I saw a bumper sticker the other day that made me chuckle. Its design resembles any of the dozens of political bumper stickers we see all the time these days. But the text? Well, not so much:
— 2016 —
Just End It Already
I'm sure that's a sentiment shared by many as we head into the fall. In particular, the presidential campaign — fueled by non-stop cable news coverage — seems to be never-ending. It feels as though the 2016 race for the White House began the day after Barack Obama was re-elected in 2012. In fact, it probably did.
Still, I don't share the "just end it" reaction to this campaign. Admittedly, I'm a bit of a political junkie and have been intrigued by how this race has unfolded. It's certainly like nothing any of us have seen before.
But it's much more than that. Once you look past the polls, the gaffes, the outrages and the headlines, it's apparent this year's presidential race is probably the most important of the last several generations.
For me, and for many of our union and professional colleagues, the choice is clear. I will vote for the candidate who supports a better economy for all; the candidate who supports communities built on respect; the candidate who supports strong international alliances as a way to combat terrorism and bring peace to the world.
That candidate, of course, is Hillary Clinton.
I know, and I respect the fact, some among us are not quite sold on Hillary. Yet.
For some, she is not progressive enough on certain issues. For others, her opponent represents a better opportunity for change, whatever that may look like.
But for me, and for those within the AFT and NEA who have endorsed her, it comes down to her record and to her position on issues important to us. Hillary has been a longtime friend of labor and a strong proponent of public education. She is a pioneer in health care reform and is committed to the principle that all Americans should have access to quality medical care.
Hillary also has a strong record in support of the rights of women, children and the LGBTQ community. Unlike her opponent, she believes in the science of climate change, and has a commonsense and compassionate approach to immigration reform.
For some, she may not pass the "go-out-for-a-beer" test but, really, who cares? Instead, Hillary passes — with flying colors — the "ready-to-lead" test.
NYSUT's Voter Guide will be delivered to your home next month. I urge you to study it, and not just for the comparison of the presidential candidates. Your union's endorsed candidates in other federal and state offices will also be listed. Those races are important as we look toward 2017 and the battles we can expect to wage in Albany and Washington, D.C. It truly matters who represents us when we take on those battles. And, on Nov. 8, get to the polls. Remember: Your vote is your voice.