A Brief Plea To The NeverHillary Voter, As We Look Into The Abyss

To all of those who insist on NeverHillary:

I’m disturbed and alarmed by those who are drawing a false equivalency Between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. There are all kinds of ways, in terms of policy, character, temperament, and judgment, in which they differ from each other. But to cut through a point-by-point analysis, here’s the essential meta-difference: Hillary represents the Western liberal tradition. By which I mean not American center-center-left liberalism, but indeed the very philosophical root of our democratic order: the Locke-Hobbes-Mills-Hume-Smith liberal tradition of parliaments, elections, free markets, representation, constitutions, political equality and civil rights, freedom of speech, workable compromises between individual freedoms and social rights and obligations. It is all those things we take for granted in the democratic West, the things that allow most of us - there is still a tragic differentiation on race and class - to live our lives with a reasonable expectation of security, freedom, self-expression, and advancement; and with the hope that these benefits will continue to expand and become more meaningful to previously excluded groups.

Yes, a tattered, bruised, corrupted, degraded and defiled tradition, as received into Hillary’s hands; but still, recognizably that tradition.

Trump’s tradition is that of the manorial lord, the Robber Baron, the fascist/communist oligarch, the Randian strongman. It’s the way of the bully, for whom rules exist to be broken, and inter-group conflict is the key to power. For whom (and from whom) no security can be expected if one is not counted among the powerful - for only the powerful deserve rights and protections, by definition, and the weak get what they deserve.

As received into Trump’s rough hands, this was a previously discredited tradition that has recently experienced an astounding revival, in Europe, in Russia, and in the United Kingdom, the cradle of modern democracy. And, it seems, here.

For me, this is no hard choice at all. There was a time for other arguments, other strategies, other candidates. That time is over now. What I see, what is before me right now, is that I prefer the torn and abused remnants of liberalism to the resurgent wave of fascism. I’ll be voting for Hillary. Without joy; but without doubt or regret either. I will not be writing in Bernie, not be voting for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson, not staying home as I might have done had it been Hillary vs. a traditional Republican. This is too important for political posturing. Liberalism, freedom, the idea of human freedom, must be defended.

And that really is what’s at stake here. Don’t fool yourselves.