in the past i have commented, repeatedly and at length, both on twitter and irl, that i will not vote for hillary clinton. i would now like to take this opportunity to change my mind: i will vote for hillary clinton. i want to be clear that i still do not like what hillary clinton represents. she is fundamentally compromised by big money, influence peddling, and war profiteering. her vision for US foreign policy is terrible. she will probably privatize a portion of social security. she may stick us face-first into another ground war somewhere. imho her positions on criminal justice reform and #blacklivesmatter are mostly pandering. her policy proposals for gun control would have zero effect on actual gun deaths in the US. her views on American exceptionalism are appalling and her America First liberalism frankly fucking sucks. i was a bernie supporter, i’m a card-carrying member of the DSA, and i think a vote for hillary clinton is essentially a vote for the equivalent of john mccain. up until recently (and to be absolutely clear, this is because i live in washington, dc, where trump has zero chance of winning the electoral college vote) i was planning to cast a protest ballot. not for jill stein (come on, green party, do better) but probably a write-in for a humorous but ultimately regrettably-chosen cartoon character. something to demonstrate that i, an actual registered democrat, am politically-active enough to vote, yet not happy with the party’s direction. however, in light of recent events, i’ve decided to cast my vote for hillary clinton. this is because it has become extremely and terrifyingly clear in the last few days that trump and the GOP literally want to end this country as it has existed politically and legally for as long as any of us have been alive. as it’s shaping up, the new trump-led GOP platform–which has moved beyond trump and is now being parroted by think tanks and congressmen–is to: 1) block any and all Dem supreme court nominees and keep the court at 8 justices; 2) impeach hillary immediately, even before she does anything as president; 3) win local and state elections by blocking Dems from voting. these are attacks on democracy itself and our very system of government. we can debate policy, and the ideological pendulum of power will and does swing back and forth, but not without independent courts, clear division of powers, and fully enfranchised voters. of course, i am fully aware that the other planks in the trump-led GOP platform are also bad: profiling muslims, attacking immigrants, blowing multinationals, making unprovoked war on foreign soil. but in many respects, i would argue the difference with the Dems is one of degree, not substance, which is why i was ready to cast a protest vote. now, however, i feel there is an urgent, pressing need for Americans to stand up and say, “fuck this. we do not want to burn it all down. we want to fix it.” i fervently do not believe hillary will be the one to fix it, but at this point the other party is very explicitly and pointedly proposing to dismantle our federal system of representative government in the most fundamental ways possible, and we need to spend the next four years fighting that as hard as we can. a vote for hillary is a vote for the absolutely most basic standards of governance and the rule of law on which our country was built and without which we will never be able to move forward, so that’s why i’m voting for hillary.