I’m a millennial (admittedly one of the older ones), I supported the left wing candidate and I had landed in favor of Secretary Clinton. The Establishment should be hearing angelic choirs and trumpet fanfares. This however, is the story of how she lost my vote again.It has been the conventional wisdom in presidential politics for as long as I’ve been aware of presidential politics: “It’s the economy, stupid.” True to form, both Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump have run campaigns that focus on the economy and the economic well-being of the country. But beneath all the politics and economics, there has been a rising undertone of another issue. For years now, there has been something else trying to make its voice heard in the national discourse of the country, and in the presidential campaign.
Everyone knows what it is too. Talking heads talk about it a great deal. News outlets, especially left leaning (or left fallen-over) outlets have brought it up time and time again, usually in condemnation of Mr. Trump. It has reared its head during the debates and while many republicans were willing to let it slide, they suddenly took notice when the victim was a white woman.
No, I’m not talking about women’s rights, I mean Human Rights. It was Human Rights, and my belief that Secretary Clinton cared more about them than Mr. Trump that initially decided my vote.
However on 10/27/2016, HRC lost my vote because it isn’t about the economy. I’m willing to compromise on economics, will suffer if I have to, I’ll take a hit to my wallet if that’s what it takes to defend Human Rights and stand up for what is right and ethical. On 10/27 Secretary Clinton had an opportunity to do the same and chose instead to defend the status quo when she responded to the Standing Rock protesters saying “demonstrators have the right to protest, and workers have the right to do their jobs in safety.”
The problem with that statement is that the demonstrators may have the legal right to protest, but they do not have the practical right to it. What we are seeing at Standing Rock is the American version of Tiananmen Square or the Arab Spring, and just like the Communist Party or the Assad regime, those in power are being defended with a militant presence. The Human Rights abuses we have seen in our own country over the past two years between #BlackLivesMatter and Standing Rock are enough in themselves to have every Human Rights organization in the world taking a closer look at us. Let’s ignore questionable US Military action overseas, and let’s ignore the very long list of questionable people that the US government has supported in power. In the last 18 months alone we have seen the kind of protests and government crackdowns that usually have the US government saying “Should we bomb them or something?”
Now I know that the whole picture is far more complicated than I probably understand, but what I do understand is that this country has taught me to be a person of ideals and convictions. It has taught me that the greatest defeat comes, not when your opponent stands over your fallen body, but when your opponent stands over your fallen ideals.
I will not, and no one should ever, compromise on the ideals of basic human rights. Little things like access to water, fair treatment in court, and reasonable recourse to the legal system. When Hillary Clinton refused to come out and say that the militarized response to peaceful protesters was wrong, she lost my vote.
I stand with Standing Rock. If Secretary Clinton wants my vote back, she can come stand with us.