THE BLOG
01/27/2016 01:41 pm ET Updated Jan 26, 2017

An Independent Voting Chicana's Case for Hillary

 

Photo Credit: 'HRC' by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes

 

Key Swing Moderate Independent Voters Should Consider Hillary

I was formerly a registered Republican voter and a volunteer for Senator John “Maverick” McCain in 2007 when he ran against Republican candidate Mitt Romney.  I again volunteered for Sen. McCain’s campaign in 2008 when he ran against President Barack Obama.  While I was trying to help the “moderate” Republican McCain beat the extremist candidate, Mitt Romney, I was also keeping an eye on the Democratic Primaries between Obama and Hillary. 

Admittedly, I was scared to death of Hillary Clinton – more so than Obama, because at the time I believed Hillary was too extreme for my comfort.  When Obama beat McCain, I thought it was the end of our mixed economy world as we knew it to be – but that was not the case.   It turns out that President George W. Bush had the worst track record on jobs (according to the Wall Street Journal), and it was under the Obama administration that a net of 9.5 million private sector jobs have been created, and nearly 13 million if you start counting after the Great Recession Bush handed over to Obama when he took office. While the unemployment rate went up under Bush, Obama pushed it back down.

The immigration issue is one of the most important reasons for my decision to leave the Republican Party forever to become an independent registered voter.  The Republican Party adopted Kris Kobach’s anti-immigrant platform under Chairman Reince Priebus’ leadership in 2012.  I also began to see their hypocrisy with other issues such as the pro-life issue as Republican leaders attacked the 14th amendment and birthright citizenship.  Staunch pro-life advocates believe the 14th amendment is the crowing jewel for their beliefs. The GOP claimed to be for smaller government ideas, yet Sen. Marco Rubio and others promoted bureaucratic methods with the National ID system.

Fast forward to the 2016 elections where I see the dangerous probability of an extremist such as Donald Trump becoming the Republican Presidential nominee even though he probably will not do well with general election voters. On the other hand, I see Democratic Presidential Nominee Secretary Clinton being the most electable candidate with the better chance (better than the Independent Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders) to beat Trump.  According to the Gallup Polls, in the U.S. a socialist Presidential candidate is the least appealing, while more than nine in 10 would vote for a Catholic, African-American, or woman candidate.    

I repeat:  A socialist is the least electable while more than nine in 10 would vote for a woman.

I am not a registered Democrat voter, nor will I ever be a member of the two major party system ever again because there is a sense of freedom I have not having to be loyal and “cheering for my Party’s team” anymore.  I can see how a person can be disillusioned with that.    Even though I voted for a Democratic President in 2012 for the first time in my life, I did so because I used immigration as my litmus test.  That said, immigration is not the sole issue I follow, and other issues matter to me as well, such as the economy, taking care of domestic matters, and also a strong national defense.  With Republicans committing assault after assault against my people, it was time to hold the GOP responsible at the voting booths and I could not in good conscience reward them with my vote.

I am amazed how some Democratic voters are supporting the long-time Independent Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, over the long-time registered Democratic Secretary Clinton.  It is a well-known fact that both Hillary and Bill Clinton were proud members of the Democratic Party with a long history, steeped in those Democratic principles.  Aside from knowing Karl Rove (the political genius behind the President George W. Bush campaigns and negative ads) is helping Bernie Sanders by launching attack ads against Hillary Clinton in Iowa,  we also witnessed Sarah Palin pay Sen. Sanders a compliment during her swipe at Hillary on Facebook.  It does not stop there; repeatedly we see the Chairman of the Republican Party and other GOP leaders direct most of his attacks against Hillary – not Bernie – and in fact, Reince says he is “feeling the Bern,” too, because he knows the self-proclaimed Democratic socialist is not electable.  Indeed, Tea Party Republicans would like to see Bernie Sanders win the Democratic nominee, because general election and moderate voters like myself cannot stomach voting for extreme socialist ideas he is bringing to the political table.  It is a concern to me when Bernie considers the likes of Eugene Debs (a man who ran for President under the Socialist Party ticket) as a hero, and as far as I’m concerned, that socialist message is an old 1912 idea that did not work back then either.  But thankfully, sound folks are on the record for criticizing socialism.  Recently Democratic Vice President Joe Biden denigrated socialism while addressing the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. 

We know Tea Party Republican tactics still work because of the numerous government shutdowns they are known for, and their prevention of getting policies fixed.  The far-right wingers have lived up to their reputation of being the “Party of No.”  Soon after Obamacare was passed, the Republican Party gained control of the House of Representatives in 2010 and in 2016, the Republicans gained control of the U.S. Senate, too. When Hillary Clinton is President, she will continue to defend the Affordable Care Act, but she will also fight any effort to privatize or weaken Medicare and Social Security, which our growing aging populations depend on.  Even though Hillary is also in favor of a strong National defense, she is tenacious enough to keep military spending in check while ensuring Americans are getting the care that they need, too. 

When President Obama nominated Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, some Democrats and government insiders questioned whether she would be too independent and politically ambitious to be an effective Secretary. But she proved them wrong and led with a soft power approach. She was even-keel, in my opinion, and I feel comfortable with her after years of watching her helm the foreign affairs department.  She did not suggest using nuclear weapons to nuke Iran, and she did not begin any other conflicts, either – she held it together until it was time for her to leave and consider her 2016 run.

Much has happened since the 2007 / 2008 elections, and watching Secretary Hillary has calmed fears I once had. In my view, she has shown that she is ready to be our first woman President, given all of her combined experiences.  There is also a safety net knowing she will be bringing along Bill Clinton’s experience, and our Nation can use more of his successful economic record.   I cannot help but see hints of Madeleine Albright and Margaret Thatcher in Hillary – except Hillary Clinton would be our very own American version of the Iron Lady, working in a male dominated political atmosphere. I’m proud of her, and I hope to see more of her passion and compassion as I did seeing her speak about the ISIS and terrorist problems during the Democratic Town Hall in Iowa.  I saw for a moment, that maternal instinct side of her kick in making a promise to use diplomacy first and using war as a last resort.  As a woman voter, with two high school sons, I do not want future American Presidents to quickly send our sons and daughters to Unnecessary wars.  Hillary has earned my trust and my vote, and I'm signaling to other key swing moderate independent voters to consider Secretary Clinton for President.  

I am with her.  Estoy contigo, Hillary.