Day 30 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
Ironically, she is tech savvy and has a serious and comprehensive tech plan.
Don’t care? I bet you do.
Not one of us is immune to the importance of technology and the policies that guide it. From the fairly simple: most school children need access to the internet to complete their homework. Not all of them have it. The vast majority of jobs are only available now via online applications. Not everyone can apply that way or consistently receive emails responding to applications.
Universal access is an important issue – Hillary wants every US resident to have access by 2020 and has made this part of her initiative for her first 100 days.
In the aftermath of the Sacramento shootings, we saw how critical the cooperation of law enforcement and the tech community is. For the past year+, Hillary’s panel has met regularly to discuss those issues and develop mutually workable solutions.
To the somewhat wonky: how technology patents are crafted and defined is critical to preventing patent infringement and encouraging development. She has a plan to improve this, and is willing to put the resources behind it.
Here are a couple of articles discussing what she’s already done and what she plans to do with some analysis about the quality of her thinking, so that when she gets into office, she can hit the ground running. And, for the most part, her plans are on the progressive end.
If you want more info on Trump’s tech plan, the last para of the backchannel article covers it.
Day 29 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
She is loyal and she really does walk the walk.
Today seems like a good day to look at her relationship with Huma Abedin. Huma is a Muslim woman, married to, but as of today, separated from, Anthony Wiener. Hillary hired Huma as an intern at 19. She is now vice-chair of her campaign, and possibly, the closest person to her.
Being this close to Clinton does mean that Huma has undergone a heightened level of scrutiny and commentary, and – so far – has also been convicted of nothing more than possibly marrying poorly.
Hillary has not let criticism and inquiry about Huma’s faith diminish the relationship or trust. She hired, promoted and trusted a young Muslim woman and has put her in a unique position of power.
This Vanity Fair article reveals some of the ambiguities of this relationship as well as its strength.
Day 28 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
She served on the House Judiciary Committee for Nixon’s impeachment hearings at 26 (turning 27 while on the committee).
I think this is a fascinating point, even though her role on the committee was not significant – mostly, she researched and wrote briefs to support the efforts of her bosses. It seems incomprehensible to me, given the historic significance of the hearings, that this did not influence her long-term thinking.
First off, who gets an appointment like this at 26?
Secondly, how could it not affect you?
Although my goal here is to find reasons to support her rather than condemn her, I’m intrigued that her personal response to trouble is to resist intrusion (avoiding press conferences and sometimes obfuscating) rather than deciding transparency is the better choice. And this is decidedly a negative. I would love to know whether her resistance has been life-long or was adopted over time.
I’m choosing to put this experience in the plus column, in part, because she was so young to be given such an important job; in part because I think (emphasis on “I think”) it is impossible not to have been powerfully and negatively influenced by the experience at her age; and because I think it, in small measure, explains her resistance to investigation on an emotional level.
I also think it was an aberrant, but in many ways honest, introduction to the seamy side of politics and the lengths to which some people will go to win. Her mistrust of other politicians may have been built in early on.
There are, of course, rumors that she personally deprived Nixon of legal counsel (at 27!) and that she was fired from the committee.
Day 27 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
She was instrumental in insuring 6 million children.
Her name is not on the SCHIP bill (State Children’s Health Insurance Program), but she worked within the White House to make it happen. She promised, when her more universal healthcare plan failed, that she would make sure that at least children were covered.
Then (and we’re starting to run into a few recurring threads in this journey), when it became apparent that, executionally, there were problems making it work, she stepped in and helped.
Some of the recurring themes are important to me. The pattern seems to be that she finds something she philosophically cares about (in this case, children), works to get it enacted one way or another – despite its unpopularity (Bill didn’t really want to do it – and he was President at the time), then figures out if it really works on the ground, and tweaks that until it does work. At the risk of being polarizing in a different way, I think this pattern exemplifies a reason that having a woman in the White House is a good thing. She doesn’t seem to lose sight of the less glamorous housekeeping aspects of her work.
(For the “buying into sexist stereotypes” crowd, I do not mean housekeeping literally, I am intrigued by her super-wide practical streak combined with ideology. Call me a sexist, but I do think women — IN GENERAL (millions of exceptions apply of course) — are better at this.)
Naturally, there are those who dispute her influence on this bill. For you, I provide FactCheck.
Day 26 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
She brokered an 18-month peace between Israel and Hamas.
Eternal peace would have been oh-so-much better, but 18 months is better than nothing and still very hard in a place where peace is so fleeting. And, in this case, she most likely averted an all-out war.
She did it because she has strong relationships with all of the parties involved. She did it while securing Israel’s safety. Hillary’s ability to forge strong relationships with a broad swath of people – and maintain them over time – seems remarkable. Yesterday’s post alluded to how she does it: she works with people in the trenches – and she listens. And they trust her.
Day 25 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
She has actually worked with recent immigrants elbow-to-elbow and started her political life working in the trenches.
At 15, with her church, she organized a babysitting group for Mexican migrant workers in rural Illinois and she, herself, babysat as the parents and older kids worked in the fields.
In the fall of 1972, she and Bill blew off their Yale law classes and went to Texas to register young (this was the first election in which 18-year-olds could vote) and Hispanic voters.
While Bill was described as an affable socializer, Hillary actually went door-to-door in neighborhoods not naturally welcoming to a northern woman. Franklin Garcia, described as “a storied union organizer,” provided her entrée.
An early Texas contact, Garry Mauro, who was signing up voters for an Austin-based not-for-profit, said he found her “compelling” and “scary smart.” Some northern political activists blew into Texas, Mauro said, assuming they knew how to win elections here. “She didn’t do that. She asked questions and listened, then she asked some more questions and listened some more.”
These connections helped win her the Hispanic vote when she ran against Obama.
Day 23 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
She’s not quite as centrist as I thought.
One of my gripes about Hillary has always been that she is really a socially liberal (and even then, not quite as liberal as I would like) Republican. In significant issues, she strays further right than makes me entirely comfortable. However, on balance, she is more progressive than I would have given her credit for, and has demonstrated a pretty strong leadership role in the Senate.
For the most part, her stands on healthcare, gender equity and issues relating to children are what push her further left.
Day 22 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
If she can get Congress to support her, she intends to save and preserve our national parks with one of the more ambitious plans in decades. Much of what she plans is a continuation of Obama’s plans, but she is taking them even further.
Day 21 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
She’s an effective legislator.
She introduced just about the average number of bills for a Senator. However, she exceeds the average significantly for bill amendments, which is one of the important ways senators influence legislation. She was also a regular co-sponsor of important legislation (versus renaming streets and post offices, which is a big part of the legislation that gets passed).
I was surprised to learn how much legislation is proposed, and amended, and never passed. I noted in a comment yesterday that – on average – only 4% of all bills proposed are passed. Last year, it was only 2%.