for some rather non-traditional and quite frankly obnoxious ideas. This is not universally true because some have been analytical and have been pragmatic voters who will focus on issues, not brand loyalty.

So with that thought in mind, let’s ask ourselves one question about one Candidate. Yes, we are awash with lots of mythological and quite frankly fictitious nonsense that can quite happily be ignored, I’m not going there right now.

What would Hillary Do?

To answer this, let’s simply take a look at her declared manifesto, and list out what it contains …

  • A fair tax system – Making sure the wealthy, Wall Street, and corporations pay their fair share in taxes. – Read more
  • Addiction and substance use – Through improved treatment, prevention, and training, we can end this quiet epidemic once and for all. – Read more
  • An economy that works for everyone – We need to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. – Read more
  • An end to Alzheimer’s disease – We can prevent, effectively treat, and make an Alzheimer’s cure possible by 2025. 0- Read more
  • Autism – Millions of Americans live with autism—and we’ve got to do more to support them and their families. – Read more
  • Campaign finance reform – Our democracy should work for everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected. – Read more
  • Campus sexual assault – It’s not enough to condemn campus sexual assault. We need to end it. – Read more
  • Climate change – Taking on the threat of climate change and making America the world’s clean energy superpower. – Read more
  • Combating terrorism and keeping the homeland safe – It’s not enough to contain ISIS and the threat of terrorism—we have to defeat it. – Read more
  • Criminal justice reform – Our criminal justice system is out of balance. – Read more
  • Disability rights – We must continue to expand opportunities for Americans with disabilities. – Read more
  • Early childhood education – Every child deserves the chance to live up to his or her God-given potential.  – Read more
  • Fixing America’s infrastructure – Strong infrastructure is critical to a strong economy.  – Read more
  • Gun violence prevention – We can—and must—end the epidemic of gun violence. – Read more
  • Health care – Universal, quality, affordable health care for everyone in America – Read more
  • HIV and AIDS – We have reached a critical moment in our fight against HIV and AIDS. – Read more
  • Housing – We need housing policies that connect working families to opportunity. – Read more
  • Immigration reform – We need comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to full and equal citizenship. – Read more
  • Jobs and wages – We can make the boldest investment in good-paying jobs since World War II. – Read more
  • K-12 education – Strong public education is the key to preparing our children for the future. – Read more
  • Labor and workers’ rights – When unions are strong, America is strong. – Read more
  • LGBT rights and equality – Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans deserve to live their lives free from discrimination. – Read more
  • Making college debt-free and taking on student debt – Hillary will make debt-free college available to everyone and take on student loan debt. – Read more
  • Manufacturing – Hillary Clinton’s plan to strengthen manufacturing so we always “Make it in America.” – Read more
  • Mental health – We have to address the mental health crisis in America and end the stigma and shame associated with treatment. – Read more
  • Military and defense -We should maintain the best-trained, best-equipped, and strongest military the world has ever known. – Read more
  • National security – With policies that keep us strong and safe, America will lead the world in the 21st century. – Read more
  • National service – Do all the good you can. – Read more
  • Paid family and medical leave – It’s time to guarantee paid family and medical leave in America. – Read more
  • Poverty – No child should ever have to grow up in poverty. – Read more
  • Protecting animals and wildlife – The way our society treats animals is a reflection of our humanity. – Read more
  • Racial justice – America’s long struggle with race is far from finished. – Read more
  • Rural communities – America’s rural communities are the backbone of this country. – Read more
  • Small business – We have to level the playing field for America’s small businesses. – Read more
  • Social Security and Medicare – We must preserve, protect, and strengthen these lifelines. – Read more
  • Technology and innovation – We can harness the power of technology and innovation to work for all Americans. – Read more
  • Veterans, the armed forces, and their families – America must fully commit to supporting veterans. –Read more
  • Voting rights – We should be making it easier to vote, not harder. – Read more
  • Wall Street reform – Wall Street must work for Main Street. – Read more
  • Women’s rights and opportunity – We need to break down barriers that hold women back. – Read more
  • Workforce skills and job training – Every American should be able to learn the skills they need to compete and succeed. – Read more

Ask Yourself Just one question …

Is there anything in that list above that you actually object to?

