Cast a conscience vote for Clinton

Casting a protest vote invites Trumpland

The author is a Chico State political science professor and former faculty adviser for Chico Wildcats for Bernie.

Progressives are still having difficulty making nice with Hillary. At minimum, many say, she does not inspire. Some consider her so deeply flawed that the choice between her and Trump is insignificant. The most extreme progressives claim that it is necessary for the system to crash completely before it can be reformed completely.

These positions may be chic in some circles, but they are also irrational and dangerous. For a variety of reasons that spring from the structural characteristics of our winner-take-all electoral system and current demography, there are only two possibilities in this election: Clinton or Trump. Ready or not, like it or not, here one of them comes.

None of this is novel. Repeating it, however, torpedoes the case for opting out or going Green. To be responsibly exercised, a protest vote must have a chance of effecting positive change. In our current context, a protest vote invites Trumpland—a racist, sexist, xenophobic and violent America. A “protest” vote, even in California where Clinton will doubtlessly win the state’s 55 electoral votes, also erodes the legitimacy she will need to govern effectively.

As for the claim that the differences between Clinton and Trump are insignificant and that the system must crash, space limitations prevent me from saying much beyond, seriously? Compare Clinton’s record of public service, her policies, and her poise and knowledge to his relentless search for fame and money, his divisive, destructive, shifting policies du jour, and what the flow of revelations have taught us about his poisonous character. Remember also that America is not a computer that can be rebooted if it crashes.

Cast a conscience vote on Nov. 8 for Hillary Clinton. Think of the women Trump has insulted and possibly terrorized. Protest that it has taken this long for a woman to become president by electing one. Clinton’s election can be the start of a new birth of freedom, unity and economic justice in America. Trump’s election represents the gathering storm. There are no other choices.