Voting For Hillary Because She’s The ‘Lesser Evil’ Is Just Plain Wrong

Natalie Slaughter

#GirlIGuessImWithHer is the sad trombone of political Twitter culture.

While it’s true it’s not official Hillary Clinton will end up with the Democratic nomination, more news media outlets and political pros are declaring her likely victory, now she’s reached the delegate number required to win, leaving many loyal Bernie Sanders supporters begrudgingly switching teams.

The hashtag #GirlIGuessImWithHer is the depressing result of this trend, tweeted by those who’ve reluctantly made the switch to Clinton as the ‘lesser evil’ against Trump, and it’s upsetting on a number of levels.

For one, it seems like the simplest way to ensure your candidate’s inevitable defeat is to switch sides before he has. If Sanders had come out and said he was stepping down and endorsing Clinton, I’d understand both the switch and the depression, but that hasn’t happened. It’s incredibly likely, but not a foregone conclusion unless his supporters make sure it is.

There’s also the fact that many have switched teams specifically because they want children to have a female leader to look up to, which is depressing for an entirely different reason – we already have examples of female leaders across the world. There’s Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in Liberia, Park Geun-hye in South Korea, Portia Simpson Miller of Jamaica and Sheikh Hasina Wajed of Bangladesh. All of them are or were elected leaders of their countries in recent years, and a great example for little girls everywhere. I agree that it’s embarrassing that America has yet to appoint a female president, but that in and of itself shouldn’t constitute a sullen switch.

What bothers me the most about this movement is much harder to explain than a few logical political points.

It’s always depressing to see a group of people who were excited about their political candidate lose all of that enthusiasm. Whether you supported Hillary or Bernie, it’s hard to deny the impact Sanders has had on the political race.

Sanders on the campaign trail.
Sanders on the campaign trail.

He’s gotten more young voters enthusiastic about voting than we’ve ever seen, and anything that improves voter turn-out is a political plus. He’s also forced Clinton a bit out of the political trend of both parties leaning to the center, neither willing to take large committed leaps that may alienate any voters. And that’s a large part of what’s invigorated our would-be nominees.

I’m not saying I don’t understand the logic – I do. Trump as a president would be massively horrific and I’d never judge someone for doing whatever they felt was necessary to avoid that possibility. I personally find the Bernie bro culture repugnant, and the idea that someone will only vote if their candidate makes the Democratic ticket – or worse, the idea that someone would actually vote for Trump over Clinton if Sanders isn’t given the nod – makes me want to move to another planet.

I understand not wanting to chance voting for a third party, even if it’s a third party that lines up perfectly with your opinions and beliefs. But consider this: even if Sanders doesn’t get the nomination, the fact that he ran at all had a major impact on the campaign. HRC is a lot further to the left on the issues than she would’ve been if she didn’t have someone as liberal as Sanders to compete with. And the longer he’s a strong contender, the less time Clinton will have to back-peddle on any of her previous convictions.

But I’m not a complete idiot; at the end of the day we all know that a Trump vs Clinton ticket is our most likely outcome. And again, I can’t begrudge anyone who wants to do anything in their power to keep Trump from getting that victory. But #GirlIGuessImWithHer is the sad trombone of political Twitter culture.

Hopefully it means with more young people paying attention to politics, we can look forward to better fanfare in years to come.

Comment: Do you think Hillary Clinton has what it takes to be the next US president?