Given his outrageous rhetoric and hate speech, his uncontrollable ego, his pathological lying, his virtually apocalyptic policy agenda and his textbook racism, it's no surprise that some commentators have declared the 2016 presidential contest to be simply a referendum on Donald Trump. And to some extent it is. Americans will be given the choice to accept or reject Trump's bigotry, demagoguery and recklessness. Donald Trump over the last year has given enough reason for every right thinking American to go to the polls to make sure that he never gets anywhere near the White House.
But focusing on Trump alone obscures the other, equally important aspect of the choice we're making in November: that Hillary Clinton is an extraordinary candidate that all of us, particularly those of us in the progressive movement, should be proud to support. On the issues that matter most, she's laid out a powerful agenda to move our country forward.
Most importantly, consider the issue on which the next president might have the greatest impact: the Supreme Court. As Bernie Sanders said in his endorsement speech last week, the results of the 2016 election will reshape the Court for a generation. It could allow us to overturn disastrous decisions in cases like Citizens United; defend the rights of women, immigrants, workers and LGBT people; protect the environment and repair the damage being done to civil rights law.
Years of harm to essential rights of Americans could be reversed by our next president. And Hillary Clinton has made clear exactly what kind of nominee she's looking for:
I'll appoint justices who will protect the constitutional principles of liberty and equality for all, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or political viewpoint; make sure the scales of justice aren't tipped away from individuals toward corporations and special interests; and protect citizens' right to vote, rather than billionaires' right to buy elections.
That's a promise that any progressive should cheer and is reason enough for us all to try to be the first in line when the polls open. The next president will likely have the opportunity to appoint a number of new justices to the Court, and the vacancies to be filled are likely to come from across the Court's ideological divide. As president, Hillary Clinton would be able to correct the Court's sharp, decades-long conservative tilt and build a judiciary that lives up to the core promises of our Constitution.
But that's hardly the only place on which Hillary Clinton has charted a course that would move our country decisively in the right direction.
Let me outline just a few examples.
Hillary Clinton has argued for stricter gun laws and expanding Social Security. She will fight for paid family leave, for equal pay, and for a higher minimum wage. When it comes to fighting big money in politics, Clinton has laid out a comprehensive plan to increase transparency, empower small donors, and reduce the influence of corporations and wealthy special interests; and she's spoken out strongly in favor of amending the Constitution to empower Congress to address the problem -- more than just a long-term goal, she committed to introducing an amendment to overturn Citizens United in her first 30 days as president. On immigration, she's made clear that she'll do everything in her power to keep families together and push for comprehensive immigration reform allowing 11 million to emerge from the shadows. She's endorsed the idea of debt-free college and pledged to work against mandatory minimum laws that have exacerbated our mass incarceration crisis. And she's proposed funding for law enforcement training to help protect the transgender community.
Make no mistake: it will take hard work and grassroots energy to score wins on each of those issues. Republicans in Congress won't back down no matter how badly their standard bearer is defeated or how many seats they lose in the House and Senate. But on each of these issues progressives can be confident that President Hillary Clinton will be a staunch ally and effective leader.
On Election Day, there may be Americans who vote for Hillary Clinton only because they can't stomach the idea of letting Donald Trump anywhere near the White House. But I won't be one of them. When I pull the lever for Hillary Clinton, the first woman president of the United States, I'll be doing it with enthusiasm.
I firmly believe that Hillary Clinton has the capacity to be one of our country's greatest presidents, and that's why I'm proud to say that in these unsettled and uncertain times, I'm with her.