Why I’m with her
by Jack McNeil, President of the DePaul College Democrats, President of the College Democrats of Illinois, @CollegeDemsIL
After losing the Democratic nomination in 1980, Ted Kennedy said, “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.” He was right then, and, is right now.
The causes young people have brought to the table during the Democratic primary will endure, and it’s important to note that they have been adopted in the Democratic Party’s platform, making it the most progressive platform of all time.
We now have a chance to elect the most qualified candidate in history. We will be electing someone who has fought for women’s rights, even when it wasn’t the politically expedient thing to do, prioritized child care, led the way on universal health care in the 90s and is still standing after 20 years of right wing attacks. Oh, and she will break the next biggest glass ceiling.
President Obama said it best when speaking to the Congressional Black Caucus.
“My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot,” he said. “Tolerance is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Good schools are on the ballot. Ending mass incarceration, that’s on the ballot right now.”
He not only mentioned his legacy being on the line this November, but he also noted America’s record low voter turnout. If we want progress after November, we have to show up, and keep showing up.
According to the Pew Research Center voters under 35 outnumbered baby boomers (aged 52 to 70 years old) for the first time as a share of the electorate. But will we turn out? Well, we know what happens if we get representation that doesn’t represent us.
We end up with a chair of the Environment and Public works committee in the Senate throwing a snowball on the floor to prove the Earth isn’t warming. So, how do we change that? We mobilize and vote, and then we mobilize again to push for the progressive policies adopted by the Democratic Party. There’s only one candidate who can enact that policy: someone who has been in the trenches fighting for us her whole life, whether or not it was to Sean Hannity’s liking.
We care about mitigating the effects of climate change, and understand that, as Bloomberg stated, clean-energy jobs have surpassed oil-drilling jobs, and there are twice as many jobs in solar than there are in coal, as Fortune reported. Clean energy is the future, and Hillary Clinton has a plan for generating 50 percent of our electricity from clean energy sources within a decade.
We are saddled with college debt, which Marketwatch reported has just surpassed $1 trillion in total.Along with new investments in K-12 education, Clinton is pledging to make college debt-free to every American and provide relief to those with college debt.
We care about ending mass incarceration across this country. Clinton began her campaign talking about criminal justice reform, ending the school to prison pipeline and investing in community policing.
She’s also been a strong advocate for common sense gun safety measures, as well as reforming our broken immigration system, something that is long overdue.
I understand some voters want more than the platform adopted by the Democratic Party this year. They see the economic inequality that still exists, despite the progress made under President Obama, and want to see an economy that works for everyone. They want to believe people when they tell them if they work hard and go to college, or go into a trade field, that they will not only survive, but also live comfortably.
Clinton has a plan to make the economy work for everyone. Whether it’s prioritizing a fair tax system, supporting unions, fair housing, investments in infrastructure and advanced manufacturing or her pledge to propose a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United in the first 30 days of her presidency, she is ready to reinvent the American dream. It’s time we all join her.
Now look at Donald Trump, seriously. Look at him, and then imagine him sitting in the Oval Office. Imagine what that says about our country, that we allowed a reckless, racist scam artist and liar to be president. His most recent lie being that Hillary Clinton is at fault for the five years he spent leading the birtherism movement, a shamefully dark moment in American history. Simply put, “the Donald” needs to be defeated.
That being said, I’m voting for her because I believe in the policy she and our newly energized party believe in. Are you skeptical of her? Good. That means when she’s in office, you can work even harder to help her enact the policies she is stumping for now. We won’t have that opportunity if we elect a lying authoritarian who is friendly with Putin, deepens racial divides, can be baited with a tweet and doesn’t have a clue about even some of the most basic policy questions.
I’m voting for the kids in Indiana being heckled with “build a wall” during a high school basketball game. I’m voting for the generation of fathers who couldn’t see their child’s first dance recital or basketball game due to an unjust criminal justice system. I’m voting to continue the progress made by President Obama. Right now we need to elect the most qualified candidate of all time, and after we win, we must continue the fight. And we must continue to vote because “the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”
Jack McNeil is the president of the DePaul College Democrats and president of the College Democrats of Illinois.