Tales from Cleveland – Part 2: Why I’m with Hillary

My time in the US is drawing to a close, and it’s been great to get to see the way they campaign first hand. I’ve not got as many tales from the campaign trail this week because I took the chance to go and do a bit of sightseeing. Sadly, I didn’t manage to get into the Daily Show, as I’d hoped to at the end of my last post. Although, I was in the office phonebanking when Hillary became our official nominee for President, and the cheering from the staff and volunteers was something I’ll never forget.

I think it’s important to note that a lot of people over here genuinely support and admire Hillary Clinton. That gets lost in the media coverage – sure, some people will cast a tactical vote. But most of us are here because we think she’d make an amazing President. Obama said on Wednesday that she is more qualified for the job than he or Bill ever was. That’s still too often the case – women have to be stellar and massively outdo men to even get a foot in the door of top positions. I support Hillary because I think she did great work for women and girls at the State Department. Her passion about women’s rights and disability rights absolutely shone through in her acceptance speech. This isn’t just a case of stopping Trump. I’m with her because she’s with me.

Having said that, it is vitally important that we do stop him. The unthinkable happened in Britain, and a vote for Hillary is a vote to protect the modern liberal order from people who would turn away from the world. He wouldn’t make America great. He’d make it smaller and more insular on the world stage. That’s why Putin is rubbing his hands with glee about Trump’s candidacy.

On a more personal note, there are so many people here that don’t have the luxury of a protest third party vote. Many of our activists would be directly victimised by the Republicans, whether that be recently married LGBT couples whose futures would look uncertain, or BAME people who are at risk from police violence.

I would appeal to my fellow liberals: you may not share my love for Hillary, but there is only one viable candidate who gets the importance of gender issues, who will act on gun violence, and who understands foreign policy. I am proud to have campaigned for her and to have met all these people who are passionate about defending a progressive and outward-looking programme for America. There are many things we could learn from the Ohio Democrats – but that’s a post for another day!

* Hannah Bettsworth is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats Council for Europe, and the Liberal Democrat Federal International Relations Committee. Outside of politics, she works in European affairs consultancy on health policy.

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  • Steve Treveth 31st Jul '16 - 9:15am

    The Green Party candidate is better than either but she, alas, does not have the financial support/investment of the corporations and the banks nor the promotion given/sold by the MSM. (Main Stream Media)
    “Who pays, wins!”

  • Tsar Nicholas 31st Jul '16 - 10:17am

    Isn’t the author at all concerned about Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy record? Voting for wars like Iraq, initiating wars in Libya, support of coups d’etat in countries like Honduras and Ukraine? I truly fear that Hillary wiill lead us straight to World War 3.

  • David Pocock 31st Jul '16 - 10:20am

    I do not know if it is my European eyes not understanding american culture but I am put off and do not think Hils can win this by hitting the woman drum so much. Likely she has much of the female vote anyway and will just end up alienating the male vote.

    Becides which Hillary Clinton telling little girls they can be president is like the prince of Wales telling me I could be king too if I try hard.

    I am not an anti feminist and I’m sure we can’t change anything anyway, I just don’t want her to run on a feminist ticket and lose when she should simply be the better candidate and nail him on detail

  • #imwithher

  • Political commentators are predicting that this may be the most negative presidential campaign of all time as both sides realise their main selling point is that they’re not the other person (although Hilary seems to be hitting the “I am a woman” drum pretty hard too). During the BBC papers review this morning they commented that Hilary has thus far failed to engage with the young voter and struggled with the BAME voter, while of course Trump handling issues for minority groups would be worrying.

    This, therefore, could be the best example of why two horse political races don’t work and voting systems that protect that should be reformed.

  • Richard Underhill 31st Jul '16 - 4:45pm

    “Better than me, better than Bill” Barack Obama. video please.

  • “The unthinkable happened in Britain”

    No it didn’t. The idea that the Brexit vote was some huge unexpected surprise keeps being trotted out and its pretty revealing of the mindset of some people. 3 of the 8 polls in January had leave ahead and 5 of the 13 February polls (and it tighted further by polling day)

    So many people have said they couldn’ see leave winning (and you do have to wonder why those people were involved in a campaign if they didn’t understand how leave could win.) There is a similar attitude in a lot or reports of Democrats – which equally is not that well supported by the polls

  • “Better than me, better than Bill” Barack Obama. video please.”

    Errrr, sorry, Barack………., that’s taking humility to the point of being a terminological inexactitude. She’s less awful that Trump…. period……

  • Tony Dawson 1st Aug '16 - 8:41am

    Hilary Clinton has to be supported as she is less awful than Donald Trump. In the immportal words of the lafe Paul Daniels ‘not a lot’ but significantly enough

  • Richard Underhill 1st Aug '16 - 8:51am

    Tokyo elects female governor.
    Japan has not yet had a female Prime Minister.

  • Jayne Mansfield 1st Aug '16 - 8:55am

    @ David Pocock,
    Not so.

    In America, little girls can grow up to be be President. So can black children.

  • Simon Banks 1st Aug '16 - 9:47am

    Two rather wild comments there. Hillary Clinton is fairly hard-line in foreign affairs: true. Obama’s brave opposition to the Iraq war when standing for the senate as against her unquestioning support for it was one thing helped put him in the White House. But who’s more likely to start World War Three – a cautious, calculating, well-informed, fairly hard-line politician or a megalomaniac minority-hating fantasist with wild claims about American power and greatness?

    Telling little girls they could be President is like telling a British commoner he could be king? I don’t know where precisely David Pocock stands in the line of succession, but I’m guessing it’s not in the first hundred thousand. Conversely, any American born in the U.S. could become President. The odds are hugely against, but they were so against, say, Johnson, Nixon, Bill Clinton and Obama when they were little kids. Of course a number of factors help or hinder: Obama was the first Black president, there hasn’t been a Catholic since Kennedy, there hasn’t been a female president and there hasn’t been a Latino. Wealth (Kennedy, Reagan, Dubya) helps a lot. But for those little girls, it is possible. King David isn’t.

  • Sadie Smith 1st Aug '16 - 4:17pm

    The woman issue does matter. It needs to be put in context. Any mediocre man can win, it is much tougher for a clever woman.
    I was pleased with some of the bits of the Convention I saw. It was not too based on fact but had a strong emotional impact. I hope they keep that up.

  • Richard Underhill 2nd Aug '16 - 5:38pm

    Marge and Homer Simpson will vote Democrat.

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