Alexandria Letter: Supporting Hillary

Alexandria Letter: Supporting Hillary

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

Hillary Clinton is my candidate for President. She has an unparalleled depth and breadth of experience that positions her to be a world class leader. As a moderate, progressive Democrat, her positions on both domestic and foreign policy are attractive to the broader electorate. She is electable and capable of preserving and enhancing the Obama legacy.

Like many, I do have some conflict between head and heart. My heart is with Bernie in wanting to scream for a more level playing field. But my head says that screaming usually doesn’t advance the ball very much; and the extremes of inequality have never been addressed by rants of revolution.

We recently barely achieved a national health care system. While Obamacare can be improved, that will come incrementally by working across the aisle. While I might dream of it, I do not think there any chance in the near or mid-term future that we can enact a single payer system.

While Hillary is hardly perfect, neither is Bernie. He has played the crusty outsider role for too many years — he has refused to share the political struggles within the Democratic Party. By temperament, he is the aloof curmudgeon — the classic lone wolf, who would have great difficulty being a leader in the White House — either in working to achieve legislation domestically or in working internationally with friends and foes.

Also, I really don’t think there is that much difference between the goals of Bernie and Hillary. But their approach is quite different — Bernie sounds the angry alarms of revolution, while Hillary projects a moderate progressivism that might actually get something done.

My head also says that Hillary is the best, all around qualified candidate, especially on foreign policy. Terrorism, immigration, personal safety are of significant public concern. I do trust her to be a progressive, yet strong Democrat in the international arena. I believe that she is best positioned to beat the Republicans, who are going off the far right cliff. My fear is that the country may seize upon a Republican demagogue as the next shiny object to solve all of our problems and make us great again. Clinton, having been a strong Secretary of State and being an experienced, strong, moderate voice, is the right person to take on either of them.

I also have serious doubts that Bernie can win in the general election against any Republican. I fear that he will be beaten like McGovern, Mondale and Dukakis. I know that Bernie is currently doing well in some one-on-one polls with Republicans, but he has never been vetted by the national Republican trash machine; and he won’t be unless and until he is the nominee. By contrast, Hillary has been vetted by Republicans for years; she has withstood the onslaught. And remember the Benghazi hearings — that is Hillary at her best.

Bottom line for me is this — I have always admired Hillary and agree with her on most policy issues. I also believe she will be an effective, strong leader. I am equally convinced that as much as I like some of Bernie's ideas about income inequality — and he has been an important voice — I do not think he would ever be elected. We need to support our most electable Democrat, one who also has a long history of progressive politics. Hillary is that choice.

Finally, it is not insignificant that no U.S. senators, only one member of Congress, no governor and no local elected officials have endorsed Bernie. Many, many, many have endorsed Hillary.

So far, the following elected or former elected officials from Alexandria, have endorsed Hillary for President: U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, School Board Member Hal Cardwell, former Mayor Kerry Donley, state Sen. Adam Ebbin, former Mayor Bill Euille, former Council Member and state Del. Rob Krupicka, state Del. Mark Levine, Council Member Tim Lovain, former U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, Council Member Del Pepper, Commonwealth Attorney Bryan Porter, former Council Member Lonnie Rich, Mayor Allison Silberberg, Council Member Paul Smedberg, former Council Member and state Del. David Speck, former Mayor and state Sen. Patsy Ticer, and Vice Mayor Justin Wilson.

Lonnie Rich