I have a confession to make. I may just vote for Hillary Clinton. I know, I know Hillary? Listen, just like many of you I was raised to hate all the Clinton’s and most Democrats. I went from die hard Republican, to one of these socially liberal but fiscally conservative, to now I am full blown bleeding heart liberal. So, I will share bit of my journey to where I am today.
When I left the Army in 2010 I was in my socially liberal but fiscally conservative phase of life. I am white, I was raised middle class, and with all the benefits and extra pay from the military I was still middle class. Well, it took me a while to get back on my feet after I got out of the Army. It was 2010, we were still in a recession, I did not have a college degree yet, and I decided I was going to move to Mississippi, the poorest state in the Union, and I had just gotten custody of two children. One school age, the other still in daycare. It was rough. I lived with family at first, but I screwed that up and got kicked out shortly after the school year ended. I moved to Jackson MS from Hattiesburg MS and found a shitty apartment to move into.
I still could not find full time employment. I was trying to get government help, which by they way is NOT easy to get or maintain. Despite what many of these politicians say, getting government assistance is a full time job in itself. My ex was not paying her child support. I was struggling every month just to make rent. Never mind, utilities, food, gas, car payment (my truck ended up getting repossessed). It was tough. I do take some of the blame for not being able to find a job, I was aiming to high. I figured since I was an NCO, I did not deserve to start at the bottom. Well, that might be true for officers and senior NCOs, but a buck sergeant or staff sergeant are not really wanted for leadership positions in the civilian world. At least in my experience, there are some out there who can tell a different story, but I haven’t met them. There I was, shitty part time jobs, rent more than 50% of my monthly income wishing I was living hand to mouth. So, the inevitable happened. I missed my rent one month and was evicted.
Luckily, my parents live in Jackson MS. For two years, my children and I lived with my parents. I was effectively homeless. I say that because nothing was in my name. I had no proof that I lived anywhere. That makes it very difficult to do things like, register your kids for school, or apply for government programs. I ended up swallowing my pride, not that I had much at that time, and took a minimum wage job. Long hours, shitty pay, back breaking work, if I had to miss work say because a kid was sick, I was scared that the job would not be there when I went back. It was horrible. I found out that once you have a shitty job, it is easier to find a slightly less shitty job. I was still a wage slave, but I eventually, with tons of help from the woman who would become my wife, got out of my parents house (again, fucking 32 years old with kids living with my parents), and turned things around. I am now solidly middle class. My wife and I have good jobs with good benefits and things are great.
Nothing, and I mean nothing can turn a middle class conservative into a liberal faster than being poor in a poor state. I can hear you ask, “What about the hordes of poor white Americans that are the base of the Republican party?” Well, I have something that they do not, an education. I know that sounds a bit elitis, but it is true. I was taking college courses during this time and I realized something. The Republican Party is not the party for the average person. I did not agree with their social stances, and after learning the truth about economics and the the history of our country, I realized that their fisical policies are for the benefit of the rich. Only the rich. I saw the lies that are taught as truth. I saw the intentional divison of America. The rich, the elitis foster racial division in this country.
Once you wake up, it is extremely difficult to go back to sleep and ignore what is happening.
So, I have become very liberal. I still have a deep distrust for Hillary Clinton. Much of that stems from my upbringing. Some of comes from the fact that she believes it is “her turn,” and some of it comes from being raised in a patriarchy. We are more prone to distrust women especially those that are self assured and successful. This election cycle has made me actually look at Hillary, look at her record, and exam why I feel the way I do about her. Here is what I have found.
She is not that big of a liar. She is not 100% truthful, but I challenge you to find more than one or two politicians that are 100% truthful. She has been the focus of so many congressional hearings and investigations and it leads you to the conclusion that she is dirty as all pig rooting around in slop. Yet, she has not been convicted. That does not mean she has not done, and does not do some shady things (I still want to know what she says during her closed door speaking engagements with Wall St.), and it does not mean I am still not angry as hell at the double standard for which she is the poster child. I despise that double standard, but it is a fact of life here in America. It always has been, and it will be for the foreseeable future. What I am saying is that I have started to look at her through the same lens that I look at other politicians through, and I have come to a startling conclusion. She is not that bad. She is not who I would prefer, but she is not the evil demoness that she has bee made out to be.
This leads me to the other candidates and why I am thinking that Clinton my actually be the best out of the bunch. Trump is, well Trump. He is racist, sexist, fascist, and he actually lies. I mean he will go on record saying one thing, and whenever he wants the will go on record saying the exact opposite without batting an eye. If you think I and the media are making that up, please go and do just the smallest amount of independent research. Trump will never get my vote. It could come down to Trump and an inanimate object, I would vote for the object. That leads us to Dr. Jill Stein. I agree with her on a few issues, especially her stance on Israel, but there are some key points I disagree with her, so she does not get my vote. I was leaning towards Mr. Johnson. I disagree with him on some trade issues, and a few others, but nothing deal breaking. Until, he showed a complete lack of preparation and I think concern for foreign affairs. I cannot in good conscience vote for him after he in all seriousness asked, “What is Aleppo?” Deal breaker.
Because of all of this, I have had to go and do a bit more research on my own. This research has lead me to the conclusion that Hillary might actually be the best of the bunch. Not just the best between her and Trump, but the best out of all four that I mentioned. Luckily, I do not have to decided today, I still have until November 8 to do more research, or for the waking of Cthulhu. this one was a bit rambling, but I think I got my point across.