Today I’ll cast my ballot in California’s Republican primary and change the course of American political history. Of course, my primary vote doesn’t really matter -- that contest is long over.
I’m looking ahead to November, and here’s something I never thought I’d say: I'm voting for Hillary.
If you’re going into the election with a Never Hillary hashtag, I understand. I followed the Clinton White House scandals of the '90s as a high school student who paid way too much attention to politics. When Bill Clinton ran for president, I planted a Bush Quayle sign in our front yard, even though we lived in a liberal-leaning college town. It didn’t bode well for the GOP that one morning we woke up to find the Bush sign burnt to a crisp.
I moved to Washington as a college freshman and took an internship working in the federal government, which made me feel a little like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Then the Lewinsky scandal broke, and I wondered how the Clinton presidency could tarnish everything in its wake. Suddenly, working in government as a college intern seemed tawdry instead of idealistic.
So if you’re frustrated with scandals of the past or scandals of the present, I get it. And yet, I’m With Her now (even though that slogan deserves an eye roll).
The bigger task at hand is to think about remaking the GOP. Republican leaders shouldn't jump on the bandwagon to endorse the party’s nominee. They should re-imagine what it means to be a Republican. There’s a wave of discontent rising among Americans, rooted in a lack of economic opportunity. In times like these, sometimes we point fingers and assign blame.
What if we did something different? After all, this is the party of Lincoln.
What would he say about this election?
While running for Senate more than 150 years ago, Lincoln took a stand against slavery.
He didn’t win the Senate seat. He lost that battle, but he won the war and changed hearts and minds.
Where’s the longer-term view today? I keep hearing that the party of Lincoln wants to win the White House, but shouldn’t we be focused on winning the future?
It’s time to stop seeing this election as the be-all, end-all. Let’s vote for Hillary and push for change. Let’s rework our party and restore it become something better.
All those years ago, Lincoln had it right. Speaking to Republicans in Illinois as he fought for the Senate seat, he reminded them of the trials they had already overcome.
“Did we brave all then to falter now?…We shall not fail - if we stand firm, we shall not fail.”
If Never Hillary is your mantra, then what are you Always For? An incoherent demagogue is not the answer to our country’s problems.
Let’s rally together and create something different. If we stand firm, we shall not fail.