I have always been political, even as my politics have shifted. As an 8-year-old hyper conservative child, I wrote a letter to President Bush the elder, asking him to outlaw abortion before the end of his term. I was fiercely religious and parroted the beliefs of my grandma.
I was 9 when Bill Clinton was sworn in as President. I cried. I just knew he’d mess everything up.
My politics changed a lot between 9 and 33. My reasons for disliking Bill aren’t the same. His womanizing and accusations of sexual harassment have stayed constant. But, while I now appreciate his support of abortion rights, his escalation of the drug war, mass incarceration, expansion of the death penalty, support of corporate tax dodgers, and detestable welfare “reform” made this country a worse place.
I would still cry if he was inaugurated today. And I feel the same way about Hillary. I don’t want another Clinton or another Bush. I don’t want political dynasties or candidates who are foregone conclusions. I don’t want to calculate my vote cynically. I want to vote my conscience. That isn’t always easy to do in a system where fundraising is a necessary part of the “game”, a system the majority of Americans could never compete in.
I don’t want a Republican in Democratic clothing for president, and I’m unwilling to pretend only Republicans can be disasters for poor Americans. As a little Republican child I cried through Bill Clinton’s inauguration. As a too-liberal-for-Dems adult, I will cry if Hillary Clinton gets the nomination.
If abortion is technically legal but you’re in poverty with no healthcare (or have government healthcare that doesn’t cover abortion), the right can become impossible to access. If education is technically subsidized but you’re working two jobs and don’t have time for school, that doesn’t really help you.
That’s why I’m voting for Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein. Clinton may want to keep abortion legal, but she doesn’t seem to worry if people can actually get them. She may want the government to offset the cost of college for middle income families, but hasn’t shown interest in making life itself affordable to people with less.