If the answer that is “yes” then I can only suggest that you are most probably not a decent human being.

Remember, you don’t actually have too like her. This is not a marriage proposal, instead it’s a job interview, and you need to work out if she can or cannot actually do the job.

If you like what you see in the list above, then you know what you need to do on 8th November. Oh, and to help her be effective, you need to vote right down the ticket to get rid of the “do nothing” folks who are not even prepared to work on common goals that would help everybody.

If you want to vote in a manner that has a progressive outcome, then vote analytically tomorrow, don’t just revert to brand loyalty.

2 thoughts on “What would Hillary do? …. Nothing but good things.”

  1. Sorry, but I cannot completely agree with this article, as it shows clear bias. The title itself invokes anyone with a skeptical mind to question the premise that Hillary will do “Nothing but good things.” There is no empirical evidence to back that up, it is pure speculation and also means you must “believe” in a premise that is not based in fact, but opinion. First, let me state that I am NOT a Trump supporter nor am I against Hillary for President, I think she will be a better than average President if elected. I am just pointing out that for a “Skeptical Science” article, this really is not meeting the criteria. Then, there’s the bit about “Ask yourself just one question…”

    Here’s the “Just one question I have for you”. Does Hillary go far enough to make real change happen? Meaning, is Clinton’s step-wise approach really going to work for all the things listed above, or will it be too little too late? I would argue the later. Sure, it’s better than doing nothing, but it’s a bit like the saying about a mouse urinating into the ocean, and that is how I see Clinton’s plan. Are her agenda points a step in the right direction, yes, but we need to be moving at light-speed on many issues instead of taking baby steps. I would argue that certain of her plans are not aggressive enough and that her “experience” as a politician has jaded her into thinking that real and fast progress cannot be made, and that is a major flaw. I would also argue that she, despite the good things she will try to do, she will become the galvanizing force to unite the opposition from the Republicans. If elected, the Republicans will double down on obstructionism, partisan politics and work towards impeaching her. Sadly, the Democrats will use similar tactics if Trump is elected.

    Your rhetoric about voting within the two party system is also in error and you are arguing for the false dichotomy of the two-party system. Here is my counter argument for why voting for 3rd party is really the right thing to do this election. Both the parties have lost touch with their bases and the people they are supposed to represent. I am not sure anyone could logically argue the contrary. Their internal structures for nominating and producing candidates are broken, easily manipulated and prone to producing candidates that the majority of people in this country do not want, like, respect, nor do those nominated candidates represent the platform for majority of the party members. If anything, both of the two parties will make reforms within their nomination processes that reinforce the influence from party insiders to keep from having runaway candidates like Sanders or Trump. This change will continue to disenfranchise voters and be bad for Democracy. Voting for the two party system reinforces this behavior.

    Let’s not forget that most people voting this year are not for a candidate they like or want in office, but are voting the lesser of two evils. That is essential the message from Robert Reich, if you aren’t voting for Hillary because you don’t like her, you should anyway to keep Trump out of office. This is the same rhetoric that conservatives are using to get the party voters in line to vote for Trump and I for one am not buying that line. Voting for either of these candidates is voting to keep the current, badly broken, two party system in place which produces either a “Coronation Candidate” or a “Last Man Standing”, or a “Party Insider” candidate.

    Please explain to me how voting for a two party candidate this election helps widen the political playing field and increase options for candidates that may better represent more people of this country in the future?

    If this is the nomination process you want to see repeated in 2020 and beyond, then by all means vote for one of the two party candidates and reward them for this complete failure and send the message you are OK with being duped by this false democratic republic and the false choices it provides. I can guarantee you, that after this election is over tomorrow, no matter who wins, we will see the same false dichotomy played out. The “loosing” party will fight tooth and nail against anything the “winning” one does, even if it happens to be good for the rest of the country. When the game is defined as the only way to win is if the party wins (which is how it is currently defined), instead of defined as when the majority of “We the People” win, guess who is caught on the sidelines? Our politics are doomed to be framed within the two-party system where it’s main plan objectives are to keep itself alive, defeat the other side, and if it accidentally helps out “We the People”, well that is just a fortunate outcome for them, but is not part of the criteria for developing any plan.

    If you want to see real political change, the only way to do that is to put pressure both of the two-party systems simultaneous. They only way to do that is to show them both that there is a real desire for a 3rd party that wants more than either of the current two parties have to offer, to stop framing everything in terms of two-party politics and start trying to frame things in terms of what is good for our Nation and The People? Real political reform is not going to happen within a broken system where the two parties draw upon the hate and fear of what the other will do to maintain power. Something from outside must make the change, what else would that be besides a 3rd party?

    • I have a couple of additional thoughts …

      Regarding the prevailing system, it is the way it is because first-past-the-post systems tend to naturally push most voters into a two party modality. The solution is not to persuade people to think differently and thus vote differently, but to instead adopt something that reflects how people actually vote. I suspect we both lean in this direction and do agree upon this. For example proportional representation means that a vote for a 3rd party actually is meaningful and ceases to be ineffective, hence the two-party cartel would be broken.

      Enabling that would in practical terms be a huge challenge because you would need to persuade rather a lot of people that this is a good idea.

      The term “broken-system” is a term I would take issue with. The system itself is not broken, but rather is working as it was designed to. However, there are indeed better solutions, and there is indeed, quite rightly, a growing appetite for change.

      Small steps are the most pragmatic practical means to actually change things. As an example, one rather practical step is a reform of political funding and the manner in which a few with rather a lot of wealth can buy influence.

      I understand the desire to vote 3rd party, and I understand the motivation, however I do need to ponder what it would actually ever achieve. The best means of accomplishing meaningful effective change is to align with the candidate that actually proposes things that move us in that direction.

      Regarding Hillary … I’ll comment on that a bit as well.

      Looking at the proposed policies, her list of things that she wishes to address – I have never seen such a progressive mandate ever. Have you?

      Past experience is often an indicator of future behaviour and so we do have empirical data that enables us to draw conclusions regarding potential outcomes. In her specific case it can quite frankly be incredibly challenging for several reasons. She is perhaps one of the most lied about candidates ever to set foot into the political arena, and that perhaps has it roots going back many decades. Even back to her time as FLOTUS in the 90s she did not take a back seat but instead strove to introduce universal health-care. It really did rub rather a lot of people up the wrong way that a hick lawyer from Arkansas was not doing traditional FLOTUS activities and was instead striving to meddle in the boys club. She could have had a easy ride because instead she refused to play that role and strove to do the hard stuff and make would could have been a truly meaningful change for millions of people.

      If curious to understand who she actually is and what makes her tick, I can recommend her various autobiographies. You you venture there, you will discover an individual who is distinctly different than the public image promoted by those opposed to her. If she is elected, it would be worth investing the time.

      Another thought. Google these terms …
      – “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights”
      – “human rights are gay rights and gay rights are human rights”

      … what do you learn?

      OK, so you asked a specific question, an interesting one.

      // Does Hillary go far enough to make real change happen? //

      Basically yes she does. The big lesson she learned back in the 90s with the health care failure is that big changes can’t be digested in one go, a series of small steps is more effective.

      Is there anything within her list of proposals you are seriously opposed to?

      The point I’m making is to suggest that voting for her simply because “Not Trump” need not be the case at all, and instead there is rather a lot of progressive items on the ticket, that if successfully implemented would make a real change for the better.


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