Election 2016

There are lots of citizens who are, I’m told, uncertain of whom to vote for on November 8. I’m going to lay out the most pragmatic case I can for why that vote should be for Hillary Clinton. There are many more reasons, but I’m thinking here about the really, really big picture. This is how I’d lay it out to someone who’s torn about this election. I’ll disclaim that, personally, I think she’d be a good president; I’ve donated to her campaign. But I get that lots of people don’t like her. So…

The very short version: Hillary Clinton is less likely to bring about the end of life on Earth as we know it than Donald Trump, so you should vote for her.

What do I mean when I say “the end of life on Earth as we know it?” Being totally serious here, three possibilities:

  1. Nuclear war. Next month we’ll elect the 14th president with the authority to drop nuclear weapons, of which the US still has over a thousand.
  2. Global climate change continuing unabated. (Partially unavoidable.)
  3. American economic collapse leading to a non-nuclear but devastating third world war. Relevant contributing factor: a possible Brexit fallout-based EU economic collapse which we’re all just sorta hoping won’t occur.

So, your options on Election Day:

  1. Vote for Hillary whether you like her or not.

  2. Vote for Trump. He’s awful in so many ways. He’s a racist, a bully, he hates women, his wife testified in 1989 that he beat and raped her, he suggests we commit war crimes, he’s proposed a registration of Muslims that’s literally how Germany started on its road to the Holocaust. All of that. But that stuff doesn’t lead to the end of the world, it just makes America worse.

Sticking to the list above, 1) He has shown that he knows very little about global politics and has little interest in learning about it, doesn’t surround himself with people who fill in his gaps, and doesn’t listen to his advisers’ advice. He doesn’t understand even the basics of nuclear deterrence. 2) There’s zero chance he’d improve in any way our carbon emissions, reduce our coal use, or invest heavily in alternative energies. 3) His economic ideas — the stupid wall, mass deportations, etc. — would cost billions a year.

  1. Vote for a third party candidate and hope that Trump doesn’t win by one vote.

  2. Don’t vote for president and hope that Trump doesn’t win by one vote.

Whether or not you’re happy with Clinton, these are your choices. Suck it up and make the one that’s least likely to lead to nuclear war.