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Only a Day Away

So, I’ll be voting in the primary early tomorrow morning, and I haven’t decided how.

I admire Hillary Clinton greatly. She’s been a terrific political worker for the poor, for children, for women, for gun control, and for my Party for more than twenty-five years. She’s incredibly knowledgeable and experienced; she’s probably a better bet to be good at the job of presidenting than anyone else in the country with the basic qualifications. I think she’s earned my vote.

I admire Bernie Sanders greatly. He’s been something of an inspiration in the House and the Senate for twenty-five years, as a gadfly and as a voice against the Powers that Be. I was surprised by him winning the seat in 1990, surprised by him moving to the Senate in 2006, surprised by him running for President this year, and surprised by how well he did it. His policies are closer to my preferred policies than Hillary Clinton’s (or much of anyone else’s) and his priorities seems to be fairly close to my priorities. I admit that I was concerned, at the beginning of the run, that he lacked the organizational and, well, political skills to be good at the job of presidenting, but I am utterly impressed with his campaign organization and how well he’s done. I think he’s earned my vote.

Hillary Clinton is going to be my Party’s nominee, and I will be supporting her through the election cycle, and I hope she’s going to be the next President. That’s all pretty much done. But I could happily vote for Bernie Sanders—not as a protest against Hillary Clinton, but out of respect for Bernie Sanders, what he stands for and what he’s done. Well, and also as another little push to indicate to my Party where I stand within it. I could do that, and perhaps it would do some good. On the other hand, perhaps at this point it would be just as well to vote for Hillary Clinton, out of respect for her and what she has done and can still do. Maybe if Hillary Clinton wins Connecticut by some substantial amount, the Story of What Happened will be that she is respected, admired and supported within the Party, which she is. Maybe if Bernie Sanders wins Connecticut, the Story of What Happened is that Hillary Clinton lacks that respect, admiration and support, even if that’s not really what’s going on.

There’s a sense in which it doesn’t matter, much, who I decide to vote for tomorrow morning. One vote is one vote only, and the work of democracy is so much more than that. But one vote is still one vote, and it’s my vote, and the beauty of an election is that my vote is just as damn’ good as any banker’s or custodian’s or movie star’s vote. Each one counts. Everyone counts.

The work of democracy, as I was saying, is this bit, where we talk about our politics and our participation in it. I’m not looking for anyone to tell me news about the candidates—I have done research, and besides, I have been reading about both these candidates for twenty-five years, remember? I know they are flawed (boy, do I know it) but James Madison set up our whole system just so we could fill political offices with flawed people, because who else is there? Still and all, I’d like to hear what you have to say, if you’d like to share it.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,