Democratic Hillary nay-sayers, get over it
The Logical Liberal
Democrats need to be “ready for Hillary.” Since her announcement video was published, Hillary Clinton has become the most discussed person in politics. Her GOP counterparts cannot stop bashing her in the press, and the 24-hour news cycle has made the news all Hillary, all the time. While many, including myself, are jumping for joy at Clinton’s announcement, some of the most ardent attacks against Former Secretary of State Clinton are coming from within her own party.
Ultra liberal democrats have been coming out publicly against Clinton, unhappy with some of the actions she has taken during her political career. Although Clinton does not have the perfect track record that liberal Democrats are pushing for, her tenure as a senator and secretary of state has transformed Clinton into the most ideal and respected candidate to date in the eyes of the general public. The anti-Clinton Democrats live in a reality where the rules of politics do not apply. They do not take into account that politics don’t exist in a vacuum — unpopular decisions Clinton made previously were a product of the political landscape of the time.
However, what surprises me the most about anti-Hillary Democrats are the ultimatums they give. It’s upsetting how a group of people who argue for compromise would rather not vote for a candidate who supports about 70 percent of their beliefs to instead let a candidate who would work actively against their beliefs win. Hillary Clinton isn’t the devil, nor should she be painted as such by those in her party.
Regardless, even if the Democratic Party did nominate and run another candidate, it would be disastrous. The harsh partisan landscape, surge toward the right and recent nativist movements have resulted in a conservative environment. The years of Republican gains and the emergence of the Tea Party, along with massive victories on the state and national levels, have demolished any potential growth for a class of new Democratic up-and-comers. While Democrats have controlled the White House for the past six years, the lack of fresh blood in the party and the ability for young politicos to make a name for themselves has left gaps in the candidate pool. Therefore, any legacy Obama would leave would be paved over if not for Hillary’s candidacy. Not only does Clinton have a majority of the funding available, she has nationwide name recognition. Clinton’s approval ratings are high overall, especially in head-to-head polling against her Republican competitors.
Ultimately, Democrats who aren't on board for Hillary want someone new, but feel cornered by Clinton. She is a polarizing personality, period. The Clinton style of making their own rules has created a reputation for Hillary as someone who even her own party does not seem to trust. While some of this criticism is valid, I disagree with the notion that Clinton isn’t the ideal Democrat, because the ideal democrat doesn’t exist. There is no perfect candidate. Elizabeth Warren will not win a presidential election, and frankly, nor should she. Her voice is more valuable in the senate to keep Clinton in line with the left. Focusing on something that doesn’t exist is only going to cause major rifts in the party.
Instead of focusing on what “could have been” and what “should be,” Democrats need a major reality check. Lofty notions of hyper liberalism are all well and good, but that doesn’t win elections. Money wins elections. Name recognition wins election. Manpower wins elections. Politics as usual, being a part of the political machine is what wins elections. Right now, Democrats need to start winning elections, because ever since 2008, we have been getting kicked around.
No one is going to be the ideal candidate for Democrats. Remember, even an unknown senator from Chicago faced similar criticisms back in 2007. However, barring an asteroid hitting earth, it appears that Hillary Clinton is going to be the democratic nominee for president. So, Democrats, please stop your whining, grab a button, drink the kool-aid and get ready for Hillary, because she’s here to stay.
Sonni Waknin is a sophomore in the School of Arts and Sciences majoring in political science and history. Her column “The Logical Liberal,” runs on alternate Fridays.