Why we should vote for Hillary in 2016

Someone on another site said he doesn’t know any liberals who WANT to vote for Hillary in 2016 other than the fact that she’s less objectionable to any Republican candidate.I am a liberal, and I will happily pull the lever voting for Hillary in 2016. And I’ll tell you why.

Because she is a woman, and its time we had a female President. Full stop.

Because she is tough and I can’t see Republicans walking all over her like they have Obama for the past six years.

Because I personally like her.

And because she drives Republicans insane. They won’t be able to control themselves, they will go full misogyny. And they will turn off every female voter with half a functioning brain cell, much as they have done so with Hispanics and African-Americans by going full racist the last 6 years. And womenfolk are 51% of the electorate. Republicans will merely engineer their own defeat a decade earlier than they would have.

There are between six and fourteen vulnerable Republican Senators up for re-election in 2016. We need a Democratic wave election to wipe out as many of them as possible. Hillary is beloved by a large swath of the country and really is the only candidate who could create a wave election.

Although a lot of liberals will only vote for her while holding their nose, we all will do so (much as the Republicans voted for Romney) because the alternative of having a Republican appoint additional Scalitos to the Supreme Court is far, far worse.

Yes, if Warren or Sanders had a reasonable shot, I guess they’d be my preferred candidates, but every poll I have seen has them both losing to Generic Republican, while Hillary is able to defeat most Republicans in places like Georgia and Arizona. Neither Warren or Sanders stands a chance in a general election, and I’m sorry, but that’s just how it is right now until the country changes demographically.

When you sacrifice pragmatism (picking the candidate who will most likely win) in favor of ideology (picking the most ideologically pure candidate no matter what), you are going to end up like the Tea Party. Go look at the times that an ideologically pure candidate won their party’s nomination in 1964 and 1972 and 1984. The results have not been pretty. Romney managed to get enough moderates to vote for him in 2012 so that historically he will look like a credible candidate, but imagine if the GOP decided to go full ideology and nominate Santorum. Polls show that Santorum would have lost to Obama by around 10 to 13 points. Romney actually lost by 4. Santorum, had he only lost by 10 would have lost Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska CD2, North Carolina, and South Carolina. In real life, Obama won 332 electoral votes to Romney’s 206. A Santorum “pure ideological” campaign would result in an Electoral Vote count of 411 Obama to 127 Santorum.

When people on here and elsewhere state they want Warren or Sanders to run, they don’t understand how politics and voting works in this country right now. They are unwittingly saying “I want to lose the 2016 election so I can vote for my preferred candidate”, because that’s how winner-take-all elections work. I know this sucks, but you have to vote strategically or your vote ends up being irrelevant and your preferred “perfect” candidate loses.

Now, I’ve presented this argument to the ideologically faithful, especially those that profess to habitually vote third party, and they have always come back with some statement to the effect that if you let Republicans run the government, they will do such a poor job that their preferred candidate or party will win next time. That also is short-sighted and fundamentally wrong. People said that in 1980 when Reagan ran and look what happened. For the next 30 years we’ve had to deal with the mess he created. People said that in 2000 when Bush Jr ran and look what happened. We’re probably going to have to deal with a destablized Middle East for the next 20 years, not to mention the death toll of 9/11, two wars, and 18,000 plus Americans dying every year from lack of health insurance.

On top of the sheer death toll resulting from an incompetent presidency, the ideologically pure don’t understand that just because one party fails does not mean that the extreme of the other party (or a third party) is going to be embraced by the electorate. The voters by and large will vote for the least extreme candidate of the other party, even after a disastrous presidency. Dennis Kucinich was not going to win against McCain in 2008, sorry. Again, we are dealing with ideologues who believe the country to be they way they want it to be, and don’t understand that their belief does not equate with reality.

On its current trajectory, the Republican party will commit demographic suicide somewhere around 2024. It is vital that Democrats keep control of the White House until then. Hillary is the most likely candidate to be able to accomplish that. The country IS changing to accept the vision of men and women like Sanders and Warren, but it isn’t there yet. We have to run a candidate acceptable to the majority of the overall electorate until such a time that someone ideologically to the left of Hillary can actually win a national election.

