Saturday, April 11, 2015

What Hillary Clinton needs to do to get my vote

First off, she runs as a Democrat. I'll vote for her but without enthusiasm.

Second, she can BE a Democrat. Then I'll vote for her with great enthusiasm.

There is a huge difference and we should have learned about that difference in the last few elections. Just listing a candidate under the D column does not energize voters who should be voting Democratic. Being a "D" means fighting for the principles of FDR and JFK and LBJ and that is a fight based on a moral case that needs to be carried to the public in 2016.

Robert Reich in his blog this morning says a lot more about Clinton. He has faith in her convictions, based on his long acquaintance with the Clintons. But he emphasizes the need for her to take stands on issues.

If Hillary Clinton is to get the mandate she needs for America to get back on track, she will have to be clear with the American people about what is happening and why – and what must be done.

For example: Wall Street is still running the economy, and still out of control.

So we must resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act and bust up the biggest banks, so millions of Americans don’t ever again lose their homes, jobs, and savings because of Wall Street’s excesses.

Also: Increase taxes on the rich in order to finance the investments in schools and infrastructure the nation desperately needs.

Strengthen unions so working Americans have the bargaining power to get a fair share of the gains from economic growth.

Limit the deductibility of executive pay, and raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Oppose trade agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership designed to protect corporate property but not American jobs.

And nominate Supreme Court justices who will reverse "Citizens United.".

In other words, Clinton (or whoever is the nominee) must offer the voters a clear choice, make a case for the morality of doing things differently, and be willing to fight hard for Democratic principles.

Hillary Clinton should make the moral case about power: for taking it out of the hands of those with great wealth and putting it back into the hands of average working people.

In these times, such a voice and message make sense politically. The 2016 election will be decided by turnout, and turnout will depend on enthusiasm. The largest party in America isn’t the Republican or Democratic Parties; it is the Party of Non-Voters, who have become so cynical about politics they’ve ceased voting.

If she talks about what’s really going on and what must be done about it, she can arouse the Democratic base as well as millions of Independents and even Republicans who have concluded, with reason, that the game is rigged against them.

The question is not her values and ideals. It’s her willingness to be bold and to fight, at a time when average working people need a president who will fight for them more than they’ve needed such a president in living memory.

This is a defining moment for Democrats, and for America. It is also a defining moment for Hillary Clinton.

And that would get my vote.

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