Blue State Democrats Must Vote for Hillary Clinton

Frank Moraes - Californians for Hillary - Blue State DemocratsIt is nonsense to say,[1] “I’m a blue state Democrat, so I can vote my conscience!” Yet I don’t see people talking about this. Instead, I hear the argument that swing state Democrats must vote for Hillary Clinton, but blue state Democrats have a choice. None of us have a choice, even if we are silly enough to believe a Trump presidency will bring on the revolution.

I was a Bernie Sanders supporter in the primary. I donated to him. And I bought a shirt from him and wore it proudly. But I did not support Sanders because he was perfect. He wasn’t perfect. I’m much more a Jeremy Corbyn kind of guy (not that he’s perfect either), but I’m not a citizen of the UK. I voted for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary because he was the best alternative available to me.

Now I am (Like Bernie Sanders himself!) a Hillary Clinton supporter. I have donated to her, and as you can see on the right, I have bought a shirt from her. And I wear it proudly too.

Alternatives Not Choice!

Voting is not an act of personal expression! It’s not about making the voter feel morally superior like those idiots who drive around with bumper stickers, “Don’t blame me: I voted Libertarian!” I think it is best summed up by Guildenstern in Tom Stoppard’s play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, “At least we are presented with alternatives — but not choice!”

“At least we are presented with alternatives — but not choice!” —Guildenstern

Picking Jill Stein or Mickey Mouse in the general election means blue state Democrats (And red state Democrats!) can’t pick between Clinton and Trump. But those are the only alternatives. It simply isn’t the case that our electoral system makes Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, or anyone else an alternative. Change the system? Sign me up! But that will not happen before 8 November 2016. So the alternatives are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Blue state Democrats can vote any way they want, of course. But if they think themselves morally superior because they don’t vote for Clinton, they are seriously deluded. We will know what they are: people who left to others the job of picking from the alternatives — people who saw no difference between Clinton and Trump.

Blue State Democrats T-Shirt

I think the shirt I’m wearing above is kind of ugly. I wouldn’t have bought the corresponding shirt if I lived in Florida — a swing state.

But I bought that shirt because I am in a bright blue state. FiveThirtyEight currently gives Clinton a 99.8% chance of winning the state. I’m pretty sure that makes it the bluest state in this election. So I got the shirt for the message: blue state Democrats for Hillary Clinton. Because my vote is not about making me feel better; it is about picking the best alternative for the country.

Swing state Democrats are obviously foolish if they don’t vote for Clinton. But blue state Democrats are too. We have no choice. We have two alternatives.

What About the Revolutionaries?

But what about the revolutionaries? The ones who think Trump will bring on the glorious revolution? They have no choice either! They must vote for Trump. If they really feel the only way forward is revolution and that the catastrophe of a Trump presidency is the way to get it, they must pick Trump. That’s just as true in Oklahoma (FiveThirtyEight gives Trump a 99.5% chance of winning) as anywhere else.

Two Alternatives — That’s All

Such Democrats are stupid and very, very ignorant of political science. They are also, luckily, rare. Any reasonable person must vote for Clinton. And that is just as true for blue state Democrats as anyone else.


[1] Great idea: if you live in a country with a parliamentary system! Otherwise: stupid idea!

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

4 thoughts on “Blue State Democrats Must Vote for Hillary Clinton

  1. I would disagree if third parties had any support behind them. In 2012, in California, the two leftist parties combined got around 1% of the presidential vote. If the number was 10 or 15 percent, then strengthening the alternative party would make more sense. Americans don’t support the hopeless underdog.

    Here’s a question. How much of Sanders’s success came from being the only other candidate in the primary? (Let’s just forget that Baltimore oaf.) After all, there’s always somebody in the Democratic primary who runs on similar positions; Dennis Kucinich, say. And what do they get? That same 1%, in a good year. Not because their positions are unpopular; because nobody thinks they have a chance. So they vote for the candidate with an actual chance whom they believe is closer to them politically. I’m basically wondering if there’s any chance for a leftist Democratic candidate in 2024? Or was this year a one-shot deal, because nobody else wanted to go up against the best campaigner in America? Will the left fall back to Kucinich levels? Or are things like the environmental movement, the fight for $15 movement, OWS starting to change the party? I certainly hope so!

    One last point. There’s never a “safe” district. My district has voted Democratic for president back since the party began (and stood for far different things!) And had Democratic congresspersons since 1949. Those offices are “safe”. Yet we’ve had Republican mayors, city council members, etc. There’s always a bond bill that needs passing. Whether or not your vote matters for president, it matters in local government. Always.

    • Did you read what Corey Robin had to say on the issue. I think this is the direction the part and the country is going. After a fairly short period of time, I came to believe that Sanders’ biggest problem wasn’t his “socialism” but his age. You get another Sanders who’s in his fifties and they will fly. And that person will come because the Democratic elites see where the voters are going.

      • No, I hadn’t read him before today. He’s very gifted. If I had more energy, I’d definitely read more.

        I hope that’s the direction the country is going. I see it as the 1930s; we could fix capitalism or embrace fascism. As a betting man, I’m not putting my money on hope. But it’s not impossible. Maybe 70/30 against.

        • I think his analysis is solid. This is part of why conservatives talk such nonsense: they have nothing real to react against. But that doesn’t mean they will necessarily fail. I mean: scary dark-skinned people!

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