I know this point of view probably isn’t popular, but it is reality, and life isn’t always fair. In politics, you don’t always get 100% of what you want. You are going to have to hold your nose and vote for Hillary (or happily vote for her like I will) in order to win elections and keep the country from going into the toilet. Or you can ignore my advice and vote for Sanders or Warren, who weaken Hillary (or drive her ideologically leftward, which is the same result) and let the Republicans win in the general election. Or vote third party and let the Republicans win in the general election.

Vote strategically, not ideologically.

Making Bread While Baking Bread — A Celebration of Labor Day

One of my great-grandfathers, Rudolf Leo Schirra Sr., was born in Rammstein (no joke), Germany in 1876.  He emigrated to the US in 1889 and for the rest of his life lied about being born in Chicago, apparently to avoid immigration questions.

Okay, so why care?  Well, Rudolf Senior was a labor organizer from about the time he got off the boat.  His family were traditionally bakers, and he worked in bakeries in Philadelphia.  Conditions were great.  So awesome were the owners of the bakeries that they hired thugs with whips, ostensibly to keep the rats in check.  I am not joking.  When you see the sign, “The beatings will continue until morale improves” remember that in the 1890s and 1900s, that wasn’t actually a joke.

Prior to the Wagner Act being passed in 1935, trade unions in the United States weren’t illegal per se, but neither was it illegal for factory owners to hire thugs to ‘break unions’.  Whenever I see Westerns or old movies lionizing the Pinkertons as some sort of proto-detective agency, I want to scream.  The Pinkerton Agency was originally a corporation made up of thugs, literally.  By 1890, the Pinkerton Agency had more armed men than the United States Army.  You can look that up.  The entire reason for the existence of the Pinkerton Agency was to infiltrate unions, break skulls of strikers, and generally be a private army for millionaires like Andrew Carnegie.  And until the practice was outlawed in 1893, there was quite a bit of overlap between the Pinkerton Agency and the federal government, which contracted with the Pinkertons to “detect and prosecute those suspected of violating federal law”.

The Pinkertons were merely the best organized of the thugs hired by factory owners to literally beat and kill strikers.  There were many, many others.

I mention this because Rudolf Senior was the General Organizer of the International Baker and Confectioners Union in Philadelphia.  He gave speeches across the country and was instrumental in the investigation of child labor violations in Indianapolis in 1903. He was one of three delegates to the American Federation of Labor conference from at least 1905 to 1917.  Rudolf is recorded as comparing union shop conditions in Philadelphia to non-union shops.  Union shop workers were getting $3 a day for 10 hour days and non-union shop workers were getting $2 a day for 14 hour days in 1905.  In 1924, he was trying to get a Mexican union off the ground. By 1925, he had moved to California and was a supervisor of the California State Federation of Labor.  He was instrumental in securing decent labor conditions in the Stockton factory of the Gravem Inglis Baking Company, later renamed Sunbeam Bread.

Child Labor

Source: http://mrclark.aretesys.com/childlabor.htm

He was therefore not popular with corporate CEOs and factory owners, considering he organized multiple strikes and boycotts against National Biscuit Company (use the first few letters of each word to find out what they are called now), McKinney Breads (bought out by the General Baking Company which later became General Foods) who were using child labor, among other nasty practices. In fact on multiple occasions they took contracts out on him.  I don’t mean, “hey, lawyer dude, let’s draw up a contract with Rudi Schirra”, I mean “here’s $5000 to bring me the head of Rudi Schirra”.  He slept with dual revolvers and was shot at quite a few times.  Labor organizing didn’t just involve guys with placards, it involved guys with baseball bats, knives, and guns.

Rudi was a tough guy.  He married Barbara Bildner, who had a club foot.  One day, an asshat walked into the bakery and asked “hey, Rudi, how come you married a cripple?”  Rudi was slicing bread with a bread knife and my grandfather had to prevent him from using the bread knife on the asshat.  He later became a police officer and was shot by an overzealous bank guard during a robbery.  Rudi not only didn’t die, he beat up the bank guard for wounding him.

So, Happy Labor Day, all.  Remember all those that fought for decent working conditions, eight hour days, and 40 hour weeks.  It wasn’t easy and unions were absolutely necessary then, and continue to be!

Massachusetts militiamen with fixed bayonets surround a group of strikers during the Lawrence, Massachusetts Textile Strike of 1912

Massachusetts militiamen with fixed bayonets surround a group of strikers during the Lawrence, Massachusetts Textile Strike of 1912. Source: Wikipedia.