We’re getting into full-blown campaign mode, with Donald Trump making an ass of himself every time he opens his pie hole, and Hillary kind of making me sad for her. Donald doesn’t require much explanation, but Hillary. I read a quote that went something like “I think people should trust me. I think they do trust me.” It just rubbed me the wrong way. I think she’d be a competent president. I think she’s a strong lady. I think she’s smart, she’s got an impressive resume, and I think she’s probably realpolitik enough to count. And maybe that is all that should matter. This Benghazi thing is a pile of hooey. It certainly isn’t what brings her trustworthiness into question.
I wish she’d come out and say it. I don’t need to be warm and fuzzy. Diplomacy is a dirty game and I know how it is played. Governing is a dirty business, and I know how to do that. She’s not a warm and fuzzy grandma figure, nor do we want her to be. And the compromises she’s making between being the tough-minded politician that she is and the things society expects her to be as a female make for the sense that she isn’t trustworthy. Fair? Perhaps not. She, unlike the men in the race, is expected to be both a lady and a leader, and the two seem to require different things. There is no conflict for the men between being a man and being a leader. One might argue that being a gentleman (to use comparable terms) and a politician isn’t such an easy fit, but it isn’t the same glaring gap between the two that Hillary has to navigate.
And then she’s not even whispering about getting corporate money out of politics, and she’s suspect for that. She doesn’t get a pass from me just because we have the same basic set of lady parts.
So this is the politician I’d like to vote for:
- Serious about campaign finance. Puts their principles into action.
- Outlines an approach to foreign policy, but doesn’t commit to a course of action. There’s just too much that is unknowable from the perspective of an outsider.
- Commits to simplifying the tax code and eliminating loopholes.
- Ruthlessly pragmatic.
- No history of stupid comments that *sound* like being an ass about class but are really about being an ass about race.
- Committed to ending the war on drugs with science- and experience-based policy. We can look to Europe for what has worked there and come up with something better than what we’ve got.
- Consistent. If a principle applies here, then it applies over there too. No picking and choosing.
- Agnostic. Serious about clear separation of church and state.
- Pro-nuclear power. Anti-nuclear weapons. Don’t freak out about my having misplaced my liberal credentials somewhere, go watch Pandora’s Promise.
- Understands the beast that is the federal government and will do something reasonable about harnessing the wasted potential inherent in the federal workforce.
Show me that politician and I’ll line up to vote. Everyone else? Meh. Not that I won’t vote, I just won’t be excited about it.