You can end this. You can stop this unequal contest, which Hillary can win only by insuring a Democratic defeat in November. You can give the Democrats back their dignity and a shot at success. You can improve your chances for economic recovery.
Three things are clear now. First, Hillary lied repeatedly to inflate her résumé. She didn’t dodge sniper bullets in Bosnia, and she didn’t bring peace to Northern Ireland. If there’s a call at 3 a.m. that she really knows how to handle, it will be from her stock broker or one of her many lobbyist friends.
Her poor judgment on foreign policy is Hillary’s second clear disadvantage. She voted for war in Iraq without even reading the National Intelligence Estimate. She voted to give Dubya an excuse for war in Iran. She called Barack Obama “naïve” for wanting to quit coddling Musharraf and to go after bin Laden in Pakistan. Months later, Musharraf declared an “emergency,” Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan to be assassinated, and the Bush Administration’s actions revealed that targeting Al Qaeda in Pakistan is once-secret official policy.
When you think about Hillary’s terrible judgment on foreign policy, consider another thing. A president has limited power in domestic policy, because Congress calls the shots. A president’s power over foreign policy is almost absolute.
That’s why Dubya still rules our fiasco in Iraq although two-thirds of Americans have wanted out since 2006. After seven years of foreign failures, electing another president with poor judgment on foreign affairs is about the dumbest thing we could do. And if you think poor judgment on foreign policy won’t affect you personally, consider how the $1 trillion that we’ll end up spending in Iraq might have been invested here at home.
The third point is the clincher. Hillary can’t win. She is already losing to a rival so polite and understated that the worst he calls her is “inaccurate.” Her negatives are the highest of any presidential candidate’s since Nixon. What do you think will happen when she comes up against the Republican attack machine that ground up Al Gore and John Kerry?
Here’s what will happen. Republican ads will show Hillary describing her fictional flight from sniper fire in Bosnia. Then they’ll show film of her receiving flowers on the airport tarmac there. They’ll follow up with pictures of John McCain lying wounded in the “Hanoi Hilton.” Next, they’ll compare shots of McCain arguing against corruption and for campaign finance reform with shots of Hillary saying, “lobbyists represent real Americans.” When they get through with Hillary, the independents and unaligned voters now trending Democratic will flee, and John McCain will win in a landslide.
You may be tempted to vote for Hillary out of prejudice. You may want a female president at any price. Or, at any price, you may not want an African-American.
But the price you’ll pay for your prejudice is much higher than you think. If you vote for Hillary and she wins, you’ll get John McCain. If you don’t stop Hillary’s reckless attacks, you may get McCain even if (as appears likely) she loses. Either way, your prejudice will put another Republican in the White House.
That won’t bother those of us who are economically secure, even if we’d prefer Obama. We’ll appreciate having a president who doesn’t lie, who can recognize reality, who’s got real experience and heroism, and who (unlike Bush and Cheney) knows the cost of war and torture from personal experience. We can live with a Republican’s permissive and clueless economic policies, which a strong Democratic Congress will restrain. That’s why McCain will be such a formidable opponent.
You and the Rust Belt will hurt most if McCain wins. McCain doesn’t understand economics. Honest as he is, he’s admitted as much. Hillary thinks you fix economic problems by issuing commands. Barack Obama is the only one of the three candidates who understands economics. Only he knows how complex and intricate our economy is, and only he promises time-tested solutions that will work.
If you want to ease your economic pain, you’ll vote for Obama. If you vote your prejudice, you’ll cut your own throats.
Every solution that Obama has proposed is time-tested, reasonable and moderate. Every one will work. That’s why he’s the best candidate to solve our many problems, domestic and foreign, economic and social. If he loses—or if he wins so tarnished by Hillary’s negativity that McCain wins in the fall—you folks in dying towns will be the ones most hurt.
So don’t do it. Don’t vote your prejudice or your cynicism. Vote your heart. Vote for the one you can trust. Vote for the one who gives you hope and time-tested solutions, not the one whose numbers don’t add up and who gives you reason after reason to slash and burn everyone else. If you do the right and hopeful thing, you’ll preserve your party, your own chances for a decent economic recovery, and your country’s future.
P.S. Responding to the comment below provoked one more thought. At some time in our lives, all of us shun people who build themselves up by tearing others down. We don’t tolerate that sort of behavior in friends, acquaintances, co-workers or family members. Why should we tolerate it in someone seeking the highest office in the